Before hell there was the feeling of powerlessness so I decided to collect every thing good for every bad thing. There is always more to need and want and imagine.
All against this there is the cold harshness of the NO, the impossibility, the metaphysical unexpected slap in the face of not being able, willing or aware.
I started collecting plastic flowers at my mother’s funeral. There were many and colorful and smelled like nothing, like no life or death could touch them. These flowers had the quality I had always looked in men: durability, presentability and magic.
I was 19 and didn’t care more for the reality of tragic events it was much more interesting living a super human sadness, the type you see in the movies, the dramatic slow falling death, the slow motioned “I love you’s” muted by the intensity and dark romance.
So when my mother died choking on food, namely an olive, all I could think when they called was: that’s a very original thing to explain at the gates of Heaven Mom, see, you were always so religious. Were, was, has been, had been, from now on, only past tense.
That very moment, it felt like it was nothing of substance, a big joke, a plastic flower. I was so far away, I couldn’t feel it instantly. I wondered what exactly had I been doing when it happened: was I peeing? eating? taking a nap? crossing the street? changing clothes? was I happy or was I sad?
I could not remember.
How ridiculous that my mother would come to not being at the same time while I was probably doing something small. “Something” big happens to others while I am living “something” small.
But if you’d ask me now, I approve that it should be that way, if God or someone else, the Stars, Buddha or Santa would ask me on how I wish the nature of things to be, I would answer that it must be like this: completely free to interpretation and responsibility of rules, if they told me how to be happy, would I play this game of life only to succeed?
I think not. I never liked rules or boundaries anyway, so if life gave me a manual I would probably throw it away and make it as I go along with the awareness that things will not be as easy.
Going back to the plastic flowers thing, the collection of these beautiful yet ridiculous artefacts began with my mother’s death because for some foreign yet very intimate reason most of my relatives decided to celebrate the passing with the most immortal symbol of kitsch, flowers made of plastic and textile and felt and velvety structures mounted on wiry structures, all of which I found disgusting and surreal, however I grew fond of the whole concept the moment that girl with white hair took one from the ornamentation and put it in her cleavage; and it was a purple peony, a purple peony lifted to grace, an affirmation of life and sex and motherhood or whatever those breasts were up to for the rest of their independent life.
This white haired girl was a friend of my mother’s and beside the outrageous difference of age between them I always felt there was something familiar and intriguing in the way she looked, perhaps she was a long lost sister, a mysterious cult friend and they prayed to some ancient viril god together or who knows, maybe my mother was a lesbian (I prayed for the last.)
I stared at her from the opposite side of the room and decided I had to talk to her and know who she was.