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Sport 10: Autumn 1993

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In Karen's bedroom in her suburban home in a suburban street, she has hung black velvet curtains. The small dim room reeks of musk oil and other oils which line the shelves where china ornaments and paperbacks once sat. She points to one tiny bottle of oil and says in a serious dark voice, 'Never use that oil for, you know, it really stings.' And goes on to hunt out her copy of the Kama Sutra which she wants to lend me. On her only vaguely discernible flower-print wallpaper are long glinting posters by Gustav Klimt and fuzzy-edged Monets and black-and-white photographs taken from a calendar of nudes. She finds it lying with its front cover curled back under her bed. 'Here,' she says standing up, dusting down her dark blue crushed page 21 velvet skirt and looking into my eyes. 'There's no hurry to return it.' I stick it deep into my backpack and zip it up firmly.

'I'm going to spend this weekend at a Buddhist Monastery,' she declares, lying back on her bed and reaching over to put on a tape. 'Have you heard this latest Joni Mitchell tape, it's just wonderful.' She smiles and sings along and lights a cigarette. 'What will you do there?' I ask.

'Where.'

'At the Buddhist Monastery.'

'Oh meditate and maybe talk to the master.'

'Who's the master?'

'I don't know, some guy.'

I can imagine her causing havoc in the quiet austere surrounds of a Buddhist monastery, with her musk oil and other oils and her clinking bracelets and her Groucho Marx impressions.

'A couple I know,' she says, using her serious conspiratory tone again, 'want me to be part of a threesome with them, you know.' I nod my head and try not to look uncomfortable. 'But I don't really think their relation- ship could handle it,' she continues, stubbing her cigarette out in a tiny black dish.

Her mother knocks lightly on the door. 'Dinner's ready girls.'