Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another one

Tonight I saw one more dead body in Tbilisi. I don't want to count any more. If I count now, I will remember all of them. It's at least five, the ones I've seen with my own eyes. People gathered aroung the tree which the car ran into and next to it someone lying. He was not covered. No body I've seen was covered. And people staring.

I think this is the strongest reason why I want to get out of this country.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Taking off

One of those take offs. The airplane speeded on the grumpy asphalt and I leaned back straight, as I do always. And the second it took off, I closed my eyes and leaned even stronger to the back of the chair, feeling almost lying on it and this physical feeling was so strong, probably because of my emotional state. Together with that awkward physical sensation I felt overwhelmingly happy. So happy that tears gathered inside my eyes. I felt so there, so alive. Happy, out of nothing.

It must have been the book. I had been reading it for more than four hours now starting from the airport in Prague. One line, which the book characters found in one of the bars saying ‘Combat alcoholism by drinking wine’ made me smile. I had been drinking wine each evening last week, and in fact I’ve been keen on wine past three years.

Little details that construct life is in fact life itself. Just small details. Or things, that can be expressed in small details. There is this large nonsense, immobility, routine and then, there are these small details that mean so much.

The sixth chapter. Anne goes to Chicago and meets Luwis. The characters in this book unfold in front of me like absolutely real people, whom I study, observe, change opinion about them, change the way I perceive them. I recognize myself in those simple words and I feel confident. No more loneliness.

‘But if I come, that would be to see you. Do you have any time?’
‘I have all my time’, he said laughing. ‘My time is all mine.’
From ‘The Mandarins’ by Simone de Beauvoir

How at that moment I wished I were brave enough for my time to be all mine. No, in fact that’s just a justification of wasting my time, or rather, taking it too seriously. I take my time too seriously. Happiness has no time frame. It exists in somewhere beyond time and space. And sometimes I grasp it. I just need a push. In this chapter she is happy. No, that is not the word.

‘Nothing was asked of me; I had to be exactly what I was and a man’s desire transformed me into a miracle of perfection. It was so restful that if the sun had stopped in the middle of the sky, eternity would have slipped by without my noticing it.’
From ‘The Mandarins’ by Simone de Beauvoir

Before these hours of reading on the plane and in the airports, we got into a car to drive from Kolin to Prague. There were three of us and we had to squeeze in the back seat as we were told the driver had a company. En elder woman, Marjike, grew nervous as the driver stood talking of the phone, not hurrying to start moving. He did not speak English. And it was funny conversation as Marjike was explaining to him that her plain was leaving at 3.00 and the driver giving a long monologue in Czech with a ridiculing face. So we waited. The one sitting between us in the back was Sofia, a beautiful Spanish energetic woman. She took everything so close, I wished I could be able to get involved in other people’s demands so easily. I thought her unshaved armpit suited her and it looked beautiful, as if that’s how it should have been anyhow. Then a blond girl walked out of pizzeria across the road holding a pizza box. She was wearing cheap jeans and a pink jumper. There it was, we had been waiting for her. She sat next to the driver and I imagined them together. As they ate pizza, they were looking at each other and exchanging words and I felt they both had in mind their previous night or an upcoming one. Their pizza eating interaction had something erotic to it. They resembled couple for some film I had seen once or several times.

Landing in Tbilisi made me close the book. I was restless. I wanted to continue. At least continue to be awake. It was over 3 o’clock in the morning when the plane landed. And now, I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


In the inn where they had just dined, they were drinking a muderously stron white liquor. Dubreilh had already set up his paraphernalia at one end of an oilcloth-covered table.
'Yes', Henri said. His eyes obediently followed the pencil point along red, yellow, and white lines. 'How can you choose between those little roads?'
'That's the fun of it'.
The fun of it, Henri thought, was seeing how perfectly the future followed your plans: every turn, every upgrade and downgrade, every hamlet was in its foreseen place. What security! You felt as if your life was a cocoon spun from within your own body. And yet the metamorphosis of printed words and lines into real roads, real houses, gave you what no man-made creation can give: reality.

from The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir

Thursday, March 19, 2009

from Prague to Brussels

I thought I would wait until the bus would get to Germany. I was enjoying the torment of keeping them in the head and promised myself would hold them on until Germany. But then it was the fear which has always come true. They just drip away…

At one point, some long time ago, I realized I was not unique at all. I remember it was a disappointing feeling. But then it was also that I found myself more open. Because I already know how others were. They were just like me.

