Plastic

The creamy-faced girl, behind her clear plastic partition with her latest display of phoney flowers and phones surrounding her, ignores the presence of the visitor for as long as patience will handle while browsing through her ‘Hot Fire Man’ calendar. The slight coughing brings her back to attention to ask in an exasperated manner if this is her first visit, and would she like a brochure. The Suite is an inconspicuous institution, a block in from the main road and situated above a tanning parlour, the only outward indication of its existence being a heavily decorated sign mentioning the surgeon’s names in small font. Their line of work is not advertised; rather it is learnt from word of mouth. Consultation is by appointment only. The administration desk, manned by the insolent secretary, provides curious visitors with their first pieces of information in the form of brochures, presenting ‘before and after’ pictures of various models and their various enhanced body parts. They smile in the ‘after’ photos. Facing the administration desk is a convoy of pasty crimson armchairs surrounding a stained coffee table which is covered with more scattered brochures and magazines. Ladies already occupying the seats glance at the visitor with ashamed curiosity, their brightly coloured eyelids fluttering above the magazine covers, avoiding each others gaze. Their long fingernails curve crudely. A pot plant sits in the corner of the room, its leaves astonishingly shiny and sharp despite the lack of soil, water and sunlight, its only sustenance being the dregs of cups of tea and cigarettes.

The inconsiderate overhead lights illuminate a carefully worded sign that indicates the location of the toilets. The sign reads Bathroom pointing down a narrow corridor, consisting of many doors with a rectangular window of opaque plastic centred in each. The visitor follows its direction, the clicking of her heels on the artificial marble tiles ceasing as they are immersed in the thick plush carpeting, a pattern disguising the careless drops of coffee, blood and other liquids. The pattern is of roses. On each of the opaque windows the name of a surgeon is printed, the lettering tending to peel back at the edges. Bright, burning lights within the room make the screen of the window ineffectual, as the contrasting shadows are highly visible from the corridor. The visitor can clearly see the outline of women lounging back in reclining chairs, their heads often to one side, as if in ignorance of the other shadows prodding, measuring and drawing on their breasts, thighs, stomachs and necks.

At the end of the corridor the bathroom door squeaks to draw attention to the entering patron, causing a woman to lose focus of the mirror and smudge her plum lipstick to the right side of her upper lip. She rubs it off easily with a tissue and saliva. The woman returns to looking at her own lips, plump and plum coloured, before turning sharply and exiting the room. Her skirt swishes upwards at the sides, displaying the slippery petticoat underneath, the white of it banal in comparison to the dark cherry of the skirt, but somehow still prettier in its seeming innocent appearance. The visitor looks at the name written on the door nearest her, and follows it through to the other side.

A reclining chair sits in the middle of the room bleached white with lights, next to it a small table featuring many shiny, silver objects similar in size. Benches around the room hold jars containing more inanimate objects. Opening one of them, the visitor discovers a surgeon’s plastic glove and flicks it to test the elasticity. Hearing a commotion in the corridor, she places the glove in her pocket. Through the opaque window of the door, three shadows hurry past, the two on the outside seeming to huddle around the one in the centre as if carrying it. As they pass her sight, the visitor looks at her watch and moves to the door, quickly walking down the corridor to the administration desk before any person could block her passing. Discovering the glove in her pocket on arrival home, the visitor takes no hesitation in bringing the opening hole to her lips and proceeds to blow the disfigured hand up, to the point of bursting. She breathes once more in defiance, rupturing the plastic, parts flying outward with force, one hitting her upper lip causing bruising and a line of blood to slowly trickle to her tongue.

Plastic

discrena

Brisbane, Australia

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

Playing with description, contrasting between detailed descriptions and short, simple sentences. The effect of the fake.

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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