[may 1, 2002]well, this is not really good planning: it's a holiday and i woke up today just to realize that the fridge is completely empty. so i went to the two bakeries that are around to get some bread but both were closed of course. just my luck. i still have some pasta, but it's 10:25 in the morning and i don't really feel like pasta now.
leonard is singing from the kitchen and from time to time a car passes by outside. i came back yesterday night at 10. in cologne thomas, achim and i worked on the poster for the pynchon conference and we have a rough outline now. bernd gave his talk on 'heidegger's cyborg and the vicissitudes of the body:machine' and it took all combined efforts and 30 minutes to get the laptop connected to the beamer so he could show the video-clips.
there's not much more to say. took the ice yesterday night from cologne to bielefeld so instead of spending almsot three i only spend 1 and a half hour on the train, looking out of the window being unable to concetrate on anything really. angelina wrote.
it's a slow day. i decided that i won't work today but that i will only do things that are fun and that i really feel like doing. so actually i should call you now.
[may 2, 2002]
woke up with a headache. it's raining. showered and shaved but since i haven't been shopping yet there's nothing to eat in the house. yesterday night i though i saw a fat, black spider running across my desk, but when i jumbed back terrified [i hate spiders] it had gone. am i starting to SEE things?
eve came by yesterday night. we went to feed the ducks in the park and then sat in some small cafe. here's the plan for the next days: prepare the seminar (topics: essay, film, music), finish thomas' matter that bodies html version, work on the pynchon poster. this should keep my busy. but will it keep me distracted enough? i realize that i ended where i started, i made a full circle, addressing you directly every now and then and losing all distance to my hurting self that takes control ever so often and speaks and speaks and speaks to you. did i tell you that there have been moments in the past weeks where i truly wished that i was dead? oh no, don't worry, that's not an option that i will bring to a sudden actualization. but then the more time has passed the more desperate the desperation gets, because it is getting less and less probable that you will return. each day you spend in happiness separates me a thousand times more from you. and i don't know how to cope with this thought. each day you're getting more used to not talking to me, each day will erase me a little more from your life, your memory, your heart. i did have hope. but now i'm only hurting. there's no way thinking about you without breaking down. on the inside and on the outside. 'machinery breaking down'
all i want to do is sleep, but the thoughts of her keep dripping on that one spot on my head like a chinese torture. i can't do anything but sit rocking back and forth on my chair, sobbing, keeping my arms wrapped around myself in the pathetic attempt to simulate her tenderness, her closeness, her comfort, her warmth. the thought of never having this again is driving me insane. i thought i was secure, i thought this love was firm and would hold would stay with us but a fucking other guy was enough to shatter it, to make it fade away. and why did MY love not? it would be so much easier. it is like the more she lost the love for me the more i gained love for her and now i'm here overwhelmed by a feeling that i have not asked for, overwhelmed by an emotion that is not answered. from being the most important person in a life to being just a problem for you to solve. and you did. the both of you did.
the moments of desperation that break into my ordinary, ordered life are such a violent rupture that i don't know how to integrate them anymore. they frighten me because they do not stop. it's half a year now, half a year without seeing her, talking to her and still it hasn't stopped. it's as bad as in the beginning. i still feel that i cannot cope with seeing them together, i can't even cope with thinking them together. i'm rambling, 'this is nothing like i thought it would be'. strange angels was the first song that i gave her. yes, and it sums up neatly what you've been for me and fucking still are: a very strange angel. big changes are coming, but i don't know how, i just don't know how to go on with them, that i did is just coincidence, is just my laziness to stop all that keeps another day coming and another night and another week and another months without her: a thousand days lined up to be lived through without you. this is no day to be. and the fucking hollow words i've made those fucking useless words couldn't change a single thing. his body could. his body could turn around her heart her mind her love. all i did was pointless, all i wrote was in vain. today it feels like it's never going to heal. never. but i'm sick of hurting.
and not with us'
[before]such a delicate green! the trees are filled with small leaves, dancing in the wind, glistening with rain drops that are sparkling like infinitely transparent glass marbles. the sunlight is falling through the branches in millions of thin rays and this delicate green makes me feel like walking under water. i wish i had a camera to fix this moment, to show it to you, to share it with you do you have woods like this in iowa or just endless yellow fields of wheat, do you have leaves like this in your office or just a gray wall with a small black and white picture of kd lang hanging there do you have such rain drops in your study or just rows of books that hide your secret reservoir of cigarettes do you have a delicate green like this where you are now or do you just see the brown of his eyes?
[later]eve [the other eve from cologne, the friend of blaine] has sent quite a nice mail offering me to stay at her place in cologne until i've found a room of my own, which i thought was really, really nice. but i don't think that i should start invading the private space of people i'm working with. i wouldn't feel comfortable i think. i guess i'm somewhat strange?
dagmar wrote as well. she has a teaching job at the university here in bielefeld this semester and she wrote:
i'm also planning to play your philip glass/j. alfred prufrock piece in my literature class [i once mixed the reading of eliot with glass' piano piece metamorphosis II] as an example for a creative and (passionate) dealing with poetry. you see - nothing gets lost! you'd been a true hoffnungsträger [well, my dictionary says: 'person to whom hopes are pinned'] back then already! i hope you will find one in your seminar as well.boy, that sure sent a warm shower down my spine!
[may 3, 2002]it's almost eleven at night, i'm back from rehearsal, which went fine. we tried to play the whole new set: 12 songs, some old, some new, some mediocre, some pretty good. while daniel and i were waiting for rainer he told me how he got stopped by the police while he was driving in his car, drumming with his sticks onto the steering wheel. "What exactly is it you're doing?" the officer asked him and "are you doing this very often?" and daniel replied "well, as far as i know it's not prohibited..."
tara wrote from tübingen and asked about the seminar. cedric visited today and brought some copies of hollow earth essays. when he left he made a remark about me not having updated the journal since april 30. i told him that since we have a new month he had to click on may and not april in the menu. he was obviously embarrassed so i told him not to worry because blaine had done the same last month. he [blaine] wrote and said i should stop living in the past. eve is not in town and no news from paula or angelina. whenever i check my mail i'm silently hoping for a message from you. i really do. it's raining.
i don't know what else to say. there is no end to fear, there is no end to fear. today i am estragon. tomorrow vladimir.
[may 4, 2002]cleaned the windows this morning, which apparently has some sort of comical aspect to it because thomas was laughing his head of when we talked on the phone a minute ago. 'nobody has ever once cleaned a window in our house!' he kept bragging. i'm pretty sure that sahar (his wife) is doing it secretly!
it's cold outside and raining again. a slow saturday morning. i mixed a couple of poems that paula had sent with music. now i'll prepare the seminar and later work the changes that thomas wants me to do into his article. plus i'll have to work on the pynchon poster which will have slightly the same layout as the posters for the ups lecture series. by the way, let me invite you all to the next lecture:
on one of these nights over half a year ago when i was in cologne and we talked on the phone and she said: i'm going to see a friend tonight and she said you need not worry she said 'do not worry about oliver' this is what she said and i said: have fun! and they sat together in a bar and he said: 'the problem is all inside your head. the answer is easy if you take it logically. I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free.' he said 'it's really not my habit to intrude, furthermore I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued.' and then they ordered something to eat and something to drink, the expensive red wine for her and for him a beer and he said "it grieves me so to see you in such pain I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again...' and she said: 'I appreciate that!' he said, "why don't we both just sleep on it tonight and I believe, in the morning you'll begin to see the light.' and then he kissed her and she realized he probably was right. and all the time i did not worry. no new messages on server. 'i would stop all clocks for you' paula is saying 'i would laugh in death's face for you. i would kiss you, if you'd let me' and the voice is that of a little girl, looking up, vulnerable, and she says it almost like a question: 'i would kiss you, if you'd let me?' and it cuts like a knife. i'm raining. 'i hate what this life does to people'
[may 5, 2002]there's not much to say about today. a typical sunday. mixed paula's poems. prepared the seminar. worked on thomas' hypertext. went for a walk. made a salad. wrote to eve. listened to another old nerve bible cd: songs i forgot to have written at all. such as 'king m' or 'results'. they're all from 95/96. the sun has come out. all day long it had been cloudy. now, at eight in the evening the sun is shining with a golden and mild light and i think i will go to the park for another half an hour. tomorrow morning i'll drive to cologne again. eve suggested a song of the month:
[may 7, 2002]
the colloquium today stirred me up. it was about intensities as opposed
to representation and although it was half confusing and half overwhelming
i had - for a short moment - the feeling that you could map all this perfectly
onto 'beautiful losers'...
