[august 1, 2003 - "one, two, three, four" (suzanne counting herself in on "anniversary". it's a great sample for a new 200 lurkers song (whatever it will be) to mix in front of each chorus!)]the weather is beautiful. bright sun and blue sky. i've packed my bag and i'm off to spend two days back in bielefeld. so no new entries until sunday night. another set of answers (well, sort of) to the questionnaire arrived in my mailbox this morning...
[august 3, 2003 - and she feeds you tea and oranges...]jesus! it must be 36°. i'm on the train back home (to cologne). with me: 500 drunken soccer fans. it was quite a nice weekend. arrived friday night. we had rehearsal, then i went to tara & cedric's place. spent the whole saturday with them and then today i went to my mother's birthday party. i surprised myself a little bit - you know, usually you're confronted with all kinds of annoying questions from relatives such as: "what is studying literature good for?", "when will you get a REAL job?", "when will you have made your phd?" and really: when i arrived my cousin - whom i haven't see for quite some time because she's living in switzerland - was there and she asked me before i had even sat down: "so, philipp, was machen wir denn so? studieren wir noch ein bisschen?" and i put down my sunglasses and looked straight into her eyes and said with the most charming voice: "also, was DU machst, weiss ich nicht. aber ich mache gerade einen promotionsstudiengang."
seeing tara again was great. they were redecorating their terrace and we bought a small orange tree and with the glistening sunlight this weekend and the freshly painted garden walls, their garden looked very italian. nicole called friday night. i called her on saturday and she said i should call her today, which i did and she said i should tell her if i'm still going out for a beer tonight. if we had sex we'd have a relationship. i don't quite get it. [shrugging shoulders] but maybe i don't have to understand it. women! maybe blaine can explain...
it was frightening to see how old my mother's sisters have become. with the old age their faces seem to lose their individual features and they start looking alike. when they were standing together it looked like the spectral analysis of my late grandmother's face. i don't want to get old. i still have to make up for all my lost years of youth!
the train is cutting through sun filled, sleepy sundayevening villages. hardly a car on the street. the guy next to me [who is wearing a safari outfit as if he was about to ask every other passenger: mr. livingston, i suppose?] is reading coupland. girlfriend in a coma. made me remember that evening in late november when the two of us were driving to visit cedric and we were singing along to the smiths on the car stereo. it was two weeks before you told me... anyway. across the aisle: donald sutherland. well, not everybody can look like keanu reeves!
bad, bad dreams this morning: dreamt about her mother and she was there as well. suzanne's voice is soothing and familiar. have been listening to "anniversary" quite a lot the past couple of days. when nicole and blaine came to visit me on thursday night i showed them a couple of photographs of me. and among them were also two or three of somebody that i forgot to throw away. and nicole said: "jesus! she looks old, and she has such a grim and careworn look! from what you've told me i thought that she must have been stunningly beautiful!" "she WAS!" i said without conviction.
"clear the way for all your possibilities. cause they live upon each corner, live on every street..." the moon is shining in a sky that is still blue and light, hanging above dusty fields.
[later]sitting in "the kitchen", waiting for nicole. and just when i reread this sentence i was reading "...waiting for a miracle" which is probably true as well. and just now eckhard schumacher [celebrated young german academic] and thomas meinecke [celebrated young german author] have come in, didn't see me because i'm sitting crouched in a corner. and there is nicole...
[august 4, 2003 - es schlägt für sich, für dich und mich, jede sekunde...]what a rotten day! it's too hot to move. wasn't at the office today. i have to be there tomorrow (office hours) and on wednesday because then i will meet with a student who will be a tutor for my next seminar. i will have a tutor! strange. it doesn't seem too long a go that i was working as a tutor myself for thomas.
nicole called this afternoon. and we were talking a little bit about the journal. and she said: " i don't see how you write your innermost feelings just like that!" (she isn't reading it though). and i tried to explain to her that the journal isn't about being honest or writing about what i'm REALY feeling and thinking or what REALLY happened.
in other news: the feedback form seems to gain popularity! how nice! received another set of answers this morning :o) !
