Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Looking down

I am the floor, nice to meet you, it said.

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
Unfamiliar insecurity
Arising from a frame always being walked on
And never really admired.

Subjected to the bottom
It stays,
Soiled by tears of rain and snow,
Repaired by the wind turmoil,
Blind at the peaceful sunset.

And though
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

Rondemberg Vs. His Mom

"Man, she can talk", Rondemberg thought. He himself only talked when forced by his mom. "Peter, say hello to Ms. Largeois." or "Peter, thank the mister for that cookie." Damn, why should he thank him if the cookie was obviously more than three days old? And besides, he wanted to go play.
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.

J.P. vs. Tom

J.P was now staying at Tom’s flat for 3 and a half weeks. He liked Tom’s couch, he liked the atmosphere of his apartment (messy like his old place) and he liked the fact that Tom was away a lot.

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.