Uit: Quite Ugly One Morning
“The postman had noticed that the door was ajar and had knocked on it, then pushed it further open, leaning in to see whether the occupant was all right. Upon seeing what was within he had simultaneously thrown up and wet himself, the upper and lower halves of his body depositing their damning comments on the situation either side of the aperture.
‘Postman must be built like the fuckin’ Tardis,’ McGregor muttered to himself, leaving vomity footprints on the floorboards as he trudged reluctantly down the hall. ‘How could a skinny wee smout like that hold so much liquid?’
He had a quick look at the lumpy puddle behind him. Onion, rice, the odd cardamom pod. Curry, doubtless preceded by a minimum six pints of heavy. Not quite so appetising second time around.
He turned again to face into the flat, took a couple of short paces, then heard a splash and felt something splat against his calves.
‘Sorry, sir. Long jump never was my speciality. Guess I’ll be for the high jump now, eh? Ha ha ha.’
Ah yes, thought McGregor. Only now was it complete. Deep down he had suspected that it wasn’t quite cataclysmically hellish enough yet, but now Skinner was here, and the final piece was in place. What this situation had needed, what it had been audibly crying out for, was a glaikit, baw-faced, irritating, clumsy, thick, ginger-heided bastard to turn up and start cracking duff jokes, and here was PC Gavin Skinner to answer the call.
He was not going to lose his temper. He felt that on a morning like this, it was only a short distance between snapping at Skinner and waking up in a soft room in Gogarburn, wearing a jumper with sleeves that fitted twice round the waist. He breathed in and out, closing his eyes for a short, beautiful second.
‘Gavin, you’re on spew-guarding duty,’ he said calmly. ‘Stay there. Guard the spew.’
‘Do you want me to take down its details, sir?’ Skinner asked loudly in his inimitable jiggle-headed way. ‘Read it its rights maybe?’
‘Yes, Gavin,’ McGregor said wearily. ‘All these things.’
Dear Lord, he thought, don’t make me kill him today when I won’t enjoy it.“
Christopher Brookmyre (Glasgow, 6 september 1968)
Uit: The Invisible Circus
“She’d missed it, Phoebe knew by the silence. Crossing the lush, foggy park, she heard nothing but the drip of condensation running from ferns and palm leaves. By the time she reached the field, its vast emptiness came as no surprise.
The grass was a brilliant, jarring green. Debris covered it, straws, crushed cigarettes, a few sodden blankets abandoned to the mud.
Phoebe shoved her hands in her pockets and crossed the grass, stepping over patches of bare mud. A ring of trees encircled the field, coastal trees, wind-bent and gnarled yet still symmetrical, like figures straining to balance heavy trays.
At the far end of the field several people in army jackets were dismantling a bandstand. They carried its parts through the trees to a road, where Phoebe saw the dark shape of a truck.
She approached a man and woman with long coils of orange electrical cord dangling from their arms. Phoebe waited politely for the two to finish talking, but they seemed not to notice her. Timidly she turned to another man, who carried a plank across his arms. “Excuse me,” she said. “Did I miss it?”
“You did,” he said. “It was yesterday. Noon to midnight.” He squinted at her as if the sun were out. He looked vaguely familiar, and Phoebe wondered if he might have known her sister. She was always wondering that.
“I thought it was today,” she said uselessly.
“Yeah, about half the posters were printed wrong.” He grinned, his eyes a bright, chemical blue, like sno-cones.
It was June 18, a Saturday. Ten years before, in 1968, a “Festival of Moons” had allegedly happened on this same field. “Revival of Moons,” the posters promised, and Phoebe had juggled her shifts at work and come eagerly, anxious to relive what she’d failed to live even once.”
Jennifer Egan (Chicago, 6 september 1962)
Uit: Het lichten van de jaren
Eindeloos gaf Hij ons, mannen als jochies zo vrij
van vrees, het Katwijkse blauw. Als in den beginne.
Woorden vinden en gedragen weten. Ik door jou
en jij door mij. Wonderlijker dan liefde van vrouwen
nam ik je mee en jij mij. Toch? Als in de schepping
verbleven we – oh, ja! Maandenlang. Maar blijven ligt
niet in de lijn. Meer nog verdwenen we in de val ná
het ongerepte begin: we grijpen de hand de een
van de ander, want wij leven in dezelfde angst voor
’ t verwerpen waar eerder niets dan aanvaarden verbleef.
