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October 1st, 1999 - Friday
Hm, I just thought this was a nice picture. Am I acting like I was obsessed with SV? Probably.
My first gig was in 1993. I think. I mean the first *real* gig: I on my own playing guitar. I had rehearsed a couple of Vega and Cohen songs and I had made a demotape which I had sent to various clubs in Bielefeld. Most of them did not answer, but one day in November 1993 the phone rang and it was somebody from the Irish Pub. They asked me to come by so that they could talk to me personally. And so I did. I took my guitar and drove down to the Irish Pub. I met somebody who was the manager. Actually I thought that they wanted to hear me play live to see my gig but he just told me that they would call me in January and that I can play there but that I would not get any money.
Still I was driving home very happy and very proud. I felt like a pro. I was having a gig. I'd be sitting in front of all these people playing and singing and although this thought scared the shit out of me I couldn't wait for the day to come. Then, one day after the christmas holidays, the phone rang. It was the manager of the Irish pub and he said: now or never. The musician scheduled for that day was ill and so they desperately needed somebody. It was December 27. It was christmas. And he asked: "Can you be here in 30 minutes?"
I did not have a drivers license then so I asked my sister to drive me down to the pub. I hastily packed my things: guitar, cable, capo and we hurried through the snow. I did not tell my parents about it (I was still living with my parents then) and told my sister only down in the car what was going on. When we arrived at the Pub it was crowded. The stage was small but sufficient for me and my guitar. The manager was nervous, pointed to the stage and I could hardly understand what he was saying because the people were so loud and noise. Chairs were moving, glass was clinging and people were shouting and laughing. "You know how to handle the mixer?" he asked me and I said "no?" shyly so he helped me a little, connected the microphone and the guitar to the amplifier. Then I could do a quick soundcheck of approximately 30 seconds and that was it. I did not hear what I was singing. It was too loud. I did not hear what I was playing. It was too loud. In the back corner of the Pub I spotted my sister leaning on the wall looking encouraging to the stage.
So I simply started. I think I started with "Gypsy". My voice was trembling and of course nobody paid any attention to what I was doing. Everybody kept on talking, shouting, laughing, making noise. I played "You know who I am" and "Luka" and then, when I was playing "Neighborhood Girls" a string tore and I had to stop. Luckily in the meantime another musician had arrived, a pianist, who continued. When I was packing my things two people near the stage said:"Hey, this was nice. Why do you stop? Go on playing!"
So it was not like I thought it would be.
Later I learned that Daniel worked at the Irish Pub as a waiter. He cannot remember the night I played there but it might have been the first time we met.
me about that time

October 2nd, 1999 (Saturday)
Inga is pissed off because I'm sitting at the computer again. She is watching Lola rennt. Don't want to see it, I rather want to write. Uwe was here today and we made a Morrissey CD for Christiane. Great songs. Right now I'm listening to selected songs from Vauxhall and I. Actually I had time for some serious writing now but as always I don't know how to begin. And what's troubling me even more is the decision whether I should write in English or in German. I know that my English is not good enough to do some serious prose writing. It might be sufficient to do some lyrics. But I don't want to sing in German. I want to write the prose in german also wieso dann nicht auch das Tagebuch hier? Aber was würde das heißen? Kein Schutz mehr, too close to the bone and besides a big decrease in the number of people who would be able to read this. But my chances to write good stuff would increase if I wrote in German. Scheiße.
Random thoughts: Hanjo and Sahar's second baby girl has been born last week. Nobody told us. Her name is Dalia.
Besides deciding whether to write in English or German there's also the decision what kind of text I should write. Prose? Poetry? Lyrics? Everything? Or simply what comes out? Scheiße. Ist doch alles Mist. Ich sollte aufhören, nach dem Unmöglichen zu streben. Ich sollte schnell eine Lehre machen, Fleischer werden, 2000,- im Monat verdienen, mich am Wochenende volldröhnen und endlich, endlich


Subject: Kunscht ...
   Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 06:53:28 -0400
   From: Uwe Schwagmeier <USchwagmeier@compuserve.com>
     To: "entropic.empire@bigfoot.com" <entropic.empire@bigfoot.com>

blau gedreht und
die fuchtel hüpft
die nacht hat sanft
die maid verstellt
acht hunde stülpen
zur Zeit ist Großes
gerade die hatz
hat kaum geschluckt
ein kind,
das lächelt: schade
ich habe weggeguckt.
mein butterfaß, dein
bärenmut auf eis
Du Rätsel radelst
win'st den prize.

