Be There At Ten


You will now listen to my voice. My voice will help you and guide you still deeper into Europa. Every time you hear my voice, with every word and every number, you will enter into a still deeper layer, open, relaxed and receptive.

I shall now count from one to ten. On the count of ten, you will be in Europa.

I say One. And as your focus and attention are entirely on my voice, you will slowly begin to relax.

Two, your hands and your fingers are getting warmer and heavier.

Three, the warmth is spreading through your arms, to your shoulders and your neck.

Four, your feet and your legs get heavier.

Five, the warmth is spreading to the whole of your body.

On six, I want you to go deeper.

I say: Six. And the whole of your relaxed body is slowly beginning to sink.

Seven, you go deeper and deeper and deeper.

Eight, on every breath you take, you go deeper.

Nine, you are floating.

On the mental count of ten, you will be in Europa. Be there at ten.

I say: Ten.

Europa (1991) — Lars von Trier, narrated by Max von Sydow




• • •

Un Bravo Ragazzo

Marcello Mastroianni in “La Dolce Vita” (Federico Fellini, 1960)


Sono scappato dal mio vecchio lavoro, ho lasciato i vecchi giri, sono diventato un bravo ragazzo. Ma tutto, a parte mia moglie, a parte quello che ci diciamo io e lei quando siamo a letto assieme, a parte le giornate buone che ci prendiamo camminando per strada e pensando che non abbiamo bisogno di nient’altro, tutto mi è scivolato addosso senza lasciare tracce. Fino a oggi. Mi è bastato essere sfiorato dall’odore del sangue per ritrovarmi dentro, come un tossico del cazzo. E come un tossico mi sono dimenticato di quanto sia pericoloso spingersi oltre la linea, trasformare il lavoro in qualcosa di personale, che ti fa rischiare e stare male. Che ti fa perdere.

La bellezza è un malinteso — Sandrone Dazieri



• • •

The Termination Paradox


I struggle with the details.

Not because there’s so many of them, or because they’re small and, according to some, bothersome to deal with it, no.

What is exhausting is the brutal reckoning that nothing can ever be cleanly and completely terminated, that’s what it is.

The infinity of it all, see?



• • •

Mise En Abyme


Pre-emptive kitsch offers fake emotions, and at the same time a pretended rejection of the thing it offers. The artist pretends to take himself seriously, the critics pretend to judge his product and the modernist establishment pretends to promote it. At the end of all this pretence, someone who cannot perceive the difference between advertising (which is a means) and art (which is an end) decides that he should buy it. Only at this point does the chain of pretence come to an end, and the real value of postmodernist art reveal itself — namely, its value in monetary exchange. Even at this point, however, the pretence is important. The purchaser must still believe that what he buys is real art, and therefore intrinsically valuable, a bargain at any price. Otherwise, the price would reflect the obvious fact that anybody — even the purchaser — could have faked such a product. The essence of fakes is that they are substitutes for themselves, avatars of the infinite mise-en-abyme that lies behind every saleable thing.

Roger Scruton — The Great Swindle



• • •

It’s Not Wrong


I need to keep telling myself this until convinced that my poor judgement, my chronic lack of discernment and all those other flaws aren’t any more somber than anyone else’s.

It is very possible that I may have resisted it, because admitting that their glorification was a fucking monumental waste of time, would somehow tarnish an imaginary medal I’d awarded myself.

Yes, yes, I know that my head being a souq is no excuse.

It is what it is.



• • •

Et Si Tu Naissais Encore Une Fois?


Imagine que c’est possible, juste pour un instant.

Tu crois que ça te prendrait le même temps pour tout réapprendre? Et tu vas apprendre quoi, au juste?

Tu y arrives, toi, à imaginer l’inimaginable?




