This series is my contribution to the monthly text-battle
'The secret diary of somebody else' with artist Aino el Solh.
Thumping / Hammering (15.1.17)
A script to walk under balconies
Coleman Hawkins -Out Of Nowhere tickles her in the back of her head. The sky seems to struggle with birds and heavy clouds. This years winter Linda was outside, when that apparently everlasting rain turned into snow. For weeks she felt like walking behind a semi-transparent curtain, the one with embroidered flowers, all in cream white.
The snowflakes are gaunt like fluffs, any trifling blow could change their movement upwards. Finally, after eight years or so, she got herself a hard-earned new winter jacket. The hallway of her cosy apartment is filled with jacket when she wraps it around her shoulders, with a fast twist. The door falls close, slow, with that imminent sound that tells the whole world that the neighbour came home late, again. The snow is still falling, meanwhile big chunks that have no time to loose. Lindas nose gets cold and her cherry cheeks make her appear joyous. With her hands in the wide pockets, her feet tight in the shoes and armed with the rumpled notebook, she continues to walk out on the white blanket. She remembers Benjamin saying that he dreamed of a frozen cake with the name 'Top Secret' and imagines him how he used to stretch his back to modern music in the middle of the room, wearing only his underwear.
By now the snow is masterminded by the steady piano of Duke Ellington, twirling around each other. The night starts to move closer from behind the five-floored houses and Linda wonders how many celebrities anybody can love at the same time? She stands still under the balcony to look at the windows being lit one by one, whereas the snow resembling a kind of distortion of times when we still used antennas to watch tv.
Living in the rearmost chapters of a novel is quite a romantic situation and she makes her way back home.
The field seems endless, especially in the dark. Far away the flickering lights (oscillation of electricity) of that neighbourhood which is populated with juvenile burger places, not worthy of the exhausting hill-ride. So I got out
of bed, as she advised me by texting 'get out!!' I can stay in bed for hours and hours, staring at the tree through
the stained window, while my thoughts change so abrupt, it would be out of the question to write them down.
The guilt often drops in unbearably.
I can hear my bike wheel scratching against the front fender while the only thing I can see is just a meter of a worn out white painted stripe in the middle of the old road, fading into the darkness, something like a Lost Highway,
being pulled smoothly after you let go. I am convinced there is no one else wandering through this vast dreamlike episode (12.2km2) and I hope they had not close the gate on the other side before I would reach it. Sure, you never know what will meet your sight, anything could turn out to be of inspiration, even a hermetically closed polyphrenic ejaculation of 90's pop. When I hear her say the line 'The community goes past me', I feel confirmed.
The grey and massive revolving door stays turning all night and I make my way out, passing the burger places, realizing that I can not play ping-pong with myself. Then again, finding someone's foreign language to translate,
is hardly an approximation of what is and can be. Eventually my cloudy blanket is the sanctuary called 'night', no
Hinter / Reward (15.3.17)
'I could have flown to New York with what I spend on changing the flight dates',
said Julie on the phone, chit-chatting about the days to come and then hung up.
Yes, it might have been more romantic indeed, but nothing is for certain anyways.
This time she was gone for a month, she couldn't wait to get back, some months just feel lengthy.
She sits back continuing her writing while billboards pass by, trying hard to win back her attention.
The story in her notebook, written with that smooth pencil, starts with: 'Sam never really felt a shine for these huge clean vast spaces.
And he has been to so many...'
Julie was convinced, what ever the title would be, the tale had to be about that moment that was real, still queerly sounding like a movie.
What else is there to say, her imagination is inseparably connected to her own inner colourful church window, leading to a trail covered
with boxes and bags. Damn that guy stayed in her head, to make it evaporate only a flight above the clouds is the best course of action.
To name but a few intimacies.
No time to take a rest, but instead being forced to recognize the changes during her absence, after she steps off the train.
New white graffiti covering the entire front door, that just failed the key hole, if you look close
new barrister at the corner cafe, not knowing that she does not take a lid on her cup
new monumental painting, on the wall of a house, on the way to the studio, pretending not to be a house, but a staircase
old trees that got their branches trimmed, even a person witnessing them for the first time, would notice
the scaffolding wrapped around the house on the other side of the street, that looked totally fine, but seems in need of something different
new benches at the pétanque courts, made of yellow wood, shining in the sun, tomorrow it will rain again.
'Imagine I would leave for a year, to work full-time in another country….'
It is not that Noema and Noesis are bored.
Plenty of things that have happened and
even more people that have experienced them.
Whilst a soft voice in the radio was singing 'If I didn't care more then words can say…'
My friend told me that she decided to stop producing artefacts, to stop helping new things in to this world. What are the odds? The odds are long.