October 4th, 1999 (Monday)
Sue wrote a very sad message to Undertow the other day. Maybe I will put it here later.
I'm ill, with fever and a sore throat. I cancelled rehearsal today (well, Inga insisted that I should stay at home). Now it's 23:43 and I'm sort of tired but not really.
I met Christiane, Uwe and Hanjo today in the university. Hanjo is suc It was another strange meeting - not with Uwe and Christiane but with Hanjo. I hadn't seen him for a couple of months now and we have only been communicating via emails. Well, he was here in person today and he looked old. Well, his second baby girl was born the other week and she is probably keeping him and Sahar up all night. So we were sitting in the cafetiria(??) with Andreas and we were talking about the university and about the life outside of the University and , well what can I say but: Hanjo is a star. I mean that's what i thought while we were sitting there. He is a star. A young star, in a way. I child-star: young Julie Andrews with gray hair. I would love to talk with him only once about a serious subject, about the lack of future, about the loss and the helplessness but he is very carefully avoiding situations in which such a cónversation could emerge from. I can only recall one instant when he was talking in a serious manner. This was on the bus to Hamburg. We were going to see Time Rocker and it was dark outside and we were driving through the dark and sitting in the dark and I cannot remember his face only his voice and he told Uwe and me about his youth in the boarding school. This is the only personal memory I have of him. He is a star. He is not him. He has a reflective skin. Very bizarre.
Subject: death
   Date: Sun, 03 Oct 1999 06:19:07 +0900
   From: Sue Conolly <conolly@pop21.odn.ne.jp>
     To: undertow@vega.net

It's half past five in the morning, and I have been sleeping since something like eight o'clock last night.  My mother arrived here yesterday on her way home from Denmark, and today is the day that my father died last year.  Lying in bed and trying to sleep the extra hour until a civilised getting-up time, I started to think about some of Suzanne Vega songs and their relevance to death.

If your love were taken from me
Every color would be black and white
It would be as flat as the world before Columbus
That's the day that I lose half my sight

If your life were taken from me
All the trees would freeze in this cold ground
It would be as cruel as the world before Columbus
Sail to the edge and I'd be there looking down

I recorded this song onto a CD for my husband a month before I knew my Dad was even sick; I knew it was about the experience of having a child and I was about to have my first.  I guess I was still in the stages of trying to imagine what it would be like to have a baby.

I then got the news that my father had cancer and several other medical complications too many to mention, and so I returned to Australia to spend time next to his hospital bed for the last month of his life.  I thought it would be nice to give him a copy of the tape I'd made for Makoto (not just World Before Columbus but other songs as well), but as we started to listen to those first lyrics they stabbed at my heart and drove home the awful fact that I might have been spedning my last days with my Dad.  I know he thought that I'd recorded the song especially for him, and I saw the pain in his eyes.  I don't think he ever listened to that tape again although I wanted him to; he preferred instead to listen to the Japanese lullabies my husband was singing our as-yet unborn child on the other side of the tape.

Looking back to when I met Suzanne Vega in Nagoya a couple of years ago, I can only think that I was as yet unborn myself.  Looking back to that whole time, in fact, I feel that I was so immature I may as well have been riding a tricycle and playing hopscotch.  I'd never experienced having a child, and I'd never felt the pain of losing someone so special to me.  Now I have done both I would have a whole set of different questions if I were ever to have the chance to interview her again.  These questions and discussions go around and around in my head and compete with each other for space; the truth is if I ever did get the chance again I would probably do as garbled a job as I did the first time.  I don't know what I'm trying to say.

I wondered aloud at the time to Suzanne if she felt her songs had a Buddhist influence.  Thinking back to that now, I can see what a fucking stupid question that was.  I'm sure it wasn't the first time she'd ever been asked, and I could sense the irritation of having to deal with that label again.  As a sidenote, after that interview, I have been struck by all the little Christian references (please don't roll your eyes) in songs like Song of Isaac etc.  Anyway, I don't want to get back into religion, but I wanted to explore the concept of death on this day of death.  This time last year I was saying goodbye.

He is not my friend, but he is with me
And he promises a peace I never knew
I cannot give in, no, I must refuse him
But could I really be the one to resist that kiss so true

I can only guess at what it felt like for my father lying in that hospital bed.  All I could feel was the frustration and pain that I felt making the daily trips to the hospital and dealing with all the family emotions that arose daily (an interesting family I have, but that's another story).

