TranslatingRitaSophie

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WWWBT 16 – H and the auto-irony

I have always liked to watch the sky. I remember tuning in with nameless constellations at night, when sleep was still far away and I was eight. Or nine. And I was a little closer to the sky.

I grew up in a small mountain town in the center of the country. I was crossing the street to buy bread and on the left, there they were! Compared to Everest, they are small dwarfs, but to a little girl crossing the street to buy bread they were the highest and the most beautiful mountains in the world. With their snow covered picks and their hiding behind thick clouds during unfortunate – weather-wise – days, they were exhaling a certain witticism that I was trying all my life to acquire… To no avail!

These days, chilly winter days in the Desert, the sky seemed closer than ever! Or someone really went up there, dusted a little all the warmth of the summer, and all of a sudden, as if indeed the sky was closer – but not because we were higher, I mean on a mountain or anything, but the sky had literally been dragged or pushed down closer to the ocean (that’s a nice image, don’t you think?), I could count almost ten stars if I squinted and tried really hard!

I was sitting on the balcony last night with H, and tried to put all this into words. I think I must have said something similar, though for sure I was not that fluent. If I don’t open my mouth, words are more colourful and phrases slither mischievously like a Basilisc on red wine. Unfortunately, until we evolve accordingly so we can communicate telepathically, I have to open my mouth and utter these words, which break loudly as the Magic Mirror would, if Ugly Betty had taken a glimpse in it. (see, I had to open my mouth to have another sip of red wine…. the last phrase makes no sense… but I like it!).

I haven’t written in a long time and obviously, you don’t know who H is.

Once upon a time, almost ten months ago, I met H. Lara had invited him at the last Christmas party. Tall, brunet, dreamy – both from a psychological (meaning a little introvert) and esthetical point of view, H had become a good friend. A very good friend. Obviously, at one point I got so infatuated with him that it hurt! Not because he had shown any interest in me. On the contrary! Mostly, because I was feeling very comfortable with him. Because I could be me, no dissimulations. No cheap games, no eyelashes battering, no lip gloss and not too many euphemisms. But then, after he had explained me, wordlessly, and very emotionlessly, that he had no romantic interest in me whatsoever, I concluded I needed him. As a friend I can always count on. Not for spooning me at night in bed, but for almost anything else. I had a faint recurrence when he started growing a beard, but one thing my father taught me (actually, the only one), is that you cannot force someone to love you. So, we continued meeting, watching movies together, had lunches or dinners, drinking wine or beer, talking about faith and agnosticism, erotic art and achromatopsia, depression and money, Star Wars and Swedish cinema, and many other things that either I don’t remember or they’re not worth being listed here.

That particular winter evening, besides counting invisible stars, and empty bottles of red wine, I would have liked to convince H I was Claudia Schiffer and invite him in my bedroom. For younger readers, Claudia Schiffer is/was a blonde German model; and no, I wouldn’t necessarily want to look like her, but at least have her body fat. Certain movements among the silky sheets require a specific body fat… otherwise the sheets may mimic indelible tsunamis… And the only indelible images I would like H to keep are those of my perfectly coordinating movements in the kitchen – throwing pancakes in the air, magically catching them on a plate, seasoning them with three kinds of jam and… You didn’t expect this, right? The truth is that I’m neither Claudia Schiffer, nor Martha Stewart. I’m just a slightly depressed introvert with a slightly increased BMI, not too much self-esteem and all this is the real reason I’ve been sleeping alone for the past many years. Agreeing that sleeping with the Tomcat doesn’t count.

How to end an auto-ironic text – irony supposedly being the intelligent prelude of eroticism? Maybe it’s better to stick to star gazing, platonic friendship with very interesting men who are not interested in me, day dreaming about Victoria’s Secret catwalk parading bodies and struggling to finish a book about cyber paraphilia (Mary Aiken – The Cyber Effect).

