The Universe In Miniature In Miniature

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February 13, 2011 by markstani

This is an excerpt from the title story of Patrick Somerville’s excellent and utterly bizarre collection, The Universe in Miniature In Miniature, which is published by the mighty Featherproof Books (who also brought us Lindsay Hunter’s Daddy’s – see my piece here).
It’s about a bunch of students at the School of Surreal Thought and Design. This is my favourite bit. I can’t possibly begin to explain why. I just love it. A full review will follow.

On Sunday, I go to church. I don’t know what kind it is. I dress extremely well and look better than I have in two years. I wear my green dress. I pay close attention to my cleavage as I stand in front of the mirror. I try eight different bras until I get it right.
Suddenly there I am, sitting in a pew. Everyone stands up and sings from the book and I stand up with the book and move my mouth and pretend. I can feel the waxy lipstick smeared on my lips. So many sounds come out of us. We try to use our magic and tear open a portal that leads up to the centre of the universe. We are attempting to speak to its core. We try for a few minutes, then sit down.
After, I smoke cigarettes in my nice green dress, standing in the parking lot. I hold one leg at an angle, arched, and stare off in the distance. I am trying to make the people filing out of church believe I am a hooker, or was once a hooker but I decided that church could help reform me, so I came back. A few men watch me, I think, but I won’t turn to look at them. A few ladies, too. I keep smoking.

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