also i thought that this one line in paula's 'arrival' could be read in terms of intensities, that line in which her body refuses to speak the word 'machinery'. [coupling of representation and intensity. representation depends on matter. either as a carrier or as an executive agent - in 'arrival' the body refuses to subordinate itself to representation and revolts. it will not speak. the dependence, the relation surfaces in the 'i prefer not to' of the tongue, the sound machine becomes noise machine - it is breaking down] [later: well, good thought but it's not exactly fitting what thomas had in mind i think...]
today blaine gave his talk on "where do we go from queer?" and it went pretty well. i was nervous, too, because i knew that he was very excited. but it went well and there were no mean questions afterwards in the discussion part.
angelina wrote - parts of the next paragraph are taken from my reply to her mail. by the way, paula wrote as well, thanking me for the photo and saying that she thought that i was very handsome [thanks!] and that i was the kind of man she would fall for if she hadn't been in love already. *sigh* :o)
from a reply to angelina:
i've just been talking to cedric on the phone and we talked briefly about that the feeling of missing xxxx so much has returned and he said: 'actually you'd need more people who tell you that it's over once and for all'. and when he had said this and the words had reached my ear and then my brain i felt a sharp pain in my stomach and i realized that i can't cope with the thought that it is over. i don't know what to do with the thought that there is no hope anymore, no chance anymore. i don't know how to deal with it. i don't want to hear it. it hurt so much that i just want to make it stop i just want to make it stop. but i don't know how. i wish i had the courage to call her, to hear her voice again, angelina, you can not imagine how much i LONG for her voice, for her laughter for seeing her face again. i don't know how to manage these feelings anymore.
angelina askedyes, she gave me warmth and that's not only a belated projection. she was the one person that i felt at ease with that i, well, loved in a sense which i could never describe with words. i would have died for her. i would have done everything for her. she gave me the feeling of being unconditionally loved, there were moments that i remember when she looked at me with a sparkle in her eyes, the sparkle of total happiness and contentment and i remember moments when i was looking at her and it made me cry. simply looking at her brought tears to my eyes for no reason but being with her. it was that kind of intensity that overwhelms you when you experience something of immense beauty: a song, a line in a poem that brings tears to your eyes. paula's voice can do this and suzanne's songs and thomas' theories and teachings: it makes you choke and your eyes fill with tears as if to put out some inner fire that's raging lighted by the beauty of the words, the sound, the ideas. The only BODY who had been capable of making me feel that way had been xxxx's body. no|body before and no|body since. granted, the safety i felt was just imaginary as oliver has proven. and still i FELT that safety, it gave me peace, it made me feel at ease.
>DID she give you warmth?
angelina askedi'm longing for her body, for her laughter, for her smell, and the feeling of her skin: touching her cheek, touching the soft inside of her arms, the smell of her hair, the delicateness of her breasts, the joy in her laughter, the weight of her tears. i'm missing all this so much. i don't know how to be without it. i feel like i'm all dried up inside. if i had to assume that i've lost this forever nothing would make any sense anymore. i'm so afraid, so afraid that i will NEVER FIND THIS AGAIN ANYMORE!
>your longing for what?
[may 8, 2002]uh! when i switched on on my cellular phone this morning at 5:30 [which hadn't for a couple of days] i had a note that there was a message on my voice box. and when i listened to it it just said: "you had a call from the number 0521|3311XX on monday, may 6 at 12:06." but the caller left no message. now about two weeks ago i already had two strange calls with no messages but this one came from bielefeld and somehow i thought that i knew the number. so i took my address book and skipped through it and when i reached 'W' i realized that it's the number of xxxx's parents.
why would they call me? and who? her mother or her father? or xxxx herself? is something wrong? is somebody ill? her grandmother? or xxxx? why didn't the caller leave a message? why hasn't s|he tried my other number or written an email? am i supposed to call back? what does it all mean? does it mean anything at all or am i just charging up coincidences until they are totally overdetermined? maybe they just dialed the wrong number? but my long and complicated cellular phone number? very strange? don't know what to think about it...
thoughts you have while riding on the train for 5 hours a day:
wishing to dissolve into
the indifferent fog
that looms like smoke beyond the glass
the feeling of insufficiency
like a fatherless, mad child
that keeps finding its way back to me
every time i leave it
to starve in the woods
there's a bright, clear sun shining
in my back
its rays as cold as
the thousand days that are
lined up in front of me
to be lived through
shadows sharp as the black hooks
of letters that keep sticking in my eyes
with barbs of beauty:
seeds of pearls
that pop silently as soap bubbles
when you realize
there is no obvious solution
to the problem of being alive.
the micro pain of history
the macro fear of molar memory
my ordinary, ordered life
with the force of a catastrophe
when i realize:
there is no obvious solution
to the problem of being in words.
[later]i realize that i avoid talking to cedric about this phone call business. actually i should call him and ask him what he thinks about it but i don't because i fear that he will say: it was just an accident, a mistake, a switch of numbers, it was just because of a reason unimportant to your heart. yes - i'd rather live in dreams than not. in 'a space my mind has defined'. basically i want to be ignorant. ignorant of your love for him. ignorant of you having left me. did you know that i sometimes call your name as if you were in the other room. i call it softly. quietly. gently. ignorantly.
i'm on my way back home. the poster is almost finished. thomas tried to explain to me his ideas on intensity versus representation this morning which was very inspiring as usual. i thought that i understood for a second what it was all about but then the understanding was gone again as fast as it came. i wish i could make these bright moments last, i wish i could fix them like in a picture.
[may 9, 2002]there you go, the phone call was an accident. i wrote a short mail to xxxx's parents yesterday and they replied the other minute shortly saying that it was a mistake. there you go. there you go. there you go. 'my heart ticks inside me like rain'. i wish i could just scream myself to some remote part of iowa into an empty, endless field and you'd be my concrete iron shield against my own heart. i'm missing paula and her barb wire words that i take with both my hands to rub them into both my eyes. this blood is transparent. YOU CANT LEAVE ME NOW YOU CANT LEAVE ME NOW YOU CANT LEAVE ME NOW I HAVENT LEFT YOU YET!!!!! !!!!! !! !! !!!!! !!!!! !! !!
i woke up to the sound of the telephone this morning [mind you: it's a holiday!] and thomas's voice speaking on my answering machine: 'get up! i want to talk about the poster!' okay, it was already 10:20 but considering the sad fact that i commuted between bielefeld and cologne the last days i had earned some extra hours of sleep! i haven't shaved for a week so i look either totaly ridiculous or totally cool, depending on your stance towards facial hair.
just an accident. just an accident. i wonder whether all the five years have just been an accident as well. i wonder whether my whole life is just an accident. it certainly feels so. i don't know where the violence comes from, all this violence in my mind like a constant crashing against concrete walls and the irony is that you keep surviving. surviving your own life. the pollen from the chestnut tree that is standing in front of my kitchen are floating through my flat weightlessly. warm snow flakes. the sound from kristin hersh's acoustic guitar. your ghost. it's ignorantly romatic and i'm waiting for your knocking on the door. today i am estragon. tomorrow i am me.
