Congo Tina (ridearound)


Congo Tina (ridearound), 2020; J. Breadsticks, A. Nagram, S.P. Sartre. Digital photo-Zoomcollage.

“I suppose we’d been trying to merge our forms for the best part of nine years,” John said, reclining on a faux Ikea chaise longue, his hair toussled and feral cat’s nest. “You could argue that our relationship was an artistic experiment in masculine symbiosis, etched with affection and framed in Whimsy.”

“And yet,” Sean-Paul offered, leaving forward and readjusting his bus. “And yet we were held apart, walled out by an unseen force. Well, as so often is the case in science, art and love, in the margins of the Old World we found the seeds of the New.”

“It was John who first saw it,” Andnandan¬† continued. “He always had the clarity of vision, the all-seeking eye or some shig, and he spotted it. Finally, the chance to symbiote. Well we took it, and we didn’t look back once.”

John looked a little uncomfortable here. You could tell the weight of his success did not sit easily upon his chest; more like a flabby seagull perching uncomfortable-like upon him as he tried to sleep. “I set it up, yes. But as so often happens, it was already there; I just saw it, I didn’t do anything. I just let it find me. The time, it was.”

Sartre fixed his one remaining eye on me. Clearly this had come at a cost, to him no less than the others. Making art is a curious endeavour, which has its pitfalls and sacrifices. But becoming an entirely novel artform is a level apart.

“We’ve been living like this since 2020. Do I long for my old life? Sure, sometimes. But I couldn’t have gone back to that even before Congo Tina. The crowned panda put that to bed.” He stared into the middle distance, and I could tell he was about to provide the closing line of the interview. “We must all become something greater than we are, more so when darkness presses touching upon us.

“We just chose to make this becoming a communal thing. Life finds a way.”

He winked, and like a bird swooping below the horizon, they were gone.


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