by Kleitia Vaso

Two, perhaps unrelated, fragments:

Episode I

A person who I rarely meet but is a constant provider of nourishment for my always-hungry self-esteem, on one of our accidental meetings, was comparing the color of my eyes to the aquamarine color of the sea, all the while mentioning jewel-like sounding words like cobalt, emerald, and slate. While I was becoming almost hypnotized by the sounds and images of the colors and the slightly-idealized image of myself, my acquaintance started to contentedly scratch his ear. I would have never noticed, immersed as I was in the world of colors and sensations, but he apologized for it. “I’m sorry, I had to do it. The pleasure was too much to resist.” Dragged down to earth, thankfully comically this time, I concluded that my friend, like everyone, but with varying percentages of each part comprising the whole, was both poet and beast.

Episode II

It seems that in life, most problems come down to a question of balance, specifically measure. Let’s say that the central conversation in this particular episode took place in an art exhibition. I go less often to these exhibitions than one might assume, primarily because of a certain laziness but also because the social aspect distracts me from entering into a genuine relationship with an artwork. I cannot completely ignore the presence of others. Yet, these events are not entirely unpleasant; they provide a deviation from the usual, ordinary routine and there is always a small element of surprise in terms of the work and/or people. One might learn something new. On just such an occasion, I was having a conversation with a person whom, I must admit, I found unattractive from the very few seconds. While his looks were not the problem, it seemed to me that he was constantly posing and choosing his words carefully, ensuring that no slang but only big, well-pronounced words were used and, once in a while, the heavy curse word just to be “shocking”. As he spoke of the “architecture” of everything, from a pen to a building, I suddenly had the desire and fantasy of running away with a beggar, street fruit vendor, plumber, really anyone with a blue-collar job whose profession does not involve words.

Then and there, I understood Alice’s (Nicole Kidman) instantaneous and malicious reversal of her husband’s world in the iconic scene of Eyes Wide Shut, in which she confesses, at a moment when Bill feels surest of himself, that in a moment of extreme attraction, she would have abandoned him and their children for a naval officer if said officer would have asked her. I experienced the same malicious fantasy of undermining with the speed of light the “artist’s” pomposity. But, then, I left the exhibition and, during the walk, I realized that the same silent saviors of my previous fantasies, the “simple” men (so reductive on my part) were probably the same ones who were making the sucking noises with their teeth or using the most vulgar words with their friends while a girl walks by, who sit for hours drinking and talking about the same things with the same (male) friends, and who rush to relieve themselves underneath Lana’s bridges.

by Kleitia Vaso