…………..En dan grijpen we mis. Zelfs de woorden
beklijven niet. Mijn vriend, alles komt om te verdwijnen
en, verdwenen, om nooit meer over leven te beschikken.
De kus smeedt het afscheid en snijdt de scheiding, waar
door de duinen de zweepslagen loeien, die, mijn broeder,
jou in mij voor altijd aan stukken slaan
…………..maar, opengereten, evenzo tot een gedicht
geheel van woorden knallen. Zó, ja, zó mag je mij verloren
gaan. Ja. Ja! Zó verdwijnen en verdwenen, weer
over leven beschikken, waarin een nieuwe schepping
schuilt. Ja! En vinden ligt in de lijn. Zelfs de woorden.
Aart G. Broek (Maasland, 6 september 1954)
“Maybe he was angry at the loss of his weapon or at my disobedience. Whatever the reason, this marked the end of the preliminaries. I was on the ground on my stomach. He sat on my back. He pounded my skull into the brick. He cursed me. He turned me around and sat on my chest. I was babbling. I was begging. Here is where he wrapped his hands around my neck and began to squeeze. For a second, I lost consciousness. When I came to, I knew I was staring up into the eyes of the man who would kill me.
At that moment I signed myself over to him. I was convinced that I would not live. I could not fight anymore. He was going to do what he wanted to me. That was it.
Everything slowed down. He stood up and began dragging me over the grass by my hair. I twisted and half crawled, trying to keep up with him. Dimly, I had seen the dark entrance of the amphitheater tunnel from the path. As we neared it, and I realized it was our destination, a rush of fear ran through me. I knew I would die.
There was an old iron fence a few feet out from the tunnel entrance. It was three feet high and provided a narrow space through which you had to walk in order to enter the tunnel. As he dragged me, as I scrambled against the grass, I caught sight of that fence and became utterly convinced that if he brought me beyond this point, I would not survive.
For a moment, as he dragged me across the ground, I clung feebly to the bottom of that iron fence, before a rough pull yanked me clean. People think a woman stops fighting when she is physically exhausted, but I was about to begin my real fight, a fight of words and lies and the brain.“
Alice Sebold (Madison, 6 september 1962)
Uit: Der andere Schlaf (Vertaald door Peter Handke)
„Nie überquere ich den Pont d’Iéna, ohne mich für einen Augenblick an das Geländer zu lehnen. War es hier oder weiter weg?
Mir scheint, es war etwa in der Mitte der Brücke, auf der Seite von Saint-Cloud. Mein Cousin packte mich unter den Armen und hob mich unversehens auf die Steinbrüstung. Ich stand da, vor Schreck stockte mir der Atem, ich schloß die Augen, und meine Hände verkrampften sich. Dann traf mich Claudes Stimme, ein wenig schroffer als sonst: »Siehst du die Schwaneninsel? Siehst du Grenelle?« Der Wind trug meine Antwort davon oder verschloß mir überhaupt die Lippen. Ich hatte Angst. Die Hände meines Cousins umgriffen meine Knöchel zu fest, und ich spürte, wie sie zitterten.
Wenn ich die Augen wieder öffnete, befiel micheinleichterSchwindel.DerHimmel über mir zog von rechts nach links, und die Riesen-platanen, die den Fluß säumen, bebten, bogen sich,richtetensichinderSonneneuauf.Maje- stätisch flossen die schmutzigen Fluten der Seine. Unten am Hafen blieben Spaziergänger stehen, ohne Augen für mich Verängstigten, betrachteten das Wasser und schlurften weiter.
Momentlang verschwanden sie hinter einem Sand- oder Ziegelhaufen, dann tauchten sie wieder auf, aber sie erschienen so klein, daß mein Herz sich zusammenzog und ich den Blick abwenden mußte. In einer Art Taumel verschwamm das Bild vor meinen Augen, und ich sah nichts mehr, weder die Schwaneninsel, noch Grenelle, noch die Vagabunden im Hafen – einzig, verloren im Himmel, welchen sie mit ihren Strahlen erfüllten, die weiße Nacktheit der das Flußbild bestimmenden Statuen.“
Julien Green (6 september 1900 – 13 augustus 1998)
Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 6e september ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.