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[july 02, 2003 - i remember that time that you told me, you said "love is touching souls" surely you touched mine cause part of you pours out of me in these lines from time to time]
wednesday. 07:02 in the morning. cloudy and rather cold. hm, i had packed my back for summer: only t-shirts so i'm a little cold. there's much to report. also a lot of work ahead. sahand has corrected a number of hollow earth essays and i have to transfer the corrections into the text-files. important information up front: dagmar will give a talk on alien in two weeks. looking forward to that! when i was walking from the station to the university on monday morning i met bernd, my colleague, and we talked a little about our week-end and he told me that he met with thomas and elisabeth bronfen on sunday afternoon in cologne. there had been a conference in bonn the other week so mrs. bronfen - who is a small celebrity in the field of literary/american studies - had been in germany - actually she's teaching in zuerich, switzerland. and for some reason thomas and elisabeth started to talk about dress codes at conferences and since thomas had complaint about bernd's "informal" appearance at the dgfa-conference in munich last months (short trousers and t-shirt) they made a style council session for bernd. so figure this: thomas and "die bronfen" are providing bernd with fashion tips! before and after. dressed for success!

i'm a little drowsy. had dinner with sirka yesterday night and we thought that we might as well have a beer afterwards. we were discussing holidays and university stuff and whether suzanne is good in bed - a topic i did not really voice my opinion about - and one beer followed the next and suddenly it was one in the morning. and for some reason i woke up at five fifteen in the morning: wide awake and unable to get back to sleep. so i'm missing half a night. it was strange - when we were sitting in the cafeteria i suddenly wanted to tell her everything at once, it was like there was a waterfall inside that needed to pour out: about the seminar, about tübingen, about the new apartment, about the concert, about susan sontag, and i think i started to talk and didn't stop for twoandahalf hours.

blaine and i handed out questionnaires on monday. the students were supposed to give an anonymous evaluation of the seminar so that we can get some feedback and see where things have to be improved. we got very strange answers. someone wrote that s/he didn't like the topic (poetry) because "I don't think that I will use the discussion of poetry later on in my job!" hello??!!?? another one wrote: "Welche Einzelaspekte waren für Sie besonders interessant? die erfrischenden, gestreiften, bunten Hemden...setzt dem Langweiler-Look ein Ende & macht weiter so!!!" and later on: "Weitere Bemerkungen: Zu den Sachtexten muss ich nichts mehr sagen, an dieser Stelle, oder? Aber halt! Eine Sache fällt mir da noch ein: Der Stift ist ein Phallussymbol! & wir armen Frauen sogar hier wieder diskriminiert, hätte ich früher gewusst, dass ich beim Schreiben einen Penis in der Hand halte..."

yesterday the student who has handed in a term paper that she had copied from the internet came to my office hours. actually i wanted to be really strict and mean and make her sweat blood, but she was so shy and timid and her hands were trembling even before i had said a single thing. so i just handed her the paper, told her that she failed and didn't really scold her. i'm way too good for this world.

yesterday evening i got the keys for the new apartment. when i was standing in the empty rooms i suddenly felt sort of ... sad. there's so much to do. it looks worse than i had remembered. there's no wallpaper ("great!" thomas said when i told him this. "it always looks better when you have the bare walls!" - well, of course it does when you're living in a great "altbau" apartment with rooms that are four meters high! but i will have a little stuffed and narrow flat!) and everything's dirty and greasy. blaine and nicole will help me planning and cleaning and painting. so i was not really euphoric when i had locked the door of the empty apartment, walked down to the underground and returned to the university. when i was sitting in the rattling train joni's late 90s orchestral version of "a case of you" was playing on the md and i had troubles not to break into tears. it seemed like everything that had happened in the last couple of weeks and that i had repressed came back full force upon me.

so when i was back at the university i heard that thomas was still in the office next door (it was 19:30 already) so i opened his door and he was discussing something with a student and he said to me: "i'll come over in a minute". ten minutes later the phone rang: "hi, it's me, thomas!" he said through the white noise and static of his mobile phone "i THINK i'm already on the train and i though: either i leave philipp waiting for me in his office all night long or i'll give him a call!" and i think i replied something like "that's SO thoughtful of you!" and then he told me about how much better it is NOT to have any wallpapers...

[june 3, 2003 - still i'd be on my feet, i'd still be on my feet]
the fine, blonde hair in the girl's neck were curled like a delicate, fragile snail house - her head was resting on her bag and the rest of her body lay stretched out over two seats. the skin below her ear looked like a fabric and he knew that it would feel like it as well. her back was moving up and down in a regular motion from time to time, the earring twinkled when she moved her head in whatever action she was engaged with in her dreams. he himself felt how he was soaked with tiredness as well and his heavy limbs made every movement look awkward and as if he was in some kind of pain - which he was, of course. he always was. it seemed to him like some inevitable underlying human condition and when he didn't feel sad or miserable this itself made him ache.

while he was writing, people got on and off the train, passing his seat and he looked up regularly so he wouldn't miss a special person. a special face. a special look. he was free - another aching sensation. the train was driving into a curtain of rain and the neon lights on the ceiling were switched on automatically in a coughing flickering until they were shining brightly and cruelly and showed the little specks and moles on the small landscape of skin between hair and shirt that the sleeping girl in front of him forgot to cover. the rain let the temperature drop immediately and he kept shivering: he was only wearing a thin, black shirt with long sleeves and over that a brown t-shirt. he would have never thought himself of such a daring fashion statement but lately he had seen a lot of hip, young people wearing such a combination (shirt sleeves over long sleeves) and of course he wanted to belong to them. his new clothes gave him a sense of loathsomeness, of stressing his body rather than hiding or denying it as his former "style" had been doing. he enjoyed this - although it was a pretty late discovery considering that he was 30 already.

a lot of things had gone wrong the past days and he didn't have had enough sleep, a fact which annoyed him. he hated to be unable to concentrate. he had tried to read a novel when the train had left cologne but soon the letters started to lead a life of their own and cut the bond between signifier and signified so that he had to read the same sentence for five times and still was unable to create an image, an idea or an emotional imprint in his mind. so he had closed the book. but the voice of the narrator had not ceased, it went on as if it had nested inside his head and was commenting on his life in the third person and he was reduced to a foculizing instance, a - not even very likable - character too tired and dumb to find his own words, his own voice.

he shuddered at the thoughts of the coming weeks and all the work, confusion and organization that lay ahead. of course it wouldn't be half as bad as he pictured it and when he reread his journal in three weeks time he would smile mildly at his sorrows and concerns, but right now they were as real to him as the rain that ran down the window in long streaks.

he closed his eyes and the memories of the previous night snapped like a mouse trap: how could she? why did she? and was there any way to rationally explain his uneasiness with her behavior? he was glad that he had a narrator who would master this task much better, he was sure. they had met early in the evening the day before, in his new apartment. actually the idea had been to start renovating: cleaning and painting the walls and preparing everything for moving on some future weekend which he dreaded. but nicole had been sort of listless, as had he himself, and after sitting on the floor of the empty apartment with their backs leaned against the dirty, bare wall for half an hour they had decided to go out and have a drink. "can you help me up?" she had asked him, stretching out her arms to him and when he had pulled her up she groaned and fell back. "i'm all tensed up" she had complained, "feel how hard my back is!" and she had turned around, taken his hand and placed it onto her spine. "there! feel it? you have to go up and down a little bit" and he had to move his fingers all over he back, feeling her rips, her bra, the warmth of her skin under the shirt, and later, when they were sitting in the bar (they went to three different bars during the evening), she had kept touching his hands when she told him something, had grabbed his thigh, leaned her head against his shoulder and her fingers had been dry and warm, gliding over his bare arm slowly, gently, softly, breathlike.

he would have been thrilled, excited, nervous, flattered - had it not been for the fact that not quite a year ago they had agreed that their relationship would be on purely friendship terms - which had been a good decision, because he later realized that a relationship would have ended in a disaster. but still this didn't make her less attractive physically and he would probably not have to think twice if she had asked him up for a coffee after a night out. however, this had never happened because she had told him right from the start that he wasn't her 'type'. so in the months that followed she had told him about boys whom she had fallen in love with, had reported to him about flirts and had told him private things, intimate things that almost made him blush. but yesterday night she had been more tactile than ever. and she had done all this hugging and touching in a most friendly, innocent notion. but it made him feel uneasy. it made him feel like he was her gay best-friend. like her older brother. like an asexual neuter. he hadn't felt flattered at all. he had almost been a little annoyed, he realized now that he was thinking about it, yes, he was annoyed. because the last thing he wanted to be was the "older brother"-type, the asexual best friend. he would never be anything else for her, he was quite aware of that and it didn't really matter to him, but he could not take this bland expression of her unattractiveness to him, and the paradoxical implication it had: the total effacement of his body by her almost tender touching. and he wondered whether he should talk to her about it. and which would be the appropriate words to make her understand his irritation. and whether all this made sense to anybody else.

