Shaggy carpet grown as long as neglected grass. Blow-up couches inflating and deflating as often as I inhale and exhale. Walls made of fish tanks. Lavish chandeliers dripping with melting gold. Tequila bottle mosaics for windows. Shrines to Dick Smith in most corners. To enter into Trash Mansion is to enter into the cult of the weird.
The apparent ‘leader’ of the Mansion is a giant creature. When I first lay eyes on her she’s either sitting or standing, it’s indistinguishable to all, atop the bar. The gun that gushes home-brewed ginger beer is feeding directly from a bathtub out the back and it’s become an extension of her own arm; own fingers. She accommodates no one as the crowd below use every ounce of concentration they can muster, just to aim their cups in the firing line of the stream. The scene surrounding is one of total debauchery. There’s nudity and sweat; hysterics and tears; flashing lights and glitter.
I find my fingers curled around a stained and chipped mug that reads ‘World’s Best Boss’. It’s full to the brim so I slurp the contents, acting mostly from instinct and residual knowledge of how I would normally react. The liquid inside tastes of star anise, it leaves a hot imprint that melts my brain. I place it on the handrail and I linger on the spiralling staircase for what feels like an eternity. It’s like a treadmill that I didn’t ask to ride on. At the top I reach a new height of absurdity. Bedrooms with no doors, each one a glimpse into the unreal.
There is a couple riding their own insane wave of ecstasy, plus a concoction of other illicit substances. They’re in an exclusive club devoid of reality. Adorned in a medieval take on leopard-print fur suits, the heavy chains they drag look like some form of archaic torture device, or a prop employed by Stanley Kubrick. The chains are suddenly discarded, both intuitively know to do this it seems. My presence does not pierce their concentration as they rip off their clothing and set each other’s pubic hair alight. It’s done with the utmost sensuality. The smell of sweat and burnt hair fills the room, as pungent as an incense stick. The experience is intensely climactic, yet I tear myself away from the hypnotising sexuality that reverberates out of the couple’s orgasms.
I continue down what could only be described as a hallway in the real world. I notice just how many beings are surrounding. They line the walls and spray a constant stream of glitter through the corridor. A man that has mounted himself on the ceiling is screaming, “New Zealand is a conspiracy!” I hear this repeated as many as forty times before the hallway patrons notice too, and it is then that it becomes a chant, or even a mantra. Suddenly everyone in my line of vision is convincingly shouting, “New Zealand is a conspiracy!” It’s all a haze of noise and I question whether I am comfortable, with no conclusion reached. There’s a unity in the insanity and a beauty in the absurdity.
The balcony that I find myself splayed onto is a serene haven amongst the chaos. The water feature in the middle spurts out an ever-changing substance which the guests use to drink, bathe, or urinate in. The flow of the liquid defines the movements of all around me. They seem unconscious as to the effect this fountain is holding over them. When the intensity of the flow peaks so too do the cackles and oscillations of the crowd. As the stream settles, the space opens and nature intermingles with the beasts of the Mansion. I see a snake charming the man that used the bathroom before me and an owl rolling a cigarette from my pouch of tobacco.
I enter the garden with a pounding in my head and I become aware that it’s an external beat, which I have been oblivious to during my entire trip through Trash Mansion. I believe it’s been the soundtrack to all of the events that have taken place but my mind is not a trustworthy source of validation. As soon as I start to listen there’s a familiarity in the sounds, I feel as if I can predict the next move of the instrumentalist. There’s a comradeship with the music, it knows it’s as lost as I am, we understand each other. I find the root of the sound and the beauty overwhelms me as the sun rises and falls several times whilst the tune plays out, the way it wants to. It unravels in wave-like patterns, demanding to be sifted through, glued together, and almost understood. It dances with me as I fall in love over and over again.