They are in the process of leaving my house, I am in the process of bringing order in the wardrobe.
At the door they wait for my goodbye and after I nod they go outside.
Once they have left, within minutes I have lost all interest in what I am doing;
I stand aimlessly, walk this way that way, sit down in my chair, get back up, get a glass of liquor, light a cigarette and sit down again.
The lights on the patio are on and the bluish green glow illuminates the room.
I sit in my chair; the empty liquor bottle on the floor, many butts in the ashtray on the side table.
The door to the patio is open and on either side of it the curtains billow in the evening breeze.
I lie in bed with my eyes wide open, I hear noises.
I interpret the sounds and they turn into images.
At first the images are blurred: the contour of a person, the contour of a gun.
and the image is clear: a musk duck, who is fatally hit by a bullet .
I sit up straight, gagging, thus casting out the images.
I stumble to the bathroom ―
I try to keep the vomit down, bend over the bidet and throw up until I am empty.
I look in the mirror.
For some time I have not been in my studio, I have to get used to the space again.
I draw the curtains, open the patio doors, put a kettle on for tea, wait until it boils.
I look at the many pieces that – in various stages of completion – are scattered over the floor.
I stop at a single bed made of pink painted wood, with on it a genderless body shape made of translucent glass.
After I remove the body shape, I paint the bed light blue.
While from some distance I judge the result of my work, I smoke a cigarette.
I am in the process of getting dressed.
I try one creation after another, all my actions in consultation with the mirror;
as if she is someone else, I inspect and correct the figure that is reflected.
When I am wearing a combination of which I think this is acceptable I direct my attention to my hair.
As no inspiration yields the appropriate do, I wrap a turban around my head.
But the turban clashes radically with the rest of my appearance, so that I strip the clothes again and I wipe the makeup off my face again.
From the piles that now are lying on the floor, I pick up the garments that are easiest to grab, pull these on and I am satisfied.
Just a quick dash of mascara on my eyelashes, and ready.
In the gallery, I am overrun by people greeting each other – embracing and kissing and hand shaking –
after which they remain standing with each other, uncomfortably talking and laughing.
I am not approached by anyone, but when I contact someone I get an enthusiastic response.
And there is no group that makes an opening for me, but when I join they don't let go of me.
Ignoring the crowds I check how the paintings are hung.
When I finally manage to say hello to the artist, her attention is immediately afterwards claimed by a noisy couple.
I nod it doesn't matter and plunge back into the crowd.
I bump into more and more people I do not know.
And my clothes are off to such a degree that I leave, after I have exchanged another glance with the artist.
Back home I turn on all the lights in the living area,
go on to the studio, while walking kicking off my shoes and unwrapping the turban, turn on all the lights in the studio, switch on the radio, go back
to the living area, while walking picking up the turban and the shoes, stow them away together with all the garments that are still lying around.
I fill my glass, get up again, walk back to the studio, switch off the radio, pick up the blue painted bed and smash it into pieces.
I clean the studio; sort out and dust and mop up, until everything is in good order.
I sit down on the couch, remain sitting, drinking tea and smoking cigarettes until it is almost dawning.
I close the patio doors, wash the tea cup and ashtray, turn out the lights and go to bed.
I lie with my eyes wide open, arms tight on the blankets, so that it looks as if I am lying in a straitjacket.
I take a deep breath.
I count with sound one two three four five . . . as far as my expiration lasts.
I repeat and repeat, until I no longer hold my body in check; it wriggles loose, convulsing.
And after the convulsions decrease again and I gradually lie motionless again, I close my eyes, exhausted.
Spread over my bed are open and closed magazines.
I lie nicely half upright against the pillows, a burning cigarette in the ashtray.
I drink a cup of hot tea.
I put the magazines on two sloppy piles and the doorbell rings.
I take the watch from the bedside table and look what time it is.
It is standing still.
Annoyed, I put it back, get up, put on my dressing gown.
And the bell rings again.