[may 10, 2002]'uh!' again. had mad dreams about her parents [well, who would have expected...?] it started with me doing a seminar and thomas was there as well. it was in a small classroom and suddenly it started to thunder and to storm and to snow heavily inside and then we were on a ship that was sinking and then not sinking but coming into the harbor and i was alone on that ship with xxxx's father and he took me to their home and i was waiting there while he needed to fetch something and i met my aunt who was confused because she had bought a life-ensurance [riddle me this?] from xxxx's father and now was worried about me and xxxx splitting because she did not know anymore how to act towards her parents and then i became angry and led her away but felt the urge to return because i hoped and feared to meet xxxx at her parent's house so i went back and while i was walking across their lawn xxxx and her sister passed me and they were little girls about 12 years old like from theses photos that hang in her parent's house and they looked at me curiously and then giggled and laughed. fear is what i feel at the slow unraveling of me, but you tell me it's temporary, it's a matter of time, by god don't you think i know what's in my mind?
[later]i'm sitting in the park, watching the swans glide across the pond, the light is watery and foggy, the sun opaque behind high mists - still it's warm . i turn on my walkman and the water fountain continues working silently as the sound mixes with the sun: paula's poems on repeat. couples walking hand in hand. couples lying side by side. 'no: this writing is not exempt: it remains like all writing a pathetic attempt to make you understand that *my heart is breaking*' no rehearsal today: daniel's on holiday. i wish i was with somebody. i wish i could write songs again. what for? you'll never hear them. all those colorful blossoms, those blooming bushes and bright flowers: just an accident, my number the wrong number, my heart the wrong heart, my body the wrong body. and still - the past two days were good days, hopeful days.
[even later]i'm in eating mood today. i've just ate the cookies i had bought for tomorrow when eve will come by. ignorant. a heart that's full up like a landfill. a job that's slowly kills you. bruises that won't heal. no alarms and no surprises, no alarms and no surprises PLEASE! boy, who would have thought that i'd find myself within a radiohead video one day: water rising, words of light wandering over my face and i don't know how long the oxygen will last...
[much later]oooops. while discussing the pynchon poster with thomas he suddenly said: 'you have an online diary' which was sort of a surreal moment because in the background there was the constant murmur of a children television series' theme song [biene maja: a late 70s german cartoon series about the adventures of the bee maja, her friend willi and the grasshopper flip. go figure!]. so seems that from now on i'll have to watch what i write!
[may 11, 2002]spent one hour on my knees, wiping the floor. thought about what thomas said when we sort of finished the poster yesterday night: "okay, now you can watch tv. or write in the diary. or write your dissertation!" point taken. thought about a new heading for the diary: 'self pity galore'. point made. woke up at eight with the strange sensation that something very important had happened. checked my mail but except for the irresistible offer to 'Increase your penis size 1-3 inches!' there were no exciting news whatsoever. i wish i would get spam mail advertising: 'increase your dissertation size 100-300 pages!'
it's raining. good old bielefelder rain: small constant drops that will not stop for the next few hours. actually eve and i had planned to go outside this afternoon. before i will have to work on saussure and barth. i did a little preparation yesterday afternoon in the park already but i still have to type all my notes [pft! as if i'd made so many!]
blaine mailed yesterday. i had asked him for advice: shave or not shave. he said: keep not shaving. he also invited me to his birthday party next friday which creates a little problem: because friday is rehearsal day. and since we haven't rehearsed yesterday we will have to meet next week, otherwise we can practically start from thew scratch again, especially with the new songs. so i'll have to try to get daniel and reiner to meet on saturday or sunday.
updated the nerve bible pages finally. they're not very good yet, but
it's a start:
[may 12, 2002]when eve and i sat in a bar yesterday night we started to talk about life, coincidences and that things seems to happen in my life as if somebody was planning them or was toying with me and i told her about the phone call that xxxx's parents had made by accident and then she asked whether i might perhaps only have the impression of being in a movie because i'm paying much more attention to all those little coincidences right now and i said that i didn't think so and i told her how paula wrote about watching 'trees lounge' - one of MY favorite films. and then eve said: 'by the way, there's a great movie tonight on tv which i recommend very much! i thought of watching it but it starts at 1:30 in the morning but it's just great, it's called "the ice storm".' and of course "the ice storm" was the film that xxxx had always told me about because it was one of her favorites and she always wanted to watch it and we missed it a couple of times on television until she finally managed to tape it. so there you go. there is no coincidence, only bad screen plays.
[later]cedric has just left. tara has just called from tübingen and now radiohead is boosting into my ear: high & dry. wish i could write such songs. wish we i could do this all life long: writing, recording, hey rob! do you know that your guitar on cultural studies ii is still sending shivers down my spine? 'you just sit there wishing you could still make love'. i wish you were here. or you. or you. or you. don't leave me high, don't leave me dry. it's ten at night and i'm going to bed now, got to get up at five tomorrow. i'm thinking a lot about you. if you are in bed already. if you are talking now, leaning against the fridge, holding a glass of wine. or you're sitting in the armchair with your diary on your lap. did you ever wrote nice things about me into it? was i ever more than an obstacle? what do you look like now? what are you working on? are you happy? have you filled the void? have you found what you've been missing? have you found what you've been looking for? i did. two times. and both times i've lost it again. 'and it wears me out. if i could be who you wanted if i could be who you wanted if i could be who you wanted all the time' and when will i lose cedric & tara? and when will i lose paula and blaine and eve? and when will i lose suzy & thomas? if i could scream you back to me i would AND I CANT HELP THE FEELING I COULD BLOW THROUGH THE CEILING IF I JUST TURN AND RUN AND RUN AND RUN
[may 13, 2002]it's 23:30. i'm in cologne in the office. i've missed the last train so i will spend the night here. actually it's pretty comfy: i've dimmed the light and put on 'mercy street' on repeat. i'm tired. i'm feeling totally afloat. indifferent. i don't care. while we were working on the poster today i realized that i made a typo: i wrote 'heroes' when actually it should read 'hereros'. so i deleted it and wrote by accident: 'heteros' and thomas laughed and he wanted to say: you're spending too much time with blaine [because blaine does gender studies] but actually he said: 'you're spending too much time with philipp!' and i said: 'yes, my entire life. that's my problem'. i would love to spend my entire life with you. i had hoped to do so. i don't want to spend it with me. 'if there had been another hour...' on such a night when we both were at the right place, when we both were happy with each other, if there just had been another hour, a day with 25 hours, an hour more of my head resting on your shoulder. while i was standing in the tram today surrounded by all the girls and women dressed in light summer clothing i remembered each inch of your body 'if there had been another hour' and i felt like i was drunk with the memory of your smell and the tase of your skin and i'm feeling like i'm drunk now that i need to sleep so badly. 'the impossibility of making myself understood in any way' and i'm missing you so much that my nose starts to bleed, sitting early in the morning in an office in some concrete building with greasy skin and not enough air, waiting that another morning starts, i'm choking, it feels like you are dead, i want to talk to you to see you and was mach ich bloss an dieser stelle an der ich längst noch nicht zu mir gekommen bin wo ich mich kreuz und quer zerstreue in alle himmelsrichtungen denk ich mich dauernd zu dir hin. i love you. and don't say i'd never told you so! when thomas heard paula's recordings this evening by accident he tried to make a joke about it. it wasn't funny. i need you. and i think i told you too many times. i don't know how this is supposed to go on. 'i go missing on my own life'
[may 14, 2002]it's noon already. somebody filled out the feedback form, uncompletely unfortunaltely. cedric
[later]i'm on the train back to bielefeld. had a packed day again. in the colloquium thomas explained lacan again and it made sense perfectly. i even understood it. although i don't know a single fact about it anymore by now. i desperately need a shower & a change of clothes. i realized that my ability to understand is much bigger than my ability to explain. things make sense to me but i'm not able to translate this into sense transmitting media|acitvities such as teaching or articles but only into senseless writing, rambling and singing. boy, i just paid my last 20 euros for the ticket. i'm on the ICE again and now i'm wishing i had taken the slower but cheaper train. from next week on i will stay at eve's place when i'm in cologne. her flat mate has a small study where i can sleep. the sky is stormy and looks like the sea only upside down. i wish this train would go to iowa where words grow in fields of wheat waving in the wind. the sun is raining down in the west in soft golden showers all over the horizon that blurs with the landscape into a curtain of light. it's so much harder to stand all the beauty without her than it is to stand the solitude. i can manage the solitude but i cannot manage the beauty of the world, the beauty of the music, the beauty of the words without her. they destroy so much more than the loneliness. it's like paula says: 'when god's here i stand in front of him, i can't move'. and god always comes with the beauty and beauty always comes with god - this unholy duality - and i'm paralyzed and motionless and they sneak into the cracks within me: wet wooden wedges, swelling and bursting me with an infinitely soft violence, a silent force. and the cold air comes whistling through the cracks. i've bound all your words around me and all your hugs and all your sympathy but it feels like it can't keep me from coming apart.