[july 4, 2003 - one two three four...]
okay, i'm really jealous now! suzanne admitted that she has a crush on beck!!
The Daily Mirror (UK): MY LIFE AS A MOVIE - SUZANNE VEGA
In an imaginary Hollywood Film of her life, the Californian singer-songwritter would get saucy with Beck and discover that she's got a rather interesting secret history.
TITLE: Behind Blue Eyes.
POSTER TAGLINE: Led Many Men To Death With Her Body...
GENRE: Film Noir.
RATING: 15 - there would be a few saucy scenes in there.
WHAT'S THE STORY? A waif-like girl finds out she's really royalty. It's a metaphor for my life where I didn't think I had anything special about me, then I found out I was musical.
HOW TRUE TO LIFE IS IT? It's a mix of fact and fiction. Pure fact would be too boring.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU? Marlene Dietrich because I've always loved her. Or if it has to be somebody who is alive, Sissy Spacek.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR LOVE INTEREST? Beck Hansen. I've met him a couple of times and I love him. He's gorgeous, funny and interesting. My Ideal man.
WHO PLAYS THE BADDY? Peter Sellers would be a mad scientist. There hasn't been a mad scientist in my life really, but it would be fun if one suddenly turned up.
why oh why???? he surely can't be more gorgeous, funny and interesting than me, can he??? jesus, suzanne, if you only knew what you're missing.

the day started rather sad and i've kept worrying all day long about paula. she's written a very gloomy mail and i don't really know how to read it: as an aesthetic construct or as a result of her desperation or a mix of both. i've send her my phone number and told her that she could call me anytime.

Subject: Re: "sickness is therapy"
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 19:10:52 -0500
From: paula

"it's not so bad to be a vandalizer
it's not so bad to punch people in the face"
i see skeletons in my bathroom
in the clouds in my car
they say "take that pocketknife and
stick it in your stomach"
at the rodin exhibit the room full
of sculpted heads called me a little stupid fool

philipp,

[...] the skeletons keep showing up wearing my clothes. they scare me. i don't have any friends except you now. how are you? you're teaching me along with laurie anderson? she'll kick my literary butt. i'm cracking. the crazy take the hopeful back to rights. no dresses among the shots and no holes. laughing at paper sets a precedent and i sink. animals spin on the counter and set clocks. trees are carried and woe to the sharpshooter, has his diamond loose. unhappy with knives the tips are hurled into my mouth. this is the talk of a loony. careful to see the map turned over tacked on. find a trailer with pennies and grab. ate the lights and can't fly. walk plastic to the two-step. including carousels to go round and mark the x. no water to choke it was me. take care philipp. i hug you and love, paula

i wish there was anything i could tell her to make her feel better. she's so far away, that's another disadvantage. it would be good to just tell her to come over and spend a couple of days with me. the only thing i could think of to brighten her up a little bit is compiling a cd with uplifting tunes. maybe some songs from the new cardigans cd, and some josh rouse and some gemma hayes. if you can come up with any other song suggestions please let me know!
[later]
all day long: rain. cedric called and nicole and i tried to figure out how to arrange the furniture in the new apartment. i tend to imagine that "everything will change" once i'm living in cologne: meaning that everything will get better: i will start to write the dissertation, i will get gigs and write songs and record and i will finally fall in love with someone who will love me as well. of course in clearsighted moments i realize that this is an illusion - although a pleasant one - and i'm trying to prepare myself for the let down, because of course nothing will change just because i'm living in a different city.

burned cds all day long. got two emails from people who are interested in a 200 lurkers cd. one even asked for nerve bible discs :o) plus josé from the undertow asked for a "stuff inspired by suzanne vega" cd. by the way: if you haven't done yet, why don't you entertain yourself by filling out the questionnaire and telling me a little bit about yourself???

[july 5, 2003 - i dreamed you were a rich girl and that i had no place to go. i came to you to see if you would take me in. through golden curtains you told me, you'd let me know...]
tiresome day. i borrowed my sister's car today and and tried to get some stuff for the new apartment - which was pretty exciting since i haven't been driving in two years. anyway, all went well. thought about bying a new refrigerator. boy - this is all gonna be soooo expensive :o(  packed a couple of boxes with stuff i don't need in cologne and drove them over to my parents' place. didn't manage to do anything for the seminar today. no news from paula. got a mail from someone who wants a copy of "start at the end". it's 23:32 and i think i'm going to read a couple of pages and then sleep. i'm awfully tired. sorry that there's nothing to report! has been a boring day. two new filled out questionnaires today :o)
[july 6, 2003 - take a year in your hand you can find another man let your unloved parts get loved and i will be your man. love me the way i love you. love me the way i love you.]
just saw t.a.t.u.'s version of "how soon is now" - almost puked! it's ridiculous! sounds like mikey mouse would be singing it. really really pathetic.

went down in the basement to put out the old cardboard boxes because tomorrow the trash collection will gather the old paper. jesus! i had no idea what kind of versatile life nature and some moisture could bring out of some old cardboard boxes if you leave them untouched in your cellar for a year: it was gross! bugs and spiders and roaches. eeewwhh!

[later]
hm, i'm a little pissed off. things are not going according to plan. i had hoped that the woman who will move into my old flat would like to keep my stove, fridge and washing machine, but she only needs the washing machine. also it seems like next saturday/sunday will be the date for my final moving to cologne. i packed some more boxes today. hope that i will manage renovating everything by saturday. unfortunately nicole will stop in bielefeld on friday afternoon, right before cedric has his final exams. also thomas will be here then which means that i can probably forget the complete friday. then i wanted to read the text for the colloqium tonight (butler: bodies that matter) - managed half an hour then the room started to spin. i'm an idiot. the university mail server is down. i can't get any mails nor send them. perhaps i will let blaine do the session of tuesday and i can paint the walls the whole day then.
[july 9, 2003 - and for once in your life you've got nothing to say]
it's half past seven in the evening and i'm just back from renovating the apartment and when i was walking across the campus i listened to belle & sebastian and suddenly something hit me, i remembered something, i realized something that came back to my mind like it had been always there, in a blind spot, in a dark corner, right in front of my eyes but still not visible, but this evening it was clear and logical and natural: i realized that the most imprtant thing is not finding somebody, not finding someone, not moving or renovating the flat, not the seminar, not the dissertation or pleasing thomas or giving in to suzanne's pleas to marry me. the single most important thing is: writing songs.

i don't think that i can remember everything that has happened in the last three days. don't think that i'll be able to put it all down. actually i only want to pick a video from the film collection here in the office and have a nice, quiet evening - so i don't really feel like writing. but if i don't write it down now i never will.

monday
so, i arrived monday morning in cologne and on the way to the university i met bernd, my colleague, in the train. and he told me how he and thomas went to a 4th of july party organized by the american embassy the other week. and while they were standing there with thewir food ("thomas was the first one at the buffet" bernd said) two younfg people who are working at the radio joined them and they started a polite small talk conversation and this guy asked thomas
"and what do you do?"
"well," thomas answered "i'm professor for american literature and culture at cologne university"
"really" was the astonished reply "i wouldn't have guessed. i mean you're not exactly looking like people think a professor  looks like." which thomas was probably glad to hear. but that guy continued "you rather look like bon jovi" and at this point bernd had almost choked laughing. bon jovi. thomas was offended. but he didn't show. "and what are you doing" the guy asked bernd. and he answered "i'm richie sambora and i'm playing the lead guitar..."

the seminar on creeley went fairly well. however blaine realized that there was someone's name on the list of participants who wasn't there in the session (the students have to put their name down each session to prove that they are participating regularly). we had this again and we had made a remark that people should stop that but obviously some students don't really mind. so on tuesday i said to the guy whose name was on the list but who hadn't been there "could you see me after class for a second?" and when he came i asked him "could you please - in one sentence - tell me what we have said about the formal aspects of creeley's poetry in yesterday's session?" and he started to stumble "äh, no, äh, oh, my name is on the list? yes i WANTED to come and a friend had put my name down and when i was halfway to the university i suddenly remembered that i had a doctor's appointment..." sure. and a colleague of mind played in a band with paul auster. the whole session yestrday made me really angry. we talked about ginsberg and i had been angry when i entered the classroom, but more about that later.

so actually i had planned to go straight to the apartment on monday after the seminar but then we were discussing judith butler in the colloquium so i stayed for an hour and so it was already four in the afternoon when i started renovating. first i had to wash the walls. the former tennant had smoked and the walls, ceiling, windows and doors were yellow with nicotine. it was gross. at six nicole came over to help me and we managed to clean half the apartment. after that we went to her place for a beer and i stayed until twelve. it was very nice. although she was very tactile again. i considered talking about my reservations and objections but though that this would just make her feel insecure.

tuesday
actually i wanted to continue cleaning tuesday morning. i had told blaine that i wouldn't be in and that he would have to do the session on ginsberg. which seemed fair since he had missed two sessions himself already and had so far done two out of 20 sessions, which is partly my fault because i tend to rather do everything on my own and have control instead of sharing work. anyway, since i needed the time to get the apartment ready for the weekend (when nadine will have the lorry and we will drive over all my big furniture) he was supposed to do the ginsberg session. however on tuesday morning, just when i wanted to leave, he sent an mail that he was sick and couldn't come in. i was furious. i was SO angry, i can't remember having ever been so mad during the last months. so not only did i lose half a day, i also had to prepare the session on ginsberg that very morning.