In the bathroom I look in the mirror.
Before I pick up the hand shower I run my hands through my hair.
Combing back my wet hair, I walk to the front door.
The photographer and I go back a long way and in the studio, between the two of us, a single gesture suffices to let the worksession run smoothly.
Together we designed of the photograph that we are making:
a back cloth with on it a repeating pattern of identical glass bottles
with in each bottle a formalin preserved fetus ―
I sit in front of it on a simple wooden chair
dressed in a competition swimsuit of which the crotch is on fire
After the backdrop is installed the photographer concentrates on the placement of the lamps and the focusing of the cameras.
I put on the swimsuit, put a bucket near the set, sit down ―
to spring into the right splitsit every time the photographer looks through the viewfinder of a camera to see whether the desired result has already been achieved ―
and for the remainder of the time to wait relaxed for the real action to begin
When all is set and ready I kindle the prepared crotch and, throwing away the matches, strike my pose.
While the photographer makes the camera click and takes care of extinguishing the fire with the bucket of water
In the most talked about restaurant of the season a table is laid for fourteen.
The seats have been taken, the first witticisms have been parried.
To add proper luster to the occasion one wears the latest purchase.
I sit overdressed, taciturn.
Between the different courses one changes places, to each time form new mini gatherings.
One amuses oneself, at times rather loud.
I however cling to my seat, smoke cigarettes and finally focus just on my plate;
the table mates are like a sound wave and the waiters are like robots that deposit one dish after another on the table.
I do not drink.
Not noticed by anyone I get up after dessert and go to the cloakroom, put on my coat and leave the restaurant.
It is already late in the night, I sit in my chair, I remain sitting for another long time.
I take a milk bath, too hot when getting in, too cold when getting out.
I look in the mirror, I look at the face and I sing a heavy song with a voice I borrow from my favorite singer
Eagle black – You proud eagle black
Where do you fly to – So far from here?
You are circling steadily – But ah your wings are slow
You seem petrified – But are on fire
Blackest eagle – Narrowly you are skimmimg
Frightfully accurate – Prepared but for whom?
Tears are forgotten – Composed virago
I know frail is your love – Alight on my knee
Tomorrow the summer – Your trumps are auspicious
Tomorrow the summer – You shudder timorously
You will not be caught – In airtight spaces
Mirrors for me – Are bars for you
Blackest eagle – Narrowly you are skimmimg
Along jagged rocks – But I know how
The whimsical shapes – Of betrayal of yesterday
Steer and direct you – Far away straight to me
I sit on the edge of my bed.
Where the curtains are not completely closed a bright strip of daylight enters the room.
I have slept long and deep and the bed shows that I slept restlessly.
My feet find the slippers and I get up.
I make tea, take a cup back to the bedroom, shake the cushions, get back into bed, try the comfortable half lie half sit position, but soon slouch.
I turn to my side and sleep.
The sound of the phone gets through to the bedroom.
I remain motionless.
The ringing stops.
And it starts again.
I switch on the light.
And it stops again.
I shake the cushions, drink the cold tea, switch off the light and sleep.
I lie on my bed and I look at the ceiling.
I get up and pull on a heavy oversized sweater.
I go to the studio, get the movie projector, find the reel that I seek and install the film.
I grab a cigarette, turn off the lights, start the movie, light the cigarette and watch the movie.
On the film
I sit on the pink single bed in a circle of pots filled with soil.
In each pot except one a flower grows.
In the pot in which no flower grows there is an ax.
I get up from the bed and walk to the pot with the ax and, as if I do not see them, I knock over several pots with flower.
Once they fall the pots and the flowers disappear.
And the soil flows and spreads like wildfire over the floor.
Again I do not react.
As if, as far as the eye can see, the soil is not covering all, and as if I am not standing knee deep in it;
I am standing up to my knees in soil with an ax in my hand
as if I do not see the earth and
as if it is most ordinary to be standing with an ax in my hand
Now the sky is turning a bright blue.