[may 15, 2002]angelina suggested a different song of the month and the new one will make cedric very happy... so this is another train entry. it's 18:20 and we've just left cologne. with a little luck i'll be home at nine. there are plenty of graceful, good looking women in the car but intuitively they've all sat in one corner: the corner opposite to where i am sitting. instead in each sharp turn the train makes my body touches the body of a middle aged guy reading a computer magazine. just my luck! it's a strange day today. blaine seemed to be really down, unfortunately there wasn't really an opportunity to talk to him, we were mostly in company of colleagues. thomas was in a strange mood today as well. tensed, a little hostile and impatient. not really with me, but with other people. i think it's time to have another day and this time - for the sake of chronology - let's start at the beginning and have a NADINE DAY. so of all the people that appear here nadine is the one person i have known for the longest time. we met in high school and we had a lot of classes together. we sort of developed a very intimate yet distant relationship and we met very often, a couple of times a week and we also spent our holidays together, for example in budapest, hungary. part of this... okay, that guy next to me gets off: let's see who will take the place oh no! it's götz alsmann! boy! some stylish, intellectualized, drak-rimm-glassed mid 20 whose name - i bet - is oliver. this is not my day. leonard is singing. the sun is setting. my mind is wandering into molar memories again. 'so come my friends, be not afraid, we are so lightly here: it is in love that we are made, in love we disappear' ok, oliver gets out: a short trip for him. and who takes the place? a beer-drinking-end-50s-shattered-hair guy you really don't want to spend two hours next to. do i sound like a misanthrope? but i don't have to spend two hours next to him because he too gets off already. this is a fun new game: passanger roulette. i'm losing because now the small space next to me is completely overfilled by some 500 pounds guy who bears an uncanny resemblance with that guy from the fatboy slim cd cover, only that he is much older and has a beard and is completely differently clothed. he's breathing heavily, sweating and this really is not my day. four chances. four blanks. in the meantime long shadows on the platforms, people sitting in cafés. the sun low now, mild but distinct in the clear evening air. i haven't really written a lot about nadine considering the fact that today is NADINE DAY. i think this will be NADINE WEEK, so i will continue tomorrow. i know that you can't wait to hear all those interesting stories that glue you to the monitor, but you'll have to wait. sorry folks!
[may 16, 2002]very strange: when i switched on my cellular phone yesterday i got a note that i had a call from the number 06994760218. i don't know the number and the caller left no message. 069 is frankfurt. in all the two years that i have this phone i have NEVER EVER gotten any calls like this before. the weather is great. i think i'll go buy some food now and then i will go downtown and then i might take a blanket and sit in the park and prepare the seminar on how to write an essay.
call me lobster. i've been sitting in the sun that's beating down with fast sharp punches for four hours: now i'm well done and the upper level of my skin is peeling from the flesh. and i did not even give an interview [this is sort of a bad in-joke...] tried to prepare the session on writing a term paper, but ended up reading calvin & hobbes [what? you thought i was *cool*? forget it!] but there's no session on monday anyway since the whole week will be a holiday in cologne [whitsun. three cheers to catholicism!] i'm considering to talk about the foucault text as well since the session on barthes was kind of slow and not as exciting as it should have been: but most of the students just did not read the text. thomas mentioned my dissertation twice this week: the empty signifier.
i'm glad about the newly gained popularity of the feedback form! got another filled out questionnaire today.
[later]it's ten on a perfect summer night. i'm sitting in my kitchen, the laptop on the table, windows are opened and it is slowly getting darker. there's a candle burning in each corner of the room and two on the wooden plate of the table we built ourselves and it is standing on the two carpets that belong to you and that were lying in the kitchen in your first flat and i remember that night in your kitchen when we kissed for the first time: i wanted to leave and you were sitting casually on the table, feet on a chair and you pulled me towards you and kissed me and 'if there had been another hour on such a night as this, on such a night' and will you have such memories about him as well, of course you will. the chestnut tree outside the window is a sharp silhouette against the dark blue sky that is slowly turning to black, erasing all distinctions between tree and sky. every single bike - or worse: every two bikes - that pass by make me look up and search for your figure on the street, on the pavement, in the mild evening air. it's a great summer night and i'm sitting here in my kitchen, playing guitar, writing what are you doing on such a night as this on such a night? and then suddenly something's raining onto the strings while i'm playing "famous blue raincoat" jane came by with a lock of your hair. the last time i saw you you looked so much older and i keep remembering all these things. they're here now, in this kitchen, on this summer night, the expression on your face when you came into our flat that sunday morning from your parents where you had stayed the night to tell me that you love oliver and you saw that i had slept under your covers to be close to you somehow and you started to cry and i wanted to comfort you because i hadn't understood a single thing. i was so calm, i had no idea what was going on but it has all caught up with me now. in those moments when these films start again i know perfectly the grave and terrible meaning of each of your words, of each of your gestures. and then you drove me to cedric & tara because we couldn't live together anymore and you wanted to know that i'm save and with friends [ha! i made it all so easy for you i should have given you the same nightmares that you gave me] so we drove that same way that we had been driving just two weeks before and we had been singing to that smiths tape, do you remember, we'd been singing together while we'd been driving through the country and you already loved him there and you already knew that you did not want me anymore. and thanks for the trouble you took from her eyes. and i only want one honest
oh boy, more complaining and not a single word about nadine. i promise i'll do that tomorrow!
[may 17, 2002]
the other night i woke up because i somehow sensed that something was wrong. and when my eyes got used to the darkness i realized that somebody was sitting at my bed, slowly shaking her head. and she asked me 'what more do you want? haven't you got almost everything you ever wanted, you ever dreamed of? you've got a cozy apartment. you've got five close friends and some not so close ones. you're playing in a band that once was hailed by all the local newspapers. your songs have even been aired on a new york city radio station. your ma thesis is going to be published the moment i ask you this and you're working with & for the most talented and inventive cutting edge theoretician of literary studies there is in a great team with colleagues whom you all like and your boss even used your hypertext fiction as an example in one of his articles. your seminar is going reasonably well and the students seem to think of you as a person of authority. you're healthy. your mildly attractive. you've mystified paul auster's life for a second by inventing 'shell'. you've managed to arrange words in such a way that total strangers start to cry. you have found songs & music & artists that can give you moments of unbearable beauty. suzanne vega remembers your name when she's seeing you. what more do you want? what is it that you want?' and i thought so hard for an answer that i fell back asleep again. all these things that happen to me - they're just unbeLIEvable.
the weather is just great: sunny, warm, everybody's outside, spontaneous hugs and kisses in front of my kitchen, picnicking people all over the park, light summer dresses, open hair and fucking gute laune everywhere. i don't want to start complaining again, but this kind of weather, this kind of evening is just too good to be spent alone. i won't be alone, tonight's rehearsal - but that's not what i mean. here's the plan: i'll be going to the kitchen now that is flooded with golden rays from the evening sun broken by the chestnut tree and i'll be playing 'fake plastic trees'. and maybe, if you're very still, you might hear it. my fake plastic love.
