Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Solid wood of rectangular shape
In a perfect, logical, grid.
It can not look up.
I can feel it staring at me
In the quiet of its shyness.
I can feel
Arising from a frame always being walked on
And never really admired.
Subjected to the bottom
Soiled by tears of rain and snow,
Repaired by the wind turmoil,
Blind at the peaceful sunset.
Part of the same home
Only one between us
Can reach the view below and above.
I am the ceiling, I say, nice to meet you too.
Monday, December 6, 2010
His mom seemed like she had ten eyes, she was always aware of everything that happened around her. "Peter, don't eat dirt." or "Peter, where do you think you're going?". Well, he had just seen the most beautiful earthworm and was going to check it out, maybe pick it up and throw it to the neighbour's daughter. Rondemberg admired her hay-blonde hair and her ponytails. He hadn't seen it was raining. Or cared about his new clothes.
It didn't matter that he left his mom to do her bidding. She was nosey and always messing with his affairs. "Peter, where's the lighter of the kitchen?" or "Peter, have you seen my iPhone?". Well, he needed those things for his masterplan. What was she doing inquiring about it? Why couldn't she left him alone?
Thinking those things, he was falling asleep in his bed. But then Rondemberg noticed that the night light wasn't on. She had forgotten! The shadows took a menacing appearance and he started hearing noises in the closet and under the bed. "Moooom!!!!!", he called.
In fact, Tom was always doing something. J.P. assumed he only understood 12% of the activities Tom frequently did. For sure most of them were evolved around politics, some kind of quite serious politics, not the main stream kind.
Tom was so much involved with idealistic deeds, that even watching television became a proper activity, in the sense that Tom enjoyed shouting back at politicians on screen that he disagreed with.
If watching television indeed can be called an activity, it was the only one that J.P. and Tom shared. When J.P. turned on the TV, he liked to switch to the Friday Night Quiz, or Animal Planet to watch cuddly bears and funny insects. A David Attenborough could calmly describe the orientation-instinct of ants for hours, and it would all be good for J.P.
It was this kind of situation when J.P. heard the door opening, followed by a big slam to close it again. Tom never says hi, J.P. thought. That’s OK, he figured, he probably has more essential things on his mind than greeting housemates. What is the point of saying hi every day to the same person? And besides, it would only distract him from the wildlife documentary. But at the same time J.P. realised he had just been distracted right now.
J.P. concentrated on Tom’s noises, while still staring at the TV screen. He heard some uncontrolled clattering in the kitchen, and then Tom sat down next to J.P, who did not move his head and eyes a single bit. He tried to analyse Tom’s behaviour just by the sounds he made.
“What’s on the news?” Tom asked.
- “Dunno, haven’t checked. But look, these racoons are funny little animals!”
“Yeah, and you know how they have less and less space to live? Human idiots are destroying the riverside, building houses and resorts, and where do these racoons go! Can’t believe they don’t mention these kinds of things on a programme like this.”
- “Well”, J.P. argued, “it is really about showing how these racoons live, you know. I mean, they seem to be doing pretty well there. It mustn’t be that bad for them.”
J.P. finally looked to his right side to see Tom, but he had just stood up already, and was putting on his coat. “Gotta go to a committee meeting of the Group”, he announced.
What could be so important that Tom had to leave in the cold up to some meeting on a Friday night, J.P wondered. Maybe he should have more interest in Tom’s activities. He might be a really genius guy, this Tom, maybe something like a future leader, or a spokesperson, or something.
So J.P asked: “Is it important?”
- “Of course it is important! If preventing the government from constructing a new nuclear power plant isn’t important I don’t know what is! It is unbelievable how these conservative idiots are trying to destroy the country. And the saddest thing is, people in my very own party are giving up as well. So if I don’t go, well, they’ll just do nothing!”
J.P. suddenly remembered how is ex-girlfriend Marie had once told him that she found it attractive if people thought they made a difference. She also had told J.P that this was not the case for him. It was just before they had broken up. Well, she had broken up with him.
J.P. pondered. He could actually say he admired Tom for trying to make a difference. And maybe, he thought, it might also make little difference if he joined for once. Now that would be something!
So J.P. tried: “Tom, this actually sounds pretty important, if you say so. Could I, er, like, come along?”
- “You’ll regret if you don’t! It’s never too late to develop a conscience!”
Yeah, it is never too late, J.P. thought. Good attitude.
They went to the meeting. It was at somebody’s apartment, in the attic. All 13 people smoked, and interrupted each other all the time.
My, this Tom has a high concentration level, J.P. thought. And the terminologies and issues he knows about! Tom always disagreed with fellow group members, J.P. analysed. He probably knew better than the others, it could well be. Although the others had arguments that seemed plausible to him, too.