[later]
sorry for this kind of fragmented report. in the meantime it's 22:04 - a beautiful red sky, glowing clouds, mild air, birds are singing. maybe i AM missing you. tomorrow i will hopefully finish painting the walls and then get back to bielefeld. on friday nicola, thomas and tara will come to bielefeld and cedric will have his final exam. then we will party and on saturday i will first organize a couple of cardboar boxes and then pack things and in the evening put everything into nadine's lorry to drive them down to cologne on sunday. how things will work out in detail is not clear yet - this is the new way, the thomas way: "we'll cross that river when we get to it" meaning: too much planning and organization can backfire. so i try to relax and just DO things without planning them a week in advance.

but back to tuesday afternoon. i won't say much more about the seminar, although there is more to say but maybe i will do that another time. so i started painting the walls today and after two hours had finished one and a half and i realized that i would have to paint them at least two times because the white didn't really cover the old brownyellowish very well. so i got discouraged and then went out and bought a lot of sweets because i needed something nice. a little reward. something to brighten up my mood. and i also bought a proper brush or rather roll. before i had worked all day with a special gadet i had borrowed from my sister. but it didn't really work and once i started painting with the roll it went much faster and better. so i managed to whiten the entire room today and will repeat the procedure tomorrow and hopefully that's it then. i still have to do the kitchen but i can do this next week as well. for now it's important that the living room is ready so we can put in some of the furniture on sunday. also bought a small ladder - or rather_ a stool - today because the other days i had climbed on a plastic bucket to wash the walls close to the ceiling - which was a very unstable enterprise and the bucket suffered terminal damages. actually irene wanted to bring a ladder with her car on tuesday but she had to work longer than she had planned so she didn't manage to drop in and help.

there's so much more i wanted to write about but i'm too tired now. hope that i will find the time to make a couple of entries the next days, but they will get pretty busy as well. which is good. which is not good. which is good. hm, i haven't gotten used to the idea of not being in bielefeld any longer. wonder how it will feel like. last sunday i have washed her pajama that i had stolen when i had moved of out old apartment after the break up. think i'll simply throw it away. i don't know - it's all so complicated and i am tired and full of tiny white specks. like i had an illness. like i was infected. i want to be beautiful. i wish paula would write. i'm worrying about her.

[july 12, 2003]
sorry, can't really write tonight. it's too late and i'm too tired and tomorrow morning i'll drive with nadine to cologne: one lorry full of packed boxes. unfortunately i've got at least as much still here in bielefeld. anyway, hope i can update the journal soon. there's a lot to report about. cedric has passed his exam. HOORRAY!
[july 13, 2003 - the only living boy in cologne, the only living boy in cologne...]
so, here i am: sitting on the balcony of my new apartment, eating some cookies and listening to lotions "enormous room" on repeat. it's very peaceful and i had this strange thought a number of times today that it would be nice if you were here to have a coffee on the balcony together and talk about old times and talk about new times and talk about those in-between.

it's a warm sunday afternoon and the birds are singing and there's music and voices coming from the open windows of the apartments that face the little back garden that lies below me. an old brick wall, poison ivy, and above the roofs: the blue sky. i'm very, very tired. got up at 6:30 this morning because nadine and i drove down to c. at eight. but i should start at the beginning, that is: on friday morning:

i came back from cologne on tuesday after having painted the walls. did i report abut that? it was a lot of work because i had to pint them twice and before painting them i had to wash them. which took two days, together with the painting four, and that was just for the living room and  haven't even started on the bathroom and the kitchen.

anyway, on friday cedric had the last part of his exams: his orals. so thomas came up to bielefeld for the exams and since nicole was driving from berlin to cologne on the train (she was at the robbie williams concert) she stopped in bielefeld for three hours to meet me and to have a look at my old apartment and the university. tara was there as well - she had come up from tübingen for cedric's exam (party). so the four of us (thomas, tara, nicole and me) met at the station to have an ice cream and then drive to the university. actually we wanted to meet at 13:15 but then at about ten in the morning the phone rang and it was thomas and he said that he would be there already at 12. which of course is no problem had it not been for the fact that i was running awfully short on time (because i still needed to get my sister's car, organize some boxes and pack all my stuff.) so i said: "oh, and what will you be doing when you're waiting for over an hour?" i guess he had expected me to pick him up at the station. and he hesitated for a moment and then said: "well, I'll have a coffee..." and i said "okay, see you at 13:15" and hung up. immediately after i had put the receiver down i realized how impolite i had been so i called him back telling him that i would be picking him up. we had a coffee and talked about this and that and suddenly he was talking about my "style" and that i shouldn't wear s many brown clothes but more black and blue and that i have to be more "manly". "there is a too much of sensibility" he said to me and i couldn't believe that he had actually said that because at times you could get the impression that the word "sensibility" is lacking from his vocabulary in the first place. no, that's mean, and it's not true.

anyway, of course i felt extremely flattered that he was spending so much time thinking about me and my "style" and i realized that i am quite privileged [:o)] so an hour later we picked up Tara and nicole from the station who met each other for the first time. we went to my old flat and as soon as they had entered all three of them started to pick on me: that i hadn't packed a thing yet and that i didn't have any boxes yet and so on and so on. and i just thought: well, you're kind of funny! first you're arriving an hour too early and then you're telling me that i hadn't done any packing yet!! after that thomas started making fun about all the pictures that are on my wall. he thought it was too adolescent. of course he especially disliked the suzanne vega images, but he also made fun of the Virginia woolf picture and kristin hersh and basically everybody else who is hanging n my wall. he said: i hope you won't take those with you to cologne...!

after they were tired of ridiculing me we went having an ice cream and then went to the university. and while we were heading for the main entrance i told nicole about my former student's job in the "mediothek" of the university and about my boss there and that i had troubles to get long with her and that the only fair description of her was "the mentally retarded chairwoman of the bonnie tylor fan club" and while i was saying this the door opened and she came walking towards us!! it was spooky! she did not recognize me or pretended not to recognize me.

and then we were standing in the entrance hall of the university and it was pretty empty because it was a friday afternoon so there were only very few students left and who came crossing the hall and walked by two meters from me: j. - one of somebody's closest friends who never really liked me and had - in my dreams and in reality most certainly s well - encouraged her to leave me and start a relationship with that fucking pinhead whose name i can't write without puking. and i thought: great! of all the people in the world i have to meet j. anyway, she passed by not looking at me - either she did not recognize me or she didn't want to look at me which was fine with me, of course. she looked old and fat. and my mood-o-meter dropped to 1.2.

however it rose to an enthusiastic 6.5 an hour later when we picked up cedric from the room where he had his exams and thomas told us that he got a straight a. after the exams the four of us (nicole had returned to cologne by then) drove to herford to tara & cedric's place and we went out for dinner to celebrate cedric's finals. although thomas was in a good mood i realized that as soon as the conversation drifted to music (and basically music was the sole topic that evening) i had to disagree with everything he said. there as no common ground, no shared level of understanding or thinking or perceiving music.

this wasn't anything new, however, because thomas and i have found out again and again that our way of listening to and thinking about music is very, very different. but then later that evening a friend of cedric - marc - came by and he met thomas for the first time that evening and already after half an hour they were best buddies, talking about nabokov and actually agreeing and sharing a musical taste and i realized how jealous i suddenly became!! and i wished that i, too, would share so much with thomas and that our relationship would not be marked by what we NOT agree on, by differences, but that there was some positive, overlapping, unifying aspects. and i felt uncomfortable because i knew that the only reason  still have my job at the university is that i somehow seem to get along with thomas pretty well, but here was that guy who only knew him for half an hour and who got along with him twice as well as i do and i felt like somebody had robbed me of my daddy. which is a stupid sentence and to write and one i'm feeling utterly uncomfortable with but somehow i was afraid that thomas would realize that he and i have hardly anything in common and that other people fit his way of thinking much better than i do. of course this was based on my constant fear of the future and the insecurity about me quality as a literary critic and intellectual.

anyway, we were u till two in the morning and the next day we all had breakfast together - which was nice and felt like family. (i'm using highly unusual vocabulary, i just realize). and while we were standing in cedric's kitchen the phone rang and cedric went to see who was calling and he saw the display and said to me: "would you like to leave the room before the answering machine will take the call?" and i understood immediately that it was somebody calling and headed for the garden, my stomach in an uproar, my thoughts caught in a storm. but i calmed down pretty fast. the other day i had done an almost fatal mistake. after i had brought nicole to the station  wanted to call tar (who was waiting in my old apartment) to fix a time when we would meet and i called my own number and suddenly a computer voice said: this is no longer a working number, please redial your call - and i realized that i had by mistake dialed the number of the flat where i had lived with somebody before and i was so relieved that somebody seems to have changed it - otherwise SHE would have picked up the phone, or even worse: HE would have and it would have hit me totally unprepared. it's good that i've been moving to cologne. it's the only sensible decision, the only sensible way to get out of meeting people i don't ant to meet and calling people i don't want to call.

anyway, i returned t bielefeld on saturday afternoon, packed a couple of boxes and in the evening cedric and tara came by to help me load everything into the van of nadines father that she had packed in front of the house. and when we had finished we were standing on the pavement, and it was half past eight in the evening, and it was still warm and peasant outside and cedric pressed tara to leave because he said "it's so sad, somehow. because you will be leaving tomorrow and then you won't be here any longer..." and i said "rubbish, it's not sad at all. be happy for me that i will be moving!" and so we hugged good by and they drove back herford and i went up the stairs into the apartment that was almost empty and i looked at the bare walls and the few boxes that stood there in the middle of the empty room and i started to cry.

and this morning nadine and i drove down here to cologne and nicole and achim helped to unpack it and now i'm sitting here - in the meantime two hours later - on the balcony, hammering all that has happened into the laptop.

i still have a couple of things in bielefeld: the pc and the stereo for example. so i still got to get those things next week. so I'm sorry: there haven't been a lot of very "beautiful" entries lately but just some very prosaic reporting about what has happened. i hope this will change when i've settled a little.