• • •

Devias estar contente só porque sim


Devias estar à espera que acabasse assim
Já desisti de tudo inclusive de mim
Mas as folhas dos ramos ainda vão cair
E o chão ficar à espera de as receber

Devia estar à espera
Não é diferente do que era
Devias estar contente só porque sim

A areia da praia nunca fica igual
Depois da passagem de um homem normal
Olhando para o caminho o que é que o homem vê
Apenas pegadas à espera da maré

Devia estar à espera
Não é diferente do que era
Devias estar contente só porque sim

Que a vida não faz sentido
Eu não lhe encontro sentido nenhum
Mas está a acontecer agora
Se não é boa ela melhora

Ela Melhora — OIOAI




• • •

Go Away


I don’t know how to deal with whatever it is that you seem to want me to realise, as it seems to involve mysteriously complex mental gymnastics. And I’m drawing a blank.

Could you please not make me tell you to go away, and simply fade into the background? Even if just as a reciprocal gesture of courtesy, for instance?

There will be no new memories, you know, these are the ones that will ever be, and begrudging that I’m disrespecting them sounds pointless.



• • •



Do you regret it now?

Does it help, just a little bit, to know that there was nothing you could have done?

Of course you do.

Of course it doesn’t.




• • •

No One Knows for Certain


Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they they all came from
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go
When the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain
And so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Some say once you’re gone you’re gone forever
And some say you’re gonna come back
Some say you rest in the arms of the Saviour
If in sinful ways you lack

Some say that they’re comin’ back in a garden
Bunch of carrots and little sweet peas
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they they all came from
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go
When the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain
And so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be

Some say they’re goin’ to a place called Glory
And I ain’t saying it ain’t a fact
But I’ve heard that I’m on the road to purgatory
And I don’t like the sound of that
I believe in love and I live my life accordingly
But I choose to let the mystery be

Everybody is wondering what and where they they all came from
Everybody is worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go
When the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain
And so it’s all the same to me

I think I’ll just let the mystery be
I think I’ll just let the mystery be


Let The Mystery Be — Iris Dement (The Leftovers soundtrack)


Full version

• • •


Streptococcus Pneumoniae


It is all a game. A controlled universe where one mustn’t, can’t, deviate from the well rehearsed script.

This what we’ve come to:

We don’t get bemoan that we don’t know who we, or others, are any more; that is simply the price we pay for the dubious comfort of hygiene, or whatever the fuck we’re now calling this compulsion to scrub our lives clean of every dissonant bacteria, this perplexing assumption of a compromised immune system in compulsory need of an aseptic ritual.



• • •



I envy people to whom a quip in their mother tongue isn’t any more worthy of consideration than, for instance, stating their name or address; the result of a lifetime of operating within a specific cultural context.

Fluency without baggage is an illusion, maybe. It sometimes disheartens me to realise that most of my own baggage was acquired on purpose, not by an organic sequence of random accidents.

Nowhere. That’s where I’m from.



• • •

La Laideur

Jean Seberg on the set of “Bonjour Tristesse” (Otto Preminger, 1958) – Photo by Bob Willoughby.


Sans partager avec mon père cette aversion pour la laideur qui nous faisait souvent fréquenter des gens stupides, j’éprouvais en face des gens dénués de tout charme physique une sorte de gêne, d’absence ; leur résignation à ne pas plaire me semblait une infirmité indécente. Car, que cherchions nous, sinon plaire ? Je ne sais pas encore aujourd’hui si ce goût de conquête cache une surabondance de vitalité, un goût d’emprise ou le besoin furtif, inavoué, d’être rassuré sur soi même, soutenu.

Françoise Sagan — Bonjour Tristesse



• • •



You can’t be aware that you’ve seen a tree until after you’ve seen the tree, and between the instant of the vision and the instant of awareness, there must be a time lag. We sometimes think of that time lag as unimportant, but there’s no justification for thinking that the time lag is unimportant—none whatsoever. The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality. The tree that you are aware of intellectually, because of the small time lag, is always in the past and therefore is always unreal. Any intellectually conceived object is always in the past and therefore unreal.

