So Said Aunt P

Where’d you learn to kiss that way?
I don’t know from where that came
I won’t talk about it no more

‘Dickon Edwards’ is bad Swahili for ‘Connector Of Many Worlds’. Well, all right, it isn’t. But I do like it when little bits of worlds come together.

At the Upstate New York wedding, one of Fyodor and Kevin’s shared in-jokes was to express cartoon desire by bending their knees and rubbing their upper legs, while emitting a ‘Phwoar!’ sound at each other. This was a reference to Vic Reeves on the TV panel game Shooting Stars, invariably made to the pretty female contestant seated on his right (and he’s still doing it in the new series). That this very British, very surreally British TV reference should travel across the Atlantic and take root in the banter of a young Russian emigre AND his Ecuadorian Brooklyn school friend surprised and delighted me no end.

One wedding guest I was overjoyed to meet was Ms Patricia Charbonneau. She is a Crossover Cult Icon, having played Cay in the 1985 movie Desert Hearts, something of a cult classic, not least for students of queer cinema.  It was one of the first films with a lesbian theme which didn’t get bogged down with hand-wringing self-pity, or the inevitable tragic death of one or more of the deviants involved, implying otherness equals doom (archetypes which persist in the more recent yet comparatively old-fashioned Boys Don’t Cry and Brokeback Mountain).

No, Ms Charbonneau’s character represented the heart-stopping joy of romance as escape, lesbianism or no; how love can be a gateway to further adventures – enhanced when they’re adventures together. A happy ending, in other words. Sorry if that’s too much of a ‘spoiler’. The film has been out for nearly 25 years.

(‘He comes back to life after three days on the cross.’ ‘Oh, you’ve ruined it for me now!’)

The film also inspired the 1990 Field Mice song, ‘So Said Kay’. Often regarded as one of the best songs by the cult British indie group, and indeed by any band on the cult British indie label Sarah Records. The opening line became the title of the main Field Mice anthology, Where’d You Learn To Kiss That Way?

Ms Charbonneau is the aunt of Lawrence, one of the grooms. When I heard who she was – a couple of years ago when I was getting to know Lawrence in London – I got him to send her a CD of the Field Mice song. She’d not heard it before. All muses should be made aware of the works they inspire. I was happy to act as Muse Connector Incarnate.

For the wedding, she wore a dress once worn by Joan Crawford, taken from the MGM lot. It just gets better.

When I got back to London, I attended a party in Peckham, hosted by two ladies married to each other, Ms Lesley and Ms Caroline. When I mentioned I’d met Patricia Charbonneau, they rubbed their legs at each other and said ‘Phwoar!’

Ms Lesley went on to say she once took her former husband, another Mr Edwards in fact, to the cinema to see Desert Hearts when it came out. More than once. ‘I was hoping he’d get the message…’

How many connections do you want, Dear Reader?

I kissed her, of course. And doesn’t my garland look like a string of lights?

She reached in and placed a string of lights
Around this heart of mine


Link: The Field Mice – So Said Kay

Link: Desert Hearts – Trailer

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