RIC J: Hey, you! You’ve had your arms in the air for a long time: wouldn’t you start having a cramp?
CC: I used to do yoga every day. My favourite pose was Urdhva Hastasana or raised hands pose. I am very … fit. And after years of crucifixion, my arms look so good. I look like a Hollywood star.
RIC J: Tell me, what does the world look like from the cross?
CC: The master Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib best described my view:
بازیچۂ اطفال ہے دنیا مرے آگے
ہوتا ہے شب و روز تماشا مرے آگے
Which is roughly translated as, “The world is a children’s playground before me / Night and Day, this theatre is enacted before me.”
RIC J: Did you really like Madeleine, now you can tell me …
CC: Not just Madeleine, mon ami. Elizabeth, Lidia, Abigail too.
RIC J: What is your favorite highlight? Your thorn?
CC: The transparent muslin covering my genitals. It’s very … delicate.
RIC J: How did Cimabue come into contact with you?
CC: Cenni di Pepo and I met on the blue coast of Alexandria. He used to sell weed. We would smoke up every evening on the bench, overlooking the Mediterranean, eating mutton kebabs from a small shop run by an old man called Mehdi.
RIC J: Does love die, you who know love and death?
CC: Love dies only the little death.
RIC J: If you had to keep a scent of your life?
CC: Madeleine’s hair that she would rinse with rose water.
RIC J: A taste?
CC: Coq-au-vin cooked by Madeleine.
RIC J: A vision ?
CC: Madeleine bathing naked in the river, behind the young olive tree.
RIC J: A touch?
CC: A wildcat licking the tip of my nose.
RIC J: A sound?
CC: The sound of a pebble thrown into the water.
RIC J: Remembering a Sufi patient, can you define life in just two words?
CC: Aqua vitae.