When I was just a little girl…

"When I grow up, I want to be vanilla pudding," the toddler said, unaware of pudding’s slutty characteristics. 
I never spoke those words when I was a toddler. 
When I was little, I wanted to be (in this order) a mommy, a veterinarian, a dustman, a cat, a singer, an actor, a video games tester, a goal keeper, dustman again, "something scientific", an English person, a restaurant owner, an intellectual, a gay intellectual, a lottery winner, a gay porn star, a postmodern writer, a Swedish person, a writer again, a wandering bohemian, a runway model, a prisoner, a freelance translator who would one day write a novel using images, an artistic photographer, etc… 

One travels through life desiring to become someone one thinks one wants to become. But after a while, that desire to become someone evidently gets replaced by a desire to become someone else. Of course, I could claim that right now, I know better what I want to be in life than when I was a toddler who aspired to become a veterinarian (though I’m sure the wannabe-vet wouldn’t have been convinced by this argument, it took more than that, i.e. the realisation that a vet doesn’t get paid to pet pretty, cute cats, but to slice them open and do all kinds of icky stuff to them). 

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll wake up and realise that I actually actually would like to become vanilla pudding instead (fat chance, Erik doesn’t even like pudding). 

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Skeletons

It is not an intervention, the space it is in is home to a lot of destruction, a lot of anonymity. The tale is not mine to tell, it is not I who should judge upon this state of the human body. I ask myself what it is doing there. Why it is so alone and anonymous.
You cannot not notice it. Everywhere you look, you see an idealised version of reality, without pain, violence or even cold, and you comfort yourself with this surface phenomenon.
There is a lot of power in a concrete skeleton. It seems to contain no truths, it is made up of cold dead matter, yet it creates a feeling of disquiet. It embodies a growing sense of restlessness in those who demand answers, like me.
Some day, the skies will all be gone. Layers of concrete will replace whatever it is we would want to see now. No longer in the name of progress, but for the sake of control.
All I want is for someone to come running in to offer help, someone who still has some humanity left in them. But when you look at this picture for a couple of hours, you realise that nobody will jump in to save the day.

I don’t think I’m cynical, I think I’m lovely. Gha!

Night Silence

I like the silence of night. There is something comforting about all the stillness that surrounds me. It is why I am at my most active at night. I never notice the sound of my refrigerator until it’s late enough for me to hear the creatures that are kept within. I wouldn’t generally be comfortable to wander the streets right now, because there’s a lot of orange-yellow lighting and that really makes people look sick and menacing. Even me. 
It is the only time of day when I can truly feel alone, and thus sane. Everything becomes clear all of a sudden. 
During the Stone Age, I would have been a guard of the fire at night, making sure it wouldn’t go out, musing to myself and the flames about what could have been. If I’d have been anyone else but me, I might have been a night watchman right now, constantly meandering through vacant halls and corridors, knowing that nobody would ever break in, or that I would never catch someone. All of this for the solitude. Maybe I could be a suitable victim for insomnia, though I guess something needs to happen to make me loathe sleeping while everyone else is getting up; it is a reason to sleep better and better. 
Maybe I think the world is controlable when I face it at night. Nobody expects anything from me, I don’t expect anything from nobody. When I go to bed, it is not from exhaustion, but from a logic that says that I must sleep, because otherwise I might not get up early enough the next day, or snooze until whenever (another great addiction of mine). 
Simply put, my desire to be alone, not to be confronted with the masses, means I don’t want to have much to do with the real world. Not that it matters; I don’t connect to 99% of the people, something that suits me just fine. 
In a couple of years time I may again get confronted with a definite life choice that will largely determine the future. What to do now? All I ever wanted to escape from, back on my plate.
I will find my answer. Night will tell me. 

