Pierre Cardigan – with various random volumes (Porn for women and The Art of Kissing) taken from someone’s shelf at work. Yes. You read correctly. At work. Don’t ask.
I hope nobody minds if I bring Pierre to the Rabbit hole this weekend. He’s clean, doesn’t take up much room and while he doesn’t have a lot to say, he has character. Nobody could deny, from looking at him that he’s warm. He’s a bit frayed and thinning in spots. But I guess that happens to everyone, eventually.
I met Pierre at the Crossroads Mall, on the corner of 72nd Street and Dodge in Omaha Nebraska. The Crossroads Mall is (well ‘was’ – I don’t keep in touch with these things) a smallish mall, really quite inferior to the vast Oak View Mall off West Center Street. To give you an idea of the vastness of Oak View mall, people would go there in winter with their runners on and do laps. I had never heard of such a thing. In my memory, Oak View is like Chadstone and Crossroads is more like Northland [like Northland used to be when I was a girl. I don't keep up with those things either...]
At the time I was writing Tristessa & Lucido. Plus a great deal of bad poetry and many many journal entries. Living in Nebraska, post divorce, working for a large multi-national, finding my feet.
Shopping at malls.
I remember one lunchtime I wandered across Dodge Street to the mall. The company I worked for was at (from memory) 74th and Dodge. I was a weirdo, to the Nebraskan way of thinking because to go to the mall across the street I would walk out the front door of the building, cross Dodge Street and then through the mall carpark, into the front door of the mall. What I should have done, to blend in, was to go out to the back carpark, get in my car, drive out to the cross street (74th??) and then cross Dodge, drive into the carpark, get out of my car and into the front door of the mall. Being the rebel that I am, I chose to walk. I remember doing that in San Angelo, West Texas, with a mob of New Zealanders I was on a contract with. We were walking 500 metres to get to work from our motel and I swear the ‘high rise’ five story building we were walking towards started to tilt as disbelieving Texans rushed over to the side of the building that faced the road, to watch the weird foreigners walking half a km to work.
Off topic? Yes… soz!
So after some sort of soup and sandwich lunch in a franchise restaurant one lunchtime, at Crossroads Mall, I wandered across to a department store and looked on the discount racks. I was, as I say, writing a book. It was winter and I was feeling the cold – it’s very cold in Nebraska in winter – and I found Pierre (pictured) Why Pierre? Well his full name is Pierre Cardigan. Lame attempt at humour, perhaps but he’s a cardigan of the Pierre Cardin brand so what else could I have called him?
He came home with me and he’s been my writing cardy every since. I took to him straight away, and I’ve never let go. He’d be one of the things I’d grab if there was a fire (as I write this I realise that it’s not a joke. I mean it.)
So, Pierre’s coming with me on the journey as I attempt to write 30,000 words as part of #Rabbithole #EWF12 this weekend. I’m not sure I could do it without him.
What will you be bringing?