J.P quite enjoyed following the conversation. It was a bit like watching a discussion on television in a foreign language. But then suddenly they had all become silent. J.P. realised, they were all looking at him. It was because Tom had asked him a question, but J.P. had not understood it.
“So what do you think, J.P? You’ve been silent for quite a while now” Tom confronted him. How could Tom just ask him like that? He knew that this was the first time J.P tried to develop an interest against nuclear power plants - how could he expect a clear answer from him? What’s the point of this all this debate, when finally you aren’t nice to each other?
Later, when J.P. and Tom walked home together, J.P. decided it might be a good idea to start looking for his own apartment.
Friday, July 2, 2010
As he often said to me,
‘Little did I know that he real trouble would only start when she stopped and you started screaming.’
And inside the maternity ward, there was my mother, who knew nothing about childbirth. She didn’t attend one course, she didn’t read one book about it, she didn’t even ask her own mother about women’s duties. So there she was, lying on the white bed like dead meat, surrounded by hospital waste: the nurses.
Useless women shouting useless words to each other, yap-yap-yap, and no one did anything practical to make me born. It was a total chaos, until the doctor arrived. The doctor knew what he was doing but he didn’t get along well with my mother, as my mother couldn’t take people bossing her around, she had to know everything better. She told him to back off so the doctor pushed her belly which made her shat all over the place, so you can imagine the place where I arrived as no one cared to clean the shit up.
My mother called the doctor a bully and the doctor called her a spoiled child, who she actually was. So my mother started to lecture him about authoritarian personality traits, which made the doctor angry so at the end he slapped her face.
‘Push it, for God sake!’ the doctor screamed at my mother, and my mother screamed back:
‘Jawhol, Herr Obersturmbahnführer!’
and that was the moment when the doctor left the room, telling my mum that she could do the whole circus herself from then on. So it took one hour to get the other doctor, a substitute who was probably a baker by profession, hahaha, and in this hour my father heard my mother screaming louder than ever, and she was screaming:
‘Take this thing out of me! Take it out!’ And she begged the nurses to cut her belly to end the pain.
So at the end I understood that I had to do the whole thing myself, and so I just did it. I just came out. My mother wasn’t even pushing. I solved the problem, hahaha. Really.
And then my father came in and the nurse put me on the belly of my mother, who was too self-centered to even touch me, so they gave me to my father who didn’t know what to do so he gave me back to the nurse who held me under water and at least the shit came off my skin.
My mother didn’t wake up in the next two days, and I was fed by the nurses and spent the hours alone in my white cage. After three days, my father took me and my depressed mother home, and my mother didn’t even wake up to go to the toilet so after a couple of days her parents came and took her to a sanatorium, and she only came back when I was already six months old. My father took care of me in these months My grandmother said that I stopped crying after the second month, realizing that there was no use of it. My father fed and changed me in every two hours, and after each baby session he closed the door of the baby room carefully and went back to study, and the doors were quite thick in our house if you know what I mean. He put me to the childcare when I was three months old, and of course I don’t remember how the childcare was, but I think that in the childcare at least there was some order.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
-No, I want to draw and play and have a bath with Jo-Jo!
-Wilma, darling, we all have to eat to grow big and strong!
-I don’t want to eat
-Come on, honey, it’s getting late
-What did you call me?
-STUPID. Stupid, stupid, STUPID mommy
-That’s enough, Wilma, now come here and eat. What would you like?
-Dotted sausage sandwich
-There’s no sausage, Wilma honey. Cheese sandwich, or yoghurt?
-Dotted sausage on hard bread
-There is none
-But I want that! I want, I want, I want... Mommy, that’s what I want!
-How about a ham sandwich? That will be yummy...
-Come on, Wilma, it’s almost time for bed
-It’s ham sandwich or nothing!
-Here you go, honey, a nice ham sandwich with nice cucumber!
-Wilma, little one, don’t you like cucumber?
-I want to eat banana, mommy
-I want to eat banana, like you, mommy!
-This is my banana, that is your ham sandwich
-But I want banaaaaanaaaa
-There is no banana. Now eat your sandwich
-I want bananaaaa
-It’s late, Wilma pumpkin. Shall we go to bed?
-Come on, honey, tomorrow you have preschool again
-No! I don’t wanna to go to preschool
-Wilma sweetheart, you have to go to preschool
-Wilma, mommy is tired. Let’s go to bed
Tired- on-the verge of desperation-silence
-Come on pumpkin, let’s go together!
-No! You’re stupid!
-What did you call me, Wilma?
-Stupid, STUPID mommy!
-That’s enough, Wilma. I’m going to bed, now you come with me or stay here all night!
-Well, I’m going. Bye, Wilma, good night!
