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Dear Tamara,

 

there’s a lot that unites us. We’ve often talked for hours and hours about our past, our present and our future. Every day, we send each other songs and little thoughts. We are somewhat like Hetaera sisters, if there is such a thing! (Laughs) At the moment, the world and everything we love about it is very restricted… That’s why in this Hetaera conversation, in order to save myself, I’ve decided to listen to your long stories as much as I can. From the very first moment we met, you have been a creature of depth for me. That’s why I want to give you a lot of space by asking you what may seem like small questions. Do you want to set off on this journey; are you ready? I’m sure you know what I mean….

 

Tamara:

 

I am confident and ready and looking forward to it, and yes, I know!

 

Rahel:

 

Very good! Then the first or actually now second question – starting with a fictional statement: “An instrument has a body and a soul.” I would be interested to know what instrument and what sound you associate with yourself?

 

Tamara:

 

That’s easy. The violin! We have a lot in common, the violin and I. In order to elicit attractive sounds from the violin, you have to learn how to handle it, and you can only do so with plenty of patience and true dedication. After all – if you are not practiced, you will only elicit a deafening cacophony from its delicate strings, instead of magical sounds. Like the violin, I do not tolerate impatience and disrespectful behaviour. In such a case, I close myself off to my counterpart like an oyster.

 

As a little girl, I tried to be a violinist. Since I had an excellent musical ear, my parents were advised to enrol me in violin lessons. My parents didn’t take much of a chance. So, I got my first stringed instrument: a small children’s violin, accurately packed in a compact dark blue violin case made of buffalo leather… I loved this violin. Parallel to the violin lessons, I had piano lessons. After only two months of piano lessons, I was able to play simple melodies, whereas, after a full three months, it seemed impossible for me to elicit anything more sonorous from the violin than the dissonance of a suffering instrument unbearable to the human ear. According to first-hand accounts, the wailing from my children’s room was so unbearable that after three months of stoic patience, encouraging nods and artificial smiles, my family unanimously vetoed the search for my inner Paganini. Since that day in the distant past, my fingers have never touched a violin bow again.

 

Don’t worry, it didn’t leave any mental shock! I cherished my object of desire. Like a trophy, its slender body adorned the wall of my bedchamber as many moons passed, behind the clear glass of a display case. In retrospect, I see the break with the violin as the conditio sine qua non for my liaison with the violin as a listener. Passive love also makes happy.

 

Piano lessons were a part of my life for two years longer than the violin was, but eventually were terminated at my express wish. I saw myself as a dancer. I wanted to devote myself completely to this passion. Through dance training at the ballet studio, my love for classical music and violin music in particular grew. This great, yearning love endures to this day. I love the lyrical sound of the vibrating strings under the hastily gliding bow. In my penchant for drama and lived melancholy, the violin is my sensitive lover. In everyday life, I like to dance to the Klezmer sounds of Bei mir bist du schejn; my favourite version (there are many) is the one with the foreground violin.

 

Rahel:

 

Me too! Me too! I love this song! It’s like an anthem to me!

 

Tamara:

 

How can you not feel beautiful after this beautiful declaration of love? Impossible.

 

Rahel:

 

Impossible, indeed! Laughs.

 

Tamara:

 

On rainy days, I listen to Paganini’s Caprice No. 24 in the masterful rendering by Yehudi Menuhin. While running through the city park, Nigel Kennedy’s Blue Note Sessions give me the energy I need for an extra lap. This instrument covers the whole spectrum of my whims and desires. From adventurous to tender.

 

Rahel:

 

I wasn’t going to say anything, but I played the clarinet for 10 years and, like you, I am deeply rooted in Klezmer as well. I wish we could dance now, for real, on the tables to violin, clarinet, accordion and all kinds of instruments and all our sisters. Now back to the hard facts of reality, back with my feet on the ground of my lockdown room: I’m painting a lot right now. When I paint people, I use specially selected colours. You, of course, I’d like to paint naked, lying down… or at least semi-naked. What colours would I use?

 

Tamara:

 

I love all nuances of the colour blue. Especially aquamarine blue has done it to me. This colour is like a kiss of the rising sun over the drowsy ocean. Pure sensuality. If you were to paint me, I would probably be a construct of sky blue and white brushstrokes, outlined by old pink peony blossoms, against a silver and black background of ancient rock caves.

 

Rahel:

 

Wow. I can just imagine that. Let’s make it happen! Something in particular caught my eye in the pre-existing images of you on our website: The pink velvet overknee boots. What’s the story behind these?

 

Tamara:

 

Simple: I have a big weakness for over-the-knee high heeled boots. My shoes should be at least twelve inches high. These boots in particular you can only wear seasonally and I enjoy the few occasions that I can wear them. They make me feel like a superheroine, like in the DC and Marvel comics. I have always loved American Fetish Art by Charles Guyette and Eric Stanton, whose illustrated books I collect. As a result of Eric Stanton’s close collaboration with the co-creator of the Spider-Man graphic novels, John Ditko, you can feel the strong influence of his art in the independent, dominant female characters of the 1950s comics. I collect those, too, by the way. In high school, I created the kind of woman I wanted to be through drawings. Now, years later, I have become exactly that woman! The self-determined, highly erotic woman in over-the-top boots, tight pencil dress and calf-length billowing trench coat. I incorporate my preference for high heels into my everyday life, making the superheroine look wearable and elegant. I like to wear bright and pastel colours; colours such as beige, pink and baby blue have long been at home in my wardrobe. Mainly dresses, skirts, pantsuits. It is a modern, bright business look made of skin-caressing natural materials such as cashmere, velvet and silk, that playfully flatter my feminine curves. A modern Catwoman in a light grey trench coat and knee-length tight sheath dress with high-heeled pink velvet overknee boots by an Italian luxury brand. Superheroine in action

 

Rahel:

 

I feel you! (Laughs) Goddess! I am languishing! I feel about fabrics and colours with the same intensity and I miss all of it! We were already dreaming on the phone of how we will conquer the world together in our heels, me in my elasticated Balenciagas, you in your hot pink overknee boots, after Corona satisfying the generations, reaching from the 80-year olds in April to the virgins in the new year! (Laughs)

Note to self: this story still needs to be written! Yes… (Reflects).

Currently, fantasising helps me to survive meaningless everyday life. Do you feel the same way? What fantasies help you survive?

 

Tamara:

 

Erotic short stories about dance. I choose a theme and music and create a costume and improvised choreography based on it. This time, I was inspired by Sophia Loren. I’ve been watching her films non-stop for the last few weeks. The last one I saw was Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, starring her and Marcello Mastroianni. Dazzling! The striptease scene is stunning. I’ve reenacted it many times, in original vintage nylons, of course – goes without saying.

 

And then it’s down to business. The rendering. Pictured. Imagine me with that iconic Sophia Loren cat-eye look…

 

Rahel:

 

Oh yeah, I’m imagining it as we speak

 

Tamara:

 

….Fred Buscaglione’s Guarda Che Luna plays softly in the background. I’m wearing a tight-fitting pink silk peignoir with iridescent blue outline on bare skin with pinned-up curls. In rhinestone-studded strappy dance shoes, I operate my sewing machine, which is bringing to life a black chiffon negligee littered with hundreds of ruffles. It must be fun for an uninitiated outsider to see this scene!

 

Rahel:

 

Yeah. I’m still in it. Now I’m zooming in. Hence the following question:

What part of your body do you pay special attention to?

 

Tamara:

 

My arms and hands. I use hand cream every day and you will very rarely find me without a nude or classic red nail polish. Tactile communication is very important to me as the first physical contact. I perceive many things intensely through touch. And my hands are the contact branch. So, they deserve the due care. I also love to gesticulate a lot. My curved, gentle movements I have probably borrowed from dance. Thus, a conversation with me becomes like a small performance, from my discreet arm swings and hand positions you can read my mood.  Get close to me.

 

Rahel:

 

Wow! I want to play a thousand songs for you Habibi! It was an inner firework for me! We need these fictions of everyday life right now, and you performed them for me and for us and our blog and I say thank you for that! And our next Hetaera conversation will be about the sci-fi Superwoman deflowering story, okay?

 

Tamara:

 

(Laughs) Yes. So it shall be…