zaterdag 2 augustus 2014

a light breeze


Jerkily, the crowded subway train manages the curve

Hesitantly, the hand touches the shiny handrail
the hair in disorder
the face bloodless
the mouth dry
the fingers contract

By what physical pain can I still be notified of the limits that only I can feel?

Fifteen minutes before the end stop is reached the mass has already set out for the exits
She has closed the eyes and not moved a muscle
The jolts and bumps have a confusing effect

By the screeches of the gulls she too is set in motion
She ignores the hiss and she ignores the insults that follow
She clears a way through the risen chaos

In front of the shop window she stops
She seeks the mirror-image
the high-heeled shoes loose
the tubular skirt tight
the perfumed handkerchief lost
the apparent purposefulness still undaunted

The coming here has to do with pleasant memories
A deserted seaside resort
A hardly noticeable rustle of the leaves of the boulevard trees caused by the morning breeze
A radiant innocent desire to be kissed

And coming here has to do with unpleasant memories
The insinuating sniggering of the bystanders, when the juice of the fruit drips along the chin on the broken flagstones
The metallic carousel-voice, that never stops inviting to the next ride
The running of the stragglers, when on the churned beach the tender rain leaves behind its shadow-spots 

She enters the store and puts the money on the ribbed rubber countermat
A box of matches
No reaction
The conversation falls silent
Between the transparent sheets the love meat lights up
It causes a little disturbance
The bodybuilder wins
There is enthousiastic waving of the flag
There is calling is everyone coming?

And when finally the covers have been taken off the tables
the chairs have been stacked
the last parasols have been closed
she realizes it was marvellous what she just saw


She walks faster now, does not look back
The shoes she kicks off 
The bag beats against the hip with irregular slaps
She laughs

The sun is at the lowest
The elongated double presses herself flat against the concrete
In the pocket of the coat is the crumpled piece of paper with the address
And without hesitation this time she turns left 

At this hour not a single wandering passerby in this stretch of no man's land between two rows of houses whose accidental residents have drawn the curtains 

There is whispering
she has cancer
is the whispering
she has cancer

The building has a glass entrance and no bell
The instant she reaches the destination the door automatically swings open and without breaking her stride she goes inside

In the landing the bright fluorescent tubes burn mercilessly

There is whispering
she must stay in bed
is the whispering
she must stay in bed

She dances
as if she never danced before

There is no music
she dances
as if she never danced before

The skin is thin and wrinkled and pale
she dances
as if she never danced before

The irises take on the color of the sea that closes over the sunken ship
she dances
as if she never danced before

Meat flowers grow under the winter sun
She dances

The stairs are steep
The carpet worn
Some rods have come loose
The long nails touch the palm of the hand when she grips the banister
There she hears – softly – the music

She swears that she will kiss them tonight, all those mouths that she did not kiss
This night she will kiss them with the breath of the dance 

The muffled sounds come from a heavily furnished room

Standing in the doorway she sees the party change their protective coloration
She – the intruder – has difficulty with the memory
What, over the years, have I been hearing about the danger?
She is no longer able to get the once familiar voices into focus

Standing in the doorway she allows the gaze to touch the tops of the heads
Silent on the wall the painting speaks the reassurance that in spite of everything she has come to the right place

Standing in the doorway, she forces the eyes to be blank, whereupon the murmur becomes inaudible
The tableau is starting to stir 
There is shouting
let the music stop!
is the shouting
let the music stop!

Impatiently chairs are pushed back
On the table the chinaware shakes
The milk jug topples

This is the sign she has been waiting for
She takes a step – a leap – forward
She falls on her knees and with greedy laps she licks the white liquid from the floor

There is whispering
didn't she have cancer?
is the whispering
didn't she have cancer?

Awkwardly one of the attendees begins to clap
The others follow

They get up
The feet stamping

The window is opened
The evening wind snatches away the last inhibitions

The applause is unstoppable
The bravos sound in every key

It's a miracle!
It's a miracle!

On the street she halts
The car is waiting in front
The engine is idling and her Dearest is sitting in the back

This is the hour when in the bar the jukebox gives a sing along song while, unnoticed, the bartender serves a round on the house


She puts the pack of cigarettes on the dashboard
After she has pushed back the lighter she turns up the radio
Nice song this she nods in the rearview mirror
A few phrases are sung
The memory corrupts the text
Annoyance, but laugh
The Dearest is silent

She would like to run
Away from the car – the capsule – by which she time and again, is brought in isolated spheres 

The cracked lips break open when she starts to talk

You have such a soft mouth the Dearest whispered in the ear
Ha! it sounds shrill
The Dearest looks up
No everything is fine she gestures 

She adjusts the driving mirror
The cold wind
The rusty mechanism provides a welcome resistance
She rolls down the window all the way
No apology

She rubs the thighs
And she catches the sound of the Dearest coughing

They are too early
The doors are still closed, the lighting is still thrifty

The Dearest buttons up her coat and walks away in a manner that suggests that she is familiar with this city

Come here, naked here
she thinks
and she calls
I see you at the entrance

Yes fine the Dearest calls back while buttoning her collar 
Yes fine
she says
and she thinks
no stay here, naked here

In the theater it is crowded
The lobby buzzes
The reputation of the production justifies a counter-voltage and one is doing one's best to become a worthy audience

Alone she stands there
The eyes seemingly blind
She wouldn't, would she?

She can no longer stand still
She would like to run

Obsessively she gives in to a wave that carries the weight from one foot to the other 
The toes grab the ground and let go and grab the ground and I'm fainting and grab the ground

Once seated in the auditorium the Dearest grabs the hand
She smiles and turns the head to the Dearest
The lips of the Dearest are tight, her eyes fixed on a fold in the velvet curtain
She takes back the hand to turn the program notes

The chandeliers dim and the iron fire curtain is raised

It is snowing
The flakes – only just frozen – smash to water on the heated windscreen
The sound of the wiper drowns out the engine noise drowns out the sound of the voice
The needle of the speedometer motionless;
the car seems to stand still
the car seems to drive a hundred miles an hour 

And then she asks it shall we? you and me? one house together? together one bed?

Has the Dearest heard?

She would like to run, laughingly and singing, to where the direction indicators stop whispering their dingy excuses 
Why are you here?
Where are you going?
How long before the final goodbye?

At times she becomes a little crazy in the head 
when the Dearest breathes beside her in a way that suggests that she is on the point of being raped in triplicate 

She would like to move lazily and lithe
Away from this cocoon of preconceived reasons
Agreements made with a telephone voice
Flexible and cheerful

And above all without lust; a clean gig, a dry kiss
Bye yes, see you soon yes
The Dearest gets out

She accellerates
And slams on the brakes
The heart is not beating
The hand seeks the handle
The heart beats
The door comes unlocked
The icy wind
She is almost being pulled out in the night
She stops
Hanging halfway outside the car she calls after the disappearing back
no more waiting
No more waiting
she whispers

Has the Dearest heard?

© mc 1976-2014

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