Hungry-child-alone-in-the dark silence
Child-eating-nice ham sandwich with nice cucumber-silence
Parents-snoring in the background-silence
Mother-entering kitchen to make coffee-silence
Mother-finding a monster in her kitchen-silence
Teenage girl with a black leather jacket with the text DARKNESS sleeping on the kitchen table-silence
Teenage girl poking out pierced tongue-silence
-Wilma, pumpkin, when did you become so big?
Friday, April 16, 2010
It’s ridiculous. Since I remember, she has been filling up this place with her humming bedroom-voice which if you ask me, is not exactly appropriate for a 14-year-old. Every week she drags with her another bagful of those books –James Baldwin, Gary Giddens, Andy Jones and all that Jazz. Literally. I never see her returning them, but I imagine them piling up around her – over her and under her; next to her pale and shimmering pre-teen body. She must have collected far more books on Jazz literature than pieces of clothing. Poor thing. I wonder if anyone will ever want to kiss her. Hello, red-head, would you let me pull down your stockings? Or what are they, football socks? And that out-washed jean jacket and that obviously fake purplish-red hair, like she never had a mother or a sister or even a pretend-to-be friend who enlightened her about the truth? I like the little half pony-tail, though. It perks up every day from the back of her head, as if to say hello to me personally, and then it flows down like a baby fountain. Or a bird fount, like the one Elise has put out in our front yard, to make our property more attractive and more frequented. More frequented? By birds or by her Chardonnay friends?
Oh, the pony-tail is moving; dancing salsa for me. I wonder if the Jazz girl can dance, too. I picture us in a slow wienerwaltz; sweeping across the room as synchronised as one of those broomsticks that comes alive in a Disney movie. Then a bouncy but sensual salsa, followed by the dramatic tango; her tiny plum breasts rubbing against my torso, a blood red single rose in my mouth. And then finally the Jazz, of course. Armstrong is purring about what a wonderful world it is and Rita Hayworth wants me to dream a little dream of her. Oh yes, I am dreaming baby. The room is spinning and I look up to see tiny hummingbirds singing love songs above our interlinked bodies; my nose buried in her purplish hair. Ah, it smells of youth!
The next moment she is wrapping her legs around one of mine, like a horny poodle, and rubbing her genitals against my thigh. Just a bit higher, Jazz baby, just a bit higher! She is riding me, naked in her football socks; her pony tail bouncing up and down in joy – telling me harder, faster, louder! I am her shepherd boy, her bull beyond taming. Come here little Jazz sheep, come to your bull-boy; come be my Matadoresse!
She turns around and gives me a surprising look.
-‘Did you say anything?’
No one is my Master, because I am my own Master, Master.
-‘Me?’ I look behind me, pretending to look for whoever had uttered that made-up word. ‘No, not me’... I go back to my book, turning the front page 90 degrees upwards to hide my blushing cheeks.
-‘Oh, it sounded like a Jazz term’... Disappointment; her entire body speaks of it. Then she walks right past me, five thick books in her lap; with her holiday smile and that distant look that goes through doors, people and buildings. She glances over at me and her smile dies. I don’t look up, just let her leave quietly and painlessly; intently staring into my Beast and the Blonde behind the counter. The bell tinkles distantly as the door to the bookshop closes behind her.
She will be back, I sigh; feeling relieved. She will be back for more Jazz.
I already have enough problems with the administration here. For example, they didn’t want to let me name my son after my great grandfather. My great grandfather was called Stalin, but before you start questioning the ideological background of my family, I have to clarify that we are facing a pure coincidence here: Stalin in my language means: a walnut with a very strong taste. And in my region the tradition is to name our sons after our great grandfathers. So when they didn’t let me name my son after my great grandfather, I asked them:
‘What shall I name him then?’
And they suggested me to call him Jan or Hans. But these names were too short for my taste, so I named him Jan Hans. Jan Hans Dosztojevszkij.
I am not in any family relations with Dosztojevszkij, the writer, I’m not even from Russia. I’m from Hungary. My surname is a chosen name. It was chosen in a bookstore. On the day after I arrived to Brussels, on the day when I met Stijn. I don’t meet Stijn anymore, he doesn’t even know about the existence of Jan Hans, his first born.
The day after I arrived here from Hungary, my heart was full of huge expectations about finding a job in Western Europe and becoming rich, making my high school classmates pee their pants when I would arrive back to our 20 years of anniversary in a limousine. But I knew that with the name Kovacs, I wouldn’t get far. Kovacs means Smith in Hungarian, and every third Hungarian is called Kovacs in my region. Although I knew that probably there wouldn’t be many Kovacses in Belgium, I still felt that with such an ordinary name, even if it’s only ordinary in my head, I would’t get far. I learned English and French from schoolbooks and read every book that was in English and French in the regional library, and I thought that the language wouldn’t be a problem, but the name would be. I was wrong. About the language. But this is another story.
