Monday, 29 March 2010

The Butterfly Effect (from behind)

Yesterday, from the tube - the District line - where the train runs over-ground near Wimbledon Park - I spotted a man in his back garden, kick his dog. A Dalmatian. At first-sight - from the rattling train – I didn’t see it right; a foot connecting with a blur of black and white: I think: he’s kicking a football. The sign adjacent to the emergency button (in the carriage) said: ‘penalty for improper use’. Was reporting a dog being used as a football, worth the risk of a penalty?
I hit the emergency button on the London to Dover train a couple of weeks ago. I was in the toilet and I always flush train-toilets with my foot… sort of kick it. But as I'm poised on one leg, about to flush, the train rocks (points?) and I fall onto the help button. Next thing, a voice comes from a concealed speaker, “This is the driver. Do you need assistance?”
To make a work of art that doesn’t look like a work of art’: the lines (tracks, designs?) on First Great Western’s train seats are very Duchampian. Do they record the contours of the journey? I’m thinking of Duchamp’s “Three Standard Stoppages”, whilst, with my toe, tracing the line I’m taking - through time (a timeline?). Back to the dog-kick: to be affected but feel unable to effect a change. A family once lived in a shoe. I live life in a sock - a sock the size of a body bag. Permanently 'socked' - always on the hop - another skin between your own skin and everything. How do you kick a sock that size, off?
This morning I drew the curtains to see the biggest butterfly I’d ever set eyes on - gigantic, on the grass beneath the tree in the garden - its bright-coloured markings comprehending the sunlight; I ran for my camera: I’m an artist but I love to connect with my amateur-side. And what barmaid’s arm wouldn’t benefit from a papillon tattoo? I can make a tracing from the photo (there’s this tattooist on the Fulham Road…)
I’ve got a chime hanging in my window; some days it looks like a UFO but today it’s more like a halo. As I’m framing the butterfly through the halo the boy who lives next door runs out into his garden, kicking a football around. The noise and vibration of the ball ricocheting off the garden fence seems to have no effect on the butterfly, it doesn’t flap a wing. I zoom in.
It is indeed the biggest butterfly in the world. I’ve discovered a new species: and when you do that you can call it after something; name it after yourself even. I’m not dressed yet, so I put on my brightest coloured socks - (attractive socks?) and social worker sandals - in the hope of attracting the enormous creature onto the end of my foot. Not to kick it: for a close-up shot.
But when I am up (down) close, when I’m analysing it like a social worker, the butterfly says: Brazil; Portugal; Tunisia; Mexico; Korea; England – 2006. This butterfly didn’t shed its caterpillar skin; this papillion’s a species of dog-eaten football (‘The Shot-Spotted Butterball’?). So I can kick it after all.
I collapse near Dover whilst kicking a toilet, causing a man to kick a dog near Wimbledon Park, causing a dog in Putney to chew a football to death, causing a butterfly to be born of the dead skin: The Butterfly Effect (in action, von hinten)? 

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