[two bottles of beer later that didn't really bring any relief to (or of??) the heat. but luckily i just found the picolo bottle of champagne that blaine brought the other week...]and IF women DO like me, then why don't they tell me? i don't get it? why do you always have to guess the feelings of people? which always already includes the chance of misinterpretation. and i'm scared of misinterpretation. i'm scared of crossing personal borders that people don't want me to cross. i'm scared of getting too close to people. how am i supposed to know whether they want me to get close? of course this has to do with power relationships. it has to do with gender. it has to do with the stories that somebody told me of being harassed by men, of being touched by men, of being followed by men, of being scared of men. when she told me about these scenes [almost in tears] i was ashamed of being a man, of being male, and i swore to myself that i would never behave in a way that could make any woman feel uncomfortable. which has lead to distance, i suppose. i'm changing the side of the street at night when i see a woman approaching me, i'm sitting at the opposite end of the train coach at night, i hardly dare to look at someone in a public place, a restaurant or a bar because i fear it could make her feel being molested. gender politics gone astray. that's why i envy blaine. it must be so much easier for a man to get to know a man because there isn't the constant question of power that you're confronted with.
ah yes, blaine! my little hasi! he has become a nuisance since he's together with his new friend. it's gruesome! he's totally absorbed in his new relationship. great timing! just when i have moved to cologne he doesn't have ANY time anymore. he's only on tour with his friend or is out of town visiting him and in the next two months i think he will be only one week in cologne, the other time he's on holiday with him or at some conferences. recently he has complained to me that i would be acting a little childish because i would expect people to approach me but that i would never ask them to spend some time with me. which isn't true, of course! and that i would be bitchy and snappy if people don't - sort of intuitively - would guess what was wrong. BITCHY?? MOI!!??
anyway, seems that we won't be seeing each other as much as we have in the last year when i was still living in bielefeld. hm, i don't really have bock to ask someone if he has time when i already know the answer or feel like the dritte rad am wagen or i don't know! i guess i'm just unfair because i'm pissed because HE has found someone although he hasn't even been looking for him. and me - searching desperately for two years - am still alone and to be quite honest: doesn't look like thing would be changing in the near future. but i shouldn't complain. complain? MOI??!!
okay, the champage is starting to wirken. so i better sign off now. sleep well!
[august 5, 2003 - they live on every corner, live on every street...]actually it's already august 6. i've just returned from sitting in the park with nicole and some of her friends. when i came from the university at six, nicole and i had dinner (she cooked for me :o)) and then we went to the gathering in the grass. which was nice because the air was much cooler in the park and the sky was starlit and there was a woman who - in the light of the candles - looked so much like somebody i once knew. and it didn't even hurt.
and yet it feels like something is going the wrong way. i don't know, i seem to have the tendency to alienate people after they have gotten to know me a little better. asked a certain person whether she would like to come over and have a beer in my new apartment and she wrote "ask me next year"... i have made some serious mistakes and i didn't even notice and i hate myself for being such a pinhead and hurting people so much that they won't even see me any more. also there is some strange tension between blaine and me. sometimes more and sometimes less. we're both sort of bitchy and snappy and the most scary part for me is that i seem to have lost control over the situation. as soon as i think that i'm in control of my life things just seem to glie away ever so gently and the next thing i know is that i'm standing in front of a big pile of broken glass. sometimes i think i should do a couple of courses in social behavior, i really need it.
in other news: received another form today.
[august 7, 2003 - kann gut sein, dass ich mich täusche - so ist das jedenfalls bei mir...]listening to l'etat et moi. what a great record! haven't listened to it for two years! it's thursday, 10:37. sun is shining on the balcony and the sky is hard and blue and glossy. here's to give you an idea how much i have turned into nicole's best girlfriend: we were sitting in her kitchen on tuesday night and we were just about to go to the park and meet with her friends when she looked at herself and said. "hm, maybe i shouldn't wear a skirt. if it will get colder tonight it might be better to wear trousers and not a skirt. whatdoyathink? you're wearing trousers, don't you?" and it wasn't meant as a joke... jenseits von jedem | word's don't come easy | mein gott ich brauch sie denn sie schneiden in mich rein
yesterday night there was a staff soccer match at the university. i didn't participate (1. because i can't play soccer, 2. because i hate to play soccer and 3. i helped nicole carrying a new fridge into her apartment on the fourth floor). but blaine and a number of other colleagues played - they lost, though. but it was fun to watch and to shout at them. so i arrived when they had their last match and after that we all went to have a beer. a certain person was there as well. i had been talking later that day with blaine about the situation and he said: "yes, i've also talked about this with s. [her sister] and we agreed that it's also difficult for us..." and i was wondering what that meant? is it "we can either invite her or philipp" now? how stupid is this? and all for nothing. i mean if i/we had at least DONE something that was worth all this. but it seems to be such an inappropriate reaction to a couple of mails (which were still very reserved and taken back in comparison to those letters that somebody and i used to write each other) and some online journal entries. sigh. it's a little bit like in minority report: i feel like being punished for a crime that i didn't even have the chance to commit yet. anyway, this certain person was there as well and we avoided looking at each other (at least i did, so i couldn't really see whether she did, too...)
