Cimabue Christ

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.

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