X Marks The Spot

by Ohad Ben Shimon

I couldn't decide on a title because I felt the ones I came up with were equally as good as the others so I'll just list them all down:

/Concrete my ass
/Hoyerswerda zoologist gets eaten by a wolf
/Ego tourism
/Be my guest


I've been fucked. I've been fucked. I'm supposed to behave now and say all these things I don't really want to say. I've been fixed in spot. I have been turned into a broken record, or no even worse, a broken record case. I've become a parody, a parrot. I come when you have already left. You are on your way while I try to catch up. No more. No more of this crap. You put a sort of smart ass title, a caption, a name, a year, and I'm suppose to sit here and call it up. Fuck off.

I know what you will say; I know what you will say. You will say, hey, it goes together. But you know it doesn't, you know that words are words and images are images. I don't care how long you go on fantasizing about their little romance. You know I feel something, you know I care, you know I want to go beyond, beyond this, beyond what I am doing here, what am I doing here?
And perhaps it's not just me. It's just not meant to be, this kind of approach: let's make something, no sorry, let's think something, then make something and then write something to justify what we made that in turn would justify what we thought. It's all about judgment here and perhaps everywhere else. You see it as I do. With certainty at suspense, all is busy with finding the right spot, the right position for the judgment day you were so concerned about last night.

Or in fact we are all busy getting laid. Laid yes in the sense of getting fucked but more essentially getting laid in place, laid down, laid to rest, laid to not wake up tomorrow, to not need again and again to justify our actions.
Your concern regarding the nakedness of the body and soul in return for that glorifying moment, in which you would be standing in front of your judge, seems like a compromise. Not by you of course but by your judge. After all your judge is the one that would be revealing himself. Granting you once and for all a face, an address, a court of justice in which your crimes would finally find their silhouette.


Today we went bowling. Well, I mean we went to the bowling alley but we didn't bowl, we just drank and smoked and I ate a mozzarella and tomato salad. Before that 2 guys were running around the forest with a video camera attached to a long tree branch. We saw a cow; two cows, and a horse; two horses. My head hurt from the hangover most of the day. You gave me 2 pills for my headache. I only took one. The toilet broke. You fixed it. Some people showed work, others drank more beer, and I well I was mainly confused. A little bit because of the headache, another bit because I couldn't think of something to write about or talk about, and a last bit because of you.
I guess the people are alright, I guess they need a place to put there loss in, to bury what needs to be buried in the piles of concrete that will start piling up here in a few weeks. Lost projects, things that got stuck, people they want to depart from, people they lost, memories they wished they could stop
re-calling, stop re-writing; Stuff. You know, stuff. That kind of stuff that sticks to you and no matter how hard you try shaking it off you can't get rid of it. I told you today it's about responsibility. You play a role for other people. You count for them in one way or another. They count on you. It is a lot of responsibility. You agreed but in your heart something was not quiet. Maybe you brought me here to be responsible for you, to take your responsibility away. No, that doesn't make sense. Or perhaps I am the one who has to take up my own responsibility? You asked if I'm trying to take you home with my concerns and questions. You meant literally causing you to go home by making you doubt what you already forgot you doubted, but I thought you meant metaphorically and so I agreed immediately. I am trying to take you home, to bring you there, to that place, to walk along with you in case you lose your way. In fact as childish as it may sound, I am here to hold your hand. You mentioned you feel homesick but you didn't know where that home is. Am I your home doctor that with his visit here would make this more of a home for you?


Just woke up. Headache hasn't gone away yet; should take the other pill. Just realized that in a place like this making a diary doesn't make sense,
or maybe it makes even more sense. Don't know.
Have to get some coffee. Find my cigarettes. Have a wash. Write some emails. Get breakfast. Maybe take some pictures. I guess it's the same as in every other place. Wanting to leave a mark, to prepare; by going on, by following the daily routines to their ends, by going through them again and again and by so creating an imprint, a memoir.

The door slams again. Building number 9 is looking rather grey today. Building number 10 a bit more whitish and building number 11 more of the same. Someone is drilling, another photographing and a third sleeps.
Some cars pass by while I realize that it is me who is passing by.
My head stopped aching for a while. I ate a tasty fruit salad that I bought from a Vietnamese guy in the city center. Or maybe he was from Thailand; had another coffee, took some pictures; E-mailed.

Now I sit here, wait for you to come. I should probably take a shower; have a nap; put my head to rest. Or perhaps I need some music.