[july 15, 2003 - i am a lonely painter, i live in a box of paints. i'm frightened by the devil, and i'm drawn to those ones that aint afraid]


it's tuesday night, 21: 15, i'm sitting on the balcony after a very exciting and tiresome day. and i realized that i have forgotten to mention ruby's and suzanne's birthday last week. shame on me!

it was bloody hot today - and it still is. i've been sweating my ass off in the office. today dagmar was in cologne to give her brilliant talk on "aliens" - it was great meeting her again. i think i hadn't seen her for two years. i picked her up at the station and on the way i wondered how meeting her again would feel like because she was the one who brought me and somebody together. but when she stepped off the train, those "old times" didn't really matter.

what else is there to tell you about? yesterday night, blaine and i went to a seminar meeting: the students thought it might be a good idea to meet and have a beer at a bar. it was quite nice, actually. the most important thing they wanted to know was: "how old is prof. b [thomas]??" the girl next to me said "i guess he's in his late thirties" which missed his actual age by roughly ten years. when i told thomas about it this morning in the office he was slightly amused and i thing a little faltered as well... :o)

and then they guessed blaine's and my age. "late twenties". which was close. the conversations were shifting from politics to aesthetics and back. basically i kept defending contemporary literary theory and the students told us that they didn't like interpreting the poems because it would "destroy them. you take them apart until nothing's left of the original impact that it had on me in the beginning" one girl said. this is , naturally, quite a difficult position if you want to become a literary critic. i tried to make them understand that interpreting a poem doesn't mean destroying it - but i don't think that they believed me.

it's slowly getting dark. i have put on a couple of candles on the balcony and it's quite cozy here with the laptop. i wish i had a novel to write. or i would write on my dissertation. no - i wish it was a novel. i wish someone would pay me to write a novel. philip glass' "metamorphosis ii" on repeat. from the balconies in the neighborhood voices are knotting into an unintelligible mumble that mixes with the muffled sound of a tv set. the swallows and sparrows are screaming has they shot through the air hunting for flies and bugs. i can't believe that I'm still alone. in her last mail paula wrote that she didn't want to repeat the same old complaints like a robot. but i guess this is just what one does. i cannot believe that i am still alone. i'm missing my guitar. it's still in bielefeld. my cure against the frustration: i'm having another cookie. the brand is "prinzenrolle". prince's roll. there's the image of a disneyfied medieval prince on the box. the other week blaine said out of nowhere: "when i was a child i thought that god looks like the prince on the cookie-box." figure that. i cannot believe that i'm still alone. figure that as well. there is a "too much" of sensibility. i wanted to use this quote by thomas as the screensaver for my officecomputer but the sentence contained too many letters. is this supposed to tell me anything? can't thomas come up with shorter pieces of wisdom?

i wish i could write down the great theme of "metamorphosis ii". those few, heavy and infinitely sad notes, this small but moving melody. i wish i could find a way to say how heavy my heart is. a thousand white whales. it is clothed in lead. i wonder where this tenderness is coming from when i'm thinking about you. maybe it's pouring out of the music. maybe it's squeezed out of the memory. maybe it's in the sweetness that still fills my mouth like a spoonful of sugar when i say your name. when nicole came by to say hello in the office yesterday she did it again. she was putting her feet into my lap. she was leaning her head against my shoulder. she was putting her arm around my waist. she was stroking my arm. she was standing behind the chair and looked over my shoulder into the monitor, rested her chin on my neck, put her arms around my chest and moved gently over it. i cannot believe that i am still alone.

finished "atonement" by ian mcewan today. didn't like it. suzanne is regularly updating her tour diary -it's fun to read. i wish i could spent more than just an hour with her. there's so much i need to learn from her. and then paula. she wrote that she is suffering from another round of manic fits. i wish there was a way to help her. i wish i was rich so i could send her a ticket to fly over to cologne. she could give a creative writing course and would find a lover and everything would be okay.

i've put one of her old carpets onto the floor of the balcony. the one that was first lying in the kitchen of her apartment, then in the kitchen of our two apartments and then in the kitchen of my apartment. the one with the colorful, indian pattern. ikea quality. handknitted by swedish indians. there's always SOMEthing to remind me.

it has gotten dark and the screen of the laptop sheds a ghostly, artificial light on everything around me. the stars are out. it's still warm as if it was in the middle of the day. the clicking of the keyboard is climbing up between the houses, jumping from red brick wall to red brick wall and escaping into the dark sky. i am missing you. there's so much stupidity in this sentence. too much sensibility? - maybe. 23:04. i suppose you're already asleep. "i swear i would have called you if i was sure you were alone"

almost all the lights in the houses around the back garden have been switched off. french windows are being closed with a blunt "thud". an ambulance passes by on a forgotten street behind the buildings. i wish the doorbell would ring. i didn't care who it was. a cat is starting to scream somewhere down in the garden. it sounds like a baby. little bugs are being drawn to the screen by the light. they mingle with the letters and make the words move in strange ways. here we come. do they think that the letters are animals as well? are they recognizing another bug in an o an r or a t? i want to talk to you. badly. but if you were here, would i be at peace? if i had my will, would i stop longing and aching? fat chance! most pathetic sentence of the night: I'm too tied to cry. every motion and notion in me feels like it, but i'm simply too tired. i envy blaine for the love that he has found. i envy thomas for his pragmatic stance towards emotions. i envy HIM for your kiss and your proud eyes.

the other night the phone rang and it was nicole and she said: "philipp, guess where i am?" and i said "no idea!" and she said "i'm standing at the rhine with my feet in the water, the sun is sinking and it's the perfect summer night, it's so beautiful. i simply had to share this with someone. it's so beautiful - and there's nobody here to share it with. you know, even though it's so beautiful it's also terrible because there's no one to share it. so i simply HAD to call you. do you think i'm stupid?" and i couldn't tell her just how perfectly i understood.

i don't want to stop writing. i don't want to switch off the laptop. as long am i'm writing, as long the fan of the cooler is humming quietly i feel like being in control of the memories and the thoughts and the projections. i'm afraid of dreams. this isn't right, is it? 23:43. brushed my teeth. spat out. rose. saw myself in the mirror. realized that the only thing that's bigger than the longing for you is the hate for myself. take care. good night.

[july 16, 2003 - was mach ich bloss an dieser stelle...?]
bad, bad, bad, bad dreams.

later: 20:56 and i'm asking myself: why this obsession with time? am i trying to add some authenticity to these lines? am i trying to cover the fact that this is mere fiction, words, letters that are connected so little to reality as memory or music is?

felt a rush of rage the other minute - attacking me from some unguarded corner of my mind or whatever. can't think today. it's too hot and humid! i cleaned and painted the kitchen walls today and there were  couple of times when the room started to spin. the heat, the sweat, the fumes from the paint: ll this made me almost drop to the floor. nicole came by to help. she's such a sweetheart! i guess she has earned a lifelong  right to visit me anytime she wants because she has helped me so much.

now i'm sitting on the balcony again - they had predicted thunderstorms this evening but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any release from the oppressive heat. in the apartment below me someone is blasting an entire justin timberlake cd into the backyard. i want to rock you all night long, i'm gonna show you how, i'll give it to you baby rock your body yeah. how can you sing this without having to laugh, i wonder? the little white specks on my brown skin make me look as if i had caught some sort of strange disease. a small child is screaming as if it had both arms cut off. maybe it has. i hate children.

the rage was connected to the frustration of stasis. i feel like i have really done MY part to change my life - now it's the world's or god's or your turn. i feel like i was part of an experiment. "hm what do you think, charles? let's leave him one more months in the isolation cell and let's see how his nervous system will react!" "good plan, majorie. let's just hope that he will make it. otherwise it's bye bye funding!"

