(Partial) verbatim transcription

M.N.: Not really. It was . . . I didn’t know it any other way . . . life you know. It was normal. Maybe I didn’t so much realize that other children were not doing the same.

L.S.: All your friends were at the school?

M.N.: Yes well friends yes. So were my brothers. Friends is different I think in such a place. But maybe not [laughs]. I don’t know you tell me. Friends get into fights, I think, maybe friends . . . your relationship with some people that you call friends can become very competitive too. So yes some of my classmates were my friends but they were also competition.

L.S.: Has that ever changed throughout your life?

M.N.: [pause] Yes. Well it changes . . . you meet people from different areas in the job not direct competition and sometimes, yes you make friends, but then you travel a lot and when I auditioned when I came first here and was offered the principal contract it’s . . . well anyway the job is very finite and very important to me.

L.S.: And you ended your career. Could you have continued?

M.N.: Physically sure but how long? It was smart move to take a while to wind down I’m ending it slowly but just that the public part, the performance you know they are first to go, so they are most noticeably gone, for you for example.

L.S.: You took a year long break quite early on in your career. Was it . . . it was because of health issues. Is that because you’ve decided to retire before any physical problems arise?

M.N.: [laughs] aaah . . . back then it was hard mmm so maybe I wanted to stop before something like it happens again. You know it is not common knowledge. It seems to be that people think I am using metaphors. I was never asked to explain it more. I have said this many times but people think I am using images. But I am not a word person at all. So most of the time well I have a hard time to put things into words anyway and in English anyway so I don’t use any extra words that don’t need to be there: “One coffee to go please!“ [laughs] So back then. You know I was meant for this I was born for this – how you basically try and try to struggle with gravity and sometimes with all that work it may look or even feel like you’re coming a little close to flying. That was. I was. [laughs] See so now I have told you it’s not metaphor! At that time at the time of my break the place where my wings used to be gave me a lot of pain. It became unbearable often. An intense mix of physical pain and emotional longing. Maybe I was missing something. But I never knew it, because I was just a tiny baby, but some part of me, maybe, knew it

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This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography. This piece is inspired by Exposure № 068: Butterfly. See Naama Sarid’s other Snake-Oil Cure contrubutions here.

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Frauke Uhlenbruch, aka the Small Fish, lives (and works) in England (among others). Her current research interests include the writings of Dr Seamus Hurley, the resurrection of the dead, utopian social description, superhero comics, and remarkable modes of divine-human communication. Things that make her toenails curl up include people bumping into her backpack on a crowded subway train. Great music, road trips, and dancing on tiptoe on the other hand, warm her heart. Sometimes she gets bored with the contemporary world. Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.