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In the beginning there was nothing but karaoke

Abashed mum gets forced to the karaoke stage by the girlies. She resists playfully at first but everyone knows theres nothing she wants more. She tip toes to the stage, shy and giggly. Fine, she supposes she could just do oooone. The audience holds their breath, what’s she gonna do? There’s really no telling. After a silence that seems to span epochs, the intro to Don’t Speak comes in like the crisp relief of a cold drink on a hot day, dribbling down the dry throats of a parched audience. This is her song and absolutely everyone knows it.

She misses the first beat but actually she reckons this adds a lick of individual flare, setting the tone for what’s to come. And indeed nothing was ever the same after that. Sensual, sexual, seductive, she is a snake shedding her skin before our very eyes. A butterfly in sudden metamorphosis. Or is it a caterpillar. Details are really beyond her now. The truth is, you should have seen her up there. She was someone else, part woman, part metaphor, a personification of the night, her entire sense of self fusing into the linoleum stage floor; it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. And when she sung the second chorus an octave higher, every hair on every arm flew up, revolving like propellers, blowing a gust across the bar. Chills shuddered through the walls, goosebumps flailing.

When the song ends there is a quiet static in the room like the whirring hum of a silent speaker still plugged in. The purr of a thousand oscillations, earlobes tingling in the crossfire, nothing, no one, no where is safe now. The vibrations grow until wine glasses are rattling against their cages, the air is beginning to rip. Molecules swelling, membranes teetering on the brink of burst, veins bulging to hold everything together like spandex sucking in a belly. Every forearm clenches and the walls inhale for one last time. And like a balloon pinched firmly by its rubbery teat, finally it’s released and the room erupts. Faces punched in slow-mo by the scintillating vibes, saliva flung off lolling tongues collecting in slimy islands on the walls which have begun to turn themselves inside out. The floor curdles and every knee cap screams out in chorus; pitch perfect. And like water gargling down a drain, the room is being centrifugally sucked inwards, swallowing itself like a snake biting its own tail; is this is the end or the beginning, you might overhear someone ask. The walls melt into a blurry vortex, the audience is nothing but an impression now, the stroke of a paintbrush, the room is reduced to mere abstraction. And finally the last gargle of the room is swallowed down the plughole, self-ingested at last with a subsonic slurp.

The room is now not only empty but it has disappeared all together, erupted into cosmic array because in the beginning there was nothing, but karaoke. The wheel of time has come to a reset, a universal rebirth, she is a palindromic constellation of stars, a stardom one might even call it, an epochal force of nature, woman on the edge of time. And that is really how it all began.  


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