As we are building xenofam, connecting over cooking coding coddling, talking over tables, texts and emails without subject lines, we are simultaneously creating the conditions for experiences of loss and nostalgia.
Conditions feeding hrepenenje – that Slovenian concept Marko P told us about all those years ago in St Petersburg, no word like it in English, yearning perhaps a cousin, but maybe not. Hrepenenje, a sweet melancholy. In my mind the sense is that of a pain to be savoured, treasured, not least because it reminds us that we are alive.
Already I am thinking 6 months ahead when the child, our precious meme savant, our beloved and be-lived, is likely to be gone, moved away, to a city grimier and queer tribier. A city more melodic and episodic, with more opportunities for sex and breath and impossibly cute girls to crush on. A city from which to burst from chrysalid to Spilosoma lubricipeda, white ermine moth, in all its horned and spotted splendour.
But too early for hrepenenje.
Because she’s not yet gone, she’s still in her room of books and aluminium vials. All that cream she must be whipping, all those soda stream fun fountains of youth.
I miss her.
So I play Massive Attack to rub sand into my wound.
‘I’m a boy and you’re a girl.’
A-bonding has within it abandon, a band made of rubber, stretches out, pings back, snapping at our wrists like a miniature terrier on night patrol.
‘I’m here. I’m here.’
Play with me.
Stay with me.
Keep fey with me.
Keeping it fey with WitchMum.
Keeping it real with Mum 2.0.
Keep us with you in your phantasmagoric Nang tent,
through 60 tiny explosions of momentary bliss,
faster than a speeding meme.
Already I’m thinking of who might be good to step into our xenofam shoes, accomplices of her own gen she has now, but a murder of crows in melbz might be useful too. Perhaps a cohort of small crones, or a small cohort of crones.
Whatever it might be, the shape and flow of her extended xenofam elsewhere, we shall haunt her, far-sight her, telepath when we wake, like cock work, at 3.36 am.
The conversation turns to babies, making them, rearing them, the affective labour of care for kin, blood kin, skin kin, xeno kin.
A speaking with, that speckles through Adelaide’s dreary winter. A silver filament, looping and pearling, knotting, knitting, needling itself into philosophical personal political permutations.
Words pebble skipping across a lake in which we are all swimming. Sometimes we drift so far away from one another that we become dots bobbing along, left without language, only feeling.
I sink, therefore I am.
Capture and freeze?
It is, of course, the Beloved’s choice.
If she really wants to ‘conserve energy’ into a glass jar.
But all of xenofam wants to be heard in this courting of lore.
WitchMum is greedy, bioessentialist BabaYaga to the core.
She speaks from a house forever stilt-walking on its gristly chicken bone stalks through the millennia, trampling over the meme-slain bodies of countless Bronze Age Perverts.
Blatant architectural incorrectness gone hopping hoping mad.
She wants – I want – this child of the future, a bio-changeling to add to xenofam, a mirror to a face that is not my own, bearing its bare cellular history.
Oocyte speed-dating, cleaving, hatching, implanting.
The zero that is not one.
Positions and persuasions are put forth.
Inclined across the kitchen table.
Across naked subject lines, and pre-dawn texts.
Reflected upon alone, discussed in different combinations of the twos and threes that make up the ‘xeno-us’.
My arguments fail to vault over 2.0’s high bar of moral certainty. And yes, they might seem lacking when examined.
Argument 1: satisfy my curiosity
Argument 2: someone to love
Nevertheless, they speak to my truths, however insufficient these might be.
An email from Precious Meme Savant arrives:
<3 <3 <3 i'll try and force myself to have trad children for u. had a weird 20 mins of baby fever when benzos kicked in, but they been working for 2 hrs an still not sleep
WitchMum (overjoyed) replies:
thank you for considering this enormous sacrifice for your witchmum
2.0 and i argued about it over dinna last night, but it seems that
bioessentialism is in my witchblood, feeding my craving for a
witchgrandchild from the body of my own witchchild
a sad trad sitch i know, but there you have it, i cannot pretend otherwise
I dream of a baby crawling up through my shirt, latching on. A snow cone of cream oozes out of Whippy nipple petal. The baby rejects the offering, and I know that it prefers the golden watery offering of its biomother to that of wizened-titted wet-nursing witch.
In-cell intel, tells all.