So I decided that I had to change my name first if I wanted to get somewhere. But I had no idea of course what new name I should get. So I went to this bookstore that was next to the youth hostel, and that’s where I met Stijn. But this is another story, and I will tell it later, when we’ll have more time. So I was there, looking at the books and waiting for inspiration to find a proper name for my new life. The day before I was talking to the waitress in the bar where I spent my first evening in Brussels. She told me that one day she changed her name from Louise to Louisa in a cafeteria. Just like that. It seemed so simple. But I wanted a more drastic change. Kovacs Eva, that was my name when I entered the bookstore. I wanted to be someone glamorous when I got through the exit. Or at least someone with the hope of glamour.
So, there I was, looking at the books. I was wearing my long tennis socks. Nothing glamorous. Yet. I read a bit of the history of homosexuals, and got a bit excited, God knows why. Or God probably doesn’t know why, but that’s another story. I mean, it’s not even a story. It’s nothing. Why did I say this?
Oh yes, my name, my name, and my son’s name. So there I was, standing, and looking at the name of writers on books and at the name of characters in books. And then, there was this guy, I tell you it was Stijn but of course by then I didn’t know who he was, although a minute later I knew his name was Stijn, because he told me, so if you wait patiently fot a minute we will get there with the story. Although you already know that his name was Stijn, because I mentioned it several times, so you won’t be surprised. Which is a pity because one of the secrets of good story telling is to make the listener surprised and keep him excited, isn’t it? Are you excited? Yes you are, but I mean excited not because we lay naked next to each other, but to hear the rest of the story?
Are you sleeping? Haha. You said that you wanted to pay me to talk to you and not for the sex, and then you fall asleep? Then you get nothing for your money. That’s silly.
So, there I was, standing in front of the books. And there was that man, that tall, handsome, Belgian man, whose name I did not know, but he smelled very good.
And then he said: Are you looking for something in particular or something in general?
And I said: Something very particular. I look for a new name for myself,
But he didn’t understand what I was saying because of my accent.
So I said it again phonetically and then he understood and laughed and suggested the name: Borat, which I found funny, because I saw the movie and I understood that he was making a joke of my accent.
‘Do you have any suggestions? I asked him phonetically,
And he took a book from the bookshelf and gave to me:
‘How about this?’
‘Fjodor Mihajlovics?’ I asked him.
‘No, let’s skip the first names. The surname I mean, Dosztojevszkij.
And because by the time he said this I was already in love, for I don’t need much to fall in love, I said:
‘Splendid’, with a British accent that didn’t work out very well. ‘And how about my first name?’
‘Gina’, he said. ‘Gina Dosztojevszkij.’
‘Because you remind me of Gina Lollobrigida,’ he said.
‘What’s your name?’ I asked him.
‘Stijn.You know, like Stijn King. The writer.’
You’re laughing now, and I know why. I exactly know that I don’t look like Gina Lollobrigida. If you have to choose a famous person that I resemble, then I rather look like Robespierre under the guillotine. And when he said that I remind him of the pretty actress, I knew that he wanted sex so desperately that he didn’t even mind to take the first little creature that came along. Even if it was me, Ms Robespierre under the guillotine.
Gina. Gina Dosztojevszkij.
So. We had sex and it was good and I was happy on my second day in Brussels. I had a new name and a new lover: Stijn. He was a lover, even if only for one night, cause why would the length of time spent together define a lover? I think that a person who you loved even for a minute was your lover. You are my lover, because I loved you for a second when you asked me how much I cost for one night with that bad child smile on your face.
Of course I never met Stijn again, which wasn’t too surprising but it still hurt like hell. It did hurt because he was my lover, and losing even a minute lover hurts like losing the love of your life, even if it only hurts like that for a minute, and not for the rest of your life.
And that’s why Jan Hans’ name is Jan Hans Dosztojevszkij. But I still call him Stalin at home. Do you want to meet him once? Are you sleeping?
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Lydia is my neighbour. Sometimes I go downstairs to ask her for a bit of sugar because for some reason I keep forgetting to buy some at the small supermarket round the corner. I enter the place thinking "buy sugar, buy sugar", but then the colours and the smells and my hunger distract me from that and I only remember when I'm watching TV in my bath robe.
She always welcomes me with a blush and a flicker of her eyelashes, which I find cute.
Yesterday it was her who came up to ask me for a bottle opener. She was wearing a black dress, makeup and high heels. It made me jealous of something, but I couldn't pinpoint what it was. I gave it to her and we smalltalked for a split second. The weather is nice. Yes, it was warm today finally. That is a nice dress. Thank you very much, I gotta go.
I went back to my sofa and threw the remote to the wall.
Every monday, wednesday and friday, at exactly four o-clock p.m., the sound of a violin comes through the ventilation hole in my WC. Last week I installed a small table in there, and now I sit on the toilet and read a book and have a coffee while listening to it. I find my WC a little bit depressing, so I went to the supermarket this morning and bought three cans of paint (green, white and blue) and forgot to buy sugar.
