In the Now Now

Just a Thursday night at Mel and Max’s house, Space 3, these guys are my friends. Surrounded that night though by all those good people for whatever the reason I was mute, a piece of flotsam able only to drift in the undulating grip of the nights’ audio tide… and you know, even though nows’ a couple of days later the percussions are with me still.

Sittin’ in our space, cynic chaperone to the kiddies partying, playing old funk records and payin’ our bill, and it happens that as I’m sitting on this stupidly small blue chair, I find I’m standing in Space 3 enthralled…with this old guy Mike Nock, looking like he can hardly see, vision outlets hooded waaay back in the fold where brow ridge for him meets cheek top. He’s one of three guys I’ve never seen playing this thing that is together tight like rehearsed, but where I’m standing’s a spontaneous music festival.

On double bass is this great teddy bear of a guy plucking down the low registers even as the old guys’ fingers are rolling up the keys of the piano at his command. As now I’m listening again the double bass’s being bowed, looking again, and Mike Nocks’ up on bowed ancient legs, plucking at the strings of the grand instrument that recede off in diminishing parallel back to the dark…from where I sit…hemmed by walls of photographs from the Make It Up Club in Melbourne, a time past, another city…and all the while this percussionist from New Zealands’ rising falling, bounce and popping to a beat that soon as I think it I’ve lost the count. This instant he’s moved, shifting a nuanced mood ahead or perhaps slipping back sensitive to oncoming change in others…sweating now with restraint… And just now feeling a sensation creep through… This hit on the cymbals’ a fluro cut of light out from a building corner rounded late night on city streets. That run on the tom and snares’ the stalking mystery you intuit as lurking unseen at the back end of a dark dark alley. Atop scaling keys of piano melody I float forever unwearied, I glimpse harmony at the very same moment I’m trod beneath the lament of the low bowed bass, and in so trawling the gutter am alive.

Crash and slop at my feet I snap back to now. Hunkered down on my diminutive blue navy child’s chair amidst the free flow of alcohol and a young crowd beginning to lurch, I find I’m locating a mophead and broom, I’m swabbing the stained timber of our floor and then watching a guy put the beer soaked mophead on his skull like a wig. Just as inconspicuous in the corner as I can manage I’m scribbling these words, and with this rhythm pen-to-paper, sittin’ back in the Space.

In front of me a favoured lunatic, Horse, sits passive, borderline immobile behind his box and plugged in racka knobs. A guy I’m later tolds’ called Rizilli stands in profile, issuing a quickstep test-of-the-room, nownownownownownow…Pent-up, angular and curved features of an alien, his words like his face in the moments’ elongated.

He ceases quickly though and then there’s tone… Brenden Walls holding down a single note on the squeezebox, keeps holding it down and down and down unmoving, suspending unwanted arrivals like change…This’ no sensation which somehow is total, cotton wooled senses, my mind alights,…rising, drifting, dreaming until meandering back. Rizilli’s swaying profile all the while affronts the microphone, he waits and stews, biding the time that Horse unites with subs that fill space even as the squeezed box establishes a first time different note…but it’s feeding back… with the cyclic motion of Brenden’s body mine resonates to frequency of the room. And as Rizilli too feels it, he charges the mic to full tilt strangle, nnnnwwwwwooo, nnnooonnnnnnnwwwwww… Garbled, barely audible, you get only the unrealized potential and he falls back heaving with the effort… Everything for nothing as the sound goes on…And try as he does two or three more times, filling eye-pop full with the forevered delay of the moment he actualizes nuthin’…and y’know, the harder he tries, the more potential becomes effort, the less sound he makes until exhausted again after another attempt falls away to stare ahead.

This goes on on and on but I don`t care I’m in a float tank. Body humming, weightless without sense of anchor, his final pitched screech comes in from out nowhere. A sound like no other that night I open my eyes, feel his relief and inside erupt for him.
But despite it, despite the possible enormity of that moment for him it’s past, and as he returns to his swaying, to awaiting the next will it ever come, I too am wondering if that’s it…if here is the now and there is the now and together in that heightened instant where they connect I become nothing more nor less than this, this infinite and singular absolutely…Trying it for my self I read the words written on the wall, the Now Now…and like a pair of sandstones clattering together with grains then falling where they may it’s gone.

Mersades Malone @ midnight © 2006

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