[later]rehearsal was quite good: we tried 'nerve's end' and it worked pretty well. daniel came up with a great drum pattern for the verse and a break for the chorus. it's 23:23 now and i need to sleep now.
[may 18, 2002]Enter the multitudes | The walking wounded | They come to this diver of the heart | Of the multitudes | Thy kingdom come | Thy will be done
[later]i've just re-read parts of 'start at the end'. am i always writing around a loss? or out of a loss? what is this? i started the first online journal when rob died. and then the second when she left. isn't there some positive force that produces words? is it always only the lack? the feeling of missing something? something that i then try to write into my life? what a pathetic idea!
i remember an incident early in our relationship, we didn't even live together back then: she had scratches on her arm and when i asked her about it she said that she inflicted them herself. i forgot why. but i remember how helpless i felt that moment. because i realized that ultimately i will not be able to protect her, to care for her, to make her happy. ['I've lost all taste for life | I'm all complaints'] and then in her last letter four months ago she's having the nerve to tell ME not to do the same! who does she think she is? ['and LOOK who comes to counsel my deep distress | Oh, these pompous physicians | What carelessness! | (Antagonists: Oh all this ranting all this wind | Filling our ears with trash) | Breathtaking ignorance | adding insult to injury!']
whenever i feel that i have to do something [like working and|or writing my dissertation] i put on my shoes and go for a walk. for THE walk. i return tired and exhausted which simulates the feeling of having accomplished something, of not having wasted the time. as if i was getting paid for every mile. as if there was some supernatural power that keeps count of each step i make, adding them up on a long sheet of paper and if only i'm walking far enough i will be rewarded in wonderful ways. i keep walking as if every mile was an achievement. as if i could go somewhere. of course the irony is that it's always a circle, i'm always ending where i've started and the only thing i achieve is losing some weight. which is good. the aim is of course to lose all weight. to disappear completely. i'm not here. this isn't happening. who says denial wouldn't work? once one has seen god | what is the remedy?
'let me speak | let me spit out my bitterness | born of grieve and nights without sleep' it's half past ten and raining. from time to time a car passes by outside. spent the night zapping through the tv program. the worst way to waste time. now i'm feeling like singing. sounds silly, but that's just the way it feels. i want to play again, i'm really, really wishing for another gig in the near future! until then writing this is all i can do. 'Antagonists: we don't despise your chastening. god is correcting you' yes but 'when god is here i stand in front of him, i can't move!!!!'
let's continue with NADINE DAY: nadine and i knew each other for three years [i think it's fair to say that we were best friends] when, it must have been on her 18th birthday, we partied and i stayed the night because it was already pretty late and it had started to rain. i slept on the sofa. then, suddenly in the middle of the night i woke up and realized that nadine was standing in the room. and she lifted the blanket and crawled under it. i turned to the wall and fell asleep again. 'breathtaking ignorance!' now i realize how much i must have hurt her, whatever her reasons had been: friendship, search for comfort or affection. i think on this night i destroyed something that never quite healed again.
still we continued our friendship and we never spoke about that night or the kiss on the cheek she gave me the next morning when i drove home. it was only about two years later that things changed dramatically: she had started to study, i was doing my civil service. one night we went to see a film with a couple of friends and she brought someone whom she had met at the university. so we were sitting in the cinema and the lights faded and the film started: schindler's list. and twenty minutes into the movie i suddenly realized that she was holding hands with that guy. i freaked out. of course inwards only: the next two hours were hell! i was sitting there watching a hollywood version of the holocaust while my mind kept trying to understand what was going on. it felt like drinking a gallon of acid. i dissolved from within and became aware that i actually loved nadine. and here's the fun part: the guy's name was oliver.
so i tried to talk to her, told her about my feelings and she was amazed because - obviously - she hadn't expected this. i was pretty down for a long, long time. i wrote a lot [well, who would have guessed!]: letters to her, poems, journals and songs. however things did not improve. i tried not seeing her again, which was difficult because we both were studying the same subject (and oliver was too), i tried to be best friend only, i tried to repress what i was feeling - basically i got more and more desperate. i realized how lonely i was. i tried to get professional help, went to a psychological counselor and started a therapy [well not really since there wasn't anything to cure except for my pathetic weltschmerz] but we had a couple of talks, which didn't really change a lot. i realized that i was missing something with such a violent force that i just was not prepared to stand it any longer and [in a fit of postpuberty-pathos] i decided that i did not want to live any longer.
i bought some sleeping pills and a bottle of red wine [see, that's just HOW hopelessly romantic i am!] and on december 30, 1994 i locked into my room. after swallowing the pills and more or less emptying the wine i sat on the floor with my back leaning against the desk and things started to float around to the music of suzanne's 'pilgrimage', my head and hands got heavy and the last entry in the journal i kept then is 'gravity has left me!!! i have no weight anymore. i am warm. and calm and happy. i am filled with love. filled with love.' then i must have lost consciousness. i can't really remember what happened then or when i woke up again except for that i must have vomited most of the stuff. i had a headache for days! i felt silly and stupid and relieved.
after that things gradually got better. the band started [and it was only because of nadine that i started to look for fellow musicians - she urged me to and she even helped me making flyers. one of which was found by rob and this was how the nerve bible came into existence!], my studies became more and more interesting, nadine and i started seeing each other less frequently for some reasons and i met xxxx, which changed everything. for the first time in my life i was happy. i won't go into that now, suffice it to say that over the next four years nadine and i only met by accident: in the university or downtown. and it was still familiar and it was still nice to talk to her - but we developed very different interests and ways of life and thinking and when i did meet her i caught myself wondering: 'why exactly did you love her?' - it seemed to be such a random feeling.
after xxxx left me for oliver i sort of came 'crawling back' - we met more often in the last couple of months and we're always having very long and very interesting talks about relationships, about emotions and how to cope with them. and sometimes it is like being 18 again. and i am very grateful that she - despite all the trouble and sorrow i put her through - is still caring about me! so there you go. there's the nadine story for you.
[may 20, 2002]it's 10:20 on a monday morning. it's a holiday today. i've spent the night at cedric & tara's. both are still asleep in the room next door. i'm sitting in the study, looking into the bright, blue sky. the sun is shining. so i watch you wash your hair. underwater unaware. and the plane flies through the air. did you think you didn't have to choose? trying to chase away bad thoughts by shaking my head. what the hell did i do the last couple of days? i'm wasting so much time. i'm getting older. days pass, weeks pass, moths pass. i don't know what to write. tonight i'm going to meet eve.
yesterday night cedric & tara disappointed me very much. especially tara. i had thought that i could count on her, being a fan of the first star wars movies as well. i said that carrie fisher was the better princess by a loooong shot but cedric and tara disagreed!! they said natalie portman was more attractive! HA! rubbish! she's just B.O.R.I.N.G! carrie fisher is sooo much cooler! but they insisted on their opinion and i was shocked! I mean judge for yourself!
