Vita Imperfetta


Ante Wessels

early '80s

Part 1


Klaing!... Klaing!

Behind me.

On the bridge, someone is standing beside a bike.

He tries to break the lock open with a hammer or a stone.

A window is opened. 

- He, what are you doing!

- None of your business!

- Is that your bike, is that your bike,


I'll call the police!

- Idiot!

The man on the bridge lifts the bike,

holds it above the water.

- Yes, I'll call the police!


The man on the bridge walks away angrily. 

In my direction.

Time to walk on.

* * *

About that time, at the canal, torn up trousers.

A ticket seller says:

- Hey, you wanna fuck for free?

He's joking.

I walk on.

They've asked me before.

Then it occurs to me what they mean.

The idea.


there was about anything I wouldn't...

A sweet lady, voluptuous.

- Ever done this work before?

- No.

- It's easy. 

And Claudia is a nice girl.

Be here at eight tomorrow.

The excitement.

I walk right into a French lady's.

- Demain je vais travailler dans une theatre.

- Une theatre?

I tell the story.

- Ah, un club!

- Eh...oui, un club.

* * *


At the sidewalk a man is hosing down the street.

Almost eight o'clock.

This feeling.

I had it before.

Words, what are the words for it?

I don't exist!

I don't exist!

I don't exist!

A room, a stage, some lines of chairs.

A boy and a girl.


They'll perform tonight.

The boy looks cold.

Enters a guy.

- I'm glad you're back.

Can't work with Claudia.

Always late, always pissing around.

Never troubles with you...

I want to work, make money...

And then, those holes in her arms,

the boss doesn't like that...



the vibrator,

Claudia used it,

you know,

clean it well.

Take some jenever.

There is something wrong with the Seven Up.

Like hasn't been ordered.

The two go to the kitchen.

The girl turns her head to me,


- It's awful here.

Nice girl, sensitive and so.

i nod. 

The two come back.

- You see,

we can't use you tonight.

Have you got a phone,

can I reach you?

- No.

Call us regularly,

may be we need you soon.

- Yes.

Off, just off.

* * *

Damstraat, 2 a.m.

A boy and girl approach me.

- Monsieur, parlez vous français?

- Un peu.

- Qu'est-ce que veut dire...




- Merde.

- Ah, merci!

* * *

I lay in the grass, beside my bike.

A few cyclists approach.

Female voice:

Look there,

a bike!



Male voice:



Behind the curtain works are performed.

In a few months time the fog will lift.

Autumn, winter, spring.

* * *

!    !    !    !

!    !    !    !

!    !    !    !

!    !    !    !

* * *

An evening in November.

Fresh, not cold.

I walk around for hours.

Spain's tough and dry earthiness?

No, that's more something for hot nights.

The trees are bare.

On a bridge a cold boy and a nice girl.

Have to spend an hour.

Thousand and one night.

- Hello Petra.

- You come with me?

- Yes.

- Katja, are you busy?

- Yes!

- I'll put your cup of tea here,

by the door.

- Yes, thank you!


I push my head against her breasts, my temples.

My hand strokes her back.

Her hand...

... and when I just make sounds like a little boar,

she says:

- lay on me.

Pleasure, tame word.

The Bar.

I feel so fresh and clean.

Someone wants to get by.

- May I get by?

- Certainly.

I say it in such a friendly way,

he comes back to me.

- Thank you!

Put off.

I hear two men talk behind me.

- With Him, through Him, in Him.

They laugh.

A cab drives through town.

A girl is sitting in it, she's going home.

There she will take a shower.

* * *

Part 2


Classmates found me strange,

girlfriends found me different,

I was quite unaware of anything.

In the bar in town they called me Jezus.

And now?

Shall I go to sea?

Och, the sea.

Stay in port,

live like a sailor.

Sailing the streets.

* * *

- Where you're from?


She hurls her body down on me.

Like a block.

She remains lying like that for 5 minutes.

Till I'm warm.

* * *

The way that girl has her cigarette in her mouth.

She knows life.

- My stomach aches,

it's nasty, an aching stomach.

- Yes.

- You must be a student.

- Well, no, I drop out each time,

I don't know,

I might end up as a warehouseman.

- So what,

you have to make money some way.


* * *

The secret.

To perform this trick,

you need a good mirror.

Without scratches.

One that is attached to a wall.

It has to be dirty.

Clean it well,

all dirt has to be removed.

Rinse it very well.

Dry it with a paper.

Take care:

this has to be done in a special way.

A film of water has to remain on it.

The kind of film that evaporates in a few seconds.

All of a sudden the mirror disappears.

All of a sudden you see yourself through a hole in the wall...

You can reach out to yourself...

you can crawl through the wall...

you are free...

* * *

- Need a bike?

- No, thank you.

- 25 guilders.

- No, thank you.

A car stops.

The window goes down.

A curly.

- You know where to find the Utrecht street?

- Well, yes.

How do I explain this?

- I can jump in, I'm just walking around.

- Well, eh... just tell me.

* * *

Go on.

There's the bar.

The neon is out,

but the sideway is still full of bikes.

There's beer on tap here.

As long as the street is broken up,

no cops will show up.


I feel so free,

so bright.

Sentences play in my head.

Don't go inside,

keep walking.

* * *

A man.

Doesn't look sober.

He raises his hand.

Is he going to say "alaaf"?

- Hello!

- Hello.

- How are you!

- Fine.

He holds out his hand.

He's a head smaller than me.


I hold out my hand as well.

He doesn't grab it,

they hover beside each other,

touch for a moment.

- Going home?

- Yes.

- Or will we go to the park for a moment?

- No, we won't go to park for a moment.

- okay!


* * *


Vita Imperfetta


Vita Imperfetta

is a partial translation of 


(In Dutch)


Ante Wessels

Amsterdam, 1985


I walk up to a flower,
and give her a kiss.

Copyright © 1998
episode 15