Jessica Tremp was found in the raccoon enclosure at the Zurich zoo at 9 years of age, whispering stories of velvet nights and darker days and desperately trying to hold on to their clammy little hands.
When the guard approached, she took out her toy camera and asked him to look wistful.
Years later she found herself knocking knees on a bar stool with a rather dashing specimen of a male pantomime. She gestured at his empty glass and his smile made her feel drunker than she was. They quickly moved in to a tall leaning house in a street in Marseille that woke up early with flowers, croissants and the sound of jostling coffee cups but after many a silent fight she became frustrated when her arguments were met by his big eyes and hands searching a nonexistent cupboard.
One day while he was practicing the art of cooking invisible scrambled eggs, she ran her fingers longingly over the fraying stickers on her old suitcase until a tear caught on her lip and she threw some frilly knickers, her camera and her favourite caramel lollies into it and walked out on him.
She boarded a ship on the north coast promising her golden sands on an upside down country. One hour into the trip she fell sea sick and spent the next few weeks lying in her dorm unable to move. The crew would lift her out to do her bed, then lift her back in and fed her croutons from a paper bag and asked her about the people in the pictures she kept in a box. Her dreams were wild and her legs itched to join them on bare horse backs in candy coloured skies.
Melbourne galloped its way in to her heart and she settled into a colourful house with thick walls, a plastic dinosaur in its fireplace and a man that speaks her language.
Her right index finger has a nervous twitch every time she sees something pleasing. This works against her when haggling at markets, obviously, though if you gently press a camera in to her palm, you can catch her smiling. Sometimes she accidentally spills whiskey on her taxidermied animal friends when she’s looking for her magnifying glass, because, you know, she can’t see all that well anymore.
She would like you to know that she’s never burnt ants with it and
she’s never boarded a ship again in her life.