[may 21, 2002]the sun is shining. it's noon and while talking to thomas on the phone this morning he managed to mention the word 'dissertation' four times in three minutes. i wonder whether he wants to tell me anything? *sigh*
meeting with eve yesterday was fun. first we walked up to castle and we sat there on the castle wall discussing saussure and semiology. then at night we suddenly ended up talking about how both our relationships ended and she asked me whether i could imagine to meet xxxx again and i said only, and O.N.L.Y if i knew that she wasn't together with oliver anymore. and eve said something like 'it's really remarkable how much energy and power you're still investing' and she said that she was envious that i HAD so much power and energy and then she asked what xxxx had been for me and i thought for a moment and answered that i had always been striving for something. as long as i could think back i had been searching and looking for something and in various aspects: striving for the perfect song, striving to be good in school/at my job, striving to please people, striving to be enough, searching for a nonmetaphysical 'meaning': i was always restless, always thinking i should be at a different place, i should move on, i should continue searching and striving. but with xxxx that was different. because it felt like finally having arrived, it was like a coming home. although i only had been 26 i knew that in the realm of relationships i had found what i had always been searching for: i do not want anybody else. well, she did.
[later]i'm lying in the sun in the park, one eye on my writing, the other on the colored spots in the grass green grass: bright blankets carrying brown bodies, white bodies, male bodies, female bodies clinging on to their textual rafts like just having escaped from the attack of a white whale and being the only one left to tell the tale. the task is - of course - to make out your body, to spot it before it spots me and to leave the scene as quickly as possible. but the certainty that the two of you are sitting in an office at bertelsmann this very moment makes me careless. the three mid twenties female students on the blanket drifting in the grass next to me are discussing various ways of shaving legs and other body parts and that is why i now know everything about the dis|advantages of 1. shaving, 2. electric depilation tools and 3. depilatory cream.
[later]i've just returned from the slightly surreal birthday party of my father. those talks that you overhear there at the barbecue really come straight out of a loriot film. "schwanzmeise!" thank god that my sister was there as well! i walked over to my parents house because the evening was so nice and the sun was still shining brightly at seven and while i was walking through the park listening to 'the only living boy in new york' i thought why not just keep walking forever. why not? just keep walking until you drop dead. just make one step after the next, walk and walk and walk until you simply fall, all through the night and the next day and the next nights and weeks until you've dissolved, until you've worn out yourself, until you have disappeared walk while you sleep and sleep while you walk and walk while you walk until the machine breaks down. of course i didn't but instead saw the moon in the light blue sky and i had to think about eve because yesterday at the same time we stood near her house and looked into the sky and at the moon and we agreed that it is most beautiful when the sun is still shining and it is hanging there in a bright blue sky. and while we were looking at it i realized that we were standing right in front of a.'s flat. a. is or rather was one of xxxx's best friends until she [xxxx] decided not to see her [a.] again. wait! is this some kind of behavior pattern here! sorry, i'm unfair again. tomorrow i'll go to cologne, mainly to meet blaine. looking forward to this. it's time that he comes visiting me in bielefeld again! i am missing you. and although this might be a sudden change of topic it's something that i just wanted to say before i'm signing off. i'm sorry that it only sounds like just any other four words but believe me, it doesn't feel so. it feels like the sum of all the words i've ever written and more. the helplessness that spits in my face leaves me at a complete loss as to what to do. i'm at my wit's and word's end. i would stop all clocks for you | i would laugh in death's face for you | i would kiss you if you'd let me?!
[may 22. 2002]who's in the bunker who's in the bunker an idioteque panic claustrophobic fear while standing in a wide flat land no shadow or shade with nothing to fear, nothing to doubt joni mitchell sitting in the underground: long straight blonde hair, sandales held together by two black plastic roses, laced armsleeves. the light rain god's spitting while saying the death of the author. headcrash and headache and headless laughing women and children first and children first and children get out get out get out of here walls closing in, people closing in, noise closing in and panic fitting like a second skin. no air. take the money and run take the money and run take the money...
[later]i'm on the train back to b. - work wasn't very exciting. thomas wasn't there. but blaine was. the weather's strange: hot & humid, occasional rain showers and people putting on jackets and putting them off again to put them on. i'm tired, didn't sleep very well. no bad dreams, though, at least none that i remember. no passanger roulette today.
cedric & tara are SOOO sweet: they'd do ANYthing to improve my mood.
now they've ruined tara's brother's wedding party just because a couple
of days ago i wrote that i wished i had a
gag gig again!
they've made up a story how they wanted to give m.&m. [her brother
& his soon to be wife] for a present a small performance because they
[m&m] had once been at a nerve bible concert when they visited tara
in bielefeld and apparently liked the music very much. so in two weeks
time i'll do a small unplugged gig. tara's family has to suffer just so
that i get better. of course they would NEVER admit that!
[may 23, 2002]this is a gray day if there ever was one. got the lights on for company and it's not even noon. i'm going to meet nadine this afternoon, we haven't met in five or six weeks now!
[later]while i was walking i listened to paula reading suzanne's 'feather & bone' and i kept hearing different words:
no events worth any prose today, even fewer worth any poetry.
[may 24, 2002]that there that's not me | i go where i please | i walk through walls | i float down the Liffey | i'm not here | this isn't happening | i'm not here | i'm not here | i'm not here the sun is shining. cars passing by. a busy friday morning outside. my head full of bees as if you had exploded into a millions insects that have nested there, buzzing and buzzing ceaselessly. but i'm not here i'm not here i feel the urge to go again but i still have so many things to do i want to step through the door, out of the house, into the street and stare at the sun and cry out your name but i'm not here this isn't happening got a mail from paula today and she attached a photo. i pondered all morning about whether opening or deleting it. eventually my curiosity won but the moment her face appeared on the screen i knew that i had done the wrong thing. because i realized that the moment i saw her eyes and her neck and her mouth something was replaced inside my head that i will never get back again: the imaginary face i had painted for her, blurred and yet distinct, composed like a mosaic of all the letters she'd sent vanished in an instant. the vast empty space behind the five letter 'paula' was suddenly filled and closed off. i should have known that i can't have both: the image of her and her 'real' face. she's looking much younger than i had thought, much more vulnerable. she's sitting in a park at a wooden table, the late evening sun is making her hair shimmer like copper, she's laughing and still it seems like she's feeling uncomfortable being photographed: she has crossed her arms in front of her and there are words running along the sleeves of her sweater and it reminded me of the photos that fatima had sent in for 'stuff inspired by suzanne vega' in which she had merged lines of writing with lines of flight of structures and|or figures she had photographed. in a little while | i'll be gone | six month's have already passed | yeah they're gone | and i'm not here | this isn't happening | i'm not here | i'm not here.
[may 25, 2002]caught in my room on a saturday afternoon. the weather not good enough to stay outside. i can't concentrate. upstairs the little kid is driving me insane by jumping from the bed onto the floor which is my ceilling all day long. i've got to get a gun. i hate little children. i hate parents and the proud look on their face when their stinking no neck monsters molest me on the bus, on the street, in the park. i am really really scared to meet you one day and you're pushing a baby carriage and it will be his child. all this doesn't make any sense anymore. i only want to write the same thing over and over again. but it sounds so stupid. you know it already. why doesn't the feeling wear out when the words do? why can't i get used to it? why can't i accept it? why can't i live with it just like you are living with him? when you left you stayed. and that's the most unfair part. yu're st8ill here and i'm still unable to touch you, to reach you, to get through to you. just like in all those years before. how often has j. told you 'thank GOD you've finally gotten rid of that bore!' in the past months? did you ever have doubts? no new messages on server.
