Thursday, July 08, 2010

Working Outpost

Each morning, I walk a block from my father's house to a local gym. It has been run by the same family for more years than I've been alive. The walls are lined with posters of local and national bodybuilding competitions in which the owners have competed, along with, more curiously, framed, embroidered portraits of bodybuilding icons. I recognise Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk.
Every time I walk past Arnold, I recall the moment in the 70s' documentary Pumping Iron when he explains how weightlifting made him feel like he was cumming day and night. It doesn't make me feel that way but it keeps me sane. When I work out I focus on technique, inspired (just a little) by Henry Rollins and his iron-based discipline and DIY work ethic. I watch music clips or race an imaginary opponent in a crudely rendered video-game viewed on a low res' console attached to a reclining stationary cycle. I keep a notebook next to me so I can scribble down ideas.
After an hour or two I walk home to start painting. Works in progress are taped to the wall of my bedroom. An open, hard-shelled suitcase holds tubes of paint in neat rows. My printer, scanner and computer sit on the floor and I use a spare bed as a table. The internet is always on, connected via a mobile USB modem. I organise shows for next year while I work, conversing via a combined bluetooth microphone/earpiece connected to an iPhone in my pocket. Sometimes I feel like Molly Millions, the optically enhanced 'street samurai' in William Gibson's Neuromancer.
If only Brisbane was as interesting as The Sprawl.

1 comment:

talkabout_this said...

I'm glad working out is keeping you sane. You referenced Gibson, you probably know 'Pattern Recognition'. If not I think you might resonate with the 'footage', check it out.

As there is another Paul, who comments more regularly than I, I changed my sig.