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CROSSING BORDER ANTWERP 4 + 6 NOV 2022

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Kies de taal

UNITED KINGDOM

NETHERLANDS

GESCHREVEN DOOR

Sheena Patel

(GB)

VERTAALD DOOR

Hannalore Daudeij

(NL)

Sheena Patel - 4 - the bar

6 November 2022

She had a sense that perhaps they were all living in a death cult and attending a festival was a way of coping. The two days of heavy rain left the pavements in mirrored pools in the street light. She goes down to breakfast. On the way to the lift, she overhears two writers speaking in the corridor. The woman is stood in the doorway to her room, messy hair, a hand across the door frame speaking to a man who tells her, it’s ok if she can’t write now, she has to be patient, is she making notes, does she have ideas?
In the breakfast room, the man with the long necklace, the open shirt, the vest, is noting down guest’s hotel room numbers. The line of his muscles throb in his hand as the pen moves up and down the page.
Last night, she heard of an after party, she doesn’t have a ticket so at the door she points to her wristband and the bouncer lets her in. Inside is a swirling throng of people, swollen with exaggerated movements. There were half drunk drinks discarded everywhere on the bar, people smoked joints the size of felt tip pens, cigarettes smoked inside as if it were the nineties, she felt it cling to her hair.

She wants to spread herself out, seep inside of everyone. She takes a seat in the corner next to a group who half sprawl on the top of the sofa, two of their group sit intensely next to her speaking of writing, telling one another how much their words mean to the other, you’re inside my creativity she hears one say to the other and the other says in return, as soon as I read the first sentence, I knew.
She picks up a glass nearest to her. She puts the liquid in her mouth, warm red wine, bitter, acrid, it tastes of nothing but a memory of what it tried to be. She swills it over her tongue, spits it back out into the tumbler and places it near the woman. She watches the woman drink the red liquid from the glass.

WAT HEEFT DIT VERHAAL GEÏNSPIREERD?

Meer van Sheena Patel en Hannalore Daudeij

3 November 2022

Sheena Patel - 1

Slicing the meat was the first task. It didn’t matter if it was neat, the cuts were important, delivered in a quick cascade. She laid the knife on the table and admired its shape, the square blade, the wooden handle which slid into the slot of her palm under her thumb. There were men in the shop next door who were fixing the bathroom. She could hear them cough as they moved through the corridor and she worried about germs.

5 November 2022

Sheena Patel - 3 - a stage

A poet stands on stage, her diamond nose stud glinting in the light. She speaks in a low, musical voice, Dutch words for mother, for father flare from her sentences, serialising familial pain. The room is hot, while she is watching she removes her coat, removes her jumper, drapes them over her arm, tries to listen. Once the poet finishes her reading, she closes her book, bows her head and picks her way across the cables on the floor. The MC runs on in her place, says her name, says thank you in English and then switches to Dutch, asks the room to split in two, one side are to shout scream and the other, louder.

12 November 2022

Sheena Patel - 5 - big mac

At 8am she has a Big Mac in the airport. She knows she shouldn’t love McDonalds but she does and the guilt after eating it is part of the pleasure. The boxes around the silicone food go through a whole cycle of becoming only to be discarded in under a minute and she doesn’t feel bad about it. On her last day, she meets a group who have opted to come to the festival but boycott it at the same time telling her, the real festival is in the town, the real town, in a bar like this one, an old Dutch bar where they give you blocks of cheese to eat with the half pints of beer which are stronger than the watered down piss at home.

4 November 2022

Sheena Patel - 2

It was only in the morning that she realised her hotel room had pushed two single beds together rather than give her a double. Around them, two single duvets are tightly bound around each bed like a sheet wrapped around a body. At breakfast, the eggs are grey and powdery, the bacon is fragile, the coffee birthed from the cold hand of a machine. A blond woman stands too close to her as she waits for the black liquid to dispense itself into the cup. She takes her coffee to the table and hides in her phone.

Zie The Chronicles live tijdens Crossing Border 2022