Audrey Molloy is an interdisciplinary artist, photographer, writer, and art critic from Arizona. She is currently based in Nashville, TN. Photography, writing, performance, video art, art criticism, manufacturing site, Tucson, AZ, Austin, TX, Nashville, TN.
There are three people standing mid way up the street. I can’t see their faces since large portions have been effectively blacked out, but their unwavering stance denotes expectation.
Oh Mary Mack, silver buttons, fifty cents, elephants, fourth of July; my wooden shoes slap the concrete in angry contrast. Black poly blend silk grates my inner thigh. Will they turn to see me approaching? Are they expecting me? I glint self consciously. A woman in a red wig disappears beyond the field.
I take decisive glances at the parts of their faces that remain as I pass them. They have unconsciously formed a linear progression at the moment of curvature in the sidewalk. 2:26.
I join their tableau, eager to appear as disparately unified as they. Scalding earth pushes up at my soles. Plywood burns beautifully. Tell me, why so flat? I see that the others stand in small patches of shade, that there is shade enough for three people. I hold Ionesco to my forehead to blacken my eyes, in salute of solidarity, waiting. I feel uncertain of the veracity of this moment as being non-manipulated, despite the overt ordinariness of the image content. All this blinding sharpness, extreme detail—hyper realized. I never liked realism, such a dry heat.
Hot metal swings into my arm rendering my flesh briefly wounded and I remember the pool of melted fine chocolate that sloshes in the center console where my elbow rests. It is molten and mingles aromatically with moth and pragmatically shitty coffee and the Burgeoning Must. Somewhere, croissant crumbs are reconstituting themselves in sweat and flesh. C’est moi? A grey tubular minivan, imitation rocks, so much clear shiny lip gloss in my front pocket. “La Bamba” plays on repeat. Should I wave?
I watch the grey tubular mobile shimmer as it careens slowly across black asphalt. I can’t tell if it is moving forward or backwards, so bright and flat is it’s horizon. I wonder if she knows the mechanized sliding door no longer opens. The sedate beating of blood in my fingers denotes false dramatic foreboding and I likewise careen forward or backward. Now, once more, with feeeeling!
Splitting warm oranges interrupt the track, disavowed from the pregnant tree that grows behind the bleached cement wall. They crowd the widest point across the green, flaccid and heavy with pulp, deceivingly tasteless from overexposure. I envision throwing one, and wonder, if you never looked into a mirror, would you know your eye was circular?
It is difficult to ascertain speed in a stagnant environment.
Large cement tunnels emerge at five points in the park, their gaping holes disturbing the manicured grass where the slope of the hill approaches flatness. Above them, looping the perimeter of the shapely HOA park, is a thin sandy track where tiny pebbles and other debris have accumulated to form an infinitely enclosed journey. Noontime, and the track looks pink. Orange is disturbing fluorescence.
Infrequent Texas sage bushes in the shape of miniature sloping hills and red yucca are planted in front of the 10 ft. bleached cement brick walls that contain the park arena. Silent groundskeepers tend to them at dawn but do not touch burgeoning fruit. It is abrasively sunny and looking usually causes temporary magenta blindness.
A man in shiny athletic shorts could frequently be seen power walking this circuit, his tight leathered flesh propelling him round the green, hands spastically blinking before him, non-synchronous. Indiscriminate folds of skin sagged at his sides. The cement tunnel batons marked his infinitely looping progress and if you were sitting on one of the tan-hard-plastic-benches-that-leaves-red-diamond-lattice on the back of your thighs? you could see tiny sandstorms cloud his ankles.
To prevent cataracts, it is best not to stare at anything too long.
In 2002 my dad left the golf course business and began work at as an account manager for Open Works, a franchise of Facilitec, who he used to scrub the grease off restaurant exhaust systems at night for. This meant that I no longer could collect violent green golf balls and shine them for quarters and that my dad smelled like Fabuloso and drove a windowless van. Later on he also acquired a white Jeep Cherokee.
He said that if he writes a memoir, it will be called Driving in Cars.
One of my dad’s work partners wore a soaked business suit in his car everyday so that the hot air would slowly cool him, evaporation style. In passing, my dad mentioned the salt from the man’s body quickly imbued the navy suit with white sediment deposits and that his gait was pre-empted by a threatening crunching sound. The same thing happened to our towels. It was an unspoken caution when drying oneself off to rub slowly, as the sun had dried the absorbing terrycloth fibers to hardened sharp nodules and sun towel lacerations require difficult explanations. Eventually, my mother left the towels on the line all afternoon and they simply cracked in half. I presume the man’s suit faced a similar fate.