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'When the Dust Settles' by Adam Cruces at Rindermarkt 23, Zürich



I prefer to let the work speak for itself. I hate writing about my own practice. It’s a difficult task to be articulate in an engaging, insightful way without describing the work into an unsatisfying reduction. It’s not how I typically do things, but I put this component off. Now it’s too late to ask anyone else to do it. So I’ll make an attempt when I get up tomorrow morning. But only after I shower, shave, trim my nails, check emails, check UPS tracking info, Reddit, Instagram, etc. blah blah blah…

-

I’m not really sure if I’m awake. But it’s dark out. It’s quiet in my bedroom and everything appears to be in its normal place - phone by my pillow as usual, computer on top of the desk with my wallet and glasses next to it as usual, curtains pulled shut so no one can see through the window as usual. I don’t hear a sound in the rest of the apartment. I’m unable to hear the neighbors, or anything outside, for that matter. Something’s not right.  

The shadows underneath my bed seem to behave strangely. I think I sense movement. Sitting up, I remain as still as possible to register any subtle disturbances. Suddenly the shadows advance towards me, like in the movie Ghost, except the figures take on three-dimensional form in silence. Humanoids totally concealed in morphsuits of stark shade rooted to the darkness beneath the bed take my arms. I’m paralyzed as they drag me down. My heart is pounding like that of a hummingbird on cocaine. It’s impossible to move or breathe. Since I feel my whole bodyweight, it’s like I’m being lifted upwards, rather than brought downwards to the ground. I’m increasingly disoriented while the shadows tug me into the darkest blackness I’ve ever experienced. 

-

I thought I was being sucked into a black hole below my bed, but I’ve been pulled through the floor to another space. There is light, albeit a very small amount of light scattered throughout this odd place. Focusing my vision, I realize I can’t be in the basement underneath my apartment. I’m in a deserted bar, lit purely by a handful of candles. In my hands, (which aren’t my hands anymore, they’re scorpion claws btw) are a matte charcoal can on the left and a Marlboro cigarette on the right. I take a sip from the can. It’s Peach Fanta, or maybe Lone Star. No, wait. Another sip. Tropical Victory Gatorade, then Gillardi Barolo 2011. The flavor keeps fluctuating in perfect cross dissolves. Whatever it is, it’s my new favorite drink. I’ll be needing a refill. Not even going to bother with the cigarette. I already smell its off-putting fumes. Plus I’d cough up a storm. Getting used to these foreign pinchers, I squeeze the top circle of the can along its outside edge and I squeeze the cigarette’s filter. My pinchers are met with no give from the can top and nearly infinite give from the cigarette. 

I can feel my tail now. In my peripheral vision I can almost see the tip. If anyone else was here I’d be embarrassed by the amount of clumsy effort it’s taking to adjust myself, because I want to see the stinger on the end. I find the right angle to bring the tip of my tail from my rear, over my head, into my frontal view. (Un)fortunately, like an overeager adolescent, I thrust with too much force and watch my stinger swiftly plunge into my skull, right where my third eye would be. An intense orgasmic pleasure commingles with the pain of the most excruciating brain freeze. This moment passes in an eternal instant. 

-

Fade in some sort of relaxing New Age music backgrounded by Amazon rainforest sound effects. My eyes are closed with a delicate, cold weight on top of the eyelids. My face tingles and I smell a mixture of cucumber alongside exfoliating face mask? I can practically taste the green of both. Speaking of color, the white towels wrapped snuggly to my skin are somewhat scratchy. I’m guessing they’re white due to the faint hint of bleach. Hands have returned to being hands. Other hands are caressing my hands. Soft, smooth, slow. I had no idea hand massages could be so sensual.

The aforementioned scents are fading. A gentle, yet sporadic breeze is picking up. Incoming bursts of wind accompanied by flapping noises surround me. Even though I still can’t see, a bird Pokémon is definitely using Gust. Not what one would refer to as super effective, however it’s getting there.  

-

This place is completely blanketed with white feathers, like being inside the fluffiest pillow ever made. Everything’s suspended by black freckles. Viewed from afar, you might confuse these feathers for thousands of ermine tails. A hooded figure mills about, the only break in all of this black and white. It’s kind of a translucent phallic blob, a gauzy portal into another dimension. Through the portal there’s a room. A sink, cleaning supplies, a Dyson vacuum next to a door, and a window displaying an exterior alleyway. 

I forgot to mention that the hooded, other-dimensional portal has the face of a ghost in pain. What Wikipedia might refer to as reminiscent of a certain Edvard Munch painting, a caricature simultaneously screaming and crying. It looks lost, frightened and frightening. 

When moving to the ghost’s rear side, the feathered world becomes more Dalmatianesque. Black specks dot the realm in a pattern of spots that populate eye-rubs. Here’s a different interior view, where more windows are present in the ghost’s torso. They reveal alternative perspectives of the exterior. Some people stroll by aimlessly, others stride with anxious concentration. The inconsistent waves of passers-by are broken up from time to time by vehicles awkwardly squeezing their way through the tight street, like airplane passengers maneuvering their ways to window seats. Aisle seats and middle seats give collective sighs, as well as eye-rolls, in unison. (Insert the sound of a sigh. A sigh of relief.)

-

I’m a breath of fresh air. I’m a yawn too. Yawn of fresh air. My world spins. Rotates at a tedious, slow velocity. The pace reminds me of a Parisian pharmaceutical display. My environment revolves on my axis, therefore I feel centered, self-centered. Interconnected metallic mesh planes encompass me. I enjoy the moiré visual tickles inside this tesseract birdcage. A pigeon has escaped its prison. Maybe it was the culprit of the previous fluttering breezes. It has freedom but is frozen at room temperature, taking the cage for a joy(less?) ride. Hours run sluggish miles around me.

-

Frogs croak upon lily pads, cicadas cling to Spanish mossed oak trees in this swamp while they scream in response to the setting sun. The entire sky is the Spectrum screen saver featured on Mac OS X 10.7. Dense vegetation dissipates during my wade through the shallow water reflecting the flow of colors overhead. I’m heading towards a tower of countless boxes. The balsa boxes are so lightweight they levitate one above the other, penetrating the heavens. These containers are for produce. They’re producing a hunger within me. I begin to climb the structure in search of a still life rainbow. Blueberries, purple grapes, red cherries, oranges, yellow bananas, green prickly pears. I sense sweat surfacing on my brow and upper cheeks. My face reddens just thinking of the juicy fruit skins bursting, crushing between my piercing teeth. I’ll have a minimal allergic reaction. I’m hungrier than when I first started my pursuit. My stomach might consume itself. 

I keep pulling myself up this endless column of floating fruit crates. Each crate is emptier than the last. Void after void after void after void. I have no desire to look below. Not only will it be disheartening, but the vertigo would be most unwelcome. Vices of exhaustion grip my arms and legs, hands are cramping and getting quite sore. There’s no end to the vertical emptiness. My search for fruit is fruitless. I lie down in one of these wooden boxes. Fatigue is greater than or equal to hunger. I guess I’ll just eat that sleeping pill hiding in my bellybutton. Bon appétit et bonne nuit. Zzz.

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