a cover for the piano
a dark shade of purple
evening iris withering
naked feet, wrinkling wood
dust hidden between black toes
falling in full flight
such a feminine masculine presence
an absence no longer longed for
hear the dead speak
in case of emergency break glass
where’s the exit door?
life must have one
PS Written tonight during a eurythmy performance in Bucharest.
As we’re flying over Amsterdam, I turn and look at the the woman on my right. High hair, a thick layer of foundation, black eyeliner, dark pink lipstick, long pink fingernails, gold watch, white blouse, black jeans and high heeled sandals.
“Excuse me, I need to get up”, I address whoever’s under all that, looking for her eyes.
She smiles, nods and quickly drinks up her cola and then gets up together with her son and makes room so that I can get up and out onto the aisle. There’s a queue at the loo. As I’m walking towards the queue, I look at the other passengers and, when my eyes meet others’, I smile. Some smile back. After a few minutes queuing at the lavatory door, listening to children squeaking and parents raising voices, I get in and, as I lock the door, I am hit by this heavy urine smell. I turn and notice the wet spots on the toilet seat and paper thrown on the floor.
I remember my ten hour flight to Bangkok in February this year, on a huge, twin-aisle aircraft, the lavatory almost big enough to move freely in it, beautifully scented and decorated with small vases of fresh flowers. Oh, and the lemon scented hand cream by the sink! And the smiling crew, who seemed to be heading to their holiday destination, as well. A hell of a trip!
I check my face in the mirror and smile to myself. A friend’s voice sounds in my head, bringing back the image of us dancing together in what used to be a very beautiful dance studio: “On doit s’obliger a sourire, Daniela! Toujours!”
Shortly after, London welcomes me with her favorite shade of grey.
Written in my diary during my Bucharest – London flight on August 25, 2016.
like the moon
I empty myself of my self
and become new
once a month
so full of myself
the hookers shrouded
in their heavy perfume
their faces covered up
in their heavy makeup
wearing their heavy breasts
their heavy hearts
the church is dark tonight
no candles burning
for the dead or for the living
“How are you?”
“Fine, I guess…”
“What’s with the sadness?”
“Oh, that… It’s just the bottom side of happiness.”
“You think? Looks rather deep to me…”
“Oh, thank you! I’m working on it. You know, the deeper the sadness, the higher the happiness that follows.”
“Move that heavy ass!”
the robot voice
of the wheelchair night prophet
PS I want to sleep early tonight, so I figure out a way to make my run last shorter: I make it more intense. The same must apply to life.
I take my running nose out for a run tonight. I love my town again. I feel I live in this small town on an island in the city center, where we form this cosy community, in which everyone knows everyone. We all shook together in the earthquake three nights ago and no one talks about that. We just send compassionate looks to the cracked walls of our houses and distant, encouraging hugs to everyone we meet in the streets. I’m in this countryside part of the city and I love it. I might even start growing my own tomatoes again, who knows.
The hookers and their pimps, all wearing black tonight, are cracking seeds, spitting their shells on the asphalt around their feet and stepping on them with their black shoes, in their dance around a black car where music is coming from and a driver is checking his phone. It’s still early.
And there is hope. I feel it sprouting underground, all covered up in black soil and dead leaves. The gnomes are keeping it warm and molding it into a diamond. It shall sprout in spring. And in our community of hope spring can come anytime.
PS The earthquake helped release some burdens, so it’s goodbye time again:
I’m in my bed in Bucharest, checking flights to Konya. Just as the search produces results, the room starts shaking. Ok, I say to myself, it’s an earthquake, it’s an earthquake, just breathe. And I don’t move, I just witness the tension of the earth releasing and my own building up. The earth stopped shaking 9 minutes ago and I haven’t.
For a moment there, I thought the walls might give in (I live in this very old house), so my mind started reciting a prayer. Numerous layers of thought and feeling simultaneously active. There’s the prayer level, the fear level, the anger level, the regret level, the gratefulness level, the stupid level, the practical, what-to-do level, the ‘other people’ level, the love-of-my-life level, the what-the-fuck-am-I-still-doing-here level, the passive level and others I have no record of.
I watched “The lake house” tonight, it finished about 40 minutes before the earthquake. I was crying for half of it. And as the earthquake’s unfolding (How long did it last, anyway? How many minutes? How many years?), my loneliness surfaces again just like this wave from deep within the earth is surfacing now. I could die here. Or anywhere, for that matter. Have I died already? Am I still waiting to meet you (again)? Are you still out there?
Since I was looking into travelling to Konya, I thought consulting Rumi on the current issue might be interesting, so here’s what he says:
“Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.
It lands left.
