Peter Christopherson’s Time Machines II

23 Jul

Beware, extreme caution advised, this product does more than what it claims. Although this is not yet released, here, now, it will be soon and people should be made aware of ‘side effects’ of such use. I had to be hospitalised next weekend due to use of this USB. This wooden USB so carefully manufactured and packaged in pewter and leather. This ‘Time Machine II’, and the strange sounds and evocation there in. Next weekend I put it in to my amplifier and pressed play (I was there before now you see). After some ‘time’ playing this ‘music’ I blacked out, some time later I simply fell to the floor. I was covered in blood and paint, too much blood to be my own, and a mustardy yellow paint so luminous I could not imagine from where it came or where it could possibly be used. Off to hospital for a check up, my brain ached ached. Slowly the lost time during the blackout came back to me.

Now some time later I can recall the trip there in some detail. Stepping out of my kitchen, opening the fridge door and receiving an olive ticket numbered 1891 from the sleeve gartered green eyeshadeed clerk, I jumped at the sudden strange syncopated rhythmic clacking of steel on steel, I looked to the draining board but the colours distracted me, vivid and vibrant like from some mild hallucinatory truffle. Outside the window my garden became a landscape rushing by. The carriage swayed violently and shook me out of my daydream. I had been staring at reflections but suddenly I seen clear through to the view. Wild and rich. Immense. Enough to inspire any sane person to stick an easel under one arm, a canvas under the other, and loaded with paints and brushes try capture its immense splendour in a frame.

All in all my journey was brief but that afternoon and the events that evening which I was involved in have left me frightened, or shaken at least, and extremely weary to try the USB and said ‘music’ again. See I was cough in the middle of a scuffle, it was just rough horse play and overzealous posturing between the two of them at first but quickly became aggressive and vengeful and on noticing how rough it was becoming he withdrew, out of fear, out of pride, or out of common sense, he withdrew.

They had been philosophers all afternoon, wining and dining on the wonders of existence, but now they stood in all their acquired dishevelled glory. A life time of knocks and knocks apparent and frighteningly obvious to even the most drunken of fools. Regardless of his appearance and obvious ill health his composure was unshaken, though determined he was steadfast in his cool demeanour, his voice stern yet concerned, a slight quiver as he gently moved forward, hands out stretched, making it obvious he was unarmed and did not want an escalation of the situation he once again found himself in.

‘Please Paul, put it away, please Paul, you do not want to do this, please Paul.’ He reminded his friend he was not the enemy, he reminded him of his slight stature, half of his friends hefty girth and it would not benefit him to be embroiled in a physical fight, he reminded him too of the depth of his friendship to date, hadn’t he put his reputation on the line in covering up for him. ‘Paul’ he whispered, ‘I covered for you with claims of self mutilation, what more could you ask of somebody whom you had just attacked with a sword and injured so horrifically, I got you off from a humiliating trial and guarantee of a custodial sentence, and at what cost to myself, my sanity has been called into doubt by the whole town and the relevance of my work undermined because of such, Paul, please, put down the gun.’

He was as gentle and calm as a father with his new born son. ‘I empathise with you my friend on every level, my intellect is vast and I consider deeply, every facet of my humanity cries out for you, the deep grey sigh my soul is giving for you is constant since you arrived and confided your insecurities and shame, your perfectly normal human feelings, the inadequacies and guilt we all feel.’

Vincent inched forward through the settling dust, the scuffle ended abruptly as I entered the small yellow room, not because of my presence but because of the sudden emergence of the gun. Paul held it in both hands, arms crooked under the weight and shaking, presumably from the Absinthe and strain.

‘Your daughter’s birthday was yesterday and you missed it’ said Vincent almost accusingly, ‘you were forced into leaving her, it is not entirely your fault’, ‘entirely my own fault?’ boomed Paul, eyes wild to the walls all covered in twisted and contorted images of simple interiors, the very same room he was now in, depicted in the picture all contorted, more the flowers radiant and extreme, other trees twisted reaching and the night sky spiralling, igniting at the vortex tip bright and starry. The confusion obvious, the fear controlled, but only through the strength gained from the anger, ‘you convinced me to come back here Vincent, I left my family, you encouraged me to abandon my life to fulfil your empty vacuous existence, you are a cretin and a amature, you paint like a child, you have no sense of reality, your painting is that of a infant and you use your miserable existence and all there endured to explain depth to images that are plain, you Vincent must pay, and I the great Gauguin am here to rid you of your pitiful meanderings and rid the world of more of your frightening nursery doodles, I will shoot you Vincent, I am going to shoot you’.

Vincent remained steely calm in appearance and whispered ‘I am sorry Paul, I am so sorry for you, and I am sorry I did not report you for cutting off my ear – if only to save you from this now and for all time having to live with the fact you shot and killed me. I am an innocent Paul, you know that, I am not your daughter, I am not a rival, you are the master, I am just Vincent’.

The room for me was swirling too, the smell of paints and toxic cleaners, the smashed bottle of absent, it’s contents burning up the wall bright green, almost fantastical in its translucency, the canvas’ it burned on too take on a whole other level of distorted wonder as the flame and globules of paint merge and slide and tumble and melt, the stream runs slow and vicious off the recently stretched canvas and becomes a shimmering green lake of fire and wonder on the uneven dusty and straw strewn flag stones, a tiny landscape emerges at the foot of the bed complete with livestock as coach roaches scuttle from the flames. The upturned chair and the crooked painting on the wall mirror each other in this topsy turvy world.

‘I am going to shoot you now Vincent, resolve yourself to that fact, I am going to shoot you now’. ‘Please Paul, you do not want to have to live with this for the rest of your life, it will haunt you no matter how far you run.’ There was no fear in Vincent. He was trying to mind his friend. ‘The good it will do is immeasurable Vincent, you will be gone, it will only be me, the great Gauguin, you have already told everyone you cut off your own ear and now they will easily believe you went and shot yourself too…’ Gauguin hesitated, as if he was removed from the scenario, as if he was a witness to events unfolding as I was, relief spilled over me, the moment lasted eternality until the shot. Bang. Or more like a pop with a ‘ka’. KAP.

Vincent fell. He stared straight ahead into the abyss, into his friends face. ‘Please Paul, promise me, let this moment, this time of new year, this time of your estranged, your abandoned daughter’s birthday, let my death, be, in the future to you, a pleasant distraction from such, let it alleviate your guilt, have a moment in time on me, look on this like a landscape, just before spring, desolate but brimming with potential of re-growth and let it blossom in your heart Paul, take this moment this time of year in years to come and savour it, a distraction from your woes, please Paul, for a friend, his dying wish, take this moment as you would save cerise Chrysanthemum in Autumn from the frost, take this moment inside, picture it in your soul, frame it in your heart Paul, please Paul, hang it in your mind’s eye just like a still life.’

Paul of course had dropped the gun and left, Vincent’s words spent, Vincent’s life spent, his reputation confirmed, mad man. Paul walked straight by me as if I was not there, but he gruffed as he bumped passed and on down the stairs off into the night and on to God knows where. I helped Vincent up. He was already only semiconscious. ‘Dawn, let me capture one last dawn, that purple eludes me, I know I can distil it this morn, I know what I was missing Paul, please Paul, help me capture the dawn.’ I did not tell him Paul had left. I draped an arm over my shoulder and took his slight and limp, frail and bony body to the field out back where he dissolved in light and I abruptly fell to the kitchen floor bloodied and sore.

I cannot remember any of the music off the ‘Time Machines II’ USB, and I do not plan to reacquaint myself with it again anytime soon. There is a time and a place for most things, but when you are uncertain about the time and place you are only left with the certainty of things.

BD 2014

1 Comment

Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Uncategorized



One response to “Peter Christopherson’s Time Machines II

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