Ned / Eng
SEE | SAW (I, II & III – 2012)

Op uitnodiging van Rebecca Wilson nam ik samen met Basje Boer deel aan het See|Saw-project van de Amerikaanse website, waarbij een kunstenaar en schrijver op elkaars werk reageren. Het resulteerde in drie tekeningen van mij en evenveel teksten van Basje, hier te bekijken, of hieronder (scroll).


Room (By Basje Boer)

I want to invite you into my room. It's barely a room. It's barely
four walls,
two windows,
a view.

I used to dream about a house with no color. I scared myself thinking about far away cities and bleak rooms overlooking the river. Rooms where there was no heating and the one, sad curtain in front of the window shivered in the draft.
I was alone and
anything could happen. Choose a life.

Broad streets where a constant and medium paced stream of cars would pass by. Shops,
peep show theatres,
a movie theatre. A man handing out pamphlets. I have no place to go.

This is not my city.
This is not my country.
This is not my room.
This is not my home.
This is not my era.
It's exciting having nothing.

Invite me into your room. Let's go into one of those bars. Let's play a song on the jukebox. I'll lose you in the crowd. I'll have another drink. I'll go see a movie, the ticket's cheap and the poster looks kind of okay. Red carpet on the floor. The toilet's got a strange lock on it.

Invite me into your room. I choose this life. Let's meet for drinks in the hotel lounge. Let's go to a club after. I'll lose you in the crowd. My wallet gets stolen. There's always the possibility of having less. I'm just gonna take a taxi home, I like looking at the city lights from the car.
I want to invite you into my room but this fantasy won't be perfect unless I come home alone. Stay up all night because characters never sleep, ever.

Stay away from the window. It's no good unless I have nothing.


(Text: Basje Boer)

A tiny spot on the keyboard. You try to rub it off with your thumb. No luck. You try to scratch it off with your fingernail. The scratching makes the eeriest little sound. The other sounds in the room join in, the colors of the walls and the skin tone of your hand twist into a new, brighter color. You breathe in, you breathe out, you breathe in. The spot's gone.

You once watched a movie in school. They'd fashioned one of the rooms into a movie theatre. The kids from your class could hardly suppress their excitement, neither could you. But thinking back, the one thing about that day that really stuck was leaving the room after the film was finished. The tingling joy of seeing a good movie - it was Bram Stoker's Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola - and the excitement of breaking your school routine seemed to match the overwhelming experience of going from a pitch black room into a hallway that's soaked in the light of the afternoon sun, sending your eyes on a rollercoaster ride.

There were a few different routes you could walk to school. 
One of them led through a department store, where you read magazines in the bookshop or took the escalator one floor up, only to go straight down again.
But there was another route, going around the back of the department store, where a large window was covered in black from the inside so you couldn't see anything but yourself. The black mirror, you and your friends would call it. It was forbidden to look at the black mirror, you would surely die if you would.
You would take this route every once in a while, just to taunt the evil that was behind the black mirror. And sometimes you and your friends passed it while roaming the neighborhood. Run! you'd yell at each other once the window got in sight. An you would run, frantically, looking down at your feet.

It might be something in his eyes,
his smudgy jacket,
the trembling of his hands,
the way his lips jerk into something that could almost be a smile.
All the shapes and colors, the sounds and the funny little smells come together to form one, tense ball of something you could only describe as the truth - what else could it be?
All you know is, something's off. You know it, you're sure of it, you can sense these things.
It's this man, this stranger that stepped into the bar. You have a feeling about him. You can't explain it, how can you explain a feeling?
You can't afford to take a risk.
You might be wrong - but what if you're right?
You should take charge.
You have everything to lose.


City (Text: Basje Boer)

The thought occurs to me that none of this is real.

Amsterdam in the rain. I like the way the lights reflect in the puddles of water on the streets. I've always preferred the lights - street lights, neon signs, headlights - over people.

Each corner represents a different memory, each street is a chapter of the book that is my life.
I recall images, sentences, a single word, a gasp of air. But I can never get that one look right; the chronology of the night, the touch of his kiss, my head against the pavement.
The impossibility of going back in time makes me furious and excites me all the same. The past is a movie with an ever changing ending.

This is where the video game arcade used to be, with the pink flamingo painted on the wall outside.
This is where I sat at the bar, endlessly calling his number on the pay phone.
This is where my friend used to live. I can't even remember what she looked like. (Think about all those empty spaces where there could have been pictures.)
This is where I got that bump on my head. (It's still there.)

Amsterdam, waiting for the dark. The present is ugly, it lacks poetry. I'm waiting for the lights to go on.
I like the way memories of the past mix with memories of the movies I've seen, the books I've read. The present is ugly and unwavering.
I demand a love story.

This is where I got my first bike.
This is where I took a picture of a drunk tourist, his eyes obscured by a glass of beer. (I hung it on my wall.)
This is where we laughed instead of fought.
This is where he pushed me against the wall, not to hurt me but to kiss me.

I can never get that look right, that strange look when he left. (It's still there, that bump on my head.)

Amsterdam when the lights are on, and everything is possible. The thought occurs to me that none of this is real.
This is where I'm forever calling his number from a pay phone, asking the bartender for change.
I've always preferred fiction over reality.