MASCULINE MEMOIRS?

From Memoirs
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Photo: DM Vyleta
by Petri Tamminen

Translated from the Finnish by Anselm Hollo

These extracts originally appeared in Books from Finland (3/2004).

1988

Self

The relationship was romantic. We wore more summery clothes than anyone else, watched more artistic movies, ate more exotic foods. I saw myself through the eyes of people passing us as I was walking from the movie theater to the restaurant, wearing only a light jacket in the freezing March wind. After a month, my fiancée found out about our affair. We remained affianced. The next time I met the other woman, I had to introduce myself all over again.



1998

The fake dead

That fall I scrutinised the dead closely. In westerns they lay in the sand, in cop shows on steel tables, in drama serials in splendid coffins surrounded by grieving relatives. The actor lay there, motionless. I stared at him. I thought about how he had risen out of the coffin, how the team had gone on with their work, people had talked and laughed, moved sets around, brought in things, taken things away. I studied every single motionless trait of the actor's face and thought that he would nevertheless get up soon, have a cup of coffee, sit by the studio wall pondering his next takes, not remembering his death at all.



2001

May

The girl's chest rose and fell, numbers changed on the digital gauge of the oxygen tent. Outside it was winter, men stood next to the hospital door, cigarettes between their lips and phones in their hands. Three months later, in May, I woke up with the girl resting in my armpit. The coffee maker prattled in the kitchen. A lawnmower clattered somewhere in the distance. The world was running, and we were allowed to wake up into it.



Published in Transcript 21 by kind permission of the author and Books from Finland.








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