 

THE KISS

First

I tasted your upper lip.

And no one ever told me

bitter cherries could recite

love poems

so graciously.

 

The lower lip

would not stop narrating

cheesy chansonnettes.

So I told it a riddle

and I kiss it minutiously.

 

As for your tongue…

Well…

That is a too complicated story –

Something like

Schrödinger’s cat:

maybe there’s love there,

maybe there isn’t.

 

 

THE RHETORICAL MERMAID

When suddenly there’s no Sun

And your eyes disappear like the Cheshire cat

I feel like a mermaid –

And no, not the one everyone knows about.

This mermaid remembers the embrace of men

As clearly as the snow on the Kilimanjaro some bearded man

Wrote about sometime before I knew your eyes.

 

And why a mermaid would write poems

Is as rhetorical as why the Cheshire cat

Would play chess with Hemingway!

 

THE BUTTERFLY 2

I lit a timid candle

Just to see your eyes.

I knew they shone stronger than my thoughts,

my dreams,

my everyday resurrection.

 

I smoked a cherry cigarette

just to remember your sweet lips

on my butterfly shoulder,

on my always questioning eyes,

on my ever doubting mouth.

 

I sipped the last drop of solitude

It tasted bitter and addictive

Like a butterfly that lost its left wing

Just to hope the right one will hold you… soon.

THE BUTTERFLY

My guts are full of butterflies.

Dormant, waiting,

Knowing You will come.

My butterflies,

lost in the confusion

of old infatuations…

Afraid to ever spread their wings

Relinquished their crown

Fallen into oblivion…

One of them, though,

one flicker of hope

emerged on my right shoulder

from there it seems to be calling

silently

imperceptibly

the call only You can hear.

HEART AND WINGS

 

“… after years of sitting he decided to walk again

and look for his wings

That is when he started to fly

wingless with heart.” (Bahareh Amidi)

 

And my White Angel from far away had said to me

‘Home is where your heart is’

She had said.

And I checked behind the sternum

And It wasn’t there!

And I don’t know where

I left it

on a corner of a bedside table

near a bed we made love in

once

I really don’t know where my heart is

I am confident it knows the way

back home to me

Like a bored tomcat

Following a crescent.

Message in a bottle

Thank you!

Thank you for having been there for me that day!

Thank you!

That was all. I looked. I turned the page. I searched for more pages. I even looked for more bottles.

I looked at my sand castles hoping to find an answer there. Stupid, right? I hadn’t built sand castles in ages. But John’s kid had insisted and eventually it had been fun til the waves brought the bottle right to my feet. As if I was the consignee. As if the sender had known it would reach me. Exactly today, on this God foresaken beach.

What if it was me who wrote this? That day, when you came and saved my soul from restless roaming. When you looked into my eyes and told me that everything would be ok. And everything eventually was, because you saved me. And I could never thank you.

Because of that, I wrote this message, put it in a bottle, threw it into the ocean, hoping to reach you some day. Hoping it will cross all the oceans of time and oblivion.

And because it came back to me, does this mean it never reached you? That would be sad, indeed…

Or it is maybe for the best. I should really call you some day and tell you. Loud and clear.

Thank you!

I MISS YOU

I miss you.

I miss the mole on your right thigh

I called Perfection

for it spoke to me in that indelible language of ‘I know you’!

I miss you.

I miss the continent of your left knee

which sang to me

the mermaid song of ‘I will never forget you’!

‘I miss you’,

wispers ceaselessly my right ventricle

like a constant whistle

redefining  your silhouette on my sheets…

WWWBT 15 – MONOIDEISM or let’s talk about…

Cockroaches. The ugly, disgusting, brown ones, which are wandering my kitchen and my subconsciousness. . The ones not even my bloody Tomcat kills. And he literally kills any small moving creatures around. Well, hunts, plays with…

Any respectable neighbourhood in Dubai has its roaches. Bigger ones in Meadows, or Springs, or JLT. Reasonable ones in Teacom. And smelling-impaired ones in International City – because of the sewage treatment plant, of course. I bet 100 Dhs they’re smelling-impaired. No sane creature would willingly choose to live there. Les connaîsseurs savent!

