Suzanna’s Cities

 LA LAITERIE | Strasbourg, France. Nov. 1993 |  SUZANNA’S CITIES  |  4 walls installation | painted text | within the Israeli-Palestinian Show

 

My love,

   You wanted the story. Here it is: He is 49, not quite an Israeli; He is a newcomer from Georgia only ten months in Israel. He looks like a tatar. His name: Sovivo Chazde. There, he was an actor. Here, long unemployed, he is now working as a cleaning man. I met him several times when he was cleaning our street. My dog pissed on his leg once. I felt terrible but he laughed and said in his funny Hebrew: Ay, ders mast pis short dog, yes? His face, his fine expression, did not fit with his present occupation. We started to talk. He speaks bad English fluently. My love, his English is, after all, so much better than mine. He just says what he feels like saying, and never-never would he consult a translator before leaving behind a love note. And he knows some German too, but nearly no Hebrew. One day I invited him for coffee. We’d hardly entered the flat when he embraced me and asked Shoshy, or Shoshanushka? Surprised, I quickly answered both! and was ready for him. So started our affair, my love. Last week he told me of his family. His wife, an actress too, is now struggling to keep her job as a lab worker in a clinic for early discovery of breast cancer. After few weeks of working there it was discovered she was ill herself. She was operated right away both breasts cut off. She is recovering now at the hospital. Their move from the USSR to Israel was disastrous in any possible respect. In the first place, they were true communists. Second, he feels nothing for Judaism, even less for Zionism. They hate Israel. They could not make it to America. The difficulties of newcomers and the illness on top of all have put a tremendous stress upon the marriage. Their child (20) went to live in a Kibbutz… But you want to know other things, don’t you, I know you! No, there is no question of my breaking their marriage. And no, I would not try to have a child. How can you even think of such things! Do you think I should adopt the young kibbutznik? No, I’m not kidding, I am serious. I like the father well enough. I see a man, not young anymore, full of fears, lost, no big future.  He is sarcastic about the nationalists, the militarists, the religious guys, the bureaucrats, the provincialism, the medical system, the weather and the landscape; Not one river-river! He says all the time. See? And all-all this unhappiness he invests in his lovemaking. A getaway thing for him? Yes, but not only. All of the possible tenderness the world has not offered him, he offers in bed, to me. Yes, my love, to me.  My body is his gate to celestial Georgia. Imagine it my darling, I am a whole soviet! Me. I feel so happy, I am of use. My name in bed is Georgia. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s a pleasure to be of use.  With him I feel like I am an Arch of Triumph – no, I am a Ring – A Ring Stage around him, and ours is the Total Theatre, the one I always dreamt of: We are the dramatic action, the spectators, and the theatre itself. We have our perfect bond, the whole world. Fear and flight are the Domino of our love. I know my darling, you hate Le Corbusier, you always said that the Plan-Libre reaches at the end the worst kind of Platonism, but I tell you, you are wrong, very wrong. You never grasped the meaning of freedom and the richness of freedom in finding a true bone-structure. Our love is perfect because it is free of us. We stand there, wondering and happy like the man who first covered his simple steel skeleton with glass. And you know, my darling, he sings too. He sings to me in Russian, and sometimes in all these other crazy languages which bring millions of slanted eyes into my dark happy glassy bedroom. This is so irresistible! And he has a very powerful body, three golden teeth in the front and a long scar on his arm, a souvenir of a knife quarrel he lost over a girl he loved when he was 17. (She went with the other) In August he plans to take his wife and leave for America. Yes, America after all. The son will stay in the Kibbutz. My darling, be well, my love, don’t let me wait too long, letters are all I have. Love, Suzanna .