David Gale’s Peachy Coochy Nites #16

20 slides are each projected for 20 seconds and spoken to for the same period, no more, no less. The script for one of these precision-based presentations is found below.

Season 3: PC#16


Previously on Peachy Coochy I had discovered that my unconscious appeared to have stopped functioning. I had gone back to the house that I was born in and asked the lady there if I could move into my old bedroom so that I could relive my life. She told me to fuck off and suggested that her husband might pay violent attention to me if I did not vacate the front garden promptly.


The husband looked liked Uncle George, he wasn’t really my uncle but he lived next door with Auntie Joan and he’d helped my father dig an air-raid shelter in the back garden. People use to grow flowers on top of them. I realised I was seeing everything in black and white. It was actually more complex than that.


I lived in the house from 1944 to 1952. My memories of it have an hallucinatory sharpness that I confuse with authenticity. I ate a snail on the path. I pissed in my black wellingtons. I carved my name on the tree. A man with coaldust on his skin brought round black sacks. The cows in the picture on my wall chewed grass in eery orange fields.


But in the street it’s just another day with wheelie bins and mountain bikes. I shouldn’t let that put me off. I knocked on some doors and managed to rent a room further down the street. I wouldn’t take all my stuff, just some books and a camera. My room looked onto the back garden and from there I could look along to number 27.


There was a mound in their garden that I recognised instantly. A lot of people hadn’t bothered to dig up their shelters, they simply covered them over. I remember helping a friend excavate one back in the 70s – it took three days. That night I went to bed in a state of considerable relief and renewed resolve.


The more I walked up and down the street the more acute my vision became. I was regaining  the unwavering attentiveness I had enjoyed as a child. Everything was in colour, but not the colour that ran across the spectrum. Now all I had to do was to find a point of the utmost clarity and then I could retrace my steps.


Luckily the moon was full. I had cleared all the soil from the shelter door. There was no lock on it, just a rotted clasp. I heaved it open. At the far end was another door leading to a passageway. I felt sure that if I went down there I’d find the perfect point. All I needed was one full and total memory and the rest would follow.


“Hey, dickless!” I could hear a roaring noise. The air was thick and warm, more like syrup. The sky seemed very low. I realised that the roaring was voices. “Dickless! Do you shit shavings?” Who were they talking to? Anyway, if a person was dickless then they couldn’t laugh at at his dick. So what was wrong with that?


“There goes your Dad,” she said. “Dead Dad, Dead Dad!” “Has he gone off to work?” I asked. “He has been et by a whale you silly arse,” she said. “What do you know? You’re only a doll,” I said. She turned round and showed me her face. “Fucker fucker fucker. I’ve got a cunt. You’ve just got wood.”


Anyway, the crows took that girl and put her in a tree. They et out her eyes. She cried down but I was off. She looked down and tried to piss on me but I saw that coming. I was off. She stayed there and they pecked at her whenever they feel peckish until she was nothing left just bones in those black sticks.


This was a better one. She didn’t go against nature she went along with it. She gave them curds or similar and they shit when they’d had enough. But they didn’t shit in the sticks they shit over the edge of the nest down to the floor. This is for them what they do. The main crow doesn’t mind. This is what she wants.


I said to her “Have you seen my Daddy? He was last at sea.” She said “Was he wooden like you are?” I said “No he was the real thing.” She said “Then he’d of sunk then. Not being wood like you.” “Is wood good then?” I wanted to know. “In your dreams you knothole,” she said. “I can see your bucket plainly,” I said.


“No thank you,” I said. “No thank you, please. This wasn’t why I came. Don’t push me. I won’t have it.” “Googy googy googy,” she said. “I beg your pardon?” I begged. She said “If you haven’t got a name in six weeks the council gives you one. Out of their name book. And they’re shit names.”


Obviously it was too soon. I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t been warned. There wasn’t enough air. I kept falling over. I went to some cows. That was very nice. The mooing was warm.

There was no big bull. I bought some milk. I laid down low. I had cud or similar. There was yellow and purple.


“That’s all very well, Wendy. You say there is something that needs to be stuck on but quite frankly I’m better without it.”

“Come off it, Peter. Don’t play Mister Silly Billy DimDick with me. You want people to say you’re several clowns short of a circus? This is the proper shit.”

I couldn’t see the point but I let her.


I put all these things in my unconscious. They were quite jumbled up but it didn’t really matter – Freud had made it clear that the terrain was timeless and structureless. It was characterised by its lack of signposts and the great volume of its signs. I felt as if it had been a good night’s work.


I made my way back. It was good to be somewhere proper again. I rinsed my wellingtons in the sea then slipped in for a swim. I began to wonder if I had put enough into my unconscious. It was so hard to tell. From what I understood it was possible to feel that one had great inner riches only to discover that this was merely a wish.


As I stretched out on the beach and mused on this conundrum I noticed the singer Katy Perry looking at me. She broke a coconut on a rock and offered me milk. I drank gratefully and curled up in her arms. She sang a selection from ‘One of the Boys’, her US and UK platinum album. I felt utterly content.


Katy told me that I had a lot to offer. She had built a bivouac from natural materials and suggested that we settle in it. She politely asked if I would make her pregnant. I told her that for some reason I could no longer control my bowels or my bladder but that needn’t necessarily be problematic if it was known in advance. 


I didn’t think it could rain in the desert. I thought it was always hot and dry. I had my wellingtons but otherwise only a bathing costume. I could catch water in my boots and I could put my costume on my head if the weather got worse. I was glad to find that I had a few tricks up my sleeve.

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