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  • Photo du rédacteurNatacha de Santignac

Lumb Bank experience

Dernière mise à jour : 1 mai 2020

An opening

I told him to meet me at Tiffany’s. I thought: “the hotel is five-minute walk from home and will be open on January 1st. It is a cosy place for a drink. If his conversation is dull, I can always keep my eyes busy with the wallpaper and the art works around.” His name is Pierre-François, how snob. We virtually met on a website. What do I know about him? He is a contemporary artist, he as a studio close to my flat, he is Swiss and married. He is tall and fit which both pleased my eyes. What am I eager to explore again?

She told me to meet her at Tiffany’s. I thought: “A hotel, would she be so fast should she find me attractive? “Tiffany’s”, how snob. I have never been there, is she a regular? I hope her conversation will turn out as vivid as her messages or I will not know how to behave in such a setting”. Her name is Natacha, almost exotic in Switzerland. We have been writing to each other on a website. What do I know about her? She is studying journalism, she lives close to my studio, she is French and English and married. She looked quite ordinary on the picture I received. I have never had an affair with someone met on the web still I wonder, will this one be different?

Plaine de Plainpalais, Genève, Suisse
Duo insolite

Describe a person through his/her place

The door is always open. From the outside, it looks dark but the books still catch your eye. Most people stop because of them and when they do they see a massive back sitting at a desk. He sighs and groans at regular intervals while his left hand strokes his head. He is reading and his pencil like a guard is on call should there be some word to underline or a quote to memorise.

If you step in and say “hello”, you will instantly step out as the massive back will have straightened to become a tall man shaking and shouting. You see, you scared him. He was living in the book before your arrival. Was he with Kant or Shakespeare or Balzac?

From the variety of books which seem to grow from the floor to the ceiling, it could be anyone. The alphabetic order of the writers on the shelves contrasts with the heaps of clothes and magazines strewing the floor.

He always needs a cup of tea, milk and sugar, and will offer you one. You will not know where to sit but he will dig out a secret chair, and the bin will transform into a coffee table when a worn-out metal tray appears carrying two mugs and a few biscuits.

Luzerne, Switzerland
La vie en rose

Describe someone you love

My man is a wolf. I can feel his light blue eyes’ appetite when he looks at me. I love playing with his soft, thin pepper-and-salt hair. Sometimes I close my eyes to nest into his tender tenor voice. In the morning, I stare at his long body lying by my side, listening to his breath and scrutinising every inch of his face. Watching him dress and slip into his tailored for a giant suit, like a girl, makes me feel I have found my place.

His smile is the most comforting sight for my impetuous soul, his height, a barrier protecting me from my own demons. He loves my wit, my perfume, my red lipstick and my voice specially when I sing. I know he also takes care of my fragility, my lack of confidence, my difficulties to cope with a world I do not feel I fit in. My man is a wolf.

Describe an interior

Red everything is red. It is warm, life is beating, energy flowing, particles floating, yet all is dark. Distant sounds and voices are heard. The softness of marshmallow flesh and bones guarantees the passage through the world. Eyes finally open wide and fill with light violently.

Describe an exterior

Walking up and down, this is all we do for six or seven hours a day. Sometimes the rocks cling against each other, or fall into a ravine, sometimes our soles slip because of snow. I am grateful for the spare sticks the guide lent me. The ghastly wind seems to follow us, and always decides to attack at the most difficult point of our journey. We can’t hear it come as the landscape is bare. It gets so cold I pull out every possible layer I can find. When it has gone, sweat starts dribbling down my back and I have to take all the jumpers off again. We do not speak much, our fight with the mountain and the elements is a loner’s one.

When we pause my legs desperately keep walking in circles, as my body reaches dangerous low levels should they stop. I do not wish to be found frozen in another two thousand years. A flash: the mummy in the Andes, probably not that far from here, actually. Although my story would seem pretty bland compares to his: I am no messenger to no one, except myself.

The summit still seems out of reach. Are our steps getting us any closer? I feel we form a snake circling around its prey. I am not sure who will be defeated. After five days of trekking I wonder if each of my muscles and each of my brain cells will find the stamina to pursue the venture.

Torres del Paine, Chili.
Los Torres

Disguised description

Version 1

A smart figure

A smart writing

And a distant connection

A sharp look

A sharp style

And a faraway story

A tiny figure

A tiny voice

And troubled memories

Version 2

Here she is, moving around between the building, a warm wind is playing with her hair. A smart figure to match a smart writing. It is hot and humid but she is used to that, and so keeps on training her sharp look to observe. I feel a distant connection.

She embarks the readers with amazing details on a voyage to a faraway place, where a tiny figure and a tiny voice have troubled memories to share in order to heal.

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