You think I'd leave your side baby? | You know me better than that
| You think I'd leave you down when your down on your knees? | I wouldn't
do that | I'll do you right when your wrong | If only you could see into
me | oh, when your cold | I'll be there to hold you tight to me | When
your on the outside baby and you can't get in | I will show you, you're
so much better than you know | When your lost, when your alone and you
can't get back again | I will find you darling I'll bring you home | If
you want to cry | I am here to dry your eyes | and in no time you'll be
23:12. headache. eyeache. thought about calling eve and asking her whether i can spend the night on her sofa. it's too late now. i didn't know that even desperation can be disillusioned. i had high hope desperation, now it's only some pointless shaking without aim. all this doesn't make sense anymore so why should i? all this isn't fun anymore so why should i? if U can read this UR 2 close. borders. bridges. burning in the outer atmosfear.
[may 26, 2002]sunday morning. no traffic on the avenue. the light is pale and thin like you. i've packed all my things for cologne. have to prepare the seminar though. i'll stay at (cologne-)eve's place next week so i don't have to commute. actually i should be glad about it because it means that i don't have to spend six hours a day on the train but still it felt good being back 'home' here each night. i think it's that i'm really wishing for some familiar, save place. and although i know that it is not a matter of geography i'm projecting it onto my flat or the view from my window. still i know that the feeling of being 'home' was in no way connected to an architecture, a couple of walls or to a view but to a voice, a smell, a laughter and a touch and to the certainty of a presence. that's what i'm homesick for. how am i supposed to find this emotional place again now that you have rented it to him? granted, i wasn't a very good tennant. but when the walls got cracks and the roof was leaking i wanted to repair it, i wanted to restore it. because that place you let people life in, that emotional space you give away, is the most breathtaking castle i have ever seen: more rooms than i could explore, more views than i could share with you and an architecture full of escheresque wonders. i only wish somebody had told me that it's a hotel, and not a home. expensive and already booked for the next one.
[later]it's almost ten, still light outside though. no new messages on server. sade is STILL singing. what a voice. what a promise. i feel like putting on my shoes and walking down back to the old house. paula used to live in paintings, i used to live in songs. my heart is heavy like a sponge that's so full it keeps dropping onto the floor. wish you were here to squeeze me. i'm missing you. you all. keep walking.
[may 27, 2002]didn't sleep very well this night. not very long, too. when i was sitting in the underground station at 5:40 am there was an announcment that there's no service because the unions are protesting. so i took my bag (which is of course extra heavy today) and hasted to the station. had a very strange dream tonight. in it i was on a farm or some lonely building with somebody (eve?) and she said that an ice storm (see entry for may 12) was approaching. and when i went out to take a look it wasn't an ice storm but a sand storm and although it was still distant on the horizon its force frightened me, i was scared to death because it was so sublime: a wide flat land and the sky was completely dark and covered and a giant pillar pressed from the horizon across hills & fields towards me. there was a violence in it that i had never known before. and the most scary part was that it was static. although it was moving with an immense speed it did not move at all. it was like a giant freeze frame. its force had made time and space explode into my face and i saw myself becoming a small spot while closing my eyes and waiting for the blow.
while reading anil's ghost i'm suddenly having the clearest déjà vu in a long, long time. for a short moment i'd bet my life that i've read these lines before "...but his brother, Palipana, was the famous one in that field, though there never seemed to be any jealousy between them. Narada and Palipana. Two brilliant brothers. Both of them were my teachers." Now that i'm copying these lines from the book they don't mean anything to me, but just a moment ago it was like i had heard a familiar voice, a familiar song. will it be that way when i meet you again? a flash of familiar feelings and then the realization that we've become total strangers? i'm so afraid. i'm so afraid. and the moment i'm writing this leonard is singing: "so come my friends, be not afraid! we are so lightly here. it is in love that we are made. in love we disappear." i'm so far from disappearing.
[may 28, 2002]here's the finished poster: http://www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/englisch/berressem/docs/conferences.htm
i'm sitting in the sun on the roof of eve & ralf's flat in cologne. all around me rooftops & chimneys glistening in the evening sun, birds singing and the faint noises from the city are echoing up here to the fourth floor. in the distance i can see the tv-tower where blaine lives and the belfries of various churches that cut out of the skyline like rockets. i'm very, very tired.. physically and psychically. a couple of things have happened today that were really tiresome. tiny things but still tiresome. "hehehey! i've got nothing to do today but write! the only living boy in cologne..." the water breaks the bright rays a million times and fills the eyes with light that is cooled down by the wind immediately when it runs down the cheeks and it doesn't feel like it had ever been part of my body. "here i am" i wish i could fly. i would start running all along the roof and then jump into the air with a force you have taught me. the lift off was spectacular... but i wouldn't know where to fly to. i'm so sorry to have worn you out. i'm so sorry to have caused you so much pain. i really, really am. i couldn't even make it up to you. no chance. if i could be who you wanted if i could be who you wanted all the time all the time. i'm so sorry. i never, never wanted to hurt you. i'd rather hurt myself than you.
ralf & eve's flat is a dream! it's definitely one of the greatest apartments i have ever seen. high ceiling, wooden floor boards. i had met ralf once at blaine's housewarming party. he's really nice: very calm, almost massumiesque, very non-violent. soothing almost. your watch is ticking on my wrist and i wish it was your heart. today i overheard how d. said to thomas: "i've finished reading A Thousand Plateaus and now i'm starting with Difference & Repetition" and i thought: great! this is a sentence which i will probably never say. i'm reading five pages of A Thousand Plateaus and the room begins to spin. these are the moments when i really feel like i have the wrong job and i wonder why nobody else notices or rather i wonder how long it will take until everybody else will notice. i'm living on borrowed time here bought by SOMEthing that i once must have said to thomas which gave him the impression that one day i would say a sentence such as: "i have finished reading A Thousand Plateaus..."
the most beautiful words anybody has ever written to me and for me are: "i'll tie some poems to my shoes so when i look down while walking i'll think of you and beauty and perfection and derangement." and i still can't believe that these words are to me and for me. how can this be? i can't believe it. i wish i had such words for you. knifes planted under my eyebrows, headache accompanying the helpless sobbing in the corner of a roof on a house in cologne on a perfect tuesday night.
[may 29, 2002]got another call from the number 0521-3311xx [xxxx's parents] on may 27, 19:31. they did not leave a message. but i suppose that my number [p] is directly after his number [o] in their directory so it's only natural that they might get it wrong from time to time... i'm constantly waiting for spotlights crashing down from the sky. back flashes while being in eve&ralf's apartment. the bowls we were eating ice cream from on monday night were the same xxxx had and this morning déjà vus in their bathroom: eve's plain but elegant silver ring next to the tap, the way her necklaces were hanging on the wall: layers of pendants on thin black leather straps - i've seen this all before and for the fraction of a second it gave me the illusion that you might be sitting in the kitchen, holding your first cup of coffee in both hands, taking careful, soft sips while looking at me with sleepy eyes.
while descending the stairs of the subway station into the belly of the city yesterday evening a young woman was walking down in front of me. i could only see her back and the river of long brown hair that was flowing down her neck just as your hair used to do and it had the same color of dark, brown wood. and when the breeze from within the tunnel system came streaming into my face her hair was blown back and was floating in the wind in slow motion as if under water and i had almost stretched out my hand to touch it. here i'm alive everything all of the time it wasn't enough to only be with me for you. it's not enough to only be with me for myself.
[later]i'm back home in bielefeld. and i realized just the other minute that i haven't got anything to eat. which is perfect planning again because - of course - tomorrow's a holiday. i'm such an idiot! as if i wouldn't own a calendar! actually i wanted to meet with eve tonight but she's sick :o( so let's hope that she'll get better soon. it's 21:44. tomorrow's a holiday. i'm home alone. my eyes are burning from gazing into the monitor all day long. and if only you could see into me but you did, didn't you, you did see through me. do you know what was even worse than the tired, bored look in your eyes when you looked at me? it was the way you did not look at me at all, the way you stared at your feet or over my shoulder and into the distance when i was talking to you, when you were talking to me. where did you look at then? was his face looming there somewhere behind me? i know that - when you were a little girl - your father told you that you could breathe under water and when you tried it you breathed the cold, chlorine water deep into your lungs but breathe keep breathing i can't do this alone time for another late night walk.
