LEPIDOPTERY

Written and performed by Paloma Oakenfold 

Her mother used to keep her in a jam jar, until one day she had enough. So she uncurled, breathed, stretched and sighed. It was only at that point, she realised she was a lot bigger than that jar. A story written in rhyme about taking up space, skin problems and love. 

Performed in collaboration with Caravan Shorts at Vaults Festival and Merge Festival. 

EXTRACT

I was born with a skin issue, 

(Yes- that's my skin did you think that was tissue?)

I flake like pastry, I fall to pieces like an onion, 

In my short 27 years, I've practically carpeted London. 

 I’ve left great chunks of me in swimming pools, in Übers, and at Westfield, 

There's not one tube line on the map on which I haven't peeled. 

Which means I've been kissed only once, during which I shed like a snake, 

I unsuccessfully tried the line- “you be my soft scoop, and I'll be your flake?”

I've been bullied and abused, people love to poke fun,

Yes I've got 99 problems but an itch ain’t one.

I'm an expert in coping but occasionally people’s distain cuts through, 

Like once with some teenage boys on a visit to B and Q…

I couldn't stop the tears from falling as an entire layer of me shred

It was the irony of where my skin came off (I was in the 'do it yourself shed'.) 

 

I used to hear my mum crying each night, but to my face she covered up well,

She'd hug me and love me… until she joined Tinder, and that's when I fell into hell.

With each online experience,

I became more of an inconvenience,

It's amazing how internet dating can make a middle-aged woman behave, 

It feminist protest I listened to woman's hour loud and I firmly refused to shave. 

Well, its an awkward thing for a new man I suppose, 

"This is my daughter, in 5 minutes- she'll decompose!"

 

So that's how my jar home came about… It was a shoe-box first, then an empty tub of margarine, 

And with each date she'd shut me in, so my deformity wouldn't intervene. 

"I'd have loved to be mum"- on came the whole charade, 

I heard it all, from inside the fridge, whilst up to my eyebrows in lard!

But when one bloke helped himself to toast…

And instead of the Lurpak, he found me enclosed…

She decided on a jam-jar in its place.

"Besides" she said " you'll take up less valuable space".

So in I curled and squeezed and cowered and bent, 

And was kept behind the marmite at the first sniff of a gent.

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