this is a place




December 10th, 2014

Calgary, - midnight



I had to leave the house. With nowhere to go, I found myself walking. It was warm, and the snow melted to mud. As I walked hand in hand with the night, I noticed how most of the houses had their doors open - perhaps so they can breathe in this unusual, warm air. Walking along, and staring at the partially exposed interiors, I thought to myself that I would like to live in these houses, to be permeated by their intimacy, and to let all my reveries, all my bitterness dissolve in that not-so-faraway interior atmosphere. As I slowed down in my pace, I imagined what it would be like to enter such and such room - treading through it familiarly and flopping down exhausted on an old couch, surrounded by its floral chintz pillows; to acquire another intimacy there, to breathe another air and myself to become another person entirely... Stretched out on the couch to contemplate this street where I was now walking, from inside the house, from behind the curtains (and I tried to imagine as precisely as possible the view of the street through the open door as seen from the couch), to suddenly be able to find in myself memories of experiences I never had, unknown memories of life, a life carried with me forever and ever, memories belonging to the intimacy of these indifferent surroundings that knew nothing of me...


And then, an inexpressible bitterness descended into my soul as when someone sees before him that there is absolutely nothing left to do, and nothing left to accomplish.

I started to run through the streets in the dark, jumping over pools of melted snow and stepping into some up to my knees. I walked in all directions. As I made my way through the deserted back alleys, my feet sunk into the mud up to my ankles. Suddenly I bent down and put my hands in the mud. Why not? / Why not? [I felt like screaming]. The mud batter was lukewarm and mild: my hands went through it easily. When I clenched my fist, the mud came out between my fingers in beautiful globs, black and shiny. But immediately all my sadness shrank back in the face of a calm and gentle thought. I knew now what I had to do: since it couldn’t continue, the only realpossibility for me was to put an end to it all. What was I leaving behind? A wet ugly world where snow left mud behind, as its shadow...


I wipe my face with my shirt and lick the tears from the corner of my mouth savouring their salty taste. I sit down on the ground, and continue to enjoy feeling miserable. There, in the mud, and with the night beside me, I pull my macbook out of the backpack, and begin to write - write as if my life depended on it. 


* Note 

The essay compoenent of this project, was included as part of the Calgary Biennial newspaper publication / 2014


The audio was recorded with the occasion of a collaborative reading of Guy Hocquenghem's Screwball Asses (1972). Participants in the reading, read exeprts to each other, then talked about their impressions of the text. The reading was held at the John Snow House in Calgary through the generous support of The New Gallery. 




source material 


interview published in Mute // Oct 4 2004, written by Merijn Oudenampsen and Gavin Sullivan


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