It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Romanian woman in possession of a UK visa must be in want of British blood. However little known of the feelings of such a woman may be on her first arrival at a party, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding company that as soon as she enters the party she is looked upon with suspicion.
“Oh dear, have you heard that there is a Romanian at the party?” said Ben to his girlfriend. “She is the one holding a wine glass, but I would be careful getting near her, that red looks a bit too dark for a wine”. His girlfriend replied that she didn’t think it was such a big deal, and went about with lowering the level of whiskey from her glass. “But you know what that means” said Ben with a grave voice, “they are vampires!”. His girlfriend made no answer. “Are you not worried at all that she might want to drink our blood?” cried Ben impatiently.
“I am here to get wasted, go and reassure yourself if you must, but let me finish my drink so I can get another one before all alcohol is gone!”
That was encouraging enough. Ben made his way towards the unsuspecting woman, and demanded to know the truth.
“Are we not all vampires eager to scratch the healing wound and drink its poisoned blood?!” replied the woman who was feeling a bit philosophical after a few glasses. That was enough to make Ben feel both panic and thrill at being right.
“The sweetest blood comes from the healing wound, oh to keep its poison fresh!” replied Ben trying to go along while thinking of a way to warn the others.
“I enjoy this bitter comedy” said the woman in response, “I guess it is true that life’s twisted hand has the most thirsty vampire be also the one to understand most vividly the vibrations of the poison drawn heart” and raising her glass towards him, she said: “there is a pleasant feeling in letting my tongue swim in the blood of British grapes”.
“To be drunk on painful secrets and putrid lies!” burst Ben as the alcohol took over in his brain. “I believe it is the British blood that is truly a treat for your wicked lust!”
As his words resonated throughout the room reaching even the most distanced guests’ ears, Ben snatched the glass from her hand and set himself to the task of exposing the intruder. To his astonishment, his ingenious supposition about the nature of the liquid that occupied the glass was refuted when it turned out that it was only the juice of grapes from Welsh lands.
Disturbed by Ben’s unsatisfactory show, the crowd went back to their previous occupations, the rest of the evening passing with an awkward disposition for everyone. Soon after, the Romanian woman was on a flight to Transylvania, her two checked-in bags clinking bottles of a red oily liquid that was not what the Welsh label said.
Happy flower’s day
I wish to thee
Sad I’m not there
To share an icetea
Prisoner I’m held
In high esteem,
At the University
I bored eye
Through window’s grill
Admit, I must,
The Scottish trail
I have not kept
What is outside,
Much disconcerts me
In books I sink
And I drive frenzy
In window’s place
Was there a painting
In that fine world
I would awaken
Here, I hope,
Not to grow old,
‘I can not stand
The northern cold’
Once more the moon
Will show her phases,
And I’ll be there
At Black Sea gazin’.
It’s past eleven and Sheen is not home yet. I start to wonder why people offer their home to strangers. It is hard to imagine that is just a balanced reciprocity and that he expects that one day I will be hosting him too. Without a contract there is no security I will ever return the favour, but still there are millions of couchsurfers around the world. The Maori believe in a spirit of the things called ‘the hau’ which accompanies a gift and stays with the person that receives the gift until the act is reciprocated and the spirit can go back to the forest where it belongs.
Perhaps it is an escape from the materialist world where human relations are defined by economic transactions, an attempt to fill in the void created by a kind of alienation resulted from the ‘capitalist transformation’. A community of gift givers like in the Kula ring offering social relations to strangers, idealistically hoping for lifetime friendships.
Until the introduction of money as a mean for payment, the traditional Tiv society could not exchange goods that belonged to different economic spheres, the traders having to bargain in order to establish the terms of exchange. In the absence of a common denominator allowing goods to be measured on a common scale, the economic transactions depended on social factors. Trading depended on the ability of the individuals to cope with the dynamics of diplomacy. The introduction of money then meant the liberation of the individuals form any obligations by setting a fixed value to all things.
But is there a middle ground between suffocation and alienation?!
As I walk around the room I try to guess what Sheen is like. The room is full of boxes filled with printed papers and bags full of cloths, books, tones of DVDs, pictures, old money and even food, giving me the feeling that I am in a storage room. Flicking through Sheen’s books I get an anxious feeling. It is almost 3 am and he is not here. I try to call him but he doesn’t answer.
‘He must be on the island!’, I think. He is on the island, and he hasn’t taken his phone with him. Of course, nobody takes their phone on the island. I know that because I have been on the island myself. And why should one take a phone on the island anyway?! It would stand in contradiction with the very purpose of the trip.
No peace of mind I’ve known
every since I left you my beloved Lord
While apart from you,
our love is the guiding star for my wondering soul
In the long nights I spent alone,
rest I had not yet met, but faultless turmoil
‘til the morning’s naked body
into the sea started to swim.
We have not changed words in so long,
and still with you I have talked all along
your never-fading laugh so much I miss
the destiny I humbly kiss
and pray for one more of our desired trysts.
With hope in mind I sleep, I dream
oh, this bitter flower of the night
I smell for all eternity.
I give upon you loveliness
with no end
come with me and lost we’ll be
I still hear your endless song.