I can imagine that my father now has a peace that he never ever had in his lifetime.  He had a hard life; two marriages and very strained relationships with the kids from the first marriage.  He lived in Africa for the first part of his life and I suspect never felt peace again after his parents sent him to boarding school in Kenya at a very young age.  I rethink and rethink his stories again in my head; some of them he wrote down and are easy to imagine...but others I can only guess at.

Death promised him a peace he never knew, and yet I know that he didn't want to give in.  He died two weeks before my first baby was born, and I know that he wanted desperately to see the baby before he died.  When I went into the hospital and saw his heaving chest and his tremendous pain during his last spasms of life and heart failure, I gave him permission to let go.  "Just go, Dad", I said.  I wonder to this day if I had asked him to stay, would he have?  I know that he was a very very sick man and needed some peace, but selfishly I still wonder if I could have made a difference by asking him to stay and forbidding him to die.  In the end he wasn't the one to resist that kiss so true, and of course as someone who loves him I can't deny him any part of the peace that he has now.

I like a tombstone cause it
weathers well
and if it stands or if it crumbles
only time will tell

if you carve my name in marble
you must cut it deep
there'll be no dancing on the gravestone
you must let me sleep
and time is burning burning burning
it burns away

I guess this one is about inevitability and the process of time passing, but I'm not particularly attracted to the image of the tombstone.  Of course I wouldn't be; Mum and I scattered Dad's ashes to sea at the rocks near their house, so he has no name carved in marble and nothing to stand or crumble.  The rocks get weathered and change shape each time I go and visit, but the timelessness of the sea seems to defy the whole concept of this song.  Of course time does change things, and the sea changes as everything else does.  I spent a lot of time swimming or looking at the sea and thinking about how even though the sea will always seem the same, it's compounds and the way it moves and shapes itself will never ever be the same again twice.  I wonder why a tombstone weathers any better than anything else.  Everything changes, even memories.

By day give thanks
By night beware
Half the world in sweetness
The other in fear

When the darkness takes you
With her hand across your face
Don't give in too quickly
Find the thing she's erased

Find the line, find the shape
Through the grain
Find the outline, things will
Tell you their name

The table. the guitar
The empty glass

All will blend together when
Daylight has passed

Find the line, find the shape
Through the grain
Find the outline, things will
Tell you their name

Now I watch you falling into sleep
Watch your fist curl against the sheet
Watch your lips fall open and your eyes dim
In blind faith

I would shelter you
Keep you in light
But I can only teach you
Night vision
Night vision
Night vision

OK, so perhaps it's not about death as such, but I have a new slant on this song since I lost Dad.  It's a lovely song, and I have used it in the past to try and remember that however dark things gets, you can find the shape and the grain and get through hard times somehow.

Now, a year after Dad left this mortal coil, I wonder just what coil he is inhabiting, because I have the strongest sense (call it blind faith) that Dad is with me, and showing me the line, the shape and the grain... over and over again, so long as I remain open to it.  I wish that I still had Dad in the living world, but I can't deny all the good he is doing for me in the "other".  I may have lost some of you.  In fact you may not have got this far, even.  Bear with me.

Last year after I came home from Dad's funeral and having my baby (I ended up having to have the baby in Australia and stayed there for a month afterwards), I found something in our house that blew my marriage apart.  The way that I came across this thing in itself was strange, and I can only think that I was led there by Dad, who now knew things that he felt that I needed to know too.

I left my husband, taking my one month old daughter, and thinking that it was curtains for us as a family.  Without being specific, try to understand that in any normal circumstances this marriage would have been over, irretrievably dead and deceased.  However, the marriage has not died, nor have we washed over the chemicals that caused the explosion in the first place.  We've both been through hell, and come out the other side to tell about it.  Every time I think that less than a year ago, I was on the edge of disaster, I have to do a double take a recheck my figures.  There is literally no other explanation than that I have had help from a powerful source.  It's good, no, miraculous, to have someone like that on your side.

Dad is teaching me Night Vision, just as carefully and just as pain-stakingly as he taught me to read.  He was always a teacher, and it seems that he still is.

That said, it is so hard to be without him.

The house I live in at the moment is huge, has character, a big garden... and costs $100 a month in rent.  You can't tell me that such a deal comes along in my life without the presence of someone who's really on my side... but I wish that I could show Dad in living person this house and this new life I'm forging out of the ashes.

I know that Mum goes through periods of deep bottomless loneliness having spent thirty years with my Dad.  Even with my new family I can hit the depths of loneliness myself when I think of my mentor and the way I didn't make the best of him when I could have.  I miss him so much, but my pain is peanuts compared to what my Mum is going through.