I look at the blinding sun and with my hands I shade my eyes.
The ax has vanished and I stand naked in a thriving cornfield.
I walk backwards and at the spot where I just stood a skinny man stands, naked as well.
Wearing an elegant dress, I sit down on a throne-like chair and look at the man.
Clothing appears on his body and he transforms into a slick and at the same time a lithe and muscular presence.
He turns around, appraises what he sees and an appreciation follows.
He comes walking towards the chair, where now a female body shape of translucent glass is sitting.
He offers the body shape his arm and the body shape surrenders to his guidance.
Together they walk through the deserted streets.
It is night.
The port town sleeps.
They walk close to the houses, slightly ducking the rain.
And when the bar turns out to be still open, they disappear through the door.
I am alone when I enter the bar.
In the front section only men are sitting and standing, some being transvestites.
My presence doesn't get any reaction.
My eyes scan the room, and find rest on two elderly night butterflies who on a small dance floor surrender to a tango;
one with verve taking on the masculine role and the other with conviction performing the feminine role.
I move towards the bar, but before I reach it my eye catches the doorway.
I change direction and disappear into the darkness of the hall beyond.
Here too it is crowded, with both women and men.
The hall turns out to be huge and looking over many heads I see the brightly lit stage, raised like a boxing ring.
On the stage there are a naked man and a naked woman.
With a knife the man has stabbed the body of the woman until it bled
and with the blunt side of the ax the woman has smashed the head of the man until it bled
Now they hang dizzily in each others arms, each still trying to deal the fatal blow.
I move my hand to my mouth, so as to try to exorcise an urge to vomit.
But when I remove my hand it turns out a hunched baby musk duck is sitting in the palm.
In the laboratory, the now adult musk duck sits on a green operating table.
I wear a white coat and surgical gloves and I switch on the lights above the table.
I take some distance and look at the musk duck, the musk duck looks at me.
I take another step backward and the musk duck straightens up.
The operating table turns out to be a sloping hill on which lush grass grows and the musk duck unfolds as a genderless pale-fleshy figure.
Concentrated, the figure strips off a pale-fleshy skin and a second pale-fleshy skin becomes visible.
Under the mons pubis, the second pale-fleshy skin has two marble-like thickenings.
With a sharp fingernail the figure makes a scratch in each of the thickenings and viscous yellow liquid drips down along the legs.
Almost like a stone statue I sit on the patio bench.
The heavy oversized sweater, my slippers and a thong on the floor, a full bottle of milk at my fingertips.
I take the bottle and drink from it, one gulp until it is half empty.
And again I sit almost like a stone statue.
I get up, pull on the sweater and thong and walk into the studio, open a drawer, take out a box of ammunition
and, after I have inspected the contents of the box, go outside again.
I take the rifle from the rack, sit down on the bench with the rifle and the ammunition box and let the rifle, after I have loaded it, rest on my knee.
I aim the rifle at one of the plaster musk ducks, standing in a group of eight in a corner of the patio on a pedestal in the light of a bright spot
and with the rifle at the ready, I say alright ― I pull the trigger, hit the duck and the duck shatters.
While I have the rifle aimed at the second duck I say chaos.
And at the third duck the password is waiting.
At the fourth duck waiting for patience.
At the fifth duck to be able to wait.
At the sixth duck quiet on the spot.
At the seventh duck unquietly.
And at the last duck to become quiet.
I put the gun on the bench, get up, cicle the patio a few times, take the bottle with the remaining milk and carrying the bottle I go back inside.
I sit in my chair, a sound recorder on the side table.
The lights on the patio are on and the violet glow illuminates the room.
I clasp the microphone on my sweater, push the record button and after a long silence pause I turn off the recorder.
I turn it back on, push the record button and after a long silence pause I say
I had the phone in my hand
to call you to say that I was on my way over to you
but I dialed the number of the taxi
and went home
© mc 1987-2014
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