Cows in Space – A Time-Traveler’s Message

A hundred years ago, in 2008, there was this gigantic scientific breakthrough. You guys may not be aware of it, seeing how I write this letter to you in the future, and I time-traveled back here to a dreary November Saturday night to tell you all about it. I wanted to see how history was made. On this day, for me a hundred years ago, I was still a confused wannabe-artist with all the talent of a hypochondriac prostitute at the time, NASA launched a space shuttle on a mission that would change the fate of the world forever. Visionary scientists, "mad scientists", dared to think outside the box. In the midst of a financial crisis unlike any other ever before seen, they moved heaven and earth to convince their government of what they believed in.
Like many great historic events, it’s only many years later that the importance of one gets recognized. And that is what I’m here to tell you about. NASA releasing a space shuttle isn’t big news, but what changed life as you knew it, was an experiment that was put aboard the space shuttle. Millions of dollars were invested to launch a couple of spiders up in space, to see how they would build their nest in a state of weightlessness. All in the name of science. Sure we sent monkeys and dogs up in space before (I wonder where Laika is right now), but here was something new. Sure, a lot of sceptics were thinking: "What’s the frigging point of sending a spider up in space when there’s so much pain and hunger in the world?" but if you say that, well you are short-sighted mister!
After the gigantic success of the spider experiment, everyone wanted to send more animals up in space. We started out small, with little bugs for the spiders to eat, but of course we wanted more, always more. The results of our experiments were so extraordinary that we felt like we had to send more animals up in space, to see what would happen. 
First, we sent a pigeon, to see how it would fly in a state of weightlessness. The results were staggering. Soon, farmers sent up all of their cattle into space, hoping for similar great results. Many of them failed, because their biofuel made of pig excrement wasn’t strong enough to lift them up into space, but the ones that succeeded, well… they’re the lucky ones. Bella was the first cow in space. Space-milk became a huge success, but more importantly, scientists discovered how cow shit behaves in a state of weightlessness. Not much later, a cure for AIDS and cancer were found (obviously), and the answers to all of life’s problems were soon answered when we sent our first whale up into space. The animal is now floating around Alpha Centauri, rejoicing that it’s finally solved its fear of water. 
Remember this day, people. It’s the beginning of a new era. 
Hail science. We love it so. 

Revolting Skin

 I rub the skin they say is mine,
estranged mixture of cells puzzled
and torn. Their apathy fights a rash
of revolting spores. Cliffs of aging 
create distance, lonesome travellers
dwell on the surface of my self. 

A man spontaneously combusts,
I paralyze as the flames rise
and the revolt subsides. 
The skin got what it deserved. 

/T. 

Queer things

 
I like this guy’s drama and some of the points he makes… 

If Erik and I were to live in California, our engagement would have ended last week, because of a lot of nitwits voting against us. Before we leave Belgium some time in the future, I’ll make sure we have that piece of paper that says he is my husband. While I believe marriage to be a fake and useless construction, some parts of me can’t help but find the idea appealing. 
But that’s only because it’s Erik and I want to bind him to me for ever and ever and for all eternity. 

The innocence of youth

It was my father’s birthday today. Not that I celebrated. I doubted whether or not I’d send him a message or not. Given the fact that he has not sent me or my sister anything (text, mail,…) for our last couple of birthdays, it was a logical thing to ask myself. In the end, I did not write him anything, realising that it wouldn’t make any difference anyway. He hasn’t made any effort to get in touch with me, so why should I bother?

He turned fifty today. That’s twice my age. He was my age when I was born, and things were still looking up for him. His second child, me, though spending quite some time in the hospital due to a severe and almost deadly bronchitis, pulled through and for all he knew, his happy little life would continue like this. Six years later, he was divorced. He turned bitter and lost himself in a spiral of self-pity, anger, alcoholism and pessimism. He would never get out of it and he would try to use my sister and me to hurt our mom, something he managed to do for a while with vicious lies and childish behaviour. 

Some people grow up with a father they can look up to. I grew up with a sad & selfish drunk. Right now he’s been forced to retire because of some conditions he has which are all directly or indirectly caused by his fondness of beer (short-term memory loss and things like that). He only eats biscuits and drinks Coke, 6 days a week. My grandmother is trying to get him to move into her appartment building so that she can be there to make sure he eats decent food, but he’s not cooperating. The poor woman shouldn’t have to deal with that, she spent all her life looking after 5 sons and one (unpleasant) husband, until he died ten years ago, but since then she’s had to deal with my dad quite a lot. It’s easier to turn your back on your parent than on your child, no matter what he has done. Every time I see her, I try to tell her that she did all she could, that’s she is not to blame. I’m not sure she believes this. 