During the time after Dad died, I played Mum "Night Vision", trying to share with her a little of what I liked about SV and also in a misguided and vain effort to ease her pain.  After "Night Vision" came this song, which cut her in two but has come to have special meaning for me.  I'll leave it with you:

Solitude stands by the window
She turns her head as I walk in the room
I can see by her eyes she's been waiting
Standing in the slant of the late afternoon

And she turns to me with her hand extended
Her palm is split with a flower with a flame

Solitude stands in the doorway
And I'm struck once again by her black silhouette
By her long cool stare and her silence
I suddenly remember each time we've met

And she turns to me with her hand extended
Her palm is split with a flower with a flame

And she says "I've come to set a twisted thing straight"
And she says "I've come to lighten this dark heart"
And she takes my wrist, I feel her imprint of fear
And I say "I've never thought of finding you here"

I turn to the crowd as they're watching
They're sitting all together in the dark in the warm
I wanted to be in there among them
I see how their eyes are gathered into one

And then she turns to me with her hand extended
Her palm is split with a flower with a flame

And she says "I've come to set a twisted thing straight"
And she says"l've come to lighten this dark heart"
And she takes my wrist, I feel her imprint of fear
And I say "I've never thought of finding you here"

Solitude stands in the doorway
And I'm struck once again by her black silhouette
By her long cool stare and her silence
I suddenly remember each time we've met

And she turns to me with her hand extended
Her palm is split with a flower with a flame

    Subject: death 2
        Date: Sun, 03 Oct 1999 19:52:23 +0200
       From: Philipp Hofmann <philipp.hofmann@mail.uni-bielefeld.de>
 Organization: Entropic Empire
            To: Sue Conolly <conolly@pop21.odn.ne.jp>, Undertow <undertow@vega.net>

Dear Sue,

thanks a lot for your post which has troubled me a lot. I wish I could react to it appropriately, giving you some kind of comfort. Instead all I can come up with are words and words again. Maybe it's because of the weather (it has turned from a sunny summer to a dark fall within two days here in Germany), maybe it's because of the way your words have moved me: but here is something I wrote to fill the void and the despair your post has left me with. Please feel free to ignore or delete it....

I met Rob in 1993. He was playing electric guitar and his friend Daniel was playing the drums. I was looking for a band to join as a singer and acoustic guitarist and so the three of us got together. From 1993 to October 1998 we met each Monday and Thursday from 7 to 10 rehearsing and playing and composing. On the weekends we had gigs or made recordings or discussed covers. Rob was a great guitarist. He had learned everything he knew from the bands he was listening to: The Smiths and Radiohead, Gene and Blumfeld. He could not read sheet music and did not know anything about music-theory - but his intuitive understanding of music was remarkable. He loved Oscar Wilde and Franz Kafka. But what he loved most was Disneyland. He went to Eurodisney every year and he was waiting in the first line with all the kids to see the parade. But despite Rob's sometimes boyish ideas nothing else that I have done in my life has felt so right like the work I did with him. It was like we were sharing the same thoughts musically. There were only a few times when we had different opinions about how a songs should continue. Mostly things just developed almost effortlessly. I don't know whether the songs we did were really good, quality songs, but they sure felt like it. I was proud of them and I had high hopes in what we were doing. It was the perfect team-work. Rob was like the missing link that set my mind and petty creativity going. Alone we couldn't do very much. It was when we sat together that one chord was added to the next and suddenly a melody or a chorus came out of that. All this I understand only now. I wasn't aware back then how important Rob was for doing what I have always dreamed of. We had a lot of fun. During the rehearsal, at the gigs, while recording.

Rob died when he was vacationing with his brother in the South of Germany. They wanted to visit a castle called "Neuschwanstein" which has been the role model for all those castles in the various Disneylands all over the world. On the way up the hill he collapsed and was dead instantly. He was born with a permanent heart failure. He never told me this. He died at age 30.

This was on October 27 last year, the day that I bought "Tried & True". While I was sitting on the bus reading the lyrics to "Rosemary" for the first time a cold shiver went down my spine when I read the words "All I know of you is in my memory. And all I ask is you remember me". Two hours later I learned that Rob had died. I do not believe in God but then I wished I would just to hate him, to despise him, to scream into his face that I would never forgive him this. I cannot express what has scattered this day in October last year and I have given up to pick up the pieces.

Do you remember how you played with me
for our supper, against the fears?
And that day that I bought "Rosemary"
Daniel called me and he cried
and he said that you had died
and I cried your weight in tears.

