Monday, February 27, 2006
Memoirs of a Wayward Schoolgirl
When I was in fifth year in school, our art teacher, Miss Driver, set our class a project making large papier mache masks to hang in the corridors during Arts Week. Arts Week was an annual occasion to piss off class and muck about, concluding in a half day Friday and a school concert and prize giving in the hall. I am proud to say that over the years I managed to amass for myself three arts prizes, one art book for crafts and two books of quotations for poetry. Oh, I can hear you say; you were one of those people. Those horrible teenagers who wrote bad poetry. And I say to you, show me one teenager who does not write bad poetry and I will show you a sober Irishman. Anyway, for this project we had to fashion our masks with chicken wire, that staple of school art classes, and heave huge, paste-sodden lumps of newspaper about it until it took on the shape of our intended mask. Everyone else did African tribal things or Venetian carnival masks: Lucy, being the visionary soul and off-the-wall fucking genius that she is made one of a Japanese geisha. Yes. I know geisha don’t wear masks. I don’t know what I was thinking except that I had just finished that Arthur Golden book and was enamoured with it all. And due to my horrific lack of any discernable artistic skill Miss Driver had adopted a policy of letting me off. ‘That’s grand, Lucy’, she would say as I explained how I would not be doing a painting for my end of year exam but instead a big collage of crisp packets. ‘You do your thing’ and off she went to the people who actually could draw. So I made my geisha ‘mask’ and we were all happy.
My geisha mask stayed on the corridor wall for a couple of months, mainly because I couldn’t be arsed taking it down. It was so fucking big. I had no place to put it. Instead I started taking it off the wall and running up and down the corridor wearing it at break time. My group of associates at the time thought it was hilarious, naturally. Teenagers! They’ll laugh at anything, even one of their friends running through the school wearing a three foot geisha mask on their head. Tools. Our head, a nun, caught me once and asked me in that psychotically calm way all nuns have what did I think I was doing. Like all previously hilarious teenagers I went dumb. She told me to take it off and hang it back up. Here’s where my genius kicked back in: ‘This is my art, Sister. You are inhibiting my creative freedom’ I know. I was a knob back then.
This is all incidental drivel of course. It’s just that the film of Memoirs is in the cinema now and I am nothing if not current. I'm working on a post about gay cowboys in my free time. Harder t dig up vaugely related stuff of my own experience on that one. Also my mother took the geisha mask out of the attic last week and left it at the bottom of my bed.
‘Take that piece of crap out of my house’ she said as she chugged vino from a bottle.
‘Mother, that is my art, you are inhib… Never mind.’
And there it still sits. It’s a fucking freaky lump of shit to see first thing in the morning, let me tell you.