What will I be like in 25 years? I have spent all my youth trying to deny any resemblance to my father, but of course, I know that there must be some.  The only advantage I have is that I can learn from his mistakes. It’s funny how life can turn out: my mother is completely the opposite: she’s 49 right now and while my father’s been wallowing in self-pity, she’s moved forward, had some relationships (bad ones too) but never lost her positive spirit. Maybe that’s why my mom and dad just weren’t meant to stay together. 

I can wish him a happy birthday here: "Happy birthday, dad". He knows this journal exists, but he’s never shown enough interest in me to actually go read it. It’s up to him to prove me wrong. 

(I don’t feel bad or anything, on the contrary, I just had to write this down, because it was a prominent thought today)

This double photo may or may not be linked to the above "tale of interest". I will leave the interpreting up to others. I have done enough of that now.  I always give away too much when I post a photo. There shall be no more of that! Tss, me and my words!

It’s not about pigs

 Alright then, after the sneek preview dedicated to one anonymous pig, here the scan of the final photo. 
See for yourself… 

it’s also part of the vanity series I’m working on, the original sin in pretty pretty colours. I think it’s amazing I made such an ugly location into something that beautiful, but of course, one doesn’t like to blow one’s own trumpet, so I’ll let others blow it for me. hm-hm. 

I went back to the supermarket where I bought the pig’s head a couple of times, but there were none of those for sale any more. Either completely sold out (which I doubt) or banned from the displays (more likely). 

Also, I just finished completing a European student survey (that could win me some cash, which is why I participated, the new camera I want won’t come cheap), it was about expectations about your career, your wages, what you want to work with when you graduate and things like that. It mentioned all the industries in which one could supposedly find work, I couldn’t even select "none of these" when it asked me in which industry I saw my future. It was also very much employee-oriented, the option of starting as a freelancer/on your own was never mentioned, as all questions implied you’d be applying for a job at a big company which would then enslave you for the rest of your life. Afterwards it showed that on average, students in Europe are willing to work over 40 hours a week (the Danes almost 50 hours). I wrote 20 (a lot), which made the Belgian average drop, no doubt. 

The Pig’s second life.

I bought half of a pig’s head yesterday in the supermarket because I wanted to use in a photo I took today (which will be posted later, when my film’s been developed and the 38mm Hasselblad got my pictures sharp (there’s no focus on the thing, just distances)). Who, apart from the restless art student who needs a freaky element for a shoot, would buy half of a pig’s head, with the eye still looking at you through a pair of half-closed eyebrows; it looks at you gently, as if gullibly believing that its death served a higher cause, accepting its fate. Little did it know that its head, along with its snout, were going to be cut in half, the ears separated and sold seperately at a bargain price of 0,38€. And the pig’s head? Half of it, weighing in at almost 2 kgs, was worth just about 3,01€. I think the 0,01€ was for the added gore and blood I was treated on when I grabbed hold of the head to put it into place. 
I suspect the pig’s head was put on for sale by some anti-meat protester working at my supermarket (judging from the average quality of their "premium meat", this protester has been active for quite a while, doing an admirable job). Maybe I am romanticizing, but I actually like the idea of someone deciding to sell half of a pig’s head (only one half, the other half was not on sale, it seemed), just to remind people of what it is they are eating, because it’s always hard to put a face on the particular animal you’re baking medium-rare. 
Who would buy a product like that? I even felt some shame about picking it up, and the cashier girl gave a horrified look as she scanned the bar code. Probably thinking I’d hook it up to the power supply and have sex with it or something (why is this the first radical thing that comes to my mind?). 
Anyhow, I immortalized the poor animal on my photo today, so its well-natured spirit will live on, smiling at my model, tied down on the ground. 

This is the pig’s head as it appeared in one of my test shots (I’m not showing the final shot, because I don’t have it yet). 
It looks like it’s sleeping…