mag sein die tage sind gezählt, die augenblicke sind es nicht für alle zeiten. keine geschichte zum erzählen, sage ich, und auch nicht zum stücke schreiben. und du schaust in mein gesicht - bei mir statt ausblick ein gedächtnis - und sagst zu mir: das wird sich zeigen...
i'm sick, my throat hurts and i'm feeling dizzy and i keep coughing. maybe summer flu. tonight is a barbecue that the students from our seminar have organized. blaine isn't in cologne anymore (he's visiting his sweetheart in konstanz) so i'm not sure whether i should go there on my own. maybe i'll ask nicole to join me... actually i should be writing on that article/chapter of my diss but i have been thinking all week about a topic or a theoretical angle but i can't really come up with anything convincing. it's so hot. i can't really concentrate and while i'm writing this i realize what a lame excuse it is...
[2:35 in the morning]i've just returned. there was a short moment in the pub when i looked at nicole and she was hunting for something in her bag and while the red light was shining on her perfect hair and her eyes were flickering and her lips were opening and closing gently while she was muttering something to herself i felt the strong desire to kiss her. long and gratefully. very strange.
[august 8, 2003 - für was mir fehlt schreib ich ein lied...]okay, sometimes jochend IS still coming up with one good line or the other. it's still hot. i guess i'll take my things and sit in the park because the air is thick as bricks in the apartment. the fucking mail server is down again. i can't send or receive mails. thought about writing a cohen-article for gender forum. which means that it has to relate to either "body" or "the posthuman" which will be the topics of the two future issues. i could do something about "inhuman sexuality" in beautiful losers. or i could try to come up with something on body/buddy and analyze the male bonding in beautiful losers and favorite game. sigh.
[later, 2:15]i'm just back from a pup crawl with nicole and some of her friends. it was sort of a failure: it was too hot inside the bars and you weren't allowed to take the drinks outside. so people were standing on the pavement in small groups, discussing what to do and where to go. we went to four bars and in each we had to leave after ten minutes because you could simply get no air. it was still about 28° outside and inside it was much hotter. and no air conditioning. got that line from a belle & sebastian song stuck in my head: "and will this be the time when somebody will come and say: look at yourself, you're not much use to anyone..." thought - when i was riding home on my bike - that this has been a very successful night again. at some point in the middle of the night nicole leaned over to me and whispered in my ear: "hey, philipp! you're here with six women. what else do you want?" and i asked myself: yes, what else do i want? what is it? and the very simple answer is: i want to fall in love with someone. i want to love someone. sure, i was sitting there with six attractive, smart, young women - but there was something missing. a spark. a recognition. the infinite space that had always been unfolded behind your eyes. hm, guess it's too late and i'm too drunk to be sensible. the windows are open. no wind. no cool air. it will get even hotter tomorrow. i think the heat is driving me crazy. there's no chance to hide from it. it's just everywhere. i wish it would rain!
