Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Men In Our Family And Their Use Of Electricity

One day my grandfather bought a new electric saw. My grandmother had complained for years about chalky nails on the toes of her feet. My grandfather used his new electric saw to get rid of the chalky nails on my grandmother’s toes and I can assure you my grandmother didn’t enjoy this treatment.

While touching the heating elements, my father said that the second hand ceramic oven he had just bought me, didn’t fucking work, but hell it did. It's the only time I have ever seen my father flying like mister David Copperfield.

This morning my husband said our refrigerator looked dirty and he wanted to clean it. I told him if he wanted to clean our refrigerator he first had to take the plug out of the electrical outlet, but my husband said, aggravated, he fucking knew what he was doing. So, he started cleaning our fridge with a lot of water, until I heard the big bang.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Forgive Me For Killing You with Reveries

Artwork: Daphne Buter Posted by Hello

You and I, we only had one friend. It’s been more than 35 years since I last walked you to school. I remember we passed a chestnut tree with elongated branches, and how the leaves tickled our heads, and how we laughed. I can hear you laughing, still. I don’t know why we laughed so much that day.

I remember your azure dress, and the azure ribbons in your blonde pigtails; these pearly chains of yours.

The sun was beating down on us.

I can see us walking there, under the branches of that tree, captured in a never-ending moment. Captured in that merciless haunting summer.

We will always walk there.

We will never walk there.

And now you are in my memory every day since then. You blonde little ghost. At night your face rises from mine in the dark, like a radiant accusing mask.

When the bell of the school rang I wasn’t allowed to leave. I had to finish my work. I wasn’t allowed to walk you home. Forgive me for killing you with reveries.
I can see you leaving the classroom. You turned around in the frame of the door, and smiled at me, forlornly. I know you was scared for the other kids.

What was I daydreaming about when that truck drove over you; when your bones snapped; When your pigtails broke?

When I had left the school I saw woodchips on the bridge close to my house. Woodchips soaked in blood, and the eye of God was smoldering in the skies.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

"Thus We Probably Wouldn't Hold Hands Either?"

Picture: Daphne Buter Posted by Hello

They were the kind of people who lived in a city and they always whined about that city. And in the evenings, when they did not fight, they dreamed about a house in the country.

“If we lived on a farm we would be asleep now,” the man said on one of these evenings, when the couple was watching a show on TV.

“Of course we wouldn’t be asleep,” his wife said annoyed, “we would lay on our back in a meadow, hand in hand, gazing at a million stars.”

“But it is winter,” her husband said agitated. “It is ridiculous to imagine we would lay in the freezing cold this time of year.”

“Ok, whatever, “ the woman said waving her hand at him. “Maybe you are right about that. We probably wouldn’t lay down in a frozen meadow then. You are always right, aren't you? Thus we probably wouldn't hold hands either?"

"Exactly," the husband replied, "and there wouldn’t be millions of stars, because the sky would be filled with black clouds, bursting with snow." He raised his index finger for a second. "And you know what else woman? That snow would fall down on our farm.”

“I see," his wife answered. "Well, and next we would freeze to death because there wouldn't be any wood for the stove.”

The husband looked at her suspiciously and added “And why wouldn't there be any wood for the stove?”

His wife replied, "You aren't much of a woodchopper, are you?”

“This really pisses me off,” the man shouted. “How can you be so sure that I'm not much of a woodchopper? Have you ever seen me chop any wood? No, you haven't, you stupid bitch…”

“Now hear what you just said, “his wife said laughing sharply. “That is exactly why you aren’t much of a wood chopper, you fool...”

“You know what?” the man added from between his teeth. “I’m sure one day you would decide you would rather live in the fucking city and you would dream about a house in a town, and one day we would move out of that beautiful place and we would find ourselves an ordinary house in an ugly city." Then he shouted: "Actually I’m sure we would buy the fucking house we live in right now, and we would watch TV, evening after evening, fighting about stupid little things.”

Next there was a big silence between them.

“You are such an asshole,” the woman said after some time, “If that were true, then how come we are so unhappy?”

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Still Dirty And Smudged By The Land

I really, really like this letter, because it is such a depressing letter. Posted by Hello

My father refused to serve in the army. In 1952 it was forbidden to refuse to serve in the army. That’s why my father had to serve in a camp for guys that refused to serve in the army. He had to work in the fields. He had to cut open the earth and carry smudge to another field. At July 31, 1952, he wrote this letter to my mother. They weren’t married yet.

Vledder, July 31 1952


Still dirty and smudged by the land, I don’t feel like washing myself. I sit here to write this final letter.
What should I do now? I am too worn-out anyway. How can I gather the strength together to hold myself back from calling you?
What is going on in Amsterdam? Why, goddamned, am I so far away from everything?

It is hard you didn’t write me, yet.
Is it so that you think "if he doesn’t write me… well, I won’t either?" Bah…
Or didn’t you even noticed that I didn’t write you?

God, glowing God, I’m so exhausted. What a support you are to me while I rot away here.

Why should I still care?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

A Good Shape

Picture: Daphne Buter. Posted by Hello

How I remember the girl that drowned in the canal across our street. She had been playing close to the edge. And soon not even her mother knew where to find her.

Winter came and frost covered the water. We tried to forget about the missing girl, so, we skated on the arctic canal plate.
But in the end we saw a shadow, hovering… The shadow of a face when the sun killed the ice and then her face rose like a moon of flesh.

How I remember the girl’s face, and that my mother couldn’t stop talking about the hat that was still on the child's head when they found her; because I think it really amazed my mother that the hat was still in such good shape.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Where Do You Keep Your Marbles, Honey?

It is evening. My husband has fallen asleep on the couch. His mouth wide open. I wonder what would happen if I roll a marble into his oesophagus.

A thought like that is immoral, I think. But still I wonder what would happen if I roll a marble into his oesophagus. So, lets imagine this. Afterwards I shall decide whether imagining things are the same as doing them.
I stand up and walk to my little daughter. She is playing Twister with her little feet and hands and arms and legs in a knot. She looks like a smashed spider with trembling limbs.

I say: ‘Where do you keep your marbles, honey?’

‘In daddy’s oesophagus,’ she answers.

Okay, this is where life gets stuck between fantasy and reality. No it isn’t. It never was reality to begin with. It wasn’t a dream either, but just a thought. So it got stuck in this story. Although that smashed spider over there says she keeps her marbles in the oesophagus of her father, this doesn’t mean a thing. I am the writer here. I can make her say anything I want. So let me ask her again.

‘Baby, where do you keep your marbles?’

‘I have no marbles left. Go look in daddy’s shit.’

I am sorry. This is in fact the problem with me. If I have something in my mind I don’t feel like ignoring it. So from here we must go on. We do know now that the marbles are in fact in the oesophagus of my husband. I didn’t roll any of them inside his open mouth so he must have eaten them all. That is too bad, but still I have the marbles where I want them.
Would he eat them if he didn’t like marbles in his oesophagus?