8 Feb 2010
Barrie kept the appointment; determined not to let me or himself down. He entered the studio like a crash survivor stumbling from a wreckage. Barrie thought he could be drunk at the wheel of the wagon. He believed that he could pull the wool over my eyes, but his eyelids gave him away - they weighed down like a Buckie Monk's foot pressing on a grape.
I've seen him drunk and rattled but never somnambulating shit-faced. It was painful to watch as he performed the hula - without the hoop. Conversation is in Desperanto, the Wegian vernacular slowed to a monotone slur.
His boozin' buddies are his worst enemies, they'll fight to the bitter end to keep the marriage going. The only way he can move forward is to divorce himself from them and the culture. It is going to be tough; his brides are pernicious bunny boilers fueled by their faith in the spirit.
The lens was an empty optic and the only way to fill the stupoured voids was to play music. The soundtrack to Barrie's life is Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon.' I didn't have the LP on my iPod but I did have 'Comfortably Numb.' Barrie skipped with anticipation as I scrolled down the playlist. He held himself close and swayed like a father caressing his child. Word perfect he whispered the lyrics as if the song were a lullaby to an orphaned youth.
Once again I asked Barrie to take my hand and put it in the frame. This time, for the first time, he took my hand... he touched. I was under no delusion, we hadn't made a breakthrough. This wasn't the moment when we'd crossed the barrier - the drink had deceived him into dropping his guard.