interrupted and the feeling of suspension
we pass by this long empty corridor, as we leave the airplane. it feels like this anonymous place, which actually could be anywhere in the world.
we take turns into 4 different lanes at the customs, and we joke about which one we would prefer to be attended by.
theres an asian big, fat cop, a black and strong, an red hair, strong as well.
i end staying for last, and i get attended by the red haired cop.
he asks me what im doing in the States, and i reply about the arts related research project, the invitation by the holland based gallery. he asks, holland, michigan?
i answer: holland, europe.
he asks: which gallery are you going to work here?
i answer: space 555, i think
he asks: please come with me.
i follow him, with my eyes on my passport, that he keeps holding.
we come into this side door, where there is a waiting room, mostly empty, facing a long desk, where several cops are passing by.
on the room there is one asian lady boy and two man, sitting next to each other. i presume they are a couple.
as i wait, one female cop, delivers the papers to the asian lady boy, and says ' you have been revoked the visa for the coming 5 years. next time, dont lie!'
she talks to a fellow police officer and says 'its been the 3rd one this week. whats happening?'
the lady boy is taken to a side office and the police officer starts to search her bag exposing a box full of golden jewelry.
i keep waiting, and my attention goes to the two men couple, sitting at my right. one of them is caucasian european looking like, and the other is somewhere from central asia.
they are asked if they checked luggage and how many bags are out there.
they answer: two normal bags.
cop asks: we are sending you back to japan. does it matter where?
the caucasian guy: well, we'd rather be sent to tokio.
the central asian holds him slightly, with a small gesture of passing his left arm over the back.
i realize everyone is being sent back, wherever that might be.
i think to myself: 'okay, thats about detroit for me!'
cop asks: 'mister guerrero!'
i keep watching around me
cop asks (in a slightly louder voice, looking into the waiting room): 'mister guerrero! could you come here, please?'
i realize they picked up my mother's name, which actually fits closer to my stereotypical facial traits.
(no juliette, i didnt shaved as you advised me. guess i was too stubborn to change myself, just to avoid being harassed by customs)
i head to the desk, and i meet jenkins, the cop.
he is constantly looking at a computer flat screen, that is inbetween us. he moves the computer mouse in small gestures, with random clicks, keeping his eyes constantly at the screen.
he asks: so what are you actually doing here?
i answer what i have answered before, and repeat and repeat the same story, attempting to create a reality that is understandable for him, and that can fit in the questionnaire he is filling in.
i start to feel nervous, and i work on regulating my breathing, to stay relaxed.
as i do this, i realize i have no reason to be worried. there's nothing im doing wrong that could be a suspicion, or accused of.
the cop keeps asking: 'so, can you explain me what you are doing in the States?'
i keep finding different descriptions that can accommodate the questionnaire, which i only see the back of the LCD screen, and that stays between me and Jenkins, between me and Detroit, between me and the guys waiting outside.
i remember the cigarette we were supposed to have as we leave the customs. somehow, that cigarette feels a world away.
as i keep answering the questions, which are spaced by random minutes of mouse clicking and rapid eye movements around the computer screen.
as i wait for the next question i start looking around the space. I see the list of cops in service, and find 'Jenkins-24h'.
i get worried it will take till then...
i find a cop call Pipis, and wonder if he was teased as a growing boy with such a name. back home, for sure it would happen.
i look at the description of alert color codes, going from blue, to red. next to it its the current alert color. orange, just before red.
strangely enough, all the cops seem quite relaxed, as much all the unwilling guests of this room.
it all feels like we are all suspended in time, as if it doesnt exit.
time is marked by clicks, of mouse or keyboards clicks, and a strange format questionnaire that ends with Jenkins asking:
is it vocational what you are coming here to do?
i ask: if its my vocation? if i im suited to what i came here to do?
i dont know...
jenkins asks me to sit down, and i think its done, im heading back to amsterdam.