Ping, what’s this. Debbie is sending images to my iphone by mistake (the cat in Cambridge, Debbie as a 14-year-old Goth, a queer lit mag). She sends the last image deliberately, a cartoon of Action Lesbian nosediving from the sky. Action Lesbian is a special edition of Action Man, launched by the real-life toy company Palitoy IN MY DREAMS. Soft vinyl painted head-first, Action Lesbian is hurtling towards a lake. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Chinese created considerably less splash in the diving pool than the British. This resulted in higher marks and Olympic medals for the Chinese. As Action Lesbian approaches the lake, I wonder whether the splash she’s about to create is at the forefront of her mind. THE LAKE IS ALIVE WITH CROCODILES. A Google image search of the cartoon produces zero results. I wonder where Debbie got it from, where she found it. Debbie is a miracle unearther of archival imagery, a visuals wizard, and a DIY filmmaker. I reply by quizzing her about her relation to crocodiles. Aren’t crocodiles your spirit guides, Debbie? They are, Debbie confirms. Debbie is not a fan of crocodiles. But she’s dealing with it (the fact that her least favourite animals are her spirit guides). Debbie now emails me an essay she wrote, Dream of a Crocodile. Dream of a Crocodile evolves from a dream in which a crocodile makes itself known as Debbie’s spirit guide into a reflection on crocodiles from various disciplinary angles. If Debbie were to submit Dream of a Crocodile to the Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize, she would make the shortlist I don’t see why not. Gaudy Bauble isn’t eligible for the Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize. Gaudy Bauble is a hybrid fiction or a prose poem, depending on what indie press or writing contest I’m submitting it to. One of Gaudy Bauble‘s protagonists is wearing a T-shirt with a crocodile print, that’s the closest I ever got to a croc. Unless Culture Club’s Karma CHAMELEON counts? OF COURSE IT COUNTS! One Karma Chameleon counts for several crocodiles. [read more]


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