[later]i could smell it before i could see it: they had mowed the lawn today in the park and it lay spread out in the twilight like a thick, warm blanket and the smell of the freshly cut grass made me remember late summer nights in my parent's garden when we were still kids.
[later]i trusted you like you trusted your father. and now i'm breathing water.
[may 30, 2002]scene 462: "There's violence in my mind and something's gone"
paula's voice from the off: "on such a night as this | on such a night..."scene 463: "God bless whisky"
me (thinking aloud): "do you sleep with him? of course you do. what a stupid question!"
paula: "...if you could speak, what would you say...?"
me: "if you would speak, what could you say?"
Lotion from the off: "mark on my shoulder that won't go away"end of the month. yesterday's rehearsal went pretty well. we finished the new version of nerve's end which sounds pretty good i think. today's another rehearsal and on sunday evening we're planning to make a couple of new bandphotos. that should be fun. unfortunately it means that the next days are pretty packed. plus the ups lecture series next friday and the week after the three day pynchon conference. and then thomas is
me (writing aloud): "i saw 16 couples today that were our age. every one made me choke. when daniel and i drove home from rehearsal at half past nine at night it was still mild and warm. people were walking across the street and i thought that i wanted to do everything. making music and spending the night with somebody and spending it alone reading and spending it alone writing. i felt like i'm missing so much: all the fun. all the electricity. i'm missing my whole life. i'm turning 30 in a couple of months. 30. i haven't lived enough for being 30. i'm boring. i should not sit in my room on such a night as this | on such a night... do you...wait!...wrong text."
[may 31, 2002]
from ondaatje's anil's ghost:
she went to her room and returned with her walkman and a tape. a little vengeance. she put the earphones on his head, switched the walkman on. tom waits singing: 'dig, dig, dig' from snow white and the seven dwarfs channeled itself into his inner brain, and he rose off the floor terrified.and this song is of course not only important to cedric and me (because of our interest for the hollow earth) but it is also the one right in front of suzanne's version of 'stay awake' on the same disc. and then, a few pages on:
this is not the anil he knows. just as she, in this state, is invisible to herself, though it is the state she longs for. not a moth in a man's club. not the carrier and weigher of bones - she needs that side herself too, just as she likes herself as a lover. but now it is herself dancing to a furious love song that can drum out loss, 'coming in from the cold,' dancing the rhetoric of a lover's parting with all of herself.i'm not sure whether joni's song - which actually is called 'come in from the cold' is a furious love song, but i thought that ondaatje must have quite an interesting musical taste... actually i find the book quite disappointing.
late afternoon sun on the streets. shadows are falling into my room like thieves. joni's a case of you. my skin electric. iwant to sing to you. this song. all the other songs. you are not here. i have no voice. here's what i see when i look up: my white wall. on it the poster for the pynchon conference. between this and the beginning of my desk a row of images are pinned to the wall. from left to right: a black and white photo of rob in an oval gold frame. he's cut out of one of the bigger band photos. then: an image of a little girl, about six years old. it's ruby. she's standing in a garden, holding a box of washing powder that she empties onto the grass. in the background two women are sitting in the grass, talking and laughing: suzanne and her mother. behind them there's a washing line on which various skirts are hanging. then: a cover detail of 'beautiful losers': a religious picture exploding into psychedelic colors. on it i printed the 'what is a saint?' passage. then (below that): a photo cut out of a magazine of leonard in suit and tie, sitting in front of a piano. then (below): suzanne's austin note to me: 'hi philipp! xx" then: suzanne's christmas card. she leaning against a wall, eyes closed, wearing a long, black gown, the tips of her fingers are touching in front of her belly, the knife pendant hanging around her neck. then (below that): a picture of catherine tekakwitha, holding a wooden cross, behind her a river. then: another photo of rob. he's on stage, playing guitar and laughing into the camera. then (below): a photo of me (the one from the us section). then an image of cedric & tara that i made in bremen when we went to the dgfa conference last may. they're sitting on a bank, both dressed in black and cedric's got his arm around her waist. then (below): the photo of eve from the us section and pinned to it her phone number. then: the first attempt of the photo strip i sent to paula on which i'm wearing the yankton collage shirt. all these images can't give me comfort tonight.
while i was walking i suddenly saw a black feather lying in the middle of the path among the stones, among the leaves as if to block the way. i picked it up. from it's light, white hollow spine grew a thousand fine, thin dark hairs. and when it touched the bare skin of my arm it felt like her soft breathing on those nights when i held her and i could feel the air streaming in and out of her body on my skin: regular, calm. soothing, warm. 'if there had been another hour. on such a night' and then, a few minutes later when i stumbled down the hill, a small child about three or four years old stood in the way. it was wearing a bright yellow jacket, its face was very brown and the big round eyes were black. it walked towards me, waving the arms clumsily in a desperate attempt to stabilize the body, to gain balance. in the right hand it was holding a black feather.
let me end this month with a passage from kafka that paula posted to the list two years ago. [and it took an american girl from iowa to show me the beauty of kafka]:
"On the Tram" written by Franz Kafka.
"I stand on the end platform of the tram and am completely unsure of my footing in this world, in this town, in my family. Not even casually could I indicate any claims that I might rightly advance in any direction. I have not even any defense to offer for standing on this platform, holding onto this strap, letting myself be carried along by this tram, nor for the people who give way to the tram or walk quietly along or stand gazing into shopwindows. Nobody asks me to put up a defense, indeed, but that is irrelevant.
"The tram approaches a stopping place and a girl takes up her position near the strap, ready to alight. She is as distinct to me as if I had run my hands over her. She is dressed in black, the pleats of her skirt hang almost still, her blouse is tight and has a collar of white fine-meshed lace, her left hand is braced flat against the side of the tram, the umbrella in her right hand rests on the second top step. Her face is brown, her nose, slightly pinched at the sides, has a broad round tip. She has a lot of brown hair and stray little tendrils on the right temple. Her small ear is close-set, but since I am near her I can see the whole ridge of the whorl of her right ear and the shadow at the root of it.
"At that point I asked myself: How is it that she is not amazed at herself, that she keeps her lips closed and makes no such remark?"
[later]no, no end yet. got an email from her parents about a computer virus. the warning is a hoax, but they sent it to all the people in their address book, among them me and also her ex-ex-ex boyfriend. how ironic! and their sentence "Hallo , Ihr Lieben , unsere Xxxx hat zumindest bestätigt , daß diese fragliche Datei auch auf ihrem Rechner war" made my heart jump again. "unsere xxxx - our xxxx". wish i had alcohol in the house to desinfect my heart. fuck fuck fuck. are they keeping all her ex lovers in their directory, calling them from time to time, sending them emails? i feel the anger rising. who do they think they are? FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i want to scream! i don't know what to say. i wish i could tear myself apart. let me do it, let ME do it myself and not some careless feeling of somebody or a careless mind like yours! let me do it myself and not some poisenous, acid feeling like this fucking fucking love for you that i don't want, that i don't want. you don't want me and i don't want any feelings for you or any memory of you or anything or anything or anything. GO AWAY!!! COME HERE!!! G.O A.W.A.Y.!!! what were you thinking when you gave me that ring | what was really on your mind?????? we've been playing 'disneyhead' at tonight's rehearsal. for the first time in two years i think. and i hadn't realized how well the lyrics fit in the meantime. it will be song of the month 06|02. when we sang it today and the last verse started i screamed my heart out. these words don't help. they're too thin a rope