Nature vs. Nurture

23 Aug

I am only in contact with one member of my family, an Uncle up in Sydney.

Along with Cave Thing, he was a god while I was growing up. The most formative time in my childhood was spent staying with him up for a spell in Redfern in a mad, nasty bohemian household. I think I was 7 and all I can remember is that I pored over anime, comics, learned to hail cabs in Kings Cross, wandered derelict wastelands, cracked macadamias with a hammer, absorbed highly inappropriate anecdotes and gossip, straddled a Morini and that time went on forever.

They were or are my blood, despite my mother’s oft repeated claims that she only took me in after Germaine Greer abandoned me in Nimbin (I was not alone in this, another sister was regularly informed that she was bought from gypsies for the price of either a paper plate or emptied coke bottle). It was often repeated, observed and regaled – a running joke that we all enjoyed.

And then I remember when Dudley and I quietly spent a Sunday cleaning Cave Thing’s squalor in which he died. Music played, cigarettes were smoked and work was done, punctuated with the odd pause to muse upon a record, book or even trinket that betrayed Cave Thing’s harsh mocking exterior and showed his affectionate and old-fashioned side.

Occasionally we’d find each other in the rabble of rooms and one would say “cuppa tea?”. Without fail, the other would tilt their head to the side and thickly, solemnly intone “Dave would have wanted it that way”. This was slightly modified when seeking something: “where’s the x?”, “here, Dave would have wanted you to have this”. It’s how you get through cleaning a house where an amazing man lay dead.

And that’s where my blood lies. It lies low and thin, blackly and grimly humoured, but glimmers occasionally congeal together. It’s neither nature nor nurture. It’s just a random coincidence of kindred spirits bumping into each other, unashamedly sharing their dark and light duality with one another. So damned rare and precious.

One Response to “Nature vs. Nurture”

  1. Jazzusalupagus August 25, 2006 at 9:13 am #

    Cathartic. And beautiful.Loving your work as always xx

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