Since then there hasn't passed a single day
on which I did not think of you.
Now that you have left and gone away,
you are with me even more
than you ever were before
but what am I supposed to do?

In the silence all around me
and the ruins which surround me
my need for you is growing
like the flowers on your grave.
I never cared to tell you
that you were a a good friend -
but I hope that where you are now
is forever Disneyland.

All I know of you
is in my memory.
All I ask is you
remember me.

Fortunately I had some good friends who have helped me cope with the loss. But still I have these fits sometimes when I can't suppress the pain any longer and it boils onto the surface and covers my eyes like a black curtain. Then I don't see how I should go on, now that everything I have worked for is slowly going down the drain. The dream has turned into a nightmare. I still feel the urge to write, to play, to sing but it's like sitting in front of a keyboard with the hands hacked off and this feeling is running like acid through my veins and eating me from within. And then I curse myself for being so selfish and for all my self
pity. Because in the end I don't feel sorry for Rob but only for myself. Because I feel cheated. Because I feel lost. Rob has gone and where he once was there now is pain. At his wife's side and at the side of his friends and his family. And at my side.

          Ooooh Disneyhead, oooooh Disneyhead
          So how can we be close when you're so far away?
          You're skin touches mine
          but we're light years away.
          Sometimes when it's dark
          I think you're very near,
          when the light comes on
          this is all I hear.
                                                   "Disneyhead", the blue aeroplanes

I have become what Melville would call: "a sadder and a wiser boy": death has stepped into my life without warning and it has given every song a new meaning. Over the last months I have decided that I have to go on. On October 27 I will remember Rob's death as I have done every day of this last year. But I will be somewhere else, I will have moved because I just can't stand at this spot for all my life. I don't think that I can run away from the pain. But if I don't move my life will overtake me and what then? Of course there is the fear of leaving Rob behind. And there is the uncertainty of where to go because right now I simply don't know where to turn to. But it's some comfort to know that I am not walking alone, that other people are also on their way pushed by a loss. And it's good to know that they are also accompanied by Suzanne's songs.


i have packed
i'm leaving this place now
empty as it is now
that you have gone

i did not sleep, just waited
and anticipated
your coming home

and i guess my life will just go on
the way it did before
except that the fine line
between song and sign
will not blur

i have packed
all which reminds me of you
so that leaving here does not mean:
leaving you behind

if you come back and read this
i hope that you will follow
and find me

because my life will just go on
the way it did before
except for these words
like drops from a tap
that will not close

except that the crack
in my heart
will not heal


Sue, I don't know how you are feeling. But I am feeling the same. And the impossibility of expressing this hurts me. I'm missing. And sometimes this missing fills me so completely that it suffocates every sensible thought. And then mails like this happen. I'm with you in thoughts. I don't know whether this is a comfort. But it is a fact.
Thanks for listening.

remember me,

It's 00:18, I'm sitting here coughing and with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders.

I am a poor
freezingly cold soul
so far from where
I intended to go...
There is no irony in these lines.

an advertisment flyer from Uwe's butcher...
October 05, 1999 (Tuesday)
I'm going to meet Dagmar tonight. Actually I wanted to go to the University today but I' still feeling sick and I have a slight fever. I've been trying to write some Java Script programme for the last hour but it won't really work. Anyway. On saturday Uwe and Christiane will come and we will meet because of my birthday (which is on Thursday) and because Christiane is back from England. So, if you're reading this and you would like to join us you're welcome! Saturday, 19:30h, Siegfriedstrasse 44, 33615 Bielefeld.

(And yes! the red thing on the cellular phone is in fact a Schnitzel...)

...and you ran with your pals
in the sun
you turn around
and they were gone

October 13th, 1999
Hi there!

It's wednesday night. 22.38. I'm sitting here alone. Inga is in Essen visiting Katja. I#m eating sweets and drinking diet coke. I've started gaining weight uncontrollably. Tomorrow night we're going to see Morrissey in Hamburg. Hopefully. everybody's sick. Inga and Christiane eand I was just a couple of days ago. I've been sitting in front of the sreen all day, trying to get the index-page for Chaos/Control:Complexity work. It does now. Looks quite nice.
So, here is another task for you. It's a tricky question, and if you can come up with an answer I'd be very happy to hear from you. Now, the question is:

What do you answer somebody who says to you:"Well, Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead is a really great song - I'm just wondering what the lyrics mean. What do you think? Do you understand them?"
So, if you have any idea what one could answer to this question please mail me here! And class, it would be very nice if anybody else besides Uwe could come up with an answer just for once!! Thank you!

