Friday, November 5, 2010



Clearly, it has been too long between posts, but as we are creatures of chaos (or for the less poetically inclined, 'massively disorganised' and unprepared) the last weeks before departure have been full of anxious anxiousness. Here's a conversation I transcribed a couple of weeks ago, and then forgot to post, thus getting the leftovers out of the way before I document the last 24ish hours of our first day travelling together (we left Sydney yesterday... already behind on blogging duties):

“Because our relationship is sexless, we need to hype up the conventional bullshit of normal relationships, to expose them, and to keep us entertaining for other people (because it’s sexual investment that keeps people interested in relationships). So we camp up the conventions of hetero relationships.” - Panda

That’s how Panda describes our relationship dynamic, born of a neat synthesis between how we see ourselves and the projections of others. The hyped-up camp performance of heteronormative relationship dynamics and practices is certainly pleasurable for us to perform and play with, and often helps to mediate the intensity of sharing a life with someone in a non-conventional way.

For example, sometimes Panda can be slightly controlling about our sleeping arrangements. The other morning I was having a pleasant sleep-in when he clearly decided it was time for me to get up. He communicates this by diving into bed and staring at me until I open my eyes (anyone have a cat? Sound familiar?) and then starts harassing me bodily until I am completely and irrevocable awake (see Bad Kitty for techniques and strategies). This particular morning, it took longer than usual to get me out of my stupor, and Panda started to succumb to the temptations of the mid-morning nap. As he started to get sleepy, I woke up completely and decided to get up. But now Panda wanted a napping partner, and so against my struggling to get out of bed (which is what he originally wanted), he clamped one arm around my belly, forcibly big-spooned me, and planted the other hand securely on the top of my head, keeping my in place like, well like a clamp.

His rationalization for keeping me in place in such a forceful way was that because he had gotten up first (the first time) he had to get up first again (the second time). So I was not permitted to get out of bed until he had completed his nap and was out of bed (again). I’m not going to pretend to understand the logic at play here, but you have to respect the level of commitment to a (however unformed and illogical) concept.

And Panda slept.

Yesterday morning Panda proved to be capable of more creative approaches to controlling my sleeping patterns. Once again he decided that I couldn’t get up until he was ready. I was lying on my back and he curled up on his side, facing me, and slid his hand under my neck. Then he started wobbling my head around like a puppet, and making chicken noises in time to the movement of my bobbing head: 


“What the fuck are you doing?! I have to get up. I’m going to miss my bus! Stop that! What the fuck - I am not your chicken puppet!”

“Ok, I know you were speaking then, but all I heard was: ‘Berk berk berk berrrrk?! Berk, berk berk berk. Berk berkberk berk BERRRK!!’”

What followed was about eight minutes of me trying to convince Panda to let me go, and him translating everything I said into ‘neurotic chicken.’ I can’t really communicate how bizarre this is, nor how frustrating.


Finally I started laughing with him, because even though I was probably going to miss my bus and ruin my day, there was something so ridiculous and kind of sweet about his dedication to a bit, that I cracked. Of course this meant that he now translated my laughter into chicken language.


This made me laugh even more, uncontrollably, which made Panda make more chicken sounds, in between rubbing my belly with his free hand and crooning: “Aw, who’s a happy chook?” 

On that creepy-cute note, here's is an artist's impression of what a hybrid pigpanda would look like.

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