Someone said that somebody else went crazy earlier today.

I look out of the window to see how the others are dealing with this. A girl comes out of building number 9 with short jeans and a plate full of home made food. Another guy keeps shouting to another guy to throw him the keys. A family that probably used to live here passes by.
Someone is giving a lecture tonight.

We had dinner.
The lecture will soon start.
You are fixing the lights.
Jobe was mentioned at the dinner table.
Tonight is Monday night.


I wake up with the fear of over sleeping and coming down with these buildings. I was too late to get out; to re-act. The fear of not re-acting on time must be a rational fear for if there is good timing for a specific action to be performed, acted out; there must also be a good time for a re-action.
But is that so? I think it had to do with expectation or promise as you said yesterday. Something that should appear, that is supposed to appear, that has been promised to appear, to make an appearance; But an appearance of what? Perhaps an appearance of truth? Should I be fulfilling a promise to make an appearance of the truth? But then what would be the sense of
re-appearing, something that should fulfill a double act of appearing?
Perhaps the idea of representation itself? I didn't expect it coming, those buildings falling in my sleep. I was too late again. But it is a bit contradicting, for the only way for me to get up in time before the destruction of these buildings would be to wake up and then this whole dream didn't really exist. Do you understand what I mean?

The music starts.
Coffee is god almighty.
You are looking outside of the window.

Someone found some old records.
You play the guitar with your socks on.

Maybe I could stop the buildings from falling by writing about them?


You are playing the piano. You play nice.
I was thinking of Anna Frank today while I was sitting on the bench after I had my fruit salad from the Vietnamese guy. I never really understood the whole fuss about this young girl and her diary but in a sense there is something about it. Not so much in her as a personage but more in her diary, as a kind of artistic project, a manifestation of a spirit, an existence. But not necessarily a tormented one, just a spirit amongst many others, some tormented less, some tormented more but all, kind of standing on the same line if one can say that about a life, about life. Are we on a line? I think not, but then again it is the closest I can get to describing properly my co-ordinates.
She must have been in a certain state of mind, a certain place, which the war evoked in her but in a way she was completely detached from it.

You come in. You laugh slightly. You pat on my back. You open the
window. You walk around the room a bit.
You laugh again and then you go back to the window.
You walk out of the room.
You come back and fix the pictures on the wall. You move them around as if by re-arranging them something new will emerge, some metamorphoses. Perhaps it is so but then if that is the case, change is all we have left in hope of a better tomorrow. You mentioned change yesterday evening in the talk. You asked us and yourself out loud if it is you that has to change in order to feel better; in a sense yes, but in a sense no. Rather difficult.
You move some more pictures around, you lean against them, you stick them to the wall with stickers. Stickers. Those things that stick.
You say stigmata, I call it stickers.

This is the sound I heard throughout my stay at Hoyerswerda - Spirits sticking to each other in the hope that by sticking together they won't get stuck.

You mention beauty but you can't even look me in the eyes.
You play some more music but this time it sounds like all you are playing with is other people's lives. You care to take more in instead of leaving room for others. You shut yourself down when the lights go on, and you try to find in yourself that certain something that others see in you but you just can't and you can't understand why you can't but if only you would look me in the eyes you would see that I love you and you would see that I care and you would see that its not just you around here but that its love that's in the air,
in these rooms of hell, rooms of re-creation.

day 6

I wake up worried. I put on some music. It's quite early but I should go out and look for a way to get out of here. Maybe I'll have some coffee first. Take a shower. Freshen up.

I wake up again feeling better; slept with my shoes on. Like in my army days in which we would be ordered to keep them on in case we would need to
re-act quickly to unexpected things during the night.

Had a nice swim in the artificial lake earlier today.
Drank some orange juice.
Smoked more.
Confirmed my ride back.

I go on. I try more. I help myself up and go to the balcony.
I hesitate once or twice before I come back to the room, then I sit down for a while and let things be things and me be me.
I hear some noises; some cars driving up and down the street, someone drilling. I smoke a cigarette and stop writing for a while.

I go downstairs. Someone you once shared a bed with appears to be talking to you. She says we look alike. You confess to her of your guilt feelings regarding your previous actions and ask her to forgive you for not re-acting on time. It seems like you found your judge after all - the nakedness of your tormented soul in return for the nakedness of her perfect body.

Ohad Ben Shimon, 2008