It's a clear night tonight. The stars are out and it's gonna be freezing cold. I know that the yntax and tense in the if-clause above is somewhat wrong. I don't care. It's just another reason to start musing about the English/German question. Wie soll ich weiterschreiben, wenn ich weiterschreiben soll?

bei mir statt ausblick ein gedächtnis...
More authenticity. It's 23:00 already. Inga hasn#t called yet. Dafür verrate ich jetzt auch nicht, was ich für sie zu Weihnachten habe. Da bastel ich nämlich schon die ganze Woche dran rum. Wird ganz gut, glaube ich.
23:01 already. I can't think of anything to say. The same old complaint: I wish I had more night like this with nothing to do so I could work on the words and their arrangment. But what then? Once they are arranged, they keep quiet. Or do they? I'm rambling. Got another very nice eMail from Paula. Who is this woman? She said some nice things about entrropic entropic empire and the arrangment of words there.
a sick boy should be treated
so easily defeated
I just don't understand
so you ran with your pals in the sun
you turned around
you were alone
and you ran back to Marr
which set the pace for the rest of your days

It's 23:09 already. I think I'll go to bed now. Glaube nicht, daß Inga noch anruft.

and now
there is something
that you should know
the girl of your dreams
is here all alone
the girl of your dreams
is sad and all alone
there is something
that you should know
the girl of your dreams
is here all alone
the girl of your dreams
is sad and all alone

October 14, 1999
the semester has started. I'm sitting in theentrance hall, listening to Morrissey. Tonight is the concert. This song is great! I'm getting old. So many young poeple down here. Fresh faces. Clean eyes. Demanding fun. Cool people. Beautiful boys and girls. And they run with their pals in the sun - they turn around and they're alone again. Had a short glance into the scrap book, collected lines, trash can of words waiting to be recycled. Got hope again, if only for a sefcond. The other day I had a surreal moment again (mental note:remember the dream you've had last night) when I was sitting in the bus which was just stopping and I looked outside and I saw Steve Buscemi posing as a fashion model for H&M. And this was so absurd - so totally unreal -> ausgedacht eben-> that I just couldn't believe it.
And now about the dream: it was something with a cicus. They were putting up the tent or something. I can't remember much more. Only that it was very vivid.I have reread parts of this and of the days and weeks before and I'm ashamed how cornxy and sentimental and profane all this sounds. I#m disappointed. More people are passing by, one is looking like Stephan (our former bass player) one is looking like The Monchichi Woman (TM). Nobody I know. Nobody I would want to know. I'm missing Inga. At 11:32 on Thursday 14th, 1999 the strange instrument in Southpaw which will (at approximately 11:34) shift the beat from one to three and four starts, I'm feeling tired but pleasently invisible in the crowd, the guy opposite is lighting a cigarette and I'm thinking about Inga. Die evangelischen Christen verkaufen biologisch angebauten Honig und Gemüsebrühe aus der dritten Welt. And nobody thinks this is strange. I#m thinking back to the SV interview and how silly I felt when she said that she liked the Caspar Hauser story because it was in a certain way connected to her life, like the sentence"I want to be a rider like my father" which she always heard as "I want to be a writer like my father"(knock knock! who's there? Jacques Lacan!) and suddenly I got angry because I hadn't figured this out myself long before. It seemed to be so obvious. But I just hadn't seen it. At 11:44 the neon headlights are switched on, giving noon a strange evening air. More people, lots of them, more voices, more faces, more trendy hair-styles and yes-I-was-at-the-loveparade-clothes. Those kids!!

October 24, 1999 (Sunday)
It's been quite a long time... I should write something about the Morrissey concert. It will be hard, though, because it was brilliant. All those songs were just great! They played It was strange because I knew how much Rob would have loved to see and hear and experience this. And I was standing there next to Daniel and I knew that he was thinking the same thoughts and then they played Speedway and I remembered how we had used to play it And I tried hard not to cry And I felt ashamed And it was good that the music was so loud Because the volume almost hurt in my ears No not always it DID hurt in my ears And this was good Because it was a good pain And all those lines had Suddenly a New meaning, die oft besungene fine line between song and sign which made your face appear in front of me with every chord they played. This concert was the funeral you have deserved but did not get one year ago. And I was standing there and felt so guilty that I could not share this concert, this music with you because I know you would have given your LIFE to hear Meat Is Murder and Hairdresser On Fire live and a death for no reason is murder. And I can't write about it now because I just cannot cope with it.

