fragments of narratives – Tamar

Thinking Forward and Headaches

When she left I used her face cream for a week. When the tube was finished I asked her what she has there that she doesn’t have here. Its clean, her voice spoke through the speakers. There are somehow less particles in the air. It feels less cluttered. She moved the lap-top to the window so I could see the clean air. I took a deep breath. One particle got caught between my teeth.

Thinking it all backwards, I could have told her to stay.

I saw her off to the airport and drew the journey on the way. It was different to my other drawings, somehow more delicate, like ink spreading in water. I’ve chosen a section I like and marked it on a separate piece of paper in larger scale. I enjoy the way the lines walk themselves in the front room, almost reaching the window. Looping back towards the desk, into the corridor, and half way down the stairs.

Reversing is a painful art. It may not seem so at first, but the more I practice it the more painful it gets. I am so damn used to thinking forward. The irritation starts in the body; there is a discomfort, an awkwardness. Then the mind can’t see the movement any more, there is no sense of sequence, only landmarks to scribble my way through. To visualize what the next landmark is, I must think it forward, to see how I got to where I am now. Not to speak of knowing it in the body, enjoying a flow, meaning it. It’s often time for tea.


delicate, knotted threads

Tumbling into getting somewhere

I could sense her stumbling in it all afternoon. It kept falling only to catch itself again. limbs folding, skull diving, heal piercing, nose curving, ribs floating like weed in a sea of sound. I ease into the discomfort of having too much going on, and ask myself what of all of this wants to be seen?

I decide to go and see her, and leave without planning the journey. Things are taking longer than usual. I wonder if I’m on the right train, but no one looks like they’re worth asking, so I remain uncertain. I start collecting my belongings which are scattered over three seats, when she calls. The signal is broken and I only pick up the edges of her words. In the distance I spot an antenna disguised as a tree. It can’t help looking different. She interprets my voice in colours, some green and strikes of yellow. I don’t think in colours, all I see are lines suspended in zig-zags.

So far I can’t see her. I start thinking of other destinations.

suspended lines

If Only She Said Stay

The taste of elsewhere is olive

I can’t remember what it sounds like

Surely it’s warmer

I am struggling to separate myself from you. You are there on the periphery of my vision blending with the whiteness of the walls. Your  face is unchanging. I take the train and then the bus and walk until I am too cold and still I can hear your accent when I speak out loud. More than anything I wish to separate myself from your language.

Sat next to me on the plane, a man was writing on a wrinkled sheet of paper. When the page was full he turned it over and wrote between the printed lines of the bank statement. I tore a few pages out of my note book and handed them over to him. I didn’t want to see his pen fall off the page. The safety lights came on and the pilot’s voice said there would be some turbulence. I let the new pen I bought at the airport draw the turbulence in my notebook. He said it looked like the coast of Israel. By the end of the flight we were all drunk on duty free whiskey, and drew our versions of the landing. A tantrum, a jelly fish, something between a horse and an ant-eater, a heart attack.

It sounds different in their language.


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