zaterdag 5 september 2015

I Can't Remember #7

I can't remember the name of a restaurant in the narrow center of Haarlem, a pleasant joint with a smell of days forgotten and good food served. First I had been in Amsterdam, the schedule as usual, visiting artist places. Later I drove along a canal, got to some more artist places. A day filled with nice people eager to show me the thing they did. Later that night we walked through streets as clean as blank sheets. The interior of the restaurant had a touch of ancient days and in particular the dish served was delicious.

I can't remember the location of Sugar Lake, how we got to the lake, if it was north or south of the place where we resided, apart from many other aspects. It was summer 1978. For some weeks we had been working on a farm near Ookanogan Lake. A phone came and the farmer drove us to Cherryville, a place set in the western highlands of the Canadian Rockies. Dome Community, called as such because of the round shape of its main settlement, was a nudist farm. The people of Dome Community ran a shop in Vernon. With all that the location of Sugar Lake remains unclear. Someone, I don't remember his name, stood on a rock high above the lake, took a major jump and disappeared beneath the surface of the lake. But maybe that lake wasn't Sugar Lake.

I can't remember the name of both the Argentino, who borrowed me a small amount of money after my wallet had been stolen, and his boyfriend. We used to live in the same neighbourhood. I had a penthouse on Plaza Biedmas, centro Màlaga, they had a charming, colonial house two blocks away from Plaza Biedmas.

I can't remember the name of the gallery where Enrique exposed his trifles and I don't remember the name of the gallerist, a suitcase-dressed and introvert figure who occupied himself with the local shrub and never really took notice of me. He had no reason to pay attention to me. But one night, after a miserable opening ceremony, with no other image than narrow steps to the first floor of a greyish building and work on the wall and people intending to have a look at it, we had dinner in a restaurant around the corner. The table, long and far from silent, gave at least a double of a dozen of inhabitants, Enrique of course and his gallerist, Enrique's girlfriend, other artists eventually with or without partner, and a double of a dozen of dishes, and everyone took from each dish, and I can't remember what they were talking about.

I can't remember the village all too well. We drove to Leicestershire or maybe we didn't. I sat in the back of the car. We drove through landscapes of which I partly remember that Cees Nooteboom may have seen more or less the same thing as we saw, and maybe didn't experience it in a different way: pages of slow landscape. Eager to meet the woman I was in love with the landscape made curious bows. Poplars and meadows and the villages we left behind appeared to be oceans of puddled nectarine. Things are different now but the trees and meadows still may be there. I can't remember the village. Walking from the mansion along a narrow path, with a pool to the left and high walls that kept the village out and a meadow with gracious curves, I noticed her. The woman I was in love it. She sat in front of a cedar, huge and dark as Leicestershire cathedral. There she sat and I can't remember the place all too well.

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