I got a headache maybe it’s the Irish mules from last night or the mosquitos or the creaking of the boat. The alligators wouldn’t let up with their croaking yesterday evening in harmony with the toads. A kind of cockroach got into my room and took off under my mattress when I moved the sheets and I screamed. My aunt came charging in with a glove to take stuff out of the oven and a glass to capture the bug but it got away the disgusting thing and she had to squish it. Verdict of the expert after twenty-five years living in Brooklyn it wasn’t a cockroach ok but just like one I’m no superhero I’m not about to swallow that while I’m sleeping I’m no Clarice Lispector. I sleep on board the boat in the basement room under my mother not far from the toilet tank sometimes I think about those things. A little island of water plants that must have broken off the bank is passing by on the river in front of me. I can hear on the deck on the other side my cousin older cousin telling once again one of his spicy stories as only he can tell about his childhood in the Philippines or the CIA conspiracies or the nurse he banged in the early ‘90s… He disappeared for thirty years lost in booze and drugs then showed up on the family radar around 2013. He talks almost nonstop and if it ain’t him it’s Louise who comes knocking on the mosquito net every hour on the hour to tell us all over again the same story.
I have a headache this morning. It must be the cocktails from last night and the mosquito bites, since I’m allergic. The Siamese cat on the boat next door won’t stop making a racket in competition with the Chihuahua. Last night I saw a bug disappear under my mattress and I let out a scream. My aunt came in her hand in a heat-resistant non-slip glove with a glass to catch it but it got away and we had to squish it. She told me it wasn’t a cockroach, that she was sure having lived twenty-five years in Brooklyn. It was a water bug. That doesn’t change the fact that I don’t want an insect to be able to enter my mouth while I’m asleep. I sleep in the lower room, in the hold of the boat, so I hear lots of noises. The first day I think I saw an alligator in the distance. Now I hear my older cousin on deck, on the other side of the boat, telling another story that makes no sense. He’s dragging out the chemtrail conspiracy theory. The white trails left in the sky are chemicals released by airplanes to cause global warming. He talks nonstop, if it’s not him it’s Louise his wife, who is starting to get senile and is constantly forgetting that she’s already told us that story.
I have a headache this morning. It must be the Irish mules from last night, the insect bites… or the fugue state. We heard calls altering like mutant animals, toad, manatee, Chihuahua… When I moved the curtain in my cabin an insect took off under my mattress and I screamed. Siri arrived straightaway. She came into the room with several objects; in a few seconds, it was gone. It’s not a parasite according to her; she knows them after twenty-five years in an infested zone. I felt reassured because I feared the presence of a snitch since the start of our trip. I sleep in the lower part of the vessel near the ducts and motors. In front of me, a moving isle broke off on the Sea of Grass. I can hear in the distance the poet who is beginning the narrative of a new adventure beyond the time deficit. That of a girl who would occasionally appear in simulation and make love to him. If not, it is Louise who is speaking; each day her brain affected by the anentropic field erases the story of the preceding day.
I have a headache this morning. It must be the Irish mules, the insects… or perhaps the jetlag. The river animals have got bogged down in a long interspecies dialogue that is rather confusing. When I went to lie down, I shook my sheets and a large cockroach appeared. So I let out a scream. My aunt asked me to go fetch a lid and by the time I had returned it had escaped so she had to squish it. She was not happy because she tries to toss insects outdoors rather than kill them. She teased me a little because she found it quite small and that according to her it isn’t a cockroach but rather a water bug. It is still a ROACH. My aunt and my mother weren’t too fond of the first episode of the series Westworld. There is a scene where the android Dolores is resting in the Delos laboratories for “repair” and a fly moves across her wide open eye. The technician asks her, “Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?” “No.” “Do you know where you are?” “I’m in a dream.” Dolores forgets each night the story she will perform all over again the next day. When she is asked what she thinks, she answers with a smile, “Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty.” When she arrives at the heart of the maze, she finds she is facing herself; the person with whom she would speak in her dreams was in fact herself. It is by that path that she acquires consciousness. In the heart of the labyrinth, I also imagine Louise endlessly seeking Dolores, Dolores who has become Wyatt, Dolores who has become the Lord of Pain.
Barbara Sirieix (May 2018)
Invitation made on the occasion of the exhibition Desk Set