Today, my Tecom roaches expressed their appreciation for my cooking skills by getting out alive and walking from the microwave, on the plate I was heating my famous chicken stew. And I was sooooo hungry! I finished by having several gin tonics. There must be some calories in the gin tonic, right? Eventually, the scientists must know that: roaches are immune to my hatred and the waves in the microwave. Someone let them know, I’m enjoying my gin. And Bob Dylan!

One man! Who’s not THE MAN. It’s just one man you get to let under your skin, though he might not have wanted to get there in the first place. And there’s nothing else you can think about. Ok, you’re right, there are millions of things to think about, and you have a job and you should really let the guys at work be sure you’re thinking exclusively to the business problems. (I think I’m hungry!) Focus, Clara! One man! His blue eyes, and his arms, and his back and all the silence between the words. What words? There were no words! He said something about a croissant. I didn’t say anything. And days go by, and problems in the office aren’t getting any less, and roaches are tasting your dinner – in the microwave, has anybody informed those scientists?!!, and this is the craziest music compilation I’ve ever listened : B. B. King, Snoop Doggy Dog, Boyzone, Bob Dylan and now Edith Piaf. Oh, what do you know, I stopped for a second to think about The Man. Does this mean monoideism is curable? I’m kidding. Let’s talk about…

Weekends… Hm, I’ve already talked about them! (check the other chapters!)

Belgian Beer Café, in Grand Millenium, Tecom. Wonderful pub! Spent many nice afternoons there, with Lara. And Tecom is full of hotels, consequently pubs. We like to go to Belgian Beer Café. I like to go there. Because of my monoideism. That’s what we’re talking about, remember? Having gone to one pub, and continuing to go there because it’s cosy, because you know how the tables are arranged, and the plasma TVs, and the beer, and the rib eye, and the conversations are witty…

Lara: ‘So? How was he?’

What can you tell about a man you know almost nothing about? And everything in the same time? There are at least three shades of grey in his blue eyes. That would be the most important thing. Then he is a man of very, very few words. Mostly onomatopoeia. Bear sounds when squat holding. Lion sounds when… Do lions like croissants? I bet they do! If roaches like my chicken stew…

Monoideism – a state of prolonged absorption in a single idea:

Murakami.

Above and Beyond.

X Japan.

Running.

Circuit Factory.

Alice in Wonderland.

Turtles.

Butterflies.

And life!