Going to the toilet now is like going to the toilet when camping in Ireland.
Lydia likes it, I showed it to her when she came to return the bottle opener. How do you like my WC? It's very nice, it was a good idea. Thank you. You're welcome. How was dinner last night? Very well, I had fun. I'm glad to hear that. I have to go. Have a nice day. You too.
I'm still jealous, but the blush and the flicker were there.
I have no sugar and it's monday. And it's five to four p.m. I decide to go ask Lydia for some to put in my coffee, so I change into not-a-bath-robe and go downstairs. If I'm quick, I won't miss the violin. I knock on her door and she takes ages to answer. I check my watch, it's two to four p.m. Lydia opens the door and she's holding a violin and a bow. I gape at her. She blushes. Instead of asking for sugar, I ask her out. She says yes.
I am sitting on my toilet drinking a coffee with no sugar listening to a violin through the ventilation hole in the WC.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
The empty space surrounding the spaceshift is as black as yesterday.
It's been 1 year, 3 months and 23 days since I left Thauria, the planet where I'm from and to where I had returned only 2 years, 9 months and 11 days prior to my departure.
I asked for a crew, but the Interplanetary Travelling and Goods Carrying Company - the company I work for - said that we are in a recession and they had had to cut costs by flying less people and to improve benefit flying more cargo. It never fails to amaze me how, according to the ITGCC, we are always in recession.
Just to pass the time I go check the goods I'm carrying this time and I get a feeling of déjà-vu. I think I did the same thing last week, but it can be as well last year, as there is no way of differenciating the days when flying in space.
Canned food. This time is some kind of meat and casserole.
Men's left boots.
I don't know how many times I've transported the same cargo.
The on-board computer, a state-of-the-art Pilot-Spaceship-Relations-Manager 200X-D, informs me that there will be no hot water in the next 2 days, 13 hours and 41 minutes because of a mechanical failure in the water-heater device.
I get my toolbox and go check, after all, it will be 5 months and 15 days before we approximate the next Interplanetary Space Station and in this region of space you can only receive 33 TV channels.
Kate informs me that the estimate of my repairing the water-heater device will take 2 hours and 53 minutes and that it will reduce the damage in about -1 day and 4 hours. I stop to think and come to the conclusion that extending the period of non-hot-waterness to almost 3 days and 18 hours is compensated by the almost 3 hours that I would spend trying to repair it. Kate is how I call the Pilot-Spaceship-Relations-Manager 200X-D.
By the time I'm finished with the water-heater device, Kate has received a Very Important Message.
I press the read button and the blinking red light goes off. Kate starts reciting the message.
International Space Station 487AF to Spaceship Pilot 09356837-16
John, we are sorry to inform you that we have suffered heavy damage in our Arrivals Deck.
Therefore, your Spaceship will not be able to stop here. I repeat. Will NOT be able to stop.
We are currently under attack by the Origan Rebel Forces.
We recommend a detour to the International Space Station 488AF.
We are sorry for the inconveniences.
Have a nice day.
I ask Kate to make a report about how long would it take that detour.
8 months, 9 days and 17 hours.
I ask Kate to make a report about the weapons that the ship is equipped with.
1 Big Laser Gun.
4 Small Laser Rapid Fire Turrets.
3 Grappling Hooks.
2385 Kitchen Knifes. Cargo.
9 Ship-to-Ship Missile Launchers.
I ask Kate to make a report about the attacking forces in the International Space Station 487AF.
1 Space Freighter.
Estimate of 735 fighters.
Estimate of 18.344 soldiers.
I decide that trying to repel the attack to the International Space Station 487AF - chances of survival: 3.4% - is better than to take an 8 months detour.
I give Kate the order to remain in the current course and to load the weapons.
I feel a new sensation. Kate informs me that it is Excitement.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Tick. Tick. Tick. Marie was pressing the F5 key. Refresh. Tick. Refresh. Tick. All in all she was refreshing three webpages at once: her work email, private email, and her facebook page. Three more hours and she could go home, having done absolutely nothing. Marie took her glasses off and cleaned them with her shirt. The glasses were not dirty, and after she cleaned them, they were not cleaner. A glance through the window: a view on the parking exit of the neighbouring office. The cars always went out with the same schedule. It was 14h30. The woman with the pink car must have finished her shift. At 14h35, her car would be out. The car with the creepy stickers would oddly follow her at 14h40. Tick. F5, Refresh. Ted has updated his facebook status. "Please copy and paste this in your status if you know someone who has hearing problems. I know people who have hearing problems and I hope that one day, we will find a cure. 93% of my contacts will not copy this." Ted was the third person to make this status change in the last two hours. Marie had already updated her profile today, "had a panini for lunch". What the hell, she would update it twice. A glance through the window. 14h35! The pink car got out of the parking lot and resolutedly turned right. Copy, paste, and comment to Ted. "See? I copied and pasted it - who's not in your 93% now?" Another glance through the window. The car with the creepy stickers got out, a bit earlier than usual. He seemed to hesitate, before turning left. Why did he hesitate? He always turned left. F5. Marie sighted. 2h50 minutes before the end of work.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
'Are you going to pay in cash or with a credit card?'
