Scrolls is a new 'experimental' collaboration in progress by James C. Hopkins and Yoko Danno. One of us writes the first half of a sentence and the other follows up the rest of the sentence. The latter begins the next sentence and drops it halfway, which is taken over by the former. Writing thus in turn we draw 'picture scrolls' with words. There is no rule except that a scroll should consist of five paragraphs. When we start a scroll we never know how it will develop and end. We have set out for adventures in an unknown land without a map or a compass.

♣  Scroll 30

There are certain things that I'm always late for, and art openings are one of them. There's something about entering a strange, new world and joining with a new group of people. I need to prepare myself for the deception, and with the art opening crowd it takes some time: short black dress & boots, of course, but accessories are always difficult. As a man, I'm never sure what kind of necklaces I should wear - a choker of boar's fangs or a long string of fake human skulls. But I would certainly wear pearls tonight.

I opened the door of Gallery Panache and immediately was pushed back by a person who was exactly attired like me. I had no idea why but she seemed to be in a hurry to get out of the place. Immediately behind her followed a man who was disguised as a thunder god. He had a big hammer in his right hand and a bolt of lightning in the other, and he was clearly drunk. Somehow I had stumbled into something shaggy when I realized I was following the thunder god. But I was wearing 3-inch-high-heeled boots with pointed toes and felt grateful to have simply remained upright.

Inside the gallery the place seemed to be wrapped in a red fog, blown supposedly from an artwork. I vaguely saw further in the interior just what I had been looking for, and headed towards the hallway leading back to the offices. But as I moved through the gallery, through the red fog, I hit upon a yellow-haired man with a big sack like an inflated balloon. He shouted, looking at my pointed boots, "Who let you in with those on?!" Momentarily set back, I looked down at my feet and staggered, because I had no idea where I'd got them.

The yellow-haired condemned me, "Those are my boots and I want them back." "Impossible," I replied glaring straight at him, as though wearing the pair of boots were of life-and death importance, although I felt like taking off the damn boots as soon as possible. Because I have something more important than putting an idiot in his place, however, I stepped past the man and headed directly for the back hallway. Just down the hallway, second doorway on the right, was standing a customs officer, whose face was somewhat familiar to me.

He tried to stop me, but I forced into the room, where I found what I had come for all along. "I left this in here last week, I said to the customs officer," turning to show him a violin case that looked old and worn-out. I couldn't remember why I had left it there since I always carry it around with me when I'm on the job. The last thing I remember was an airport, where I was to meet a woman on an important job, although I forgot what the job was. I remember she asked me what's inside, and I replied it's just a gift given by my grandpa when I was six.

Photo by James C. Hopkins: Ventspils, Latvia.