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Archive for May, 2010

Butterfly stroke

published on: 26.05.2010 in: All entries

Still on the topic of first days. Like many people, I have gone through quite a few first days in various office environments. On some first days I found myself wondering where to find myself a desk (“should we put you by the coffee-machine?”). Nobody seemed prepared or interested that I was coming. Entering those [...]

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Butter flowers and a Mastiff

published on: 24.05.2010 in: All entries

Picture this: Summer. Tall grass sprinkled with daisies and snow ladies. Splashes of yellow butter flowers. Bursts of greens. Spotlights of sun.Kids dance in the park. They are practicing something. They are of all ages and heritage. There is also a family: tattoos, beers, electric wheelchair, greasy hair, bare-chested, fat, rowdy. And one big Mastiff. [...]

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Do you remember your first day at school?

published on: 22.05.2010 in: All entries more

Lesser of two evils

published on: 21.05.2010 in: All entries

The lesser of two evils. If you’re writing fiction, it’s a powerful tool to confront characters with: two options, both of which are bad. One is only slightly less bad than the other.In real life, it’s no fun to find yourself in that position. No fun at all.For the past three days, my son has [...]

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Nannies and pees

published on: 17.05.2010 in: All entries

The nannies all meet up at the various playgrounds in Amsterdam and speak Tagalog with eachother, while the children play. They’re body language is bolder, more slack, cooler when they are together than when they are with the parents they work for. They smoke cigarettes or engage in celphone conversations that last at least twenty [...]

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Something new

published on: 15.05.2010 in: All entries

During flamenco class the other day, I found myself comparing flamenco to writing again. You can’t expect to get it right if you don’t practice until your feet bleed and your knees hurt. But there’s also this: if you stand there thinking, “I can’t do this, I’m bad, I look like crap,” then I guarantee [...]

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Paralysis

published on: 14.05.2010 in: All entries

A woman behind the bar. Her eyelid droops. It is almost closed. I study her while waiting for my turn to order beers. Is it a paralysis or an over-contraction? It could go both ways. I study the rest of her face, her mouth hardly moves on the droopy-eye side. Her cheek seems lifeless. Paralysis. [...]

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Last day

published on: 11.05.2010 in: All entries

My son's last day at the daycare center. I try to soak up the details in order not to forget. The smell of apples, bananas and diapers. The loud clang of the bell. The covers to put over our shoes and how hardly any of us can be bothered to put them over our children's [...]

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Work

published on: 10.05.2010 in: All entries

“Mom, wait!” I hear this a lot after having kissed my son goodnight. I pause for a second, know what’s coming: an excuse to keep me there for a little while longer. Any excuse.“Your work, mom,” he blurts out, “uhm tell me about your work?”A perfectly normal question, but when it comes out of the [...]

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The blind spot

published on: 09.05.2010 in: All entries

Remember The Fountainhead? No? Doesn’t matter, neither do I. Not the details, that is to say. What I do recall is this somewhat abstract notion of an ideal man. A virtuous man, entirely rid of ego while having been blessed with a great talent. His name was Rourke. There was also Keating who was the [...]

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