Robert M. Pirsig — Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Rest in peace, Robert.



• • •

What We’ll Become

Eros & Psique. José de Almada-Negreiros, 1954.



No matter how clever, sober and magnanimous we think we are, we simply don’t know, do we? Not who we were, who we are, or what we’ll become.

What if abandonment isn’t an elusive purpose at all? What if it is our pervading essence, the one which we routinely disregard?




• • •

Right, Yeah



– So, is this it?

– I suppose so, why?

– Nothing, really.

– It’s about time, no? They’re all gone now.

– Probably. Cheers.

– Right, yeah.



• • •

Eu Não

“Há minutos mais curtos do que outros, não são todos iguais. Nem na duração, nem na quantidade de informação de que estão grávidos”.

Este era o tipo de frase que eu deixava sobre a mesa de um qualquer jantar sabendo de antemão que ia ser percebida de uma das muitas maneiras erradas de a perceber. Aliás, e isso eu sabia, a confusão era inevitável. Por ter sido formulada uma opinião incompleta e impulsiva num tom de voz de afirmação definitiva, como que macerada e polida por muitos anos de pensar nela. A inevitável discussão entre os convivas era acesa, sempre.

Não tinha preparadas estas eloquentes proposições e muito menos ia a esses jantares à espera do melhor momento para as proferir, não. Apesar de o ser, também não as dizia por ser arrogante, como se fosse necessário juntar alguma coisa às minhas idiossincrasias.

Dizia-as porque nunca conseguia evitar o momento em que me aborrecia de morte.

Em retrospecto, percebo que não era nenhum aborrecimento mas sim uma descarga compensatória do meu corpo ao sentir chegar um momento crucial do evento. Após a fome estar saciada e o álcool ter começado a fazer zumbir o cérebro como uma máquina bem oleada a alta velocidade, chegava sempre a altura em que o debate, inocente até ali de qualquer veleidade de se imiscuir em assuntos para mim tão pouco apetitosos, desviava toda a sua atenção para tudo aquilo que os presentes acreditavam ter de partilhar, do mais profundo das suas almas, com toda a urgência, o seu credo. Ou pelo menos de tão profundo quanto conseguiam chegar.

Como sempre odiei esse momento. Sentia-lhe o cheiro, a progressão, como uma fuga. Nunca me senti preparado para tamanha violência.

E assim, na maior parte das vezes, essas banalidades perfeitamente oleadas e à distância de mais um golo de vinho tinham o efeito desejado: dizia-se mal e bem, concordava-se, discordava-se, discutiam-se-lhes os méritos e os deméritos, mas sobretudo, sobretudo nunca comigo.

• • •

It’s Not That



I mean, I always thought that the music of a thousand instruments, no matter how much out of tune, would make me assemble a sonata, inevitably.

It’s a little puzzling to discover that it never does and that the fault most likely lies in my own algorithm.

At some point you give up, you owe it to yourself to give up, you have to, right?




• • •

No, Wait

"Ribamar Study" by Mia Fontainhas & Vítor Neto, 2016

“Ribamar Study” by Mia Fontainhas & Vítor Neto, 2016


No, no, no, no, you misunderstand.

I have no idea of what’s going on, none. That you should think I have, even if barely, says more about about you than it does about me.

My only “choice” was to not have one, to let go.

So I did.



• • •

The Fever of My Own



There was a time, I think, when I’d sacrifice everything for raising my body temperature by so little as a single celsius degree, were it just to be raised by holding your naked skin.

But I don’t know anymore.

I have of course been repeatedly reminded of my blatant selfishness as if somehow I was unaware of it; I wasn’t, the selfishness is implied, inevitable.

What no one ever told me, what I never considered, is the possibility of there being no fever of my own to return. Not by choice, but rather by design.

Don’t look at me, I’m not your kind.



• • •