When I was younger I wrote a poem about tangerine dreams that filled the sky, and this one lemon tree atop a hill where lovers liked to meet. When I was younger still, but old enough to know, I filled several blank sheets back-to-back with an essay on the circle of life, having just watched The Lion King for the first time. When I was even younger, while walking in a mall with my family in Hong Kong, our humid stopover before reaching our new life Down Under, I lamented (rather melodramatically for a nine-year-old) Continue reading
It was the opposite back then: I was always a pink girl. When I was the age girls are when all they want to do is become a princess, and so make up for their lack of birthright by dressing up thus, I wanted everything pink. Pink for my Barbies and me. Pink stickers, pink toys, pink hairbands and clothes. Of course, my complexion means that Continue reading
There’s something incredibly comforting about Greek delis—the grubbier a deli is, the more homely I find it. This has everything to do with The Greek Deli being a permanent fixture of my Inner West upbringing and also says everything about mine being a creature of habit, in other words a lamenter of change. Continue reading
I heard it on the radio this afternoon so it must be true. When I got home social media confirmed the news, but unprecedented election outcomes in the States stunted the outpouring of grief for this legend of modern music and poetry. Much of the world is still reeling after Continue reading
Decided to celebrate my favourite writer’s big day with a hand-drawn portrait. Celebrate with me by reading my love letter to him, or my musings on how John Keats’ Romantic poetry impacted his prose style. And don’t forget to have some gin & tonic!
Coloured pencil on pastel paper. More art can be found on my Instagram @artbybettyboo.
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- Criminals Hate Him! Crackhead Detective Can’t Stop Solving Crimes →
- Hot Russian Woman Cheats On Husband, Gets SMASHED By Train →
- Egomaniac Boss Ignores Extensive Warnings About No Good March Day, Brutally Stabbed To Death By Right-hand Man →
- American Girl Abroad Too Flirty For Her Own Good, Dies →
- Sex Maniac Father Obsessed With 12-Year-Old Stepdaughter: You Won’t Believe What He Did To Her! →
- Scientists Are Baffled! Virgin Gives Birth To Miracle Baby; Who’s The Father?! →
- Old And Ugly As Sin: You Won’t Recognise Dorian Gray In His Last Selfie →
- They Locked Him In A Cupboard Under The Stairs, Who He Turned Out To Be Is His Best Revenge →
- Meet The Shady Mogul Who Throws Extravagant Parties To Lure “Love Of His Life”—What He Said To Her Will Shock You! →
- She Tried To Kill Herself, Doctors Fried Her Brains! →
* With reverent apologies to: C. S. Lewis; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Leo Tolstoy; William Shakespeare; Henry James; Vladimir Nabokov; Oscar Wilde; J. K. Rowling; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Sylvia Plath.
The first part of my sexual awakening took the shape of Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Moon‘s resident overdressed douche who, while standing atop a crescent moon, would throw red roses with comic gusto to save the (usually crying) title character/heroine from her plight. Unaware of the now infamous damsel in distress gets saved by Prince Charming trope, of feminism and girlpower, my princess-obsessed, Lois Lane wannabe five or six-year-old self was smitten with him. ‘Oh, mother, look how handsome he is!’ I had gushed day in, day out, while brandishing shiny trading cards bearing his angelic image. Unsurprisingly, I wanted to be Sailor Moon, that immaculately beautiful yet adorably clumsy celestial princess whose fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes were, retrospectively, to blame for the onset of my inferiority complex: that rude shock whenever my mirror reflection revealed black hair, black eyes and yellowish skin instead of Little Miss Victoria’s Secret (ft. Bouncing Blonde Curls & Sea-Coloured Eyes). Things worsened when cruel, inevitable adolescence arrived and ushered in page after page of glossy models who looked nothing like me, but who looked good in everything…but this is a tale for another
time post. So, I was five or so and I loved Tuxedo Mask and I was a girl and he was a boy and it was all easy-peasy.
Throughout high school, especially after my (re)discovery of boys at the age of 14 after a long, Barbie-fuelled hiatus, I continued to pine after good looking penis owners, be they effeminate Japanese idols or vampiric teen heartthrobs by the name of Edward Cullen (yes, I was a crazy Twilight fan, the type who had all the books, DVDs, T-shirts and merchandise). I had heard of gays and lesbians, I think, but not bisexuals. I had a very limited knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community, as it were. Straight was the norm, and I even had a crush on a string of cute male teachers (textbook daddy issues; pun intended) so I never even thought about my sexuality.
Then came university, and the second part of my sexual awakening. It took the form of one Ellen DeGeneres. Continue reading
Or, had the precise terms for Baudelaire’s leisurely metropolitan stroller-cum-observer and The Catcher in the Rye‘s free-flowing narrative mode exuded less enigma, ‘Walking down the street: a list of things seen and thought about’.
Down the street I go.
Uneven pavement: the human skin (birth marks, deformities, blotches, spots and dots), success, life, the colour of elephants, scrapped knees, summer heat, pebbles and dryness.
An elderly Greek lady: hearty home-cooked meals, the laughter of boisterous grandchildren at play, immigration, old photographs gathering dust, early morning bus rides, flowers at the cemetery, gold jewellery begging to be polished.
Oranges on display at the fruit market: something to throw at your arch nemesis; action movie sequences involving white men on motorbikes and confused people of colour; the rough texture of a Cézanne.
Cars: destination, rage, modernity.
My family’s Chinese restaurant: familiarity, home, mother.
Asian shop signs: age, haste (waste?), and money; Cantonese BBQ meat hanging in the window, glazed and dripping sauce into oily silver trays below; a steamy bowl of Vietnamese pho.
Butchery: Babe, bacon, pink, rawness, blood and cartilage, rubber boots, wet tiles, cha-ching, thank you, next!
Traffic lights: dusk-lit skies, grey suits, vacant stares.
Café: chocolate brown, the inevitability of stale cake (‘It’s all fresh!’ – the shop girl), cigarette smoke, friends and lovers wiling the day away, the trusty ch-ch-chUAAAA of the milk steamer and the resolute BANG BANG of used ground coffee being emptied, muffled music and ice cubes jingling against glass, lipstick stains on napkins, crumbs and spillage.
Liquor store: ID card (1991!), old men in tatty shirts, filthy motel rooms, vintage porno mags, the pungent odour of drunkards’ piss (why the fuck must it linger for days?), the queue at Centrelink, sweat stains…the promise of gin and momentary relief from All That Is Going Wrong (don’t).
I cross the street and enter grease, fatty patties, sodium galore, glaringly cheesy 50s Americana and pimply teenagers. They call it Hungry Jack’s. At this point we must part our ways, reader, for *Yoda voice* trash my body, I shall.