[august 9, 2003 - places you should be afraid / into the river we will wade...]sitting in the park. there's at least some wind here. unfortunately also countless nuclei families: mothers [type: alternative, left-wing lawyer who is taking a time out from her job to raise the kid but can't help showing up at the office every other day], father [type: successful advertisment executive who is only producing spots for politically correct products or amnesty international], one year old baby. i'm still sort of sick. well, not sort off. i'm coughing and blowing my nose every other minutes. feels so stupid to have the flu when it's 39° and sunny.
suzanne has added a number of updates to the tour diary recently. you can read them here.
the hot wind is shaking the tree tops and dry brown leaves are spiraling down to the ground, onto my blanket, into my hair and into yours as you are lying next to me on your belly, reading a magazine - cosmopolitan or vogue. above us in the tree a small bird is sitting on the lowest branch, singing softly in regular intervals, si(n)gnalling his partner on the ground hunting for something to eat that there is no need to worry. you're looking up from the glossy pages about the latest fall fashion trends - kind of bored because you're not really interested in either fashion nor fall anyway - and watch the birds for a while. then you're tugging gently at the sleeves of my t-shirt, point up into the tree and say in a low voice: "look, that bird up there is keeping watch over his little friend who's over there on the ground and he's singing so beautifully just to let her know that everything is all right..." and while you're saying this you're brushing your hair behind your ear and you're not looking at me because you know that i listen and you know that i'm next to you and then i say: "yes, and i wish i knew the song so i could sing it for you" and then the cheeziness of this scene makes my little daydream pop like a soap bubble and leaves me among mother-father-child happiness and falling leaves.
[later]it's 23:49. kept sleeping all day long. i'm sweating like hell. the hot air in my apartment won't move. in addition the slight fever. bought some beer. i'm halfway drunk now which won't make me feel better but at least i won't remember it tomorrow morning. nicole called. i also bought some chocolate. my nose is sore and red and i can hardly get any air. the french window is open. no chance to get any cool air. it's like in a dream. i can just hope that the temperature will sink soon. i can't do anything. tried to read today but it was no use. i managed three paragraphs.
[august 10, 2003 - you were so distant that i missed you!]feeling better. there's more wind today. got all doors and windows open, even the door to the corridor. maybe i'm going to the movies with nicole tonight. depends on how much i'm still coughing.
[later]not much to report. no movie tonight with nicole because she still has to work: admirable self-discipline! i'm slowly getting better, hope that i will be okay again by tomorrow or tuesday. hm, recently i have this insatiable craving for sweets! it's a little spooky! i'm trying to fight it by drinking lots of water - but it looks like i will go to the cornershop in a minute and get me some chocolate. another defeat in the long line of little fights and big battles that is called life :o)
short fits of panic today when i thought about work. i'm a fucking pinhead. don't know anything to write. got a title for this thing that i have to write. "this isn't homosexuality at all" - bodies, buddies and male bonding in cohen's novels. however i have no idea how to apply deleuzian theory (of which i don't know a thing at all in the first place) onto it. HIHEHIHEHIHE (<= mad, apocalyptic laugh) i haven't got a single clue what i am doing!!!
what you see is what you get, what you see is what you never will, and never can forget. and you can't resist the notion that tv equals poetry, poetry in motion.
[august 11, 2003 - it's so cold in alaska]8:09. just woke up. bad, bad, bad dreams. surreal scenery, we were climbing on the roof of houses that were empty, like bats, there was a marathon and she met me and i hid my face and she told me that she must meet me, that she had to see me she begged me to meet her. woke up frightened and scared. "in berlin by the wall you were five foot ten inches tall it was very nice candlelight and dubonnet on ice. we were in a small cafe you could hear the guitars play it was very nice oh, honey, it was paradise". things are wrong. "i go missing in my own life" and i'm pressing my eyes shut, hanging on to the blanket as if the bright and lifelike pictures of her were woven into the fabric, as if i could make them return, as if it was as easy as staring at my picture book and i said oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, what a feeling!