You had to sneak into my room
just to read my diary
it was just to see
just to see
all the things you knew
I'd written about you

Subject: words and words again
   Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 12:33:21 +0200
   From: Inga Westerteicher <inga.westerteicher@gmx.de>
     To: philipp hofmann <philipp.hofmann@uni-bielefeld.de>

hallo philipp,

ich habe mir gerade zum ersten mal dein online-diary durchgelesen. ich habe das gefühl, daß wir im realen leben nicht viel miteinander zu reden haben, daß uns da nicht recht was einfällt, worüber wir uns austauschen können, weil wir zu müde sind, weil es uns egal ist, weil es zu viele profane ärgernisse gibt, weil uns der atem fehlt.
ich habe das gefühl, daß es dich nicht besonders interessiert, in kontakt mit mir zu sein, auch wenn ich den größten teil der woche gar nicht zuhause bin, auch wenn ich nur abends da bin und du dann doch nur am computer sitzt oder bei der probe bist. am wochenende, wenn wir zeit hätten und ich gerne einfach nur mit dir wäre, dann ist das aber auch nichts für dich.
ich will wissen, was in dir vorgeht, damit ich endlich wieder weiß, mit wem ich mir die wohnung teile und wer abends an meiner seite liegt und dort atmet und schläft und träumt. dich interessiert es nicht, mir das mitzuteilen, also wende ich mich an deinen closest friend, der wenigstens gerne informationen an mich rausgibt und freundlich und still mit mir kommuniziert. dort entdecke ich ein anderes gesicht von dir und plötzlich weiß ich, was dich so am rechner hält. dort existiert eine andere welt, die mit der in unserer wohnung und außerhalb unserer wohnung nicht das geringste zu tun hat.
virtuality against reality. virtuality wins.
sie ist irgendwie echter und tiefer und aufrichtiger als das, was hier ist, warm und pulsierend, schweißig, stinkend, schmutzig die üblichen abfälle des täglichen lebens produziert, uns unsere sterblichkeit vor augen hält. es ist die profanität, die uns ankotzt und uns abstößt, dich noch mehr als mich. darum fliehst du auch konsequenter vor mir, als ich vor ihr. das kalte, ruhige, gleichmäßige, stille flimmern ist irgendwie sublimer, es riecht nach nichts, es ist non-consuming und es schilfert keine haupt ab. mir ist klar, daß das genau das ist, wonach es dich und mich verlangt. heißt das, daß ich dir nur wirklich über den computer nahekommen kann? daß wir uns nur in der virtualität so begegnen können, wie ich es ab und zu gerne nur mal einfach so hätte. oder erwarte ich einfach mal wieder zu viel? du bist einfach so fern von mir. ich glaube manchmal der computer ist dir näher als ich, oder der raum, den du dir dort nehmen kannst. dort lädst du all das ab, worüber du mit mir nicht sprichst. dort geht es um deine zukunftsängste und deine trauer um rob und deine verzweiflung wegen der musik. zwischen uns ist das nicht möglich. ist das überhaupt zwischen menschen möglich? ich meine mittlerweile ist mir auch klar, daß wir alle alleine sind und es auch bleiben werden und beziehungen nur eine art von selbstdoping, damit man es nicht so merkt oder sich gegenseitig was vormachen kann, aber du läßt es mich manchmal zu überdeutlich spüren. oder willst du mir etwas bestimmtes damit sagen? oder ist das unsere art, uns tiefe zu schenken? über den 0/1 code? ich weiß nicht. i am upset. ich bin ratlos. und ich fühle mich dir momentan so fremd wie noch nie zuvor. oder liegt es an deiner prüfung? ich bin darauf angewiesen, daß du mir zumindest was schreibst. ich glaube nicht, daß ich so stark halluziniere.

remember ME

Something went badly wrong
for me and maybe for you too.
Two maybe wrong to may be write.
This night might be moon.

Maybe it is time to end this project. I'm starting to lose control of it. It has developed a life of its own. I can't substitute between what I have made up and what is real. Where have I been when I made up the mail above? Where have I been when I invented Uwe and his strange reactions to the online journal. Where have I been when I made up Rob's death? Where have I been when I made up myself?

