the artist and his muse

The design of the home was “open-plan.” Rooms were only separated from each other with a thin white wall that didn’t reach the entirety of the room; the staircase leading up to the second floor was glass, and the second floor was an entirely open space with a glass floor. Light burned through the windows the length of the walls, bounced from the white tiles to the mirror placed on the wall. The white leather lounge seared the skin as it’s sat on around midday. It felt as if the sun never set because of the blinding industrial lights shining through the windows throughout the night; no curtains covered the windows. The constant white burned through the retinas; the design idol, some Swedish man, who believed living in light was the key to living mindfully. When you can see all, you can be all.

The design was some sort of minimalist dream; the first few weeks of living there almost was a dream. Open space, clear air and a constant state of cleanliness. The house was always on display for the neighbourhood; at first, a novelty; later, not quite so much. A dollhouse, toys for the neighbours. The windows a gogglebox and the humans inside living out a reality TV show. Or simply living out reality.

Watching her move like an ethereal object through the rooms; always moving in an almost magical way, far more than human. Sitting at her piano, music floating through the air as her eyes are closed, ensconced in the music. A sight for sore eyes, putting on a show.

Her beautiful long, blonde hair flowing as he twirls her around the room, the infectious laughter as her smile lights up the room even more. Their naked bodies entwined, twisted in an embrace with such ferocious loving. Left limp, tired, as if their master was bored of them and moved on to the next doll house.

The screaming matches, him turning from a tall, dark, handsome man to something evil; something not quite human. Watching her being thrown into the wall. No where for her to run in the beautiful, minimal open-space designed house. No one intervening or reporting when they watched her bleach the tiles, cleaning bright red off the floor. The contrast of the red against the bright white was almost like an intentional painting; the man, the artist.

He truly was an artist; the onlookers watched him at work. At the red against the wall, the movements in his body; the way he could make her move for him, like a puppet. She, his canvas. Purple and blue snaked across her skin, like resin art. At every hour, every day, forever at work and always a play.

Audience entranced by the display, as if the open-plan; minimalistic; artistic; “home” was planted for them, the spotlight focused on the artist and his muse.

When you can see all, you can be all.


r u ok… honestly?

It was only last year, as a 23 year old, that I noticed my coping mechanisms were not healthy nor was I okay. I was pushing potential partnerships away because “I just didn’t like them enough” (I was scared as fuck of liking them too much), I was spending many nights laying in bed crying, and I was just well past done. This was all over the span of the last ten goddamn years.

I look back at my life and it’s clouded with a sadness; I don’t have many memories where it’s simply all sunshine and rainbows. And up until last year I was just claiming that I was just too emotional; it was just who I am; I just had to deal with it. Just, just, fucking just.

It always confused me because I would put so much weight on things I didn’t think I actually cared about; so while I was crying about one thing, I was arguing with myself for caring enough to cry about it. Over the years, in my mind, I’d deal irrationally with the way something ended with someone or something one of my friends said once, or making a god-awful decision that I knew I would regret but doing it anyway. I knew in the back of my mind that I wasn’t actually sad about whatever the thing at the time was – but I was sad. And I didn’t know why. So I was going to blame them, or it.

But imagine being my mum when she hears me say, at 16 years old, that I thought it was easier if I just went to sleep forever. It breaks my heart today that she had to hear me say that, but I didn’t know at the time there was anything wrong with it; I thought it was kind of normal. I thought most 16 year olds were that depressed. I wish I could say sorry to her for hearing me say that. And I wish I could go back to that goddamned doctor (who is not my doctor today), and say; listen to this mother, and help this child. She sent me away saying, “just write in your diary.”

Maybe I should also be thanking her, too, as I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without learning to express myself through words.

For quite some time it was also incredibly easy to say, “oh I’m just sad about mum.” And sometimes it was as simple as wishing I had her to come home to at the end of the day, but a lot of the time, the grief was just accompanied with the depression, and I simply didn’t see the point in it at all.

I’ve had very few moments in life where I’ve actually truly broken. All in the weirdest and most inconsequential times. In a Kmart carpark after a shift at the pub. On the side of the goddamn road in Sydney, during work. When I dropped a bloody punnet of blueberries on the floor. And as I was driving home one night last year and I was genuinely scared I couldn’t take care of my own life.

I say this all not to gain any sympathy; please, I really don’t want it. But to raise a bit of awareness. In school, most people thought I was happy-go-lucky, ray of fucking sunshine Racquel. I was always happy. I was always laughing. I was always really bloody loud; but part of that was a mask. Some days it was true to me; when I’m happy, I’m obnoxiously so, so they saw that a lot. But when I’m sad, I always used to try and hide it. So I’d laugh a little louder. Be a little more annoying. Think, don’t look into these goddamn eyes because I’m scared of what you’ll see.

There are usually warning signs, but unfortunately as a species, we can be incredibly self-involved. Not always in a bad way, because we’ve all got shit going on. But honestly, just the occasional message to say you love someone is all they need.

And today, tomorrow, and every day, when your friends say “ARE YOU OKAY?”

Answer honestly.

You could save your own life.