Postcard from a Normal Life In a City on the Brink of Collapse
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My idea of a perfect love affair is to agree it can only last 90 days. Because imagine those last few days, before you go left and I go right, or vice versa. Imagine the last hours! Knowing you can never see each other again, touch, smell, and never again hold onto for dear life when the carousel spins and you would fall off except for this tiny purchase, by somebody who loves you and risks their own grip to keep you near them. What do you say in this disappearing light? It’s not a movie set in a hospital room. But a real choice to preserve your memory of every heat and chill that bakes and shapes love into something sharp enough to cut into every routine and place you go for the rest of your life.
And an art affair is no different, really: You unspool your heart and crawl out to the edge of the vessel that moves you through hope and solitude, and toss lovenotes out to the passersby, hoping they notice the puzzles of beauty and desire you spin across their skies, if only they could look up to smile instead of study so carefully their every footstep on paths of traps and mire.
In this picture, shot last night, a bloom of the heart gets snuffed after weeks of brilliant shine. The hours count down and we shoot today, but limply, and the purple end is when I say goodbye to the woman in painted face, who is either mongoose or snake in my mind. In normal life she is Maya, named for a social collapse long ago, the daughter of a wolf, Wolfsdottir, and she studies the soil and the water of another society on the brink of a shattering fall. “We drift to pieces,” she says, as she collects Russian logs on an Arctic beach. “And who knows if there is anything that can bring us all back together, into the family we’ve always been.”
I come up with a movie for the wolf’s daughter, adapted from my story about the assassination of one of the men who has crippled Iceland, an importer of luxury SUVs named Westhamson, played in this photo by JPG member Konrad Ragnarsson. “Killing Westhamson” will bring a smile to everyone’s lips . . . But she has her fingers in the Earth, and reminds me that my illusion of dressing the killer in silk and silver in Rajasthan or Katmandu is just that, an illusion, because midnight falls, and the mongoose goes left and the snake goes right, doesn’t matter which one I am or which one she is, because taking a memory out of the oven before it gets brittle is the only way I know to keep it fresh for a lifetime.
I wander the corridors of a think tank, the whole third floor just mine, trying to crystallize the things she has said in these last scenes, including her interruption of one of my silly lectures on acting or escape, when she politely asked: “Are you real?” It never occurs to me to think that my funny situations are anything but normal, until, of course, normal lives get caught in my zany schemes. Then I am momentarily frozen, wondering, What am I doing?
Also by seanie blue
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