It is late and she knows she should be home already as they were expecting her for an early dinner. Her car keys are in her hand but feeling the draught from under the workshop door she turns back, expecting an ambush or a party. The creatures are lying there quietly, cooing benevolently. She caresses each of them: their misplaced orifices, hair and crevices. But it is the hairy girl in the corner who she wanted to check on. She is the comforter and there are no limits to her love. She is glued to a glowing infant, an eyeless, earless, bonny baby with udders for hair. Patricia approaches cautiously and plays this little piggy went to market on the toes of the baby’s stumpy feet. The baby laughs curling her lips and the gurgles ring out across the concrete floors and walls of the workshop. The udders on her head bounce. The comforter doesn’t blink her synthetic eyelids but Patricia can tell from her calm demeanour that she is happy for the game to take place. It is clear from the girl’s awkwardly pigeon-toed feet that she has slid down the wall to play with the baby. The baby has had enough of little piggy and turns away from Patricia. The girl and the baby cuddle and coo to one another. Patricia feels superfluous. Even excluded. She has nothing extraordinary in her physical appearance and her mundane features are unable to attract the attention of the cuddling pair. She blows them a kiss good-bye and backs out, looking forward to retreating home, where they wait for her, watching the clock and tapping their fingers on the table. The pair are quiet while the door closes. They snigger a little, then turn back to each other.
Inspired by visual artist Patricia Piccinini’s ‘The Comforter’, 2010.