dima
  • 57 Avenue Cyrnos

    My memories of my grandmother Aimée’s apartment are almost all repetitive. She had Alzheimer’s so her stories were the exact same from one week to another - same phrasing, same surprise, same ending. We would do the exact same thing every Wednesday, a secret show being repeated. And slowly, it made me appreciate the ritual we held inside these walls, the sacredness of her domestic space. She didn’t know her name sometimes. Sometimes I lost her and sometimes I could grasp her back. Each week the stories would get sharper; Aimée would strip down any unnecessary details. I thought she was a damn good editor.

    Just like the stories, her apartment rooms would sequence our performance. In the morning, we started in the bedroom where she would sit behind me during homework. Then the kitchen, where I would sit behind her while she cooked. And finally, the balcony, where we would sit next to each other. Never did we dare rehearse our show in a different order, the scenes were written this way. We had the piece near perfect but it got cut short.

    The next time I went back to her place was eight years later - my last chance to step inside a now empty apartment before it was sold. Being there without her felt foreign, wrong even. Death knocks when one leaves for another world and one has to remain. I remained; I sat there for a while that afternoon, and brought with me a large format camera to make four photographs: one in her kitchen, one in her bathroom, one in her bedroom and one in my bedroom. For that final one, I called my father and asked him to sit in my grandmother’s chair. A final goodbye to our Wednesdays.