Can you squeeze me into an empty page of your diary
and psychologically save me
I've got faith in you
I sense the power in the fingers
within an hour the power
can totally destroy me
(or it could save my life)
you may be depressed but you're remarkably dressed
is it Real?
So can you squeeze me into an empty page of your diary
and supernaturally change me

Suzy and I

and the only one here now

is me

I'm fighting things

I cannot see

I think it's called my destiny

that I am changing



leave me alone I was only singing!
last entry
October 27, 1999 (Wednesday)
the passionate i 
(for rt, jd, sv) 
                More schizophrenic than the text 
                I'm stumbling from one word to the next 
                and I cannot write as fast as 
                these pictures are raging through my mind 
                of feelings, of visions 
                I'd rather be blind 
                than suffer these storms inside 
                which leave me shaken 
                and stirred and askew 
                If I could tame them 
                I'd use them 
                for my voice, 
                for my rage, 
                for my poem 
                - which is you. 
                Inhaling all your words 
                I lose my peace 
                they cannot ease 
                the hunger. 
                They feed the fire and the heat 
                that tells my heart which way to beat 
                that tells my longing where to flow 
                that tells my feet which way to go. 
                And I wish I could go with you 
                - gleichauf - 
                but all I do is follow you 
                carefully, in your footsteps; 
                sinking in and wishing 
                I might find a word, a sound, a touch 
                you left behind: 
                something that fell out of your heart. 
                And while I'm going 
                my collection's growing 
                and (maybe someday) 
                will it be art? 
                It's strange how I can be 
                not by your side 
                but nonetheless close to you. 
                And I can feel it now: 
                every breath charged with significance 
                and I'm almost ashamed to say 
                that this is the feeling that 
                I want to die, too. 
                Spontaneous combustion 
                and always the question: 
                will it suffice? 
                You cannot write with tears 
                you can only write with ink 
                - but I have neither now. 
                I only have this wordwide wish 
                to melt into 
                whatever is 
                a you. 
                I'd give my heart 
                if I could make you feel 
                the way that 
              you make me
                the more I know of you 
                the more I want to become 
                what you are 
                because you are 
                I ever want to be. 
                I'm getting lost ... 
                Will you remember me? 
                Waking up this morning 
                the panic came again 
                and I was not prepared this time. 
                So it took me 
                and it shook me 
                and turned my bones to ice. 
                When the mad people have left 
                when the bad people are gone 
                there's just me 
                and this clear vision, 
                this cruel vision, 
                this clear cut vision of what will be - 
                or will be not. 
                Clear cut. 
                And I did not loose my mind! 
                My mind lost me. 
                Don't try to stop my heart it's doing it again 
                the acids in my heart 
                make pain makes words make pain makes words. 
                The tireless watcher is the tireless catcher 
                of my mind and 
                in my mind. 
                I'm read! 
                Therefore I am. 
                Und doch: 
                all the words will not suffice 
                to tell you all the words there are 
                and all the tears will not suffice 
                to wash your footsteps from my being. 
                These ridiculous lines 
                form a short circuit 
                a feedback loop 
                ringing in my ears - 
                they are here for a reason: 
                "remember the living!" 
                a sonic imprint of my fears. 
                I wish you would rest so I could 
                catch up with you 
                you are 
                fast and faster 
                I am 
                falling behind 
                I'm getting lost 
                with this lack of words 
                for all that hurts 
                it's only a matter of time 
                What will be then? 
                Will you turn back and see? 
                Will you 
                remember me? 
                A new day - a new mourning 
                - good lines are still a matter of chance - 
                because there is no song 
                terrible enough 
                to meet the loss which made 
                my life explode so quietly. 
                Every time I think of you 
                I'm losing you anew. 
                Where are you in me? 
                I want to hear you, 
                I've been silent all this time 
                have been perceptive and waiting - 
                but I cannot hear you 
                who has become 
                the Old Nobody
                too much to deal with, 
                too much to write down, 
                too much and way too dead, 
                not here and closer 
                than you could ever get. 
                And there is nothing left. 
                Nothing that isn't hurting. 
                There's nothing left, 
                no word, no sound, no touch 
                now that you're always where I'm not 
                and how strange that anything that simple 
                can hurt anyone that much. 
                And this is the saddest part 
                I know you'll leave like others left before 
                left me without a clue 
                of what I am supposed to do 
                I wish that "I" would rhyme with "you" 
                and going 
                without knowing 
                where to go is as scary as 
                writing without knowing 
                what to write. 
                I've lost count of what went wrong, 
                I freeze, my fingers feel like ice 
                so does my tongue. 
                I'm breathing in 
                - my eyes wide 
                with the nervous buzzing of the words 
                as I approach their hive- 
                and your voice 
                - like a slide - 
                projected onto 
                my life. 
                And Language 
                is what other people call a

*  E  N  D  *