May 31, 2021
The Alternate Life
August 9, 2021

Exposure. If you say it enough times, the word loses all sense and meaning. Expo. Sure. 

So not sure, are we now, of anything anymore. 

Exposure. To the sun, to the wind. Blistered and peeling skin, chapped lips and stinging cheeks. Long searches into the night by torchlight, to look for those lost before they might –

Die of exposure.

At least, that’s what the word used to mean, to me.

Exposure. Janet Jackson and the slip of a nipple on TV screens to millions, the shame, the horror. It all seems so silly now, maybe it did then too, I can’t remember, it was of the time before.


Secrets. Sex. Scandals. Crooked cops and corrupt politicians. Footballers’ dick pics and predatory Hollywood pricks. Newspaper fodder, how journalists love this shit. 

But for me exposure is in these words, in revealing my creative self to you, the world. As terrifying as those dreams where you run naked through public streets. 

But, exposure is something altogether different now, and it’s not a dream, though we wish it were. Sometimes it feels it is.

Public exposure of a different type.

No, not a penis flashed to teenage girls waiting at the bus stop.

It’s innocuous. A beer-garden pass of the bar menu, an early-morning coffee queue, a supermarket bread-and-milk run, an exhale in the breeze, all equal to – exposure.

The threat of an unseen enemy and the result: a palpable fear of a case of Covid.  

Exposure. As the list grows, a word with all new sense and meaning.

Karina Grift
Karina Grift
I am an artist and writer living in Melbourne, Australia. Professionally I am a freelance journalist, editor and media consultant. I paint and write for sanity and the challenge.

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