CROSSING BORDER ANTWERP 4 + 6 NOV 2022
Kies de taal
Sheena Patel - 5 - big mac
12 November 2022
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. A woman tells her she started a record label because she didn’’t like what the industry was doing, didn’t like the mainstream industry, wanted to strike out on her own. She reveals through the conversation her father signed a massive band when he was young and so she realises, the woman is totally of the establishment even if he was part of the anti-establishment. She thinks, you’re all liars, pretending you’re self-made.
She’s going home. Home towards the hum of the fridges. Will she start when she gets home or should she unpack, she doesn’t know. At the airport there are small humiliations at being in the All Passport queue, the airport staff have to explain to confused British people that no, they can’t join the EU queue because, they say slowly, as if speaking to misbehaving children, you voted Brexit and you’re no longer European. Even in our defeat we are entitled.
Flying is as mundane as catching a bus down the road. She clicks open her front door key in the lock. Everything is where she left it except the mass, the shadow mark of the mass on the ground. She puts her bags down, throws her keys into the bowl by the door. She walks to the fridge, which works relentlessly from the corner of the room.She pauses to listen. No work is happening next door. She can’t hear the Indian man. George is not there. She puts one hand on the fridge handle, casts an eye on the knife by the sink.
She fingers a necklace in her pocket.
WAT HEEFT DIT VERHAAL GEÏNSPIREERD?
Meer van Sheena Patel en Hannalore Daudeij
6 November 2022
Sheena Patel - 4 - the bar
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?
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.
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