Now listening to my small iPod that Christina brought me, carrying that bag and the jacket I wore today, myself reminds me of you. All the way we were driving I was feeling reshuffled as each composition was so different from the next. I felt alive.

It was also because of The Mandarins. I am being reaffirmed that I want more. The skin around me is so tight and also so fluid making you both rigid and slightly movable inside, confirming there is a possibility to move more. I’m not sure if I put this right. That energy which is maybe beyond my capacity is torturing me pleasantly. I want to do drugs. I want to transform together with any tiny detail of experience. She is so much like me but also so distant. The approaching, pushing away the distance is so desirable but also so dangerous. Like a pleasant hazardous play.
The love that I desire to bare in myself, which I might be bearing anyhow, is the life.

The other day I watched a film by a Polish director ‘Yodok Stories’. I’ve become extremely sensitive to the unhappiness of others. This film is about concentration camps in North Korea. Unbelievable, how unimaginative cruelty can exist in the modern world, which we call postmodernism, or info wave or computer era, or whatever. Everything is just nothing to what is happening in this country of over a dozen million inhabitants. In these concentration camps, as told by the witnesses now residing in South Korea, people are tortured inhumanly because their loyalty towards the leader has been doubted. Without trial, only because a member of their family either escaped from the country, or said there is not enough rice for everybody, was captivated. Some would die of hunger there; some would eat a child to survive. The guy was saying, someone had confessed he had killed a 5 year old child, thrown away the head and eaten his hands and legs. One woman was telling, in the camps, children had big bellies because of malnourishment. Mothers had to find pregnant rats and get the baby rats out of their stomach, because they had no fur yet, and to feed them to their children. She said these kinds of rats were rare and children who ate unborn rats did not have big bellies.

For those who had to be executed, there were special cabins. They are narrow cabins for one person to fit in. But they are not as tall as a human being. That means, whoever is sent inside, has to stand there slightly bent. This is the execution. They have to stand there like that until they die.

There was one boy who had escaped North Korea through crossing the river towards China. The first thing he said that surprised him was that someone smiled at him. He said at home I would never let myself express my feelings. I imagined, or at least I tried to imagine, how it is to live never, never expressing what you feel. With the camps, the stories were told in such a calm way. The way you tell something that is very common. And these stories are the most (I cannot even give it a name) I have ever heard or felt.

Another thing was that those who would manage to escape to China, would be captured by Chinese and sent back to North Korea, where they were naturally sent to the camps. Neglect has such a major part in all our minds. I regret once in a while, probably only when the humanity’s injustice opens my eyes, why I not an activist. Such a stupid thought. A thought of temporary convenience.

I was happy driving sitting in the bus, listening to music, looking ahead of me at the road and thinking of different things that had inspired me recently. I should have seen Prague in warmer weather. It had this spirit of waking and walking and sitting on a bench on the river side. I saw Andy Warhol’s motion picture.

“I cound never finally figure out if more things happened in the sixties because there was more awake time for them to happen in (since so many people were on amphetamine), or if people started taking amphetamine because there were so many things to do that they needed to have more awake time to do them in…” – Andy Warhol.

So one video depicted his partner, a man, sleeping for several hours. So that if the sleep would ever become extinct, this would be the evidence that this is how it was. Then there were portraits of other people, most beautiful women and most beautiful men, as he called those video installations. Then there were couples kissing. I liked the idea of the kissing sequence to be a revenge of the new movie industry rule not to show couples kissing for more than 3 seconds. Here they kiss for three minutes. And also there was a man’s face being given a blow job. The face and the title of video Blow Job create the coherency. Each of the two would have no meaning without the other. I admire the idea of context out of fragments.

The definitions make life simple to judge, but can be an easy mislead, or just an assumption, which stores so much more beyond.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

'I don't think it matters much what kind of tag you put on things that happened in the past,' I said. 'What matters is the future'.

'That's just it,' he said spiritedly. 'To make something good of the future, you have to look the present in the face. And I get the distinct impression that these people here aren't doing that at all. Dubreuilh talks to me of a literary review, Parron of a pleasure trip. They all seem to feel they'll be able to go on living just like before the war'.

The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir