Monday, June 13, 2011

speaking of cups

I have a tumblr now, which has a portfolio of some of my print work currently on display in the NCAD BA degree show which runs until the 19th June, if anyone fancies calling in. I am delighted to have received Graduate awards from both Blackchurch Print Studio (Dublin) and Belfast Print Workshop, so I intend to continue printmaking throughout the next year and will update the tumblr site with the work I make.

The other piece of good news is that I found all the cups. Someone had put them ALL in my room in cunning places which might lead me to think I had placed them there myself and merely forgotten about them. HA! You can't fool me. I considered conducting an inquest, but in the end contented myself with the knowledge that the Pyrex measuring jug would no longer be the only drinking vessel in the house.

One of the cups I found in my room was filled with what looked like blue Oasis, the powdery foam used by florists to create fabulous horticultural displays. I began wondering if I should perhaps take a flower arranging course. I used to think I'd like to be a florist, I would have business cards which said SARAH GORDON: THE LONE ARRANGERI'd watched my Mum do the flowers in the church when I was younger and always thought it looked like a lot of fun. I "helped" by poking my fingers in the Oasis when she wasn't looking and army rolling under the pews and doing very small farts on the minister's chair and playing the organ with my nose and forehead. I loved being in the church when it wasn't church-time, there was something very comfortable and familiar about the building. I loved the slightly damp smell, and the stained glass windows, and the big gold eagle whose vast wingspan formed a handy bible stand. And there was the super slippery floor, which was excellent for sliding on.

We always had to go to the family service in church on Sundays and I hated it. Hannah and I would sulk, stoney faced, separated by a parent so we didn't talk or fight. Martha would sit on the floor, oblivious, struggling with a box of raisins. I hated the sermons and the prayers and the readings and the mindlessness and I hated that we missed all the good Sunday morning TV. (We would watch Little House on the Prairie and Rawhide when we got home but this was a poor substitute for Power Rangers.) I got Confirmed when I was 14 and I had a tummy bug at the time. When they gave me the Communion wafer I threw up in my mouth and then had to swallow it so I started crying but the ladies in the choir thought I'd been overcome by the Holy Spirit and they all came running out to hug me.

For me, the only redeeming feature of church was Sunday school. As the signal would arrive for the children to leave we would embrace our chance at escape with sudden vigor, leaping over chairs and old people as we made for the exit. I remember feeling so sorry for my parents, (especially my Dad who I think would rather have been home watching Power Rangers too) having to stay behind while we got to go and colour in a picture of Joseph's technicolour dreamcoat. Or Moses, or Abraham, or someone from the Old Testament. They all had beards, I was never really sure who I was colouring in. In a Religion exam in 2nd year I wrote a 4 page essay about Jonah parting the red sea and leading the tribes out of Israel. I expressed my confidence in my exam efforts on the train on the way home, until someone said, "Was Jonah not eaten by a whale?" and I stopped.

As I was thinking about all of this the cup I had forgotten I was holding casually tilted forwards in my hand and a bitter, noxious smell of sick started filling up my nose. The remains of what I assume was originally a dairy based beverage, was leaking out from under the inch thick layer of mould that was absolutely not Oasis, and was now dripping all over my toes.

Deeply upset I hopped down the stairs, put my foot in the shower and proceeded to scrub it with conditioner, which was the closest bottle to hand. Then I disposed of the contents of the cup by pouring it down the toilet. The sour milk floated away no problem, but even after repeated flushing attempts, there seems to be an incredibly buoyant little blue mould cake sitting in the toilet bowl. I think it will probably be there forever; quietly growing until it takes over the bathroom and starts eating visitors. We will lose the deposit on the house for sure. I have created a monster. I mean, whoever left that cup in my room has created a monster.