One side is coated with orange paint, which is shielded by a flat white rectangular piece,
on this rectangular piece are two blobs, the green one seems to slide down a bit and the red one has a little hole,
on the other side of the big block (the one with that orange side) something deep black is growing upwards or dripping down, the third side has something red attached to it, that overcasts almost all of that side with a smaller black piece coming out from it, the forth side is encased with something seemingly organic, dripping in full quantity,
the top is pierced by two pipes, one is going straight up, coated in green white and black drippings, completed with a baby-blue smashed ball, the other pipe sticks out at forty-five degrees, piercing three red-brown objects that could be flowerpots, topped with one green-white object, all emerges from an oversized industrial bag, the entirety rests on a pallet.
The room had the shape of a rectangular, roughly the hight of an ordinary apartment. The stone walls seemed merely painted black or maybe a very sooty grey. Outside the night was trying hard to keep the room gloomy and obscure. Broken by eight generous windows, the walls fragmented that same opacity. The entire floor was covered with lasting carpet, but the corners of the prism were impalpable. “confusion has always been at the heart of wisdom”, she remembers. The air was nebulous.
Nothing would hang on the walls, not one picture, no chair standing near the stairs, nor a wardrobe.
A tousled bed was standing near the left wall. They were alone and he offered her orange juice, while she stepped out of the bed. The mood was all quiet and stir, as faint as the light that evoked.
She was only wearing underpants and a soft white sleeveless shirt. He was studying her with all his capacity and with no interference. When the darkness was gently pushed aside by dawn, beams appearing like the effortless movement of silk underwater, she sat down on the floor with her back against the wall, facing him. The light rays shimmered on her body. She embraced her legs, pushing them effortlessly against her chest, feet on the ground, when he let himself surrender onto the bed,
but mumbling 'A geometric shape is the geometric information which remains when location, scale, orientation and reflection are removed from the description of a geometric object'.
Once upon a time there was a young girl, stubborn as she was born, could climb up any tree,
she would sit only on one particular tree. That tree was standing in the backyard of a four floor house, cramped between bushes, fences and bricks, erecting towards the sky,
the only place left aside.
The girl, let's call her 'king', would wear her white and blue striped shorts with a pocket full of paraphernalia she calls Periotropes. These tools would enable her to react to any ascending phenomenon, capturing it, analysing it and storing it.
The tree fork was smoothen out by now and the ivy had no other option than to just grow out of the way until up the tree crown, where she would sit. Only when the piercing sun shines through the leaves at midday, casting shadows on each other, it would produced an extend of green that was divine. The bark evaporates the fine dust of yellow, saturating the sky like a swarm of bees. Her uncle told her that the tree is called Fever Tree (Vachellia xanthophloea), the Shamans would cook a brew with its bark to induce a lucid dream, to walk the 'white path'. “Before going to sleep a question is asked that will be answered in their dreams”.
While waiting in the tree for the sun to go down, she would routinely collect the fractions of the day using her defined Periotropes. She would paste the bickering of the family on the third floor into an orange booklet. While the squirrel is swiftly hopping past her, she has to crush and store the acorn in a vacuum. The window that is firmly closed has to be slapped with a shoe. On the other hand the clattering of crockery can be perfectly hooked onto a kite. The more difficult one to analyse is the painful cough of the upstairs neighbor, keeping the whole house awake at night, which she has to abandon into a rabbit hutch. The crying and fighting of the siblings and their incapable father, is turned with a dice, interrupted by the birthday song soothing the backyard and the unwrapping paper right after on the second floor, she usually stores that in a reservoir of coat hanger. The linden leaf floating on a spider string, stays a mystery to her.
And sometimes when the night falls she thinks about the seed that must have been brought along during colonial times, fallen out of the pocket, starting to grow right here, never able to breath the air of its land. It was the only one of its kind in this neighborhood.
Again Elsa slept through the alarm at 7:10, preparing the food for lunch and dinner, unlocking her bike in the backyard.
Her eyes meet with his, through the window, next to the typical Berliner front door, when she walks her bike out onto the street. The coffee place, that keeps selling good koffie for a reasonable price, would surely be out of croissants by now. When Elsa bikes up that short path into the park she sees their blood lined eyes every time, ready to sell you 'stuff for baking' as Jimmy would call it. She manages to stay on the lane with the smooth stones passing the Russian bar, she would possibly not even recognize him anymore, it was late and dark then.
Why would you start a bike-shop on a raised ground floor? Maybe that is why one screw costs a euro?
As much as Elsa enjoys the fact of a green wave of traffic lights, she finds delight in watching this crossroad and the encounter of most different types walking from one or the other direction, lost, determined or curious.
Moving up the bricked bridge, she realizes they added even more furniture, piling up until the next evacuation.
She manoeuvres her bike around the two bumps on the road, making a right, passing the immense buildings in which dreams are made to come true. Ironically with the marble monolith (a seat design by the city) placed in front of the building, displaying all his belongings on it, a blanket- a cup- a plastic bag- a box- a shirt.
Another bump on the street. Another bridge, green, from the family of Tour Eiffel, used by young people to watch the sunset or the moon, most likely in a romantic way. The cafe with the dusty windows on the right, where the cars never mind to leave space for the passing bikers, is long closed. Ohh that annoying crossing! 'Do I turn left right now or first right then straight? Or take the pavement?', Elsa decides not to stop and buy that affordable self made cake from the schwäbische bakery, with their tiny 'try a bite' pieces of cheesecake on the counter. She is suspicious about that ugly hotel just before the S-Bahn bridge, as she meets the street. The street that seems to be in need of a makeover for no one knows how long already. An enforcement of perspective by abruptly changing unknown lanes.
