BOHEMIAN LIKE YOU
Published in Is Not Magazine
My mother made me do tennis lessons because she said playing tennis was a good way to meet people. I did not want to meet people who played tennis and this has continued to be a guiding force in my life. I was much more interested in going to the library – where you don’t meet people because you’re being quiet. Except you do meet people. That’s where I met my new family and friends.
In this family, my dad is Andy Warhol and my mum is Marianne Faithful. Well, actually, when I was fourteen and first came to the realisation that there was a whole other world of inspiration out there, I think my new parents were Salvador Dali and Edvard Munch. Once I left school, I shed them as quickly as I’d shed Mr and Mrs Walker. My new parents at art school were Barbara Kruger and Kurt Cobain.
Now I was part of a big brood of bohemians. I like the term bohemian, partially because it actually makes me cringe a little and I like to keep myself on my toes about issues of self-definition. It’s a lot better than ‘alternative’ or ‘arty’. Some of the other synonyms are downright spewy. Who wants to describe themselves as ‘way-out’, ‘irregular’, ‘offbeat’ or a ‘drop out’?
Bohemian is vague, old fashioned and hasn’t been co-opted by marketing departments. As bohemians, we don’t like to be classified. We certainly don’t like to be advertised at. We do like history. And part of being bohemian includes being pretentious and deluded enough to hope that one day teenagers sequestered in suburbia might want me to be their mum.