Archive for March, 2013

Bermuda Triangle

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Already two hours of turbulence, and the only thing he’s thought about is drinking a cup of coffee. Take a seat, sir, the stewardess demands, with a voice so deep that rhymes with her heavy-custard lashes.

They’re flying over the Bermuda Triangle, and he thinks of being gobbled up by the sea, taken by extraterrestrials, seduced by paranormal activity. He concocts scenarios for these potential disappearances, but his more pressing craving, coffee, interrupts these attempts at narrative. If he would only be served a cup, he could be more concentrated.

The scene is of a modern orchestra in full performance, with an audience horrified by the uproar of its wind instruments. He can perceive the smell of vomit increasing. The drama. And now, aside from longing the aroma of fresh ground coffee, he yearns the scent of Brazilian Paprika… that perfume nestled in a miniature khaki-tweed bag packed in his carry-on, the fragrance he wears when he is in fact not in Brazil, a mnemonic device, Proustian madeleine, for his life there.

He only gets goose bumps when, at every jolt of the plane, his one aisle mate clings her nails on his arm; experiences dizziness by his other aisle-mate’s constant air tracing of the sign of the cross. Perhaps some coffee could induce in him a more appropriate level of anxiety, you know, to be more attuned to the spirit of the flight.

His calm body is sandwiched between these two nerve wrecks: one who’s probably never had a grip on life; the other who may have over-done it, confusing her religious ritual with air marshalling, wanting to guide something—this flight, the weather, their mortality—that she, that he, that all there, bound to seatbelts, wont ultimately get, at least this time around. Come on, one can’t even get a cup of coffee.

A ding-dong ring-tone marks survival. The aircraft has stabilized. The window shades are slowly lifted, and the light-blue hue of a clear sky illuminates the interior of the bird. Passengers slowly fall asleep from exhaustion, from their preceding edgy mood. There’s mostly silence, except for the stewards’ usher, their drink carts march. Coffee, sir? , she offers him. No, thank you, he replies decidedly, I’d actually prefer the drink pictured here.

Image: The June 11, 2007 magazine issue of The New Yorker, showing “Roy Spivey,” a short story by Miranda July illustrated with a photograph by William Eggleston.

From the Grapevines

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

At an acres-wide industrial dumpsite of hills made of obsolete machine parts, steel and other metal fragments ready to be molten for reuse. Some pieces from there will be taken integrally to create a sculpture.

– Shall we use the magnet or the hook?

– Would there be a difference?

– Both pick them up just fine. It’s just that the hook would leave a mark. The magnet doesn’t.

They’re on their way somewhere, waiting for someone. They’ve paused at the steps of a theatre that’s closed. It’s in the city center, and surrounding them is the jeer of a school recess nearby and the buzz of bureaucrats on their way to lunch.

– You can send any message telepathically, but for it to be actually communicated, reach, experienced, for that you need a willing receptor.

– You mean trust?

Prancing around, and overdressed for the occasion, an insect wears an aqua-litmus bugle-bead dress and a pair of Bolivian jet-black pompom earning in its delicately elongated mandarin antennas. They’ve met this elegant being in a fruit farm in the outskirts of the city. They’re in between rows of trees that move to the hiss of touching leaves provoked by the day’s breeze.

– Who would have thought that kiwi-tree branches were so entangled?

– Much more than a grapevine.

– And the eucalyptus skyscrapers there?

– They’re the farm’s walls, there to buffer the sound of the outside, you know, the highway, the cars, all that visual noise—they all however know they are in fact outside, but no one admits otherwise—you know—complicity called, begging understanding and for a more extended silence—to protect this environment.

Work brings the messmates together. Other possible affinities could be discovered as they speak, they seem to feel. It’s late in the evening, after dinner. Confessing experiences, sharing views.

– Attraction is different. It’s magnetic, a natural coming together.

– The other story is a condition of being taken, picked-up, apprehended.

– Unknowingly?

– Perhaps willingly.

– But what I like about sculpture is negative space.

– A modernist.

– Imaginably.

– That’s voluntarily, too.

– I mean the voids, that is what gives the contours to the thing, shapes what you see, discovering it, whatever it is, as you move.

Image: Capturing the winds of Osorio.