Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Originally uploaded by koalica
I have been to Amsterdam for a week. Indeed, it was one of the stranger experiences. Not the town itself, not its canals, not its row of almost "spot-the-difference" houses, not its have-a-good time marvels. Not that, but the human bonding. Right now, I don’t feel anything in particular about Amsterdam, which is strange for me – since, I am by definition a flaneur, who likes the pace and the feel of the urban spaces. Amsterdam is somehow blurry, like the weather up there, like the endless flatlands and as murky as the land crisscrossed with canals and humidity. Because, what happened in Amsterdam makes it just a scene, just a stage for that something that intertwined two, maybe even three people. If one can count me in, since I was a witness, a helper, a facilitator. Almost, Kafkian figure of helper, but then, much more eloquent.
It’s the question of love, after all. It’s the question of simple and banal human lovemaking. And, yet, it is strange when one finds itself among its mists – not as the one directly involved, but as someone who is present and who observes. Observers in matters of love are having a absolutely singular position, that is somewhere between “heaven and hell”, pathetically speaking, since it is not an active role, not completely passive one. I would say that observer in the matters of love is the absolute pervert and the transgressor. Observer is by definition a pornographer.
The two, the couple are my best friend and a man, who came out of nowhere. My best friend, is epitome of many graces and enchanting spirit that comes from ultimate female insecurity and self indulging neurotic manifestations. It is charming this combination because it is the sign of somebody intelligent and sensitive, complicated and funny, somebody who can be many things and not just one, and not just boring one. In the same time, this charm is pampered with the incoherence of egocentric “moods” – but it is a reasonable price to pay. My best friend and I know each other for a very long time, and I think that we mutually appreciate our good/bad personal traits. We can endure each other with lots of mutual love.
That man who came out of nowhere is exactly that. Someone. Someone who has been expected to come into my best friends life for very long time. Not exactly the prince with shining amour, but close. Almost perfect, if I should express myself in a romantic fashion. Someone, who fulfils my friend’s cravings for emotional stability and security. Someone, indeed, particularly well suited. Someone apparently full of many good characteristics and yet, too little time, to really have a full grasp of the them, there.
It could have been a very banal story of falling in love, if I wasn’t there. I fear that it is anyways, as love stories usually are. It is just, that my by-standing was in most cases inevitable and that I have learned that by-standing is beyond innocence in every possible sense. The bystander wants to get involved, wants to have something to say, wants to change courses of things. And in the same time bystander knows how futile this ambition is.
And yet the other two profit from the bystander. They profit form bystanders disinterest, from dispossessed and aimless nature of the third party, from perverse enjoyment of the by-standing. This third party gives structure, gives its expertise, its authority (and there we can go back to the figure of auctor) on the situation that is going to be materialized. And this giving is irreversibly taken.
In playing this game, my trip to Amsterdam passed. Luckily and again, not in a samll part because of my total lack of energy and scruples, the couple finally has defined itself as couple. My moral lacking as to someone who could have been more an arbiter and less a “transgressive” communicator, is leaving me with sense of guilt that is beyond the guilt of the couple involved. Because, there are people that were hurt in the process - people that are left behind.
And so, if I try to summarize my stay in the Northern Flatland I would say – well it was blurry and guilt ridden. But, I managed to see Rotterdam, the great port with its endless skyline of cranes, docks and ships. Mighty sight. And I managed to walk around Delft, and to admire its sleepy streets, and night lights that gave this little town fairytale like, almost Christmassy atmosphere.

And I managed to grasp a bit the logics behind “l’anomalie hollandaise” of the golden century. And I have learnt to appreciate the advantages of the tumultuous, extrovert and communitarian “love” that South so effortlessly generates.

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