Monday, 27 December 2010

Sex Mechanic

A rare photograph of something we did a lot of in the front drive, for the benefit of complete strangers – passersby - or, quite often, just to shock the neighbours. I was learning photography, my brother was learning to be a mechanic - so it was natural. We called it ‘Car Job’ and I think it was the last ever game we played together (he was 16, I was 20). The rules were simple: whenever my brother had to work on the car (parked in the drive outside the house) we’d keep an eye open for an old person – or better still, an old Army-Colonel type (not Navy, though) to come doddering up the road, and, just as they were passing we’d adopt the pose of ‘the embrace’, and I’d scream, ‘get off me, leave me alone; you’re nothing but a sex mechanic, you’. If they’d ever said anything, (they were all very English; the most we ever got was the odd, ‘tut’), we’d have said that we were brothers, but we weren’t really that close.
The picture was taken in 1984, and it almost didn’t turn out: I failed to load the film-spiral correctly and several of the negatives were ruined. The white stain conceals a box of man-sized tissues, and a couple of boys; one, hugging himself but looking to the world like he’s being embraced by his brother, whose legs are spread open, like the toolbox: all in all an X-rated picture.

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