I run after a deer and find myself
chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want
and end up in prison.
I dig pits to trap others
and fall in.
I should be suspicious
of what I want.”
(Rumi, Selected poems, Penguin Classics, London, 2004, opened radomly at page 110)
High heels, black leather pants, a stripe of skin showing between the belt and the hem of a tight jacket, arms folded over her ribs in a tight hug, long, curly, red hair, big everything. I look at her. She looks at me. Shortly, a taxi pulls up in front of her and she slowly walks to the back door on the right, opens it and gets in. Is he a regular, I wonder.
Having stopped to witness the scene, I rub my right ear feeling a little embarrassed and then resume my run. If I were a hooker, I’d probably look something like that, I think. Though my hair would probably be shorter. And not red. Probably. But the thought is quickly chased away by a wave of nausea. Dinner again. The same type of very fat cream. This time under street lights, while walking home.
When I used to smoke, if I was sad, I used to make myself sick. I smoked until the source of my tears became impossible to trace. Am I now trying to repeat the experience using cream instead?
Two guys fight over a parking space. One three times the size of the other. The small one is like a pekingese – hysterical, rude, not very bright and annoying. His opponent, a rare crossbreed between a pit-bull and a fluffy Newfoundland – intelligent, strong, quiet and with the self-confidence of knowing exactly when to deliver the final bite. I disappear before the show ends.
All the night walkers have been driven into their homes, so I discover I have the streets to myself. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t be out running tonight either had I not drunk that 35% fat cream. Yes, that was dinner. At the light of the fridge. Literally.
So to prevent myself from smashing my scale tomorrow morning because of seeing the extra two hundred grams too real to deny, I run. I run until nothing hurts except everything. And I feel pathetic and sad and what seemed not so long ago to be perfect is horrible now and I just hate my life.
I make a right turn and I almost bump into another runner. Another girl. The first one I’ve seen in this area except me in the past year, since I moved here. Makes me wonder what she had for dinner.
Reporting on the hookers: they are wearing long pants, platforms and thick, fluffy waist jackets and are so much less vocal than during summer nights. Two are smoking quietly, while a strong wind is blowing, forcing them to make sudden head turns to free their lips from the tyranny of their hair.
Some of us still wearing our office clothes, others just baggy pants and t-shirts, others bathrobes and slippers (yes!), squinting at the shelves in that tiring, artificial light that makes your skin pale, your brain foggy and suddenly so needy. Getting single beer bottles and the smallest pack of peanuts there is and then just walking among shelves looking for salvation.
I remember a night in Pnom Penh, Cambodia, when I went out and walked around and then just before returning to my hotel, I got into this shop and walked among the shelves and stopped in front of the beer fridge. And this short guy, in his late twenties or early thirties stopped next to me and opened the fridge door only to find we were both reaching for the same bottle. I don’t remember the brand, something local. We turned to one another and smiled and, with a short gesture of his hand, he let me have it and then reached for another one. I wanted to ask him if he cared to join me and have that beer in a park nearby, but before I got to the cash register he was already gone. I had no intention to pick him up and lure him into my den, I was just craving for conversation and companionship. At least we smiled and had a moment of connection there.
Here, in Bucharest, the fauna in the supermarket at night is much wilder. We never smile. If we see someone interesting, we just stare. Repeatedly. We lack the courage to smile, smile back (if an alien does smile to us) or say anything. If asked “Shall I wait for you?” we would probably collapse or just die through implosion. Such things are unheard of. In our autism, we simply move around like headless pawns in an electronic game of chess played by a slow computer on its own, in a demo version. And when we are out of the game, we cease to exist.
Then what if after the first autumn the season would have simply canceled itself? Because in no other year could it repeat the extraordinary display of color and the whole autumn paraphernalia.
And then after the first love story we would have simply stopped falling in love and writing poems and books and making movies about it. No one would ever have to repeat lines like “Do you have the time?”, “Do you want to go out tonight?” or “Will you have dinner with me?” or the ever so used “Hi. How are you?” No one would ever strive to come up with a more original first line like “Sorry, do you know which way the river flows?” And the cute couple in party clothes would not be kissing at the corner tonight. We would not develop gastritis, either.
And what about living? People have been living since forever and everything has already been lived. Yes, it has. Then, after the first human being, everything would have simply stopped. Because a human being has already lived, felt, experimented etc. And so I would not be writing things like “I want you to feel my breath in your hair” or “my mouth in the palm of your hand” and no one would say ” I’m a good cook, but remember I never eat meat”. Or “you are insane”.
Then Florence Foster Jenkins would not have existed. Or if she had, she would definitely not have sung. And what a waste that would have been.