It wasn't his tone, it was the slowliness with which he said it that made me ponder the benefits of spending twenty years in jail.
'Bancontact' - I replied - 'please'.
As I was walking towards the platform I heard shouts and a single gunshot that echoed through the station.
Someone had tried to rob at the little man's desk and had ended up shooting him.
Smiling, I got on the train and never came back.
- Megadarde -
Saturday, January 30, 2010
-‘Milk?’ the vendor with one arm asked.
-‘I take it black’, Edina replied with confidence. ‘Like the deep blue sea’.
-‘No sugar?’ the man enquired, hiding a hopeful smile. He was obviously hitting on her.
-‘Maybe’, she said and turned away to inspect the bananas. Someone had written “NASTY COMPANY” in capital letters on the Chiquita box.
The bananas were not yellow enough to be eaten on the spot, but not green enough to be saved for later. Besides, it was past 11 o’clock, anyway, so she had to rule them out. She had an appointment with the hairdresser (the one with sexy dreadlocks, next to Metro Madou) after work and did not want to suffer from stomach cramps while getting her head shaved.
Today is the day, Edina thought. There was a distant smell of fish in the cafeteria.
-‘Well, how many?’ The one-armed man’s smile stretched from ear to ear, as he proudly held onto her cup. You are like the laughing cow cheese, she thought.
-‘Four’, she said, looking straight into his peanut eyes. ‘Today I need it’.
-‘Yes?’ he replied, inviting her to continue the pleasant conversation. Edina took her coffee with a nod, walked towards the cashier and poured several small coins into the swollen palm of a lemon-faced lady. From the corner of her eye, she saw the man waving his one arm while smiling like a knife. Poor man, she thought, and wondered if he had learnt to masturbate with his left hand. Then she walked off, to locate a seat in the buzzing cafeteria.
There was only one seat available, next to the emergency exit.
Good, she thought. In case he really is as grumpy as they say.
Edina sat down and started producing gurgling sounds, deep down her throat in order to chase away the two other people occupying her table.
-‘Grr’, she said, sounding a bit like you would imagine a pigeon on heat.
The couple looked up from their UN resolution and exchanged a look of surprise. The smell of fish was stronger at this side of the cafeteria. Edina looked at her watch that said 15:33. He was four minutes late. Arrogant bastard, she thought and then she made another ‘grr’ sound – this time in a more opposing manner. The young woman in a pinstriped pant suit looked up at Edina, and then over at her bald colleague.
-‘I have to get back’, the pant suit told her resolution-friend.
They left just in time. Edina closed her eyes and started doing breathing exercises, practising her lines silently.
You are the guiding star of the group. A lighthouse; a rock; a hero! We admire you, man – you; your Glass family; your dialogues, and most of all, your bananafish.
-‘Your must be Edina’, someone said, sharp as an alarm clock.
-‘It’s me’ Edina said and opened her eyes slowly.
There he was, alive and kicking, in a yellow poncho and rain hat. More than three fifths of his face was covered with hair; one long eyebrow connecting with sideburns connecting with moustache and beard. She wondered whether the non-trimmed beard connected with his chest-hair while naked.
-‘I’ve heard about you and your guys’, J.D. Salinger whispered, looking around nervously while pronouncing the last word.
-‘Yes’ she replied, inviting him to sit down. ‘We are the guys’.
-‘Who wrote The Conspiracy’ J.D. Salinger filled in. Water was dripping down his triangular shaped hat. It made Edina think of a simple song from childhood: My hat, it has three corners. Three corners, that’s my hat. And if it lacks three corners, then it is not my hat. She never thought hats could have three corners outside the world of nursery rhymes.
-‘Yes’ Edina said, ‘that’s us!’ She tried hard to hold back a laughter boiling from deep down her stomach. One of those laughs that can make rooms tremble; that warm up frozen hearts of cynical grandfathers. Today is the day, she thought.
-‘Let’s talk about it’, J.D. Salinger said with a nothing-like-a-cow smile. ‘I have an idea’.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
He points at the woman whose head resembles a bullet, and sips from his coffee.
‘But I’m afraid for you.’
The girl doesn’t know what to say. She sets her t-shirt right, regretting that she put on such a deeply cloven top this morning. Is he blackmailing her? She agreed on having coffee with him because it would not have been strategic to say no to her creative writing professor after she sent him to hell and far beyond, drunk at the party of the literature department, when he invited her to his flat to discuss her grade.
