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Animal alliances. Becoming-undone in domestic spaces

Updated: Nov 16


Nick Cave - The Red Hand Files (issue no. 172. Nov 2021)


Nick Cave captures his destabilizing experience of 'becoming undone':..

'Susie and I have a squirrel. His name is Chaos. He has essentially moved in. He wasn’t our idea. We have no control over him. We will be sitting quietly watching TV and he will come flying down the stairs and sit on the table and watch us watching TV. It is unnerving, but neither Susie nor I will admit it. Sometimes he suddenly shoots around the living room, springing from chair to sofa to table to chair, creating havoc. But most of the time Chaos just sits and watches us quietly watching TV.
Chaos doesn’t give a fuck about anything that we give a fuck about — like sleeping or working or watching TV. He has no sense of propriety, no boundaries, no basic civility. Sometimes, when I am working, he leaps up on the table and runs all over my shit. In the morning he comes through the top window and jumps on my bed and, once I am awake, he runs down the stairs and sits on the kitchen table and eats an apple from the fruit bowl, or a nut from the nut jar. Then he goes flying around the room creating havoc. I sit there in my pyjamas and drink coffee, and then he stops flying around the room and sits on the kitchen table, watching me in my pyjamas, watching him. I hate to admit it, but it is unnerving. I speak to him in hushed tones. He climbs all over me. He has no boundaries. He is Chaos. He wasn’t our idea. He is never going away. We are not in control. We never were.
This morning, when I opened the front door of our house, there were two squirrels, Chaos, and a friend I guess. The friend is too scared to come inside. Susie and I prefer the friend. He has a sense of decorum, he has boundaries, he has some sense of decency. We have called him Order. Neither of them were our idea. We just want to quietly watch TV. We just want things to go back to the way they were.
Love, Nick'
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