“You will win, because you have more than enough brute force. But you will not convince.”
Important words uttered by Miguel de Unamono at the University of Salamanca in October 1936, adressing General Millán Astray, leading figure among the Fascist rebels.
‘I never imagined that it would take so long’ she said, smoothing out an imaginary crease on her pants as she sat hunched in her late husbands arm chair.
‘What do you mean?’ I asked.
‘This! Dying!’ She waved at me, irritated that I could need clarification on such a simple statement. ‘It’s just too annoying. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, my entire body aches… I fart and burp without being able to control it. The diapers… And still I just won’t die!’
I laughed at that, recognizing the truth in her words and appreciating her candor.
‘You never were one of patient types, were you?’
‘But I won’t ask for euthanasia!’ She bristled. ‘Not for any moral or religious reasons mind you, simply because I don’t like the thought of what it does to the person injecting the needle, of how it must affect them.’
‘But this’ she gestured at at her frail little body with bony hands. A body that only a year or so ago seemed strong as iron. ‘this is already gone. I have maybe a week left at the most and I won’t let them drag me off to a hospital before this’ she gestured at her forehead ‘is gone too.’ She raised a threatening finger; ‘Or else!’
She settled in agin, a quirky little smile on her face. ‘Besides, they can always give me some more of those pain killers – that morfin. Stuff’s just the same as what they kill you with, only in smaller doses…”
“I scarce know her, for the beauty of her cheek hath, like the moon, suffered strange eclipses since I beheld it: women are like medlars, no sooner ripe but rotten.”
Thomas Deker “The Honest Whore”
These past few months…
I hardly care to recall. Nothing dramatic, nothing traumatic. Just your regular restaurant opening with all that that entails.
17 hour shifts, tightly strung nerves, untrained waiters let wild into a fully booked restaurant, middle management turning out to be one service away from cooking a hare on a stove, chefs with well developed ADHD and god knows what other letter combinations and of course an average of over 200 guests a day.
I have never felt as inept as I have these past months. I know very well what my weaknesses are, and I am fairly certain about my strengths. But what good are they when you are facing an army ten times the size of your own and you are only equiped with the newest recruits?
And yet, maybe the odds are what makes the job so enticing? If I’m not sacked in the nearest future maybe I’ll find out…
It is true as it is writ. Three red luggages thrown at intervals down an escalator will result in a sorrowful and violent mass grave of pedestrians.
A foot lodged into the side of a moving staircase will result in sparks of fire and eruptions of blood.
Traveling with pets is allowed only if the animal is held as high or higher than the head of an average child or person smaller than the adjacent person. No bartering or exchanging of pets for people is allowed.
Non-violent lie-down in the central commercial street in Malaga.
The painters city has no scent. Wether strolling down the tiled streets of the city centre or roaming the flowering gardens and Roman theatre, one is completely robbed of odoric input. Not even the harbor graces one with it’s pungent aromas.
Imagine a port that doesn’t smell of sea, of seaweed and salt and tar, of rotting hemp and wasted bones…
There is something fowl afoot here, and one would be wise to steer clear of it’s gates!
Throughout the dismal and dreary repetition of hours that we sum up in days there lie sparks in wait. Sparks – small, shimmering nuggets of pleasure or pain, casting light of a near blinding intensity from certain angles yet easily overlooked from others.
In fact, one can wander through life without ever being struck by the rays of these objects.
In fact, most people prefer the awkward shuffle of the shadow path.
In fact, most people are passive morons.
For those of us who enjoy and even seek out these sparks each and every one contains a new experience or sensation, more often than not found in the most unexpected places.
Drinking a bottle 1996 Accomasso Barolo on a balcony whilst observing both shooting stars and an ongoing volcano eruption is definitely high on my list of experiences. Enjoying a quickie halfway up the slopes of Mount Etna is a recent but enjoyable addition. Roaming the late night streets of Palermo – the heat still radiating off the asphalt and the scent of spices thick in the air – is always a dangerous pleasure. Standing absolutely still in a vineyard almost two centuries old, breathing in the wafting scents and feeling a careful breeze caress you as the world spreads out beneath you… is a spark that doesn’t burn itself out but nestles deep within you, ready to be rekindled and relived.
Sicily is a miniature of the world we know, the first prototype of what would later become the earth. And being so it is such a hotbed of sparks it might as well be crackling with the roar of a thousand forest fires.
…or you could always choose the shadow path..
Limbo. It’s more than just a word. More than intoxicated people struggling to move their bodies past a cane placed at an unfortunately low height. More than a loose association of letters…
Limbo is a state of flux. An inbetween. A still picture of movement.
And being that even the definition of limbo cements and lineates it’s unwillingness to be pinned down and defined it is no wonder that I sit here – in awe – in an undisclosed airport and watch as masses gravitate according to unknown principles.
In Dante’s Inferno limbo is where the weaving of worlds meet. Home to some of the most profound and sentient souls. In it’s center burns an open fire, and the stories that are weaved around it tell of worlds lost kingdoms past.
In modern day airports limbo is all about getting your soya milk moccachino, tax-free Absolut Vodka and carry-on bag in synch in order to make it to Gate B34 in time to grab the Guardian before boarding closes.
We all face our individual challenges.
They’re always watching you..
… The Canadian South Park police force make their presence known even as far as Verona on an innocent and sunny Sunday afternoon.