23 December 2011

Inside out

My mother turns her coat inside out and asks me which side is better.

I flick through the rare book of photographs my brother has bought for my father, Jerusalem through my father’s eyes.

A photograph of a Bedouin family in 1935.

The caption: The woman is wearing her jacket inside out. This meant. “I am in a hurry; don’t stop me to talk.” People seeing her dressed like this would realize that she intended no rudeness by not pausing to greet them.

Obvious signs.

Clear symbols.

Strange ritual.

9 December 2011

Old

He said it would be easier to just let the old people die in the heat. Those in charge were secretly glad of the heat wave. So were their tanned daughters. These are the people who are afraid to use their own things. They are people who are fastidious in their own homes but slobs in other people’s. They want things to be abrupt and clean. These are the people who use sleep aids and know they are 'doing well' only when something is being lost. They want to be alone but not because they value privacy. They prefer lakes to oceans. If lots of pensioners die over a short period of time many practical changes can be made and everyone will save a bit of money. The tanned girls will always have thick hair because they will cleverly regulate their crash dieting.