Abesti bat gutxiago
Reprint: *Zart (2019)
MY HOUSE IS YOUR HOUSE
Making a version is inhabiting somebody’s house, using their bed and their sheets, making do with the leftover food that he/she left in the kitchen, even if you believe there’s really nothing like your mother’s fish soup, trying to guess what, and how, and on which dishes the head of that household normally ate. Making a version, when you know that he/she was greater than you, is settling yourself alongside the indentation the previous inhabitant left in the sofa cushion and making new wrinkles (“a wrinkle is lovely”—what became of that expression in the age of the pixel?). Making a version is lying back on the loaner mattress and having sex, in the fear that even now the previous tenant might be spying from the room next door. Making a version is groping for the light switch on the wall of an unfamiliar apartment at night, knowing that even if your breath, your postcard collection, some one piece of personal furniture have gotten moved in here, you still haven’t mastered the home’s measurements and secrets, and that perhaps while you’re having your morning coffee you’ll leave a cup ring on a table, by mistake, on noble wood very difficult to clean. The maker of a version can be an inconspicuous guest in somebody’s house, or a rowdy and destructive squatter. On departure, he or she can leave a grateful bottle of wine, with an affectionate Post-it attached, or can, in the obsessive manner of the psychopathic husband in the movie Sleeping with the Enemy, leave everything just as it was before but even cleaner and more symmetrical. But, let’s not forget, a house is a house, someone else built it, someone else was there before you, and it’s very possible that day after tomorrow someone new will come with their own Kandinsky posters to make the space their own. Our lives, too, aren’t they conceivably variants of previous lives? Because to make a version is to spend time conversing with specters, and, before anything else, to square the specter that you are yourself with your own spectrality and its tendencies and defects.
Translated by Elizabeth Macklin
Beti oporretan Flexible is the night