Pots and pans


¹² In a drawer full of dusty film rolls that smell of smoke. 

The crowd will not advance anymore: tear gas into us and it is hard to understand why, no stones had been thrown, only slogans and flags and those brandishing roses and bread - 

A few hundred meters earlier, a boy had climbed up a street lamp and attempted to cut the Party’s flags. Hoorays from the mourners: a small crowd stops and watches him ascend in anticipation. It takes longer than expected and we see him struggle and sweat. He uses a pocketknife and the flags are finally shed to the ground:Hoorays from a thinned crowd.  He has difficulty getting down, dangles uncertainly mid-air and jumps rather than glides to earth.  A hero for a few minutes. Welcome back, brother. 

Why these coloured bullets in the crowd
Was it that we had arrived to the unallowed street, to the the uncrossable boulevard, to the invisible line decreed by the authority in the wall 

The scene becomes chaotic, the air tearful, friends loose each other and banners are left for ever on the sidewalks. 

Taking refuge in the stairways of anonymous houses. 

Peep out, cross the street. The divisions appear to have gone further North, follow the sounds. Ran into a squadron of riot police. An innocent look on my face attempting to utter I’m a simple onlooker a tourist what is this mess I am looking for the Blue Mosque could you help please. Lifted up by bionic arms: an eternity of seconds above the ground (a small feeling when others are shot at and beaten), a small fear that no words, suddenly, will ever be able to bring my feet down to earth. 

Dusk falls. The Geography of the city has stopped obeying to fixed grids and rigid layouts. It has become a moving labyrinth of temporary guerrillas, of momentous struggles, of bonfires lit on squares and charging policemen. Street by street. 

I am hungry and momentarily leave the scenes in search of food. Nothing has changed a few streets to the West.  Veiled matriarchs hurry home, clutching groceries or children. 

/There’s an assassin
There’s an assassin/

The small groups, thinning out and recomposing incessantly, rebuilding slogans, barricades, the momentary sense of freedom and struggle. 
Riot police and water cannons run down the streets regularly, how far will they advance, how far will we advance until the only choice is to run and hide.  The eyes have gotten more accustomed to the teargas and the air is only smoke. 

/There’s an assassin
There’s an assassin/

It is an evening with them, with us, and have talked to no one and no one talked to me. Remember the glint in the eye of girls in black and raised fists.  Under the pepper spray, the bullets and the water cannons, the strange sense of playing a dangerous game, but a game nonetheless. (I learn later, that in the night, someone was killed in the same streets.) The anonymous night shared, the giddiness and the fear. 

/There’s an assassin
There’s an assassin/

Hoarse voices emerge, hazed, after a charge on a new street. A new sound: look up. Women, all women, the terraces full of women silently drumming on pots and pans.

Drum Drum Drum Drum Drum Drum Drm Drm Drm Drm Rm Rm Rm Rm Rm Rm   

Tears mix to the gas
head back
the streets have tired
the metro works
I wonder
how to wash out the night from my clothes 


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