[later]found a great way to feel better about the work i did NOT do today. first of all i went to the office today. when i arrived, the sweat was running down my back in streams. then i opened the office door and a fierce, violent animal jumped into my face, urgently trying to escape in panic from being caught in a dark cage: the heat of the last days swarmed over me and made little beads of sweat bloom all over my body like bullets or salty pearls. so i threw the windows open and tried to make it leave the room but it flew against the windowpanes again and again, a buzzing blind fly, a mad raging bird. and just when i had managed to tame it a little bit there was a knock on the door and a young student was standing in the doorway: "excuse me, i'm looking for mr. hoffmann" she asked me. "look no further" i said "that's me..." and she stretched out her arm and gave me her exam essay which was marked with a big, red "failed" and said: "can you please explain this to me..." unfortunately it was not an essay that i had corrected. well, i had cross-read it but the actual correction was done by my colleague. also i had read 40 essays that weekend and so i couldn't really remember anything about this particular one. so i stuttered away for ten minutes, trying to explain to her why she failed from the remarks that my colleague made on the margins of her essay... phew! that lead to even more sweat... so then i tried to find a couple of articles that deal with the representation of sexuality in cohen's novels, copied them and prepared myself to leave again. before, i had dinner with nicole and kristina and kristina's brother and a couple of his friends. which was sort of surreal. the first odd thing was that i found myself actually having a full, hot meal when it's 35° outside (and rising) and the only thing my body needs is water! the second odd thing were those guys. they reminded me of ellis's less than zero: blond and tan. they were all huge, at least 1,85m and big: broad shoulders, strong arms, wearing muscle shirts and their sole topic of conversation was gyms "and when they smiled they had these white teeth that looked like luxurious hotels on the florida coast line " (that's anderson, not ellis!). i felt like a dwarf among them (and i'm not small, i'm 1,89). i felt like being catapulted into an advertisement for surf boards on mtv. very weird! when nicole and i walked back to the university she looked up to me and said something which filled me with an infinite sense of relief: "hey, philipp!" she said "what the HELL was that!? they looked like they were CLONED!" and they did! so this afternoon i tried out my newly developed method of coping with frustration (about my work ethics and my physical appearance) which i have christened: compensation by consumption. or in short: i went shopping. big time! i didn't have the money, but the repression of superfluous financial details (such as the actual amount of money on my bank account) is the first step that you have to take! so i bought a new watch, new sun glasses and a new bag. the sunglasses were 55 euros. when i was standing in front of the shop, putting them on, the little devil of reason poked its lance into my butt and shouted into my ear: "are you nuts, bucko? NO sunglasses are worth 55 euros!" and of course he was right. but they're from "fossil" (which means that i have paid at least 30 euros for the brand name) and cedric had told me that i should look out for fossil watches because they were "so retro" and that this would fit my new style so much! so it's all his fault, really! the watch was 59 euros. but then it's really worth it! i checked out the ones by fossil but didn't really found what i was looking for when my eyes fell on a beautiful one that is quite "retro". and also 59 euros for a watch is a pretty reasonable price. when i was standing in front of the shop, checking the time, the little devil of reason poked its lance into my butt again and shouted into my other ear: "hey peabrain! you've only bought it because somebody always loved this style of watch!" and of course he was right. so just to make sure that my first self-attempt of "compensation by consumption" would be the overwhelming success that the theoretical studies had predicted i also bought a new bag. you know, the first time i came to cologne in 2000 the first thing i noticed where those bags that everybody was wearing: with just one strap, hanging down at the side. in bielefeld everybody was wearing backpacks. and suddenly i felt so UNcool. so since that day i'm playing with the thought of getting such a hip bag, which - of course - isn't very hip by now. so i looked at my old, black fake leather backpack that had "fashion victim" printed all over and went into the nearest shop with my new watch and my new sunglasses on to look for a new bag. which i found and bought. 29 euros. i was talking to thomas about these bags the other months and he said: "bah! die sind doch SO affig. die würde ich mir nie kaufen! affig! selbst wenn ich ein affe wäre, wären die mir zu affig!" ("they're ludicrous! even if i were a lunatic i'd thought they'd be too ludicrous!"). anyway: i'm a proud owner of such a bag now. in black, naturally!
paula wrote. she sounded very sad. but she sent a short piece of writing ("i know it stinks" she commented on it...) and the last verse goes:
i wish i could be with her. i wish she could be with me. maybe i am and maybe she is. i don't know. listening to björk's "debut". forgotten songs. "Jump off. You're building's on fire. I'll catch you. I'll catch you. Destroy all that is keeping you back. and then I'll nurse you. I'll nurse you." yesterday night on some obscure cable program they were showing a lou reed documentary. you know, the one where all the famous people are commenting on the new york music scene of the 60s and 70s: david byrne, bob ludwig, philip glