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'Avec inquiétude mais aussi avec espoir' by Angélique Aubrit, Ludovic Beillard at La Tôlerie, Clermont-Ferrand



 

 

I had a cold night. An electric shock went through me from head to toe, just like before. There are many memories before now. Lots of characters and violent parties for one movie. I have thought everything and its opposite to get here, tried everything if it is possible. We put the ideas in the middle, then we worked on them to arrive at something where everyone finds a bit of their desire. But the truth is that there are days when everything shrinks, days when you don't want these ideas anymore. So you leave. You walk, hoping that if you don't fall into the void, you will at least manage to laugh and cry again, or remember something. This story is that of others. 

I don't recognize anyone here, except for the walls. Everything is in its place, as others have left it. Someone even made my bed. I know it shouldn't be ideal, but it's exactly what I was looking for. I'm warm when I need it and cold when I'm suffocating. The sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, and then it's the moon. I don't know who these others are, but everyone does what they have to do as if they were alone. I can't remember if they were there when we arrived. If they are the others or if they are dead. I am no longer sure of the memories I have made or of my hands. When I think about it I was the most gentle and the most violent. 

Further down there is a river and the sun, it is the only place where I notice myself, my breathing changes and I forget to think as if I were dozing. The image is blurred but very real. I imagine myself smiling and caressing the flowers with my fingertips. I'm hot, just right. I move forward alone, and that's what I always wanted, everything is in its place so I don't have to think about it. And then everything goes away. The night is made and the landscape leaves elsewhere. I feel all these eyes looking at me ready to rip off anything that sticks out, but it doesn't happen because I still have things to say. 

I don't know if others do it too to silence their belly, to silence death with death. I am rather optimistic as a person but now I hesitate. My memories are coming back. I believed for a long time that it was possible to listen to each other and to forget ourselves for a moment, to see finally. But we don't bargain with each other's history. I know because I've been so kind that I'm not sure what I think anymore. 

It's coming back to me. 

I've seen what I can do, I think. Maybe this is all a story I made up to have something to think about on the road, or to punish myself for having arrived. We will have to continue here for many more nights and days to find out. 

Where do these notebooks go that I fill a little more each day? Every morning seems so different from the day before and at the same time so repetitive, as if I were just wandering through my memories trying to relive them as faithfully as possible. (I can't feel my hands again.) I have to concentrate on silencing these memories, and stop thinking about these images that weave webs under my skull and monopolize my thoughts more and more. They dry them up. I feel them pulling their threads and preventing me from thinking elsewhere. I must forget. Something still connects me to it, something familiar. It's as if shame keeps me warm, as if I find some comfort in the disgust I inspire in myself. 

There is one which has just passed in front of the window. For the moment they are neither aggressive nor friendly, they act as if they don't see us. I think it will be fine. 

I don't know if they are walking around or standing guard. I don't know if I should die or if I should live. 

When we left I was sure of us, I was sure of the other places, I was sure of the unknowns, and wind direction. And then you changed and I saw each of my joys fall one after the other. I understood instantly that everything was wrong. I was sure I was wrong, as I was sure I was doing the right thing before, when I left. I saw our desires dry up, like a cycle that starts and ends in the same second. It is in these moments that I would like the earth to stop somewhere, that there is only a huge precipice. When you see yourself like that you hold your breath to avoid continuing. I want to stay here and see. Maybe everything can stop like this, in an instant, without thoughts, without desires, without constraining the line a little more. 

The predators do not hide, they are there, serene, it is this assurance that hides them from us. They do not hear nor see, they only feel their belly. Their eyes are not for seeing but for taking. I imagined it differently, more definitive as violence. But I discover a diffuse pain, a shame that only accompanies the prey. 

They sometimes come back at night. I hear droplets falling and rubbings like a cat's tongue. It almost makes me feel better to know that they are still watching. 

I just saw one. She didn't look at me. I saw behind my eyes, the scene unfolding again and again. Each time she moves a little: I raise my hand to greet her and a sound comes out of my mouth so that she notices me. She freezes in her movement then slowly raises her head towards me. In an instant, I see the worst and the best of this encounter. But she always ends up eating my throat without saying a word. So, by the time I die, by the time I am devoured, I am replaying this decision and this question: To continue avoiding each other or to meet? 

Somewhere to disappear. 

Telling myself over and over again that I am right to believe, that I can do it, that I must do it. 

Desires die and reinvent themselves at every moment. We won't do better than others, but we'll do it knowing that, and maybe it will make a difference in our lives. Or maybe we'll hit the road again tomorrow after all. I don't know if it can really work to be here, but sometimes we've made it. Sometimes we felt this current telling us that it makes sense, that the poles will meet, that there is something to do here. 

Yesterday was one of the worst days since I've been here. Nothing made sense anymore, everything was fuzzy and anxious. I know what I'm capable of since the beginning, but yesterday everything was different. Today I found the fruit I was looking for. I tidied up, scraped and tore out. 

The weather is nice. Last week we picked up enough to consider making some 

small reserves for the weeks to come. It almost seemed as if things had never changed. 

She looks at me but does not advance. She acts as if I don't see her, yet she doesn't hide. I don't know who to believe anymore. It seems that each of us has to make a choice. Choosing whether the other is a threat or an ally, deciding now with the little I know, and the vastness of what I don't know, what is the right decision. I am saddened by how little value the choice I make will have despite its consequences. Each is waiting to see the other's reaction. I'm suddenly afraid I'll slip or blink and she'll see it as the sign she's been waiting for to attack me. 

They are all gone, and yet nothing has changed. I woke up alone under a white sky. It's daytime but a bit dark. I searched every corner I knew and the others too, and found no one. Everything is exactly where it should be, as if they had just left the place. 

I remember when we left, it was very crowded. Yet I can no longer see their faces, I only see silhouettes that move. Life was interspersed with parties. We couldn't believe how beautiful it was. 

They came from the deserts of thought, with the idea that it could work, contaminate, create a passage. A waterway so discreet that it is only heard when doubts are silenced. We are home now. There is no empty place or beginning, we are only the continuation, but it is invented at each moment. This place and its ghosts that we meet by taking these paths, we have dreamed them. 

I am hot and cold at the same time. Why isn't she with me ? Where are they all ? What day is it ? I dreamed that I saw my reflection in a piece of mirror and that I had not changed since the last time. I just realized that this was not true. Nothing here reflects us back, not even this muddy water. I'm not sure it was me who had this dream. I don't remember yesterday, but the day before yesterday, and the rest is too far away. I have seen us. I know that my hands change, I know that sometimes I don't recognize them and that my eyes are trapped in an unknown vehicle. I think I'm changing bodies. No. I think she knows but she doesn't tell me everything. 

I'm tired of losing us. My eyes act as image boxes that deceive me. My hands hurt. Here everything is ravaged as if a tornado had passed. I picked up a head, then a second. I know they are waiting for me, watching me hesitate when I move forward. I don't know them. I used to know everyone. I see familiar faces behind my eyes, but my memories don't want to go any further. My hands change. 

I wonder if we look alike.
 I'm going to stay here a little longer to keep an eye on the others. 

6.11.21 — 18.12.21

Photo by Ludovic Beillard

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