‘What are you afraid of?’ she asks, staring at the fat family at the neighboring table: the father just refused to offer ice cream and sympathy for his only child who is now making up his mind to have another nervous breakdown – the third today and it’s only three in the afternoon. For he is young, he doesn’t mind: he still has plenty of nerves to break down. The mother is good, non-judgmental; too busy with her heavy breathing.
The professor raises his eyebrows, he is not here to share the attention of the girl with some side characters and the fat father takes a fifty euros note out of his wallet, leaves it on the table and walks away abruptly. His folks follow him with marble eyes and no discussion. Thirty euros tip is enormous but so is the family, the waiter thinks and smiles goodbye.
‘As you might know, having read all my books and attended my seminars, that I’m not one of those idiots who talks about conspiracy theories, like the Tel Aviv, London, New York plot or the nine eleven folklore. What I’m talking about is true, relevant and terrifying. And above all, it can be proven. When could you really relax for the last time?’
‘I don’t remember,’ the girl says and sets her T-shirt even righter.
She sits right and talks the truth: she doesn’t remember. There is always something to worry about. She dries her sweaty palms on her jeans and looks around, hoping for the waiter. But there is no movement in the whole venue whatsoever, and the place looks smaller than before. Where is the bullet lady with the sad infant? And the old Moroccan guy and the deaf toy speculator? She didn’t see them leaving.
‘You might think that this nervousness is in your nature’, the professor continues. ‘But what if someone is keeping you insecure? You are about to graduate, you look at the job sites and there are hardly any ads apart from non-paid internships. You think that there are no jobs on the market. But what if there are no ads because someone is hiding them from you?’
The girl is sitting hunched up, staring at her thumb that is drawing circles on the napkin. A bystander couldn’t tell if she is listening or not, but the professor knows that she is listening. He must be right, for who could know it better?
‘What if someone wants you to feel anxious and uses all the tools he has to keep you feel insecure? And what if he has all the possible tools? You believe that the financial crisis is actually happening. But what if someone invented it to make you feel more worried? What if the economy is going very well? What if the environment never felt better? You take the climate change for granted, and the elections in Iran...
‘What about the elections in Iran?’
‘It’s not true.’ The professor whispers. ‘It didn’t happen.’
‘What didn’t happen?’
‘Iran didn’t happen.’
The girl shakes her head and makes a numb attempt to laugh. The professor looks around and sees exactly that he wants to see: no one. He is still whispering, for the effect rather than for any reasonable reason.
‘And do you remember that last month your boyfriend broke up with you after a fight over biscuits and blowjobs?’
‘Of course I remember.’ The girl rubs her forehead. ‘But how the hell do you know about it? Did someone from the class...?'
‘It didn’t happen.’
‘What didn’t happen?’
‘You didn’t break up, because you had no one to break up with. You haven’t had a relationship for years. There was no boyfriend.’
‘God. You are crazy.’
‘Are we becoming personal here, is that what’s happening? Do you think I am crazy? What if you are crazy? Do you want to go crazy?’
‘Leave me alone. Please. Just leave me alone.’
The girl tries to stand up but the professor grabs her wrist.
‘Last Saturday. You were rather impolite if I may say.'
‘You know what, you miserable, horny old fuck?’ the girl’s eyes widen and her voice is now high pitched. It sounds like a sheep in labor, the professor notes down as the girl goes on ‘You go and fuck yourself and leave me alone...’
The voice dies out.
'You look pale.' The professor says gently. 'Do you feel rather unstable lately?'
The girl shakes her head almost invisibly.
'Let me go.'
'Do you feel sometimes that it would be nice to fall asleep and not wake up?'
'Cut the crap, please..' Her voice is begging.
'I will cut the crap, dear.' The professor nods. 'It's time to cut the crap. I tell you the truth why I'm here.'
The girl looks up, and there is a hint of hope in the red eyes: was this scene just some crazy writing experiment? And the professor says:
'I'm the messiah, sent to you by the God of writing.' He chuckles and winks and then he stays silent for a second. The girl is speechless for what could be said to such nonsense?
'And I was sent here to tell you that you will never be a writer. You will never be a writer because you don't even have a story yourself. Once I thought you were worth a story, once I had big plans with you – but you made me change my mind. You didn't live up to my expectations. You disappointed me. I was fooled by my instinct: you are not worth mentioning. You are expelled, dear.'
The professor lets go of her wrist and the girl doesn’t try to stand up.
