Uit: Carnets Impudiques
«… Sans les femmes, je ne serais rien. Je suis rassuré de l’entendre. – Jean-Edern, viens, viens… Je suis venu, et en me redressant, je suis allé me regarder dans la glace du cabinet de toilette, les cheveux hirsutes, le poil dru sur le menton, entre des plaques espacées de peau douce, qui sont toujours restées imberbes depuis mes blessures d’enfance, lors du siège de Budapest, en 1945. J’ai les paupières lourdes, les cernes sous les yeux, rimmelisé d’épuisement, acteur et unique spectateur de mon théâtre intime, je deviens à la fois Auguste le clown, et Auguste l’empereur, dont Suétone racontait qu’au dernier jour de sa vie, réclamant un miroir, il demandait à ses proches « s’il avait bien joué jusqu’au bout la farce de sa vie ».
“Je lui passe le volant à 150, 180, 190, elle appuie sur l’accélérateur.
– Et si nous avions un accident d’amour ? me dit-elle.
– Quand tu veux, mais après une dernière nuit… Pensais-je, sans lui dire, en la contemplant de profil. Elle était presque redevenue belle : pas encore assez nue sous sa robe, peut-etre. Ca ne m’empechait pas de la regarder exprès dans les virages, à son grand désespoir, pour voir si elle était mieux que la mort.”
Jean-Edern Hallier (1 maart 1936 – 12 januari 1997)
“He likes this atmosphere of Saturday night, the movement of customers, those mixed smells, – of salted fish, spices, arak ( he who hated strong alcohol), those humble stalls which were set uo under the banian tree for the afternoon: the vegetable sellers, the old Minatchi who sold peanuts ( her mouth was all red with betel leaves)m Soukdeo who sold chili cakes, the barber…
It was payday and Cassim was there too. He had come to fetch money from his customers…. And unruly Manilal, holding a stick and an umbrella, emblems of his rank, and the large watch which he incessantly pulled out of his jacket to show his importance.
He was the sirdar, who cammanded in the field. Sirdar also by his moustache and his belly. As soon as he appeared, everyone was warned from far ahead…“
Marcel Cabon (29 februari 1912 – 31 januari 1972)
The Bewildered Guest
I WAS not asked if I should like to come.
I have not seen my host here since I came,
Or had a word of welcome in his name.
Some say that we shall never see him, and some
That we shall see him elsewhere, and then know
Why we were bid. How long I am to stay
I have not the least notion. None, they say,
Was ever told when he should come or go.
But every now and then there bursts upon
The song and mirth a lamentable noise,
A sound of shrieks and sobs, that strikes our joys
Dumb in our breasts; and then, some one is gone.
They say we meet him. None knows where or when.
We know we shall not meet him here again.
Before Him weltered like a shoreless sea
The souls of them that had not sought to be,
With all their guilt upon them, and they cried,
They that had sinned from hate and lust and pride,
“Thou that didst make us what we might become,
Judge us!” The Judge of all the earth was dumb;
But high above them, in His sovereign place,
He lifted up the pity of His face.
William Dean Howells (1 maart 1837 – 11 mei 1920)
Portret door Lilla Cabot Perry, 1912
“The Chevrolet passenger skimmer destabilized as it struck an air pocket. The pilot regained control in 1.47 seconds. Subadequate. Made a note: Manipulate Father into replacing her. Father made a short, sucking sound. Fear. Distaste. He said, “I hate these things.”
Response mode: teasing. “Daddy, you are such a wimp.” I thrust out my tongue, waved it side to side. Approximately eighty percent probability of a state change. I returned to the raveled cuff seam. Simple cross-stitch. Oddly soothing. Mira taught me.
“Leslie…” Father raised his right hand and swatted fast. Vision strobed. Visual faded to kino mode. Felt vector, danced to Father’s blind spot. Evaded hand.
Question: Should I have evaded? Would causing me pain have reduced Father’s stress level? Cost/benefit analysis: Judging by air pressure, effect would have been light pain, no damage. Father/subject Aubry Knight harbors subthreshold sadistic tendencies. Control tight. Likelihood of additional stress if Father/subject believes he has injured me.
I ducked in to kiss his cheek, making the sound they call giggling. Father’s cheek is generally stubbled by thirteen hundred hours. His testosterone level is approximately 140 percent of average. Note: Is Father XYY? Scan files. Satisfy curiosity.
Scent strong, musk-based. His melanin content is thirty percent higher than mine. If my growth patterns follow projection, I will have his bone structure, modified for estrogen levels. Will have Mother’s Polynesian cheeks and epicanthic folds. Ideal material for seductive subversion.”
Steven Barnes (Los Angeles, 1 maart 1952)
Uit: Here Lies the Heart
“I looked around. Squatting on the floor or sitting in the Buddha posture or lying prostrate face down, a number of Indians prayed – some of them reciting their mantras out loud. Several small monkeys came into the hall and approached Bhagavan. They climbed onto his couch and broke the stillness with their gay chatter. He loved animals and any kind was respected and welcomed by him in the ashram. They were treated as equals of humans and always addressed by their names. Sick animals were brought to Bhagavan and kept by him on his couch or on the floor beside him until they were well. Many animals had died in his arms. When I was there he had a much-loved cow who wandered in and out of the hall, and often lay down beside him and licked his hand. He loved to tell stories about the goodness of animals. It was remarkable that none of the animals ever fought or attacked each other.
After I had been sitting several hours in the hall listening to the mantras of the Indians and the incessant droning of flies, and lost in a sort of inner world, Guy Hague suggested that I go and sit near the Maharshi. He said, “You can never tell when Bhagavan will come out of samadhi. When he does, I am sure he will be pleased to see you, and it will be beneficial for you, at this moment, to be sitting near him.”
Mercedes de Acosta (1 maart 1893 – 9 mei 1968)