in the meantime the light is golden. the brick walls look beautifully urban but at the same time organic. as if the wall had grown out of the earth. it was a clever thing not to expect a miracle from moving to cologne. today eva had her final exams. she has passed all previous exams with a straight a so i guess that it went all right - i'm not sure whether it is a good idea to call her. it would be nice to have a cocktail with her now. 21:32. tomorrow i will drive back to bielefeld to pack a couple of important things such as my computer and the stereo. on friday cedric and i will drive down a carload of stuff to cologne. "in alle himmelsrichtungen denk ich mich dauernd zu dir hin."

my head feels like exploding. i'm wondering whether alcohol would help. there's a cornershop at the end of the street and i'm sure that they have cool beer. but i wanted to get up early tomorrow and i don't even have an opener. this morning, nicole was standing on the balcony and i was dispersing the paint evenly on my clothes and the kitchen walls when she called: "philipp, come here! quick" so i dropped the brush and hurried outside. "look" she said and pointed into the fir tree, "there's a woodpecker in the tree!" and really! a large woodpecker with black and red feathers was sitting in the tree and hunting for his late breakfast. welcome to cologne nature park!

remember that cat that i told you about yesterday night? the one that screamed like a baby? i must correct myself: it is a baby that is screaming like a cat that is screaming like a baby. the informational value of this fact says quite a lot about the excitement of my life. ten o clock. church bells are ringing in the distance. have i mentioned that the guy for whom suzanne has written "gypsy" and "in liverpool" has sent her a bunch of roses and his address after 25 years??!! i don't want to wait 25 years. i want the roses and your address now!

i didn't wear the knife today. i realized it only this evening when i had finished painting the kitchen.

[july 18, 2003 - another day will make it clear why your stars should guide us here]
it's 21:36. an empty beerbottle in front of me, one that is still half full in my hand. the emotional intro to "a case of you": strings and woods and horns: just before our love got lost you said i am as constant as an orbit star... i'm sitting in my apartment in cologne which is my new home now. managed to get all the impolrtant things today: pc and stereo and boxes and boxes and boxes. cedric drove me down and helped carrying the furniture. i had weird dreams tonight: i was participating in a theater group composed of mentally disabled people and then i was chased through a hospital. i remember that time that you told me. you said: love is touching souls. i've sent a mail to everyone i know with my new address and my new phone number. when the mouse moved over her name in the address book i hesitated for a minute. i could make it look like an accident, like it had slipped among all these other addresses by chance. i could include her parents' address: they will let her know. in the end i did neither. silence. around. i can't stop being overjoyed. strange night. i'm filled with love. "this is so unfair of me to heap this all on you. i know you'd help me if you could. i don't want to keep saying the same things over and over like a robot." paula said. yes, she's right. like a robot. i can just repeat things almost automatically. nearly drunk with desire. do you hear me? do you read me? more than two hours later she waits in the bed for him. she's a cool drink for a tired man. PUT YOUR TROUBLES BEHIND YOU PUT YOUR LOVE IN MY HANDS AROUND AROUND AROUND BUT I CAN STILL REMEMBER BUT I CAN STILL REMEMBER AROUND nicole called. she's not well, she's feeling depressed and out of focus. i'm feeling strangely similar. there's a party on the balcony upstairs. people laughing. saw so many people today. walked through the streets a little after cedric had left, exploring the neighborhood, eating fast food to go. so many people. red haired. blonde. brown haired. some looking at me, too. some not. still it's like walking around under the bell jar. i loved you from the first day and that hasn't changed at all. though the years went on from springtime to summer and to fall. we have won and we have lost friends. some have moved and some are dead. and the one thing i held on to was the love we had. 21:57. something's not right. that i'm sitting here alone is not right. i would never have thought that i'd come to the conclusion that i ... i don't know. i shouldn't write when i'm drunk. i should keep my big mouth shut. i'd give both my arms to be able to sink into the arms of someone. but what use would THAT be? two empty beerbottles. writing words and deleting them in the same movement. 22:00. there must be some kind of way out of here said the joker to the thief. jesus! i'm quoting dylan. something'S definitely wrong. the other week cedric, tara and i were packing furniture and boyes into nadine's van. i thought that it's a good idea to keep the cds in the shelf and not putting them into a separate box. so cedric and i took the self with 160 cds and lifted it into the air and when we were holding it one meter over the kitchen floor the backwall couldn't hold the weight of the cds anymore and broke in two and all 160 cds were flooding onto the floor gracefully and almsot silently like they were a school of fish. cedric and i froze, there was 20 seconds of silence as we were staring at the mess on the kitchen floor: cds all over, most of them dropped out of the case. and then cedric looked at me and said: "wohnst du noch? oder lebst du schon?" it was hillarious! i still feel like on the first day. except i'm here without you. i ant a life. i want a carreer. as a öiterary critic. as a musician. as a writer. as a lover. i want a lover. i want someone who loves me. i want to feel at home. i want to meet suzy again. i want to write songs. and songs. and songs. i want yopu to call me. i want to listen to your voice again. S i want to get hopelessly drunk. i want to a´have visions. i want to drivce on the erie canal. i want to be every faint star in the sky tzhat you strain your eyes to see. i want to decompose into zeores and ones and creep through the phone line to you. i want to be with you. i want to be with you. i don't want to be alone. i want to be together again. finally. eternally. i don't want to be afraid any more when i'm waking up. i don't want to be afraid eah morning. i don't want to be afraid when i'm going to sleep anymore. i don't want to be afraid each night. i don't want to be overjoyed anymore. i want peace., i want peace. i want to put my hea din your lap and know that everything will be okay. i don't want to die alone. i don't want to. i want to sing. to you. to everybody. i want to find you. i want you to find me. i want you to smile at me. i want you to talk to me. i want you to know that you are you. i want that the thoughts and pictures of you and him leave my head finally and forever - regardless of what i have to do for it. i want that god talks to me. i don't care even if he looks like the prince from the cookie box: i want my piece of heaven, i want my share. i want to be loved. i want someone. i wamnt someone. , 22:14 ghrhqweit vcwajrrt iowef2948tr afhöro #+    WE?P§=$(GH UBN QAW  §$(ZLAEIRHQ  fdufh98  rghel 939hflaeih iaaöä jfvr oefcfb urfh laui uirh arufg hlweiw33
[july 19, 2003 - no it's not going to stop till you wise up!]
oh boy! what a crap (referring to last night's entry)!! achim mailed that 20 exam essays are lying on my desk in the office, waiting to be corrected. guess i know what i'll be doing today. i think i'm going to get a shower now, drive down to the university, pick up the essays, look for a nice, comfortable café and sit there and have breakfast and read the bloody papers.
[later]
13:54. sitting in the café with 20 essays to correct. outside the sun is beating onto the pavement and the shadows are dark and sharp. bikes are glistening in the bright light, everyone is wearing sunglasses and as little clothes as possible and even the most romantic lovers are not walking hand in hand because it's simply too hot to touch another sweating body. next to me one of the dubini-brothers (you know, the directors who made that pynchon film) i seem to meet him every time i'm sitting in a café. maybe he's secretly making a movie about ME? das würde mir wohl gefallen!! from the speakers light jazz: piano, bass, drums and voice. behind the counter: busy rushing back and forth and forth and back. " a room is not a house. a house is not a home..." the female voice sounds like a muted trumpet: lots of grain. and it makes me want to sing as well. i'm living in cologne. i can hardly believe it yet. conversation at the table next to mine: the waitress is bringing a plate of scrambled eggs and says: "i'm sorry; we didn't have any estragon anymore so we took rosemary..."
[later - Es war also Abend geworden - Abend muß es sein; da geht alles schwarzgelber und lockerer]
met nicole in the evening and first we went shopping for a friend of hers with another friend of hers and then that friend had to go to meet a friend and we met another friend (not the friend she and her friend were buying a present for) with whom we went to the park to lie in the shade of a big tree just to meet the friend of nicole's friend who was there with a friend. it's all very confusing. she kept touching my arm, leaning her head to my shoulder and putting her arm in mine when we were walking through the shopping mall. in one store we were waiting at the cashier and she put her hand on my butt. tomorrow i'll continue correcting the essays and maybe i manage to cut and paste the new kitchen and corridor floor.
[july 20, 2003 - i touch their cardboard faces. they must go]
sunday. 18:36. leaves that the wind has ripped from the branches are sailing to the ground angrily. it's so hot and humid that i didn't manage to do anything today. it's hell. i wanted to correct the term papers but i couldn't think. it just was impossible. in the distance there's thunder - but it seems to be so far away. nicole called half an hour ago and we talked a little about lacan and complained about the weather and then she asked me: "philipp, do you feel the same? do you also have this craving for sex when it's as hot as today?"

right now i am listening to a cd that i think i have never listened to EVER before: a nerve bible rehearsal from 1998. and it's so great that i keep jumping up and down, doing air-drums, keep shouting "YES!". forgotten songs such as "lady lazarus" that just ROCKS or "catch me if you can". the old arrangements look at me from the loudspeakers like familiar faces on brown photographies, rob's guitar is just so bloody good and the coda of "ohne dich" when the quiet song unfolds into a storm is great as well and i can't believe that this has been US, that WE wrote and played these songs and all this is followed by the realization that losing rob some years ago and the band now (because that's what moving to cologne will eventually lead up to, let's be honest) is as bad as having lost you.