She is passing by the car with a sticker that suggests it was just coming back from an off-road trip though the mud.
The guys, that smoked their red blood cells aside, causing some amputated legs, are taking a break in front of the apartment building. She smiles when she sees the big AfD election poster being half ripped off, hanging uncharitably from the wall. Elsa turns left almost reaching her destination, presuming another Tatort being shoot next door, when she breathes in sitting down on her chair.
That piercing pain flashing through my shoulder is getting worse, it even hits me now when I turn around in bed.
She is saying that this time she is not laying awake at night. That her heart is not running in circles anymore like the last time.
That she learned from that experience. But what exactly did she learn?
There is this cafe where I usually meet up with my older sister to have a coffee with cake, but since a while now she stopped drinking coffee and we changed to Prosecco. She told me about her being astonished hearing all these devastating family stories. Why do people think, once they made their own family, that they all should be merging into one big happy family again, with aunties and grandparents.
Most of us are not content with the way our parents treated us and we actually left home. And eventually we will build our own castle made of pebble, near or far, to be ruined by the common idea of (grand-)parenting and equally obstructed by the fact that each of them lives in their own bubble. Most likely thou these bubbles just differ by that slight change in opacity.
There are holes in the surface too, like the ozone layer, injuries resting far in the past, a summery of rejection and disappointment. Slowly grasping the system that is kept alive till this day, that validates a behaviour and destroys any invading entity from the outside (the smaller scale enemy of their private world). A system that protects the inventor from any consequences, being excused of any transformation. That epigenetic loyalty that is needed to provide that system will live on.
Why is it so exacting to believe her?
I might just try these massage balls that he brought to work.
How many times can a single piece of cake be divided?
A bag of mixed up pencils and brushes, stained papers all over and a tiny plastic bottle with a cap to squeeze the water through. The place is set in seconds like an operation table of that kind that you find in hospitals with mint-green walls.
Elsa had no idea by then, that the place around her would be dissected in the same fashion, for days to come.
The lamp would throw short shadows on the paper, while there would be no other sound then that of the grinding of coffee beans, for minuets and minuets. It is so seldom that Elsa experiences the ease to not be conform some kind of idea when spending time with someone. To not talk, but to feel a high, intensified by the actions of the abreast, that again make her appear in a state of no judgement towards her own actions, as we usually tend to do.
Or maybe this was just an introduction, the flawless before they pull their bow and arrow?
It feels like the wave of Hokusai has just thrown them out through the cafe door. Set free to the cold, following a hit in the face by reality. They close their jackets and move on. She impresses her bag of Periotropes
(tools that enable her to react to any ascending phenomenon, capturing it, analyzing it and storing it), just to see if they still there, but leaving it closed for a little longer. 'Wir hätten gern zwei Gemista und zwei Capuccino, bitte.'
He attaches a red tin funnel to her ear without coming close, giving away his stories. They do not sound loud nor cupped. She follows each entanglement through the forest of expressions seeing a path of thoughts well marked on a map of only islands.
They can feel how their sleeves slowly start to interweave while walking. To almost immediately be interrupted again
by the beeping gauge of pre-conditions that make their way from the shoulder down. The scream for absolute connection, the recurrent inability to do so, the fear to turn into Süskind's Jean-Baptiste or simply loosing track of your bag of pencils. Elsa is astonished by the apparent duality of the fantastic and the absolute sharpness, takes a marker and engraves a Q and an I on the door while he draws up the stairs.
Someone told me once that he imagined scooters would actually run on the sound they are producing.
What makes me think that I could describe the fuel of the whole world (or lets take the universe) in one short story, even thou it will include a drawing…
My parameters are playing a game with me instead, leading me from one thought to the next.
An earth ball with a fixed amount of energy that is in constant transformation with all its aggregate states.
No growth, but a nonlinear dynamic of prehistory, a complexity that circulates, that makes butterflies create storms. Cells that interlace, form new coalitions, turning into something else? Fossils that develop in earth's crust over millions of years, causing human obesity, feeding the worms in the ground, so leafs can fall in autumn.
A double rod pendulum that bushes the floor of anybodies home.
But the unpredictability of humanity has long started to cease. We used to create space through actions, a space is non-existent as long nobody sets a foot in it, it determines how we produce our surrounding and how our surrounding produces us, we are living in a hashed world, not in a whole, but in pieces, we get constantly interrupted or otherwise overloaded by a digital picture wall, a never ending wallpaper. How to understand that invisible energy that can not be made audible with an amplifier. That energy, with its often missing tangible connections, which fuels our interactions, that makes us being part of the whole, that feels so satisfying.
Usually I would have an out of context (but quite in the context) sentence ending the story right here, but I really can't think of any.
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Stories from 2017