A collaboration with Ruth van Beek.

Read my text below. | Read more.


Between waking and sleeping slumbers

everyday business,
the smallest of dreams,
memories and

I think of

an apple,
a beard covered in spider webs,
a table with a cake on it,
a tattoo of a heart.

What am I going to wear tomorrow?
When I was eight I saw the monkeys in the zoo.

Out of bed at ten past, leave the house at 45, arrive at nine


I’m  4 inches tall, I skate icy circles around the sugar bowl. I’m folded arms and knees covering my ears in the aquarium.

The cacti on the window pane are a forest and the

cookie jar,
coffee mug
and teaspoon

on the coffee table a town.



The owls are covered up.

I think of the pink of the birds,
lick the color off their heads.

Small dinosaurs write letters in the sand.


I say that there’s a woman living in the mirror

that writes all existing books
and knits sweaters for my mother
and eats my sister’s broccoli when she’s finished with it,

that there are yellow plants growing on Mars and

Batman can’t fly.

And something else that’s true: that snakes have a little stove in their bellies.


I’m eight and between the here where I’m standing and the here of the man in front of me: a popsicle. And the yellow’s leaking
along the stick
in his hand,
along his arm
into his sleeve. Silhouettes slide past the glass. Dark blue silhouettes slide past the glass. A dark that I know from uneasy dreams

And the orange leaks after the yellow into the coat.
And the red leaks after the orange into the coat.

And the man takes off his sun glasses and winks at the footsteps behind me.

And then comes the sleep.


Steps lead up to a tunnel. The wall on the right is made of glass. Behind it seals swim in the dark green water, their shadows skimming past the windows with no view.
    The space is empty except for one man. I come to a halt when I reach the end of the stairs. The man stands on the far left in front of the glass and stares into the opaque green of the water. He keeps his hands on his back and bows slightly, almost touching the glass with his face. He’s wearing sunglasses.
    I step off the last step, onto the tiles. The sound that the heel of my shoe could have made is swallowed by the stuffiness of the room. I’m not here.
    The man stands motionless before the glass, now about thirteen steps away from me. The contour of a seal slides past the glass, casting a shadow on the face of the man.
    I stay close to the wall on my left and shuffle step by step towards the man. He’s holding something in the hands that meet on his back, I can see now: a popsicle.   
    When I’m only five steps away from the man, he turns on his heels. He shows me a smile with crooked teeth, his eyes invisible behind his sunglasses, and stretches his arm out to me, presents me his right hand in which the melting popsicle is leaking three colors in the sleeve of his long beige coat.
    Dull footsteps reach the last step behind me. I don’t turn around. I keep looking at the man in front of me and the popsicle in between us. The shadows of the seals slide across the floor.
    With his left hand the man reaches for his face and puts the sunglasses on his forehead. With his right hand – the popsicle still melting between his sticky fingers – he waves.
    His eyes are bright blue and friendly. He takes a step forward, walks past me towards the woman that has come to a halt behind me. I turn in his shadow, as though the wind that his pace has generated has spun me around.
    With his left hand he whisks a lock of brown hair from the woman’s face. With his right hand he holds the side of the melted popsicle against her lips. She smiles and opens her mouth to take a bite.
    A quick kiss. The man puts his arm around her waist and leads her to the stairs from which I came. The woman takes the stick from him, bites the last color off it.


Childhood memories of what I think is the seal habitat in the Amsterdam Zoo, Artis. I found the stuffy atmosphere and dull sounds of that space to be very uncanny, a feeling that I’ve since then come to associate with all kinds of other ominous situations.

A scene from Dressed to Kill (Brian De Palma, 1980) in which a person wearing a blonde wig and sunglasses stabs a woman in the elevator of a hotel while another woman watches. The scene is almost entirely shot in slow motion.

A passage from a book that I, after quite a search, retrieved in Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho. The chapter is called Killing Child at Zoo.

The snowy owl has eyes that look just like mine, especially when it widens them. And while I stand there, staring at it, lowering my sunglasses, something unspoken passes between me and the bird – there’s this weird kind of tension, a bizarre pressure, that fuels the following, which starts, happens, ends, very quickly.
    In the darkness of the penguin habitat – Edge of the Icepack is what the zoo pretentiously calls it – it’s cool, in sharp contrast to the humidity outside. The penguins in the tank glide lazily underwater past the glass walls where spectators crowd in to stare. (-)
    A child, barely five, finishes eating a candy bar. His mother tells him how to throw the wrapper away, then resumes talking to another woman, who is with a child around the same age, the three of them staring into the dirty blueness of the penguin habitat. The first child moves toward the trash can, located in a dim corner in the back of the room, that I am now crouching behind. He stands on tiptoes, carefully throwing the wrapper into the trash. I whisper something. The child spots me and just stands there, away from the crowd, slightly scared but also dumbly fascinated. I stare back.
    ‘Would you like… a cookie?’ I ask, reaching into my pocket.
    He nods his small head, up, then down, slowly, but before he can answer, my sudden lack of care crests in a massive wave of fury and I pull the knife out of my pocket and I stab him, quickly, in the neck.