i felt a bit uncomfortable as i got undressed but his steady hands and warm touch soon eased the strange intimacy of that bright and cold moment as he bent over me, whispering with concern in his kind eyes:’definitely neuralgic amyotrophy.’

i am imagining it more in the way he later tried to describe it; my body is consuming itself,

and i think of the joni mitchell song…
‘don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone;
they paved paradise and put up a parking lot’.

when i felt better i went to the jean tinguely exhibition at the stedelijk museum. the artist’s work is an expression in the form of machinery comprised of found objects and scrap metal, some now defunct, others barely; the shadows of the decaying pieces provided perfect animation to the lifeless, it almost seemed like escaping spirits as my angle of vision changed in passing, the proud ‘mengele-totentanz’ piece; a reincarnated performance of skeletal shadows against the fiery light that lasted for only 60 seconds every eleven minutes.

what is most remarkable is the perpetual consistency of this penetrating pain. it becomes a part of me and i believe it even sustains me, feeds me; as if i couldn’t exist without it. but is it not the promise of death that keeps us alive ?

outside on the canal it is winter again; the water birds have fled, not the cold, but the commotion. the trees have been felled and the water dammed up for construction, a man with a hard windswept face is directing the large cement trucks.
day and night i watch the workers brave the cold in their bright overalls barely a few meters away, almost mindlessly driven by their machines on a repetitive cycle, while my window reverberates with their relentless toiling rhythm.