WWWBT 14 or the never ending story

Of course I didn’t go to Su’s party. I cannot even remember why. I might have been busy that evening. Watching CSI. Listening to Barbra Streisand. Trying to write something. Knitting… So many interesting things a woman with her bloody TomCat can do! I mean, why would she go out, meet some nice people (all people are nice after some gin tonic!) and maybe, just maybe, end up making out with the sexiest man of the last decade? Really, why?
Lara was the one pointing it out.
‘You didn’t go?’
Silence. She seems so serious, I’m afraid she’ll start yelling at me. And I use to break into a million of small pieces whenever I’m yelled at. And it’s soooo complicated to put them all back!
‘You didn’t go? Why? You were waiting for Ulysses? Godot? End of the world? What exactly stopped you from going?’
And if I had an answer to this question, would it change anything? I’m not telling her that, she’s got a nasty look in her eyes. Like she’s just discovered one of my spiders in her tea. Or worse, her beer.
‘Are you planning to join some convent or something?’
I’m looking at her exactly as the model who was posing for some angel to Michelangelo must have looked at the painter.
‘Honestly now, what’s your problem? You don’t like the CF guy anymore? Still mourning Luca? Are you menstruating?’
‘Please, TomCat can hear you!’
We start laughing.
I brewed some coffee, lit some cherry cigarettes and we decided to talk about anything else but the CF guy, her problems in the office, global warming or why Cinderella should have worn some Nike sneakers instead of that crystal pointed shoes… Those Grimm guys were some misogynistic little….
‘Oh, come on, you haven’t worn any crazy shoes when you were young?’
Lara doesn’t have that serious look anymore, she is relaxed and very intellectual on a nice, peaceful Thursday evening.
‘Oh, yes,’ I reminisce… ‘There was a black suede pair, high-heels, really high, thick sole, with laces. Really sexy…’
‘And I bet there was no misogynistic little…. to force you to wear them… Though they would kill your feet, and you would walk funny…’
‘What do you know?’, I ask rhetorically, with a little smile in the corner of my eyes.
I remember about my strutting on the boulevard, with my little grey dress, showing off my knees…
‘Hey, come back!’
Lara pulls me out of my reverie, and I’m back in my living room talking about anything but the Japanese killing dolphins, bad people killing rhinos, Ebola and that nice movie with Dustin Hoffman…
‘Clara!’
Lara’s voice is serious, and I know I will have to speak about my not going to Su’s party.
I must look pretty desperate, because Lara gets up, hugs me and says…
‘I really need to go.’
As simple as that.
I’m alone with my thoughts, my hedonistic TomCat and I think I’m going to bed, I need to wake up early tomorrow.

(…)

CF session is as hard as usual, but somehow I’m enjoying it at maximum. I have days when I can barely run the mile, and then I simply drag myself from one station to another. But today is different. Today I’m super planking as if there’s no tomorrow, and I jump like the craziest little goat in Africa, and… I’m feeling watched. Have you ever had this feeling you’re being watched? You cannot literally dot the I, but there’s a sort of burden which makes all your crazy butterflies in the stomach go mad in the same time, and that’s not good.
The class is over, I drive back home, take all the sweat stuff off me, and yes, taking off sweaty sport bras is the worst, you need to contort and use inappropriate language and finally it’s off. And the shower is a bliss and someone’s at the door. I turn off the water and keep quiet, hoping the unexpected guest – most probably the security guy or CD sellers or who cares, would go away thinking I’m not at home. The bell rings again, impatiently. What if there’s a fire? I can’t hear any fire alarm though. I decide to answer, eventually. I put the bath gown on my wet skin, I’m all naked of thoughts, of desires, it’s just early morning, and I feel alive. Sounds contradictory, but it isn’t!
He stands in front of my door, with a newspaper under his right arm, his tired smile, and his incredibly grey blue eyes.
‘Hi!’
I open the door wide, and he enters my apartment.
I close the door behind him and I grip my gown close to my wet skin. I decide to play the nonchalant card and I ask him if he wants a coffee.
He must have been for a run, he’s all sweaty and extraordinary cool. Mr. CF guy is in my living room, reading his newspaper while he waits for the coffee.
‘Some croissants would have been amazing.’
His voice is incredibly calm. He looks at me with that look I felt all morning in CF.Was he there? How did he know where I lived? What is he doing here? Does he want to know why I didn’t go to Su’s party? Does he simply want to have a coffee with me? While I’m dressed in a questionable bath gown? Is he tired as well of not knowing what my skin tastes like? Or how many moles are there on my left elbow?
I’ve been fantasizing about this man for almost a year. Maybe more. Time is of no relevance here. You can get infatuated with a pair of blue eyes and tens of years can pass by, and you’re in the same place, with your high heels, black suede shoes, strutting on the boulevard of your reminiscences…
The coffee is ready and we are both drinking it in silence.
Then I know I cannot wait anymore.
I stand up, walk in front of him and I split my gown open. He puts down the cup of coffee and he helps me get rid of the gown. His palms are rough, my skin burns and I close my eyes while he gets me in his arms and carries me to the bedroom.

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