still no rain. wow: wall of sound: "headfirst". i think these recordings are actually better then the album versions! found out the chors to "sleep the clock around". what an awesome song. wish i had a proper guitar. wish i had a band. here. now. and an audience ;o)

And the moment will come when composure returns
Put a face on the world, turn your back to the wall
And you walk twenty yards with your head in the air
Down the Liberty Hill, where the fashion brigade
Look with curious eyes on your raggedy way
And for once in your life you have nothing to say
And could this be the time when somebody will come
To say, "Look at yourself, you're not much use to anyone"
Take a walk in the park, take a valium pill
Read the letter you got from the memory girl
But it takes more than this to make sense of the day
Yeah it takes more than milk to get rid of the taste
And you trusted to this, and you trusted to that
And when you saw it all come, it was waving the flag
Of the United States of Calamity, hey!
After all that you've done boy, Im sure you're going to pay
In the morning you come to the ladies salon
To get all fitted out for The Paperback Throne
But the people are living far away from the place
Where you wanted to help, it's a bit of a waste
And the puzzle will last till somebody will say
"There's a lot to be done while your head is still young"
If you put down your pen, leave your worries behind
Then the moment will come, and the memory will shine
Now the trouble is over, everybody got paid
Everybody is happy, they are glad that they came
Then you go to the place where you've finally found
You can look at yourself sleep the clock around
22:07. not a single drop of rain. the temperature fell only a little, the night is as hot as a warm summer day. got candles on for comfort. think i'm signing off now. didn't even have another look at the essays, not to mention the preparations for tomorrow's session. would have been of no use anyway as long as the weather is so extreme. i don't even have curtains to shut out the sun. on repeat and turned very low: "arm the lonely. now that you have so much time. you can use it for the good of mankind" i'm not going to describe the frustration that is already waiting in the dark corner near the bed. i thought i had left her in the old apartment in bielefeld. but she must haved slipped into one of the countless boxes by accident and now she's making herself at home here.
[july 21, 2003 - By dread I'm inspired, by fear I'm amused]
busy day at the university. bernd brought four cds for me: two bonnie prince billy and two sigur ros. the seminar went well. we talked about sylvia plath and "daddy". after the colloquium thomas, blaine and i were standing on the escalator to the first floor (yes, the building does have a kind of supermarket flair) and thomas turned around and said to me: "you've shocked me today, philipp! you have said something!" and indeed i had. we were discussing butler and deleuze and the concept of a machinic nature as a means to find an approach other than a naturalistic essentialism or a discursive constructivism and thomas suggested deleuze's idea of a machinic materialism and somehow he concluded that a machine runs successfully if it keep surviving - and for some reason i had my doubts because such a position can easily be co-opted by ideology: you could justify for example ethnic cleansing with the striving of a machinic nation to "survive" -  anyway, i voiced my doubts and my questions and suddenly found myself asking for an ethic aspect in the discussion - and i felt like prof. x. (a professor at the seminar who keeps coming with the same old question "but where is the moral dimension in poststructuralism???!!!!!" and who - according to blaine who had to write a protocol at the last meeting of the professors - has a "diddl"-cup. which says pretty much everything. ("diddl" is a cartoon mouse for 12 years old girls...)) anyway, it was very inspiring as usual and thomas closed the session with the memorable sentence: "there's a reason that there is a 'But' in Butler!"

listening to a great song by bonnie prince billy. very sad, waltzing time. piano and guitar and light drums. great!

I like to have a good time
Any of my friends will tell you
So if you confront me with stupidity
I'm doubly angry at you

And I say : nip ! nap ! it's all a trap
Bo ! bis ! and so was this
Whoa ! whoa ! to haiti go
And watch it all come down
Ding ! dong ! a silly song
Sure do say something's wrong
Smile awhile, forget the bile
And watch it all come down

So I become more lively
To bury all of the ugly
Whole persons sometimes
Must be them bodies buried

And I say : nip ! nap ! it's all a trap
Bo ! bis ! and so was this
Whoa ! whoa ! to haiti go
And watch it all come down
Ding ! dong ! a silly song
Sure do say something's wrong
Smile awhile, forget the bile
And watch it all come down

And I toe the water
And an urchin poke me
An' I must be godfather
To anyone who'll have me

Today was another day full of dread
But I never said I was afraid
Dread and fear should not be confused
By dread I'm inspired, by fear I'm amused

another four chord song. am, G, em, C. no virtuous instruments. a simple melody. a simple arrangement. and still the song manages to pull everything that i have drowned up to the surface, it bursts out of the water like a giant white whale, gasping for breath and darkening the sky with its endless, white back that erases the horizon and up and down and left and right. like a bright movie screen it is displaying everything that is out of my reach although it is constantly with me, haunting me, refusing to be given up. my wish to be with you, my endless desire to make music like this, create something of such a simple beauty - the highest form: the simple beauty, not unlike yours. like a househigh billboard it is reminding me about what is REALLY important, about what my life should really be dedicated to, making me realize that i will lose whichever way i will chose. and the whiteness does not crush onto and into me just as it did onto lucky ahab - it won't take me down with it, it just mocks me, leaves me with the dread and fear, with the inspiration and the amusement that turn into knives and into flames and into being overjoyed. it clears my sight, lets the horizon return, lets me sail on without direction till the next time. still not a single drop of rain. among the 20 essays that i have to correct are two christian names i did not want to be reminded about. out of all the thousands of names in this world they must be in MY pile of essays. it's laughable. it sounds like a bad script. no rain. feels like the whole world was in a fever.
july 22, 2003
i'm drunk. we had a staff dinner. then went to a bar. it's 1:24 in the morning and i've just returned. by dread i'm inspired. by fear i'm amused. i wish i was. i wish i was. i wish i was.
[july 23, 2003]
[july 26, 2003 - wir bauen uns ein haus aus den knochen von cary grant...]
this has been the most absurd and surreal day in my entire life. i will never ever be able to describe all the strange and unreal events i more or less involuntarily took part in today. never ever. bizarre!

apart from that i'm frustrated as usual after a night out and coming back home alone.

[july 27, 2003 - es gibt nichts gutes, ausser man tutes]
saturday night, 23:23. it's raining. i'm listening to the awesome sigur ros cd (). it's the saddest music i've ever heard. and the most relaxed - that kind of sadness that makes every tension flow out of your body and your're sinking and shrinking and imploding like a balloon without air. the only light in my apartment is coming from the kitchen: the fake-kitch bouquet of plastic tulips that is a chain of little lights. a soft, warm yellow. i will not be able to remember every detail from yestreday night - and that's really a pity. it was so weird. on various levels. i want to go home. i want to go home now :o(

here's the attempt of an account. mind you, everything i'm writing is true. thomas did a lecture on deleuze this seminar. and there is a student in his lecture who was porganizing a party because in a wekk he will go back to israel. so he's probably an exchange student, but thomas didn't really know. anyway. this guy approached him after the session and asked him whther thomas could dj for half an hour at the party: playing deleuzian music.

i guess thomas felt flattered. there is a colleague at the university, eckhard schumacher, who is a dj as well. the only difference is that ecki KNOWS how djing works. so thomas said: okay, i will play some deleuzian music. i guess a couple of minutes afterwards he thought twice and realized that he hasn't even any deleuzian music. so he called bernd and borrowed a couple of cds from the "milles plateaux" label. in memorian gilles deleuze etc. also he thought that it might be a good idea to have some support from another prof: so he asked mr. f. whether he would participate. ptof. f. is as cool as thomas - in a different way, though, but still very cool. basically he is looking like a security guy. he is bald, big, and bodybuilder.

so they had the cds and they had a plan: they took the cover of the german edition of thousand plateaus and drew a line across it. the cover is made up of key terms that are important, about 50 or 60 terms. so thomas wrote a couple of sentences about each term on the left side of the line and mr. f. about those on the right side. so they had about 60 short texts, each one explaining one of deleuze's terms. i suppose you can guess what is coming next:

thursday morning thomas came into the office and said: "philipp, du bist eine arme sau!" - he wanted me to make a hypertext out of what he and mr. f. had written. which i did. i wrote a random script so that the pc linked automatically from any given text to any other in the set after a certain time, between 2 and 20 seconds. i also inserted some images. by friday night they had a hypertext that ran on itself once it had been started, calling up term after term in a random succession with images inbetween.

when thomas came into the office on friday evening he started to pick the various tracks from the cds, to which he was listening for the first time that evening. he chose a couple of them and put them on one cd - so that they just had to insert this one cd and press play. which is of course the high art of djing! and while the cd was playing they wanted to show the hypertext via a beamer.

so at about half past seven, thomas, mr. f. and i went to the party, which was not far from the uni in a kind of youth club. mr. f. was carrying the beamer, thomas was carrying mr. f.'s pc because he didn't have the adapter to connect his ibook to the beamer (which is a completely different story) and i was basically carrying nothing. i had seen a flyer for the party the day before and i was really - well - curious. it was badly done with too much writing and saying that at the party there would be a performance of the solana theater and the "kotzende bär gruppe" - the puking bear group.