‘What a sorrowful end after such a promising beginning.’ The professor finishes the last sentence, pays for his coffee and leaves the girl with eyes wide open in the cafe, frozen for eternity in such a nasty surprise.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Everyone is talking about my new boss. They say she is not quite what she makes herself out to be. She is not corrupt or anything; no unpaid TV licenses or undeclared ownership of multinational companies. She is not licking God’s arse to be liked; she is not smiling to convince her team to work for her. She is not stupid. It’s just I think she is a man.
The first day I met her, she was wearing a dark green combat suit. I said hello and then I did not find anything else to say but “oh, that is a combat suit”. She said “yes”, quite militantly and without a smile. I wanted to ask her how her weekend was, but the combat suit killed it for me. Her thin Scandinavian hair looked even shorter than on the images I had seen of her on Google. Why do middle-aged women cut their hair short? Is it because it stops growing; or because they want to distinguish themselves from youth; from young pretty girls?
I am not the only one to believe that Mrs C is actually Mr H. My colleague in the legal service told me she’d heard it was a way for Mrs C to slip in, unnoticed, into the unfilled female quota of the College. I know it’s true that God from the 13th floor addressed the leaders of our continent with the following words: “Dear men and leaders of our continent, this year it is women or nothing. Give me women, and in return I will offer you the reign over our farms, fish and tractors; our crisis, crowns and wastelands.
Blackmailing? I guess you could call it such. But the thing is, it really seemed to have worked. Suddenly everyone and their dog in the governments of our continent wanted to be a woman. Women with fake breasts or nasty surprises in the crotch region after sharing the lift with a long-legged blonde stagiaire. Or real female flesh and blood; flabby middle-aged lady flesh. God didn’t care about which – as long as you could label yourself woman.
Against this, it may seem like showing up in a combat suit is sort of taking unnecessary risks. You know, suspicions confirmed; masculinity declared.
But “Mrs C” is smarter than that. I have only known her for five days but I already know she only does things for a reason. My secretary thinks she is using inverse psychology, you know like telling everyone I’m so much like a man that you would never guess I’m really a man. Some might wonder whether a combat suit is appropriate when you will work on immigration issues. I don’t know, maybe I’m exaggerating. Maybe there is nothing fishy in Mrs C’s pants. Maybe this is all a big conspiracy theory created by those rumour-spreading media bastards. They have nothing to write about, and so – POOF – they create a transvestite amongst the future rulers of our continent.
Friday, January 22, 2010
'You know how the European Commission is just an institution created by different governments to centralize control on the population?' - said the foul-smelling guy that was sitting next to me at Café Central.
'Hm-hmm' - I said, not paying him much attention. I had other things in my mind, like how I fucked up that mind-control experiment last week.
I took a sip from my now cold coffee and went over the events in my mind one more time.
There were seven subjects in that experiment, two women and five men. No, it wasn't discrimination, it's just that the female mind is harder to control.
We lost a man the second day, because his mind was overcrowded and finally his sinaptic connections couldn't hold and his brain shut off. Just like that.
None of the others died, but both women and three of the men became idiots. No mind to control means no interest to us, so the agency made them disappear.
There was one man left and our hope laid in his shoulders. We were beginning to make things he didn't want to, the final objective of every mind-control program.
But now he has escaped.
And we don't know how.
The man with the hat looked across the Grand Place. It was summer in Brussels and the square was vibrating with visitors and inhabitants from the most varied countries.
He spotted the man quite easily. He was wearing a black suit and sunglasses, the uniform from all the secret agencies all over the globe. How do they expect to remain secret if they all dress the same way? It's stupid!
He turned around to his companion and pointed to the man in black.
'It's that guy, Viktor.' - he said.
'How can you be so sure?' - Viktor replied - 'Has he been following you?'
'I can't be sure if it was him, but I've seen other suits on my way here' - the man answered.
'I saw no-one after I rescued you from the underground levels of the Berlaymont building.'
'That doesn't mean they weren't there.'
'I think you're just being paranoid.' - Viktor said, rolling his eyes upwards.
The man with no name swore under his breath. Then grabbed Viktor by the shoulders and started shouting almost soundlessly.
'How can I make you understand?! They are conducting experiments! They kept us in cells! A man died and five people became effectively brainless!'
'And how can you prove that?' - Viktor asked calmly.
'I saw it with my own eyes!' - The man was visibly excited and his voice was becoming louder.
'That's no proof' - Viktor said - 'You may be crazy.'
'AAAARH!' - shouted the man in desperation.
When the man in black was handcuffing Subject 4, Viktor had already vanished.
We finally have found and recovered Subject 4. He's in a cell, but we haven't resumed the tests yet. We are trying to find out if he has talked to anyone about all this. But he refuses to talk.
I go out to the Schuman rond-point and, once in the little garden in the middle of it, I take out the recently bought disposable mobile phone.
I book the services of a professional interrogator. He should be here in about half an hour.
The sun is reflecting on the Berlaymont building, but this time it doesn't give me hope.
Has he talked?