so when we arrived the guy who was organizing the party turned out to be a little hyperactive dwarf with a high voice and glasses that the comedian herbert feuerstein is wearing. he was wearing an apron and running around nervously. in the foyer a theater group was rehearsing (the building is actually used by the university's theater company). they were screaming at each other, shouting, gesticulating widely and in artificial ways and i suddenly remembered why i hate theater.

so then we started to set up the equipment: thomas booted the pc, prof. f. plugged in the beamer and made a sound check for the cd. and suddenly i had the original gig-feeling: i was standing there in a fucked up youth club run by some disoriented lunatic, nobody had been showing up, and we were setting up the equipment and doing a sound check. they had a portable screen in the club - the kind you use at home to project your slides on. and it was so funny! it took thomas and mr.f. about thirty minutes to arrange beamer and screen. i had to push it back, draw it clodser, turn it right, turn it left. but thomas was still not happy. "das ist noch schief!" half an hour! it was so great! "jetzt noch ein STÜCK nach rechts! ja, ja, stop! wieder zurück!"

when we were ready and everything was set up thomas asked me whether i wanted to play kicker against him - a table soccer game - and we did and he won and it was so strange because all the time he was wearing the nerve bible t-shirt that i had given him the other week because the other one that he's always wearing in the gym is coming apart. so we stood there and played table soccer and we had such fun and there was a gig ahead and the euipment was set up and the nerve bible was there and suddenly when i looked up from the game because thomas had hit the ball into my goal i looked at him and he screamed "YES!" and i saw rob i saw rob i saw rob. i became so homesick all of a sudden. homesick for playing live, homesick for traveling a hundred kilometers just to play in front of three people in a youth club and getting bad catering but still having a good time, the best time ever!

00:02. i wish i could talk to you now. i really do. when i was unpacking the cd-roms today i came across the one with the letters and photos of you&me and suddenly the browser started and it showed an old photo of you and i thought: "oh, THAT what she is looking like!" i want to smash my head against the wall for everthing that is not going the right way. nothing's going the right way. it is going the write way - but that's just phonetics. i'm so far from where i want to be in every aslect of my life. nothing's right. except for the tiredness that is coming every night. except for the feeling i have for the music.

did i mention that thomas had his talk on deleuze on thursday night. it was part of a lecture series and there were a number of other professors from the humanities department in the audience. and i guess thomas was a little nervous. we were standing in front of the room that was filling slowly and from where we were standing we could see down the corridor and in the distance a prof. of theology came walking towards us and thomas mumbled: "oh, da ist die theologie. und ich falte gott gleich in die imanenzebene..." "there's the theology department. and in a minute i will fold god into the plane of immanence..." it was so hilarious!

but back to the party. so thomas, prof.f. and i had finished setting up the stuff slowly more pleople were arriving. but they were all very strange: some of them were wearing skirts. i can't describe it - i wish i had had a camera mounted on my head. anyway, when we were walking through the lobby to get a bit of fresh air we saw that people were painting with water colors. they were sitting on long banches at long tables and the little nervous dwarf was jumping back and forth with a megaphone and people were seriously painting pictures with water colors. i mean they were grown ups! hip cologne students. (although to be honest, i didn't really see a hip or cool person that night other than thomas, mr. f. and me! - and this should tell you SOMEthing about the party!)

i'm too tired now. i think i will write part 2 of what had happened tomorrow. i unpacked all day. have i said this before? now everything is at it's place. almost. a couple of things still have to find theirs. also i don't have any water in the kitchen - and i haven't found out the reason yet. i have hung up a couple of pictures today: the zürn poster and the days of open hand tour poster etc. looks nice. also i have curtains now and a sink and the fridge is working.

i still can't believe that thomas wore that nerve bible t-shirt all night long. what a strange sight. do you hear me? are you thinking at me at all? these are usually silent questions. but even though i don't voice them they are still there. here. hear. ich weiss nicht für wen ich diese wohnung hübsch mache. it seems pointless. even such intense and strange and in an odd way beautiful nights as yesterday night are pointless. wasted. there's something going fundamentally wrong in my life. and then i'm feeling your fingers touching my face gently, running from the back of my nose over my cheeks and my lips and droping from my chin and i even hear you saying my name softly. but no. it's only the music.

[july 27, 2003 - truth is stranger than fiction]
sunday morning. the fridge is humming peacefully as if it was still asleep, snoring gently. the sun is shining into the kitchen, being caught in the dirty dishes that are standing in the sink: the glasses glisten like diamonds, the knives and forks look as if they were on fire. the apartment is still a mess, though. for some reason i don't have any water in the kitchen. plan for today: take a shower, find a nice café, have breakfast and correct the exam essays. next week thomas will leave for l.a. again. and he wants to read the hollow earth essays on the plane so i have to try to get sahand's corrections transferred into the documents by wednesday. maybe there will be a rehearsal on friday night in bielefeld. i will be there this weekend anyway because it's my mother's birthday. i still have to contact reiner whether he he can make it. hm, it would be great to have another gig. which reminds me that i wanted to push the 200 lurkers solo/duo-set masterplan once i am in cologne. i wish i had two lives. i also have to start that fucking dissertation. i am complaining about this for three years now. it's pathetic.

realized that i have complained too much lately. i tend to get really pathetic from time to time. and HEY! my special edition of suzanne's "retrospective" has arrived!!! it has an additional cd with live tracks and a new song. "anniversary". at first i didn't really like it, but the more i'm listening to it the more i get used to the beautiful melody which i know will haunt me by the end of the day. suzanne has posted a couple of entries for her road diary. very funny. very entertaining. also got another filled out questionnaire. which reminds me to remind you that you can click here to fill out the questionnaire yourself and here to read the answers that have come in so far.

it was strange: the set of answers i got this morning has as the answer for "favorite line from a song": "I'm the slime oozing out of your TV set" - which is, as i've found out, by frank zappa. and it reminded me so much of "cultural studies I" and "cultural studies II" with their lines: "I am the sole survivor / of the thing that you call art / I'm the number on your credit card" and "I'm the thing that crept out of / area fifty-one / I'll make paranoia fun!" and "you canít resist the notion / that t.v. equals poetry / poetry in motion". finding out that frank zappa has written your lyrics before is better than finding out that steve wonder has written your lyrics before, i guess.

[later]
sitting in the café, cross correcting essays. sun outside, smell of coffee, joni jazzing out of the speakers in the corner, a churchyard outside, graffiti on the church wall: "BASTI DU HURE!" and "FERKO + FILIPA". in fact every other song they're playing is by joni mitchell. how nice! and i can't believe it! just the other minute they were playing "pilgrimage" by suzyV, which is - as you know - my all time and forever favorite best awesome song!! strange! just the other night thomas, prof.f. and i were standing in front of that youth club (inside the party was raving - but more about this later) and suddenly the question "which song would you want to be played at your funeral came up." and i said: "pilgrimage". thomas came up with a song called "do go gentle into that good night" or something equally allusive of thomas' poem. he said that he really liked the song but that he could not find it anymore. the band (the name of which slipped my mind) doesn't exist anymore.
[july 28, 2003 - and it all comes down to, it all comes down to you]
monday night, 21:00. what a day. finished correcting the exam essays today. finally. the seminar didn't go so well. blaine and i don't get it: the students are sitting there and they won't say a word. we were discussing texts by laurie anderson and paula kostel today and there was so much that you could say about them, so many ways to connect them to the poems we have talked about before. but it was like talking to a wall. out of the 35 students only two or three said something. it's bloody frustrating. tomorrow's the last session this semester and blaine said that he would scold them then! we'll see.

the other week one of the students came into our office. he hasn't said a single thing all semester long and he did not prepare the texts and he constantly was talking to his neighbors during class. and he sat down in front of us, putting his sport bag on the floor (he's also studying sports - who would have guessed!) and said: "i wanted to see you for a topic for a term paper. my father is an english teacher and he, too, doesn't know what i should write about. and i don't know, too. so i wanted to ask you whether you could give me a topic. if possible something where i can find a lot of secondary literature so that i don't have to come up with ideas myself." this was really what he said to us! we have been discussing poems from stein to creeley, from frost to cummings, from plath to ginsberg. and still he did not have a single idea what to write a term paper about! where had he been during the semester??? and his father is english teacher and doesn't have any idea as well?? what a pathetic thing to say is THAT!! so if daddy don't know he doesn't, too???

oh well, anyway... i still have to finish my report about friday night. actually i wanted to finish it yesterday but nicole called and we met in a bar and talked until half past twelve. i eventually told her that i don't feel comfortable when she's getting all touchy and tactile. i hope she understood that it's nothing against her.

so back to friday night: we had set up the equipment and waited for the party to start. we were standing in front of the club, getting some fresh air while in the lobby the students were painting with water colors. and then suddenly the little nervous dwarf who was organizing this gruesome event came jumping up and down all over the place with a megaphone, shouting at people: "it'll start now! HIHI! it'll start now! HIHI!" so we went back into the room where we had set up our stuff because actually we thought that the party would start now, meaning: that people would dance. but we were surprised to find out that in that room five or six people were sitting on chairs - their faces painted white, and the little guy was running around them, jumping, laughing like a maniac, and all the sudden the "actors" started to perform some kind of obscure play. and suddenly i realized that this was the theater group that had been "rehearsing" in the lobby while we were setting up the pc and beamer! it was the worst thing i have ever seen. sorry, i only have german words for it: gewollt, krampfig und unglaublich peinlich. some were addressing the audience, taking the megaphone and shouting at them while others were doing a monologue, taking themselves so seriously that it hurt. and mind you who is saying this: the master of confessional ramblings and embarrassing diary entries. but what they presented was beyond compare! everything inside me just wanted to get away - but i couldn't because we were standing in the opposite corner to the exit. thanks, thomas! wise decision to stand here!!!

this "play" went on for about 45 minutes. there was no recognizable plot, and at some point they started to approach people in the audience, standing 10 inches away from them and spitting into their faces: "you are one of us! you, too, will be white!" and then they took the make-up (which actually was "nivea" creme because they did not have some real make up) and smeared it into the faces of people in the audience. and all of a sudden one actor was standing with his box of nivea creme in front of prof.f. who was leaning against the wall and he said to this tall, big man with a voice that had suddenly become rather insecure: "you are one of us. you, too, will be white!" and prof.f. stared right back at him and simply said in a low and calm voice: "I don't think so!" it was so great!!

after this fiasco was over we went outside again to get some fresh air and try to find back to reality. then the "kotzende bär gruppe" was playing. which was rather loud and to be honest i can't really recall what exactly they were doing. but i think they had an electric guitar and two saxophones. while some people continued to paint with the watercolors we were standing outside and actually it was very nice. it almost felt like home. prof. f. and thomas were joking, planning a conference on deleuze "which is sponsored by Gillette!" prof.f. supposed. "yes!" thomas said with gleaming eyes "well, have a group of female helpers and they're called The Gillettes!"

then the conversation turned to music, making music (prof.f. was paling bass in various bands), boarding schools (both profs. went to one. quote thomas: "that's where i learned to play table soccer. it was either sex or kicker!"). after about an hour we were wondering what the hell was going on inside because by then we just wanted to start the hypertext, play the cd and then leave as soon as possible. so thomas went in to check when we could start. he came back shaking his head in bewilderment: "they are playing Die Reise nach Jerusalem!" and really, from the inside we could hear some jewish folk songs. after half an hour he checked again and came back with the same facial expression "now they are doing kibbutz dances!" and when he checked a last time he reported that they were playing a game in which they had bound tampons at their belts and had to stick them into beer bottles without using their hands. but by that time we didn't really wonder at all what this was all about, and since the party was announced as being a "poststructuralist poporthodox revolution" - at least that was what the flyer said - prof.f. tried to find the only logical explanations: "well, they're probably trying to make feminist molotov cocktails..."

finally the little guy came out again, his face smeared with creme and sweat, shouting at everybody that now the deleuzian music would start. so we went inside, thomas and prof.f. started the cd and the hypertext and the next 34 minutes went without complications. and it was actually pretty nice: the music fitted perfectly to the hypertext and some people were seriously standing in front of the screen, reading the text while others were seriously dancing. when the cd stopped it was half past twelve and we hurried to bring the equipment back to the university and then i went home as fast as possible.

actually it was fun. the best moment was, however, at the beginning of the evening when i wished for a split second that the pc and beamer were a bass and a drum set. for a short moment it was like there was some kind of, well, vibe. like the three of us could create something very beautiful and very good and very ambitious and very, very "significant", if only we would free ourselves from the limitations of the university system, if only we would (and of course i'm talking almost exclusively about me now) GO for it, TRY it, DO it without constantly being held back by considerations with what to pay the rent. so, yes! i WAS dreaming a little that night.

there was a slight let down when i was back home. thomas had promised to find a woman for me that night - an undertaking which he then did not pursue. thank god, considering the weird people there! so when i was back home in my new apartment that isn't really my home yet i had something like a slight post performance depression. in any case it was a night that i will never forget. if only because the image of thomas standing at the kicker, wearing a nerve bible t-shirt has been burned into my mind forever ;o)

so what else is there to report? it was a busy day, and the next couple of days will be, too. on thursday thomas is flying to the states for five weeks. i'll drive to bielefeld on friday. friday night is rehearsal, sunday morning is my mother's birthday. still have to find out what i'll be doing on saturday. maybe cedric has some free time on his hands. or maybe i will just walk through the city center with my head held high, trying to look cool and sexy, secretly hoping to meet you and make you fall in love with me again. fat chance!

but enough for tonight. i better sign off now before it'll get all pathetic again. because you know, it all comes down to you, well you know that it does! but not anymore. not anymore.

[july 30, 2003 - today i am estra-gone, tomorrow i am me, TOMORROW I AM ME]
got a sad mail in my inbox that suzanne sent to the tow. she's currently alone in belgium after the band has already left to the states and glynn had suffered a heart attack and is at a belgium hospital. reading her post brought me really down.
I canít tell you how weird it felt to be suddenly completely alone. With a whole cake and whole bottle of champagne to myself, and no one to share it with. Going from being on small bus with a bunch of guys around all the time, to this unexpected solitary opulence was shocking to my system. In spite of writing about solitude all the time, I am almost never actually alone. The room was done up in a beautiful yellow and cream color, it was cool and calm, and yet this thing had happened.

For a minute I felt like crying again, when the concierge had said, "We were expecting you and Mr. Wood yesterday. Did something happen?" "Yes, Mr. Wood has had a heart attack." It sounded so violent to say the words. "He is resting now."

thomas left for the states today. i spent all morning correcting hollow earth articles so that he can read them on the 12 hours flight. right now the students are coming by one by one to collect their exam essays. i still have to sit here for another hour, then it's back home and tonight i may be metting with nicole and two of her friends. i'm terribly tired again. don't know where this is coming from but the last couple of days i really suffered from the feeling of being burned out and tired.
[later]
22:47. thomas left as if he would return tomorrow. "tschö, tschö!" he shouted into the room while standing in the doorway of our office, his backpack hanging over the shoulder and the headphones of his walk man already plugged into his ears. he'll be gone for five weeks now. five weeks that will be over much faster than i'd like them to be over because he said that when he's back he expects me to have finished one chapter (or, for that matter: chapter one) of the dissertation. he came into the office this morning, gave me a photo and said: "you see! this should be something to really get you going! if you don't write your dissertation soon you will end like this guy..." and the photo showed someone who has been working at the university that thomas was at before he came to cologne - and for a moment i wasn't really sure whether it wouldn't be better to end with a guitar and a microphone instead of aiming at an impossible career at the university.

actually i wanted to meet nicole and two friends of hers tonight, but i wasn't in the mood. also i'm always feeling sort of strange when i'm meeting her and her friends because it is like i suddenly was a woman, too. i know this doesn't make sense. but being the only man in a group of four or five women who are discussing shoes, cellulite and "sex & the city" somehow feels wrong. oh well, i don't now...

23:06. soft light from six candles, warm night, french window is open, low, sad music, i've even cleaned the windows today, everything is waiting for you, everything is ready for you, even the pictures on the wall, even the flowers on the windowsill.

[july 31, 2003 - mark the month and all its memories...]
it's thursday afternoon. listened all day to suzanne's "anniversary". tonight blaine and nicole will come by. tomorrow it's rehearsal in bielefeld and then i'm spending the night at tara&cedric's place in herford and sunday morning it's my mother's birthday. i'll have to come up with a topic for that first chapter that thomas' wants me to write. haven't played guitar for quite some time. haven't written a song in a while as well. today a student from our poetry seminar came into the office with a cake for me. i wish they would bring me money.
{later]
he he. it's 0:53 and i've just returned. blasine left at half past eight to fetch his new boyfriend (da da da!!) from the station. so nicole and i wenmt out to a bar called "die küche" - the kitchen. and there was workinga very attractive waitress who kept knocking the chairs over each time she passed our tables and was smiling at mne so nicole took the initiative and coached me how to behave: "you've got to smile at her now!", "next timne she passes our table ask me about my boyfriend, ask me about my boyfriend! but loudly!" - so it was quite a lot of fun. from the kitrchen we went to another bar, but the dj was nils bokelberg, former "viva" presenter and simply unausstehlich, so we left after a beer and returned to the kitchen and nicole continued councelling me and in the end the waitress winked at me when we left. "you've got to return on yourt own sunday night!" nicole said when we were standing outside" and now we have to say goodbye without touching. you keep standinbg there and i keep stanbding over here so she can see from inside that we're not a couple!"

so i'm home fomr this little adventure now (and calling this night an adventure should tell you SOMEthing about my life!). i'm drunk, i really wonder that i have made it with my bike up the venloer strasse! tomorrow's another months. last year july ended with the words "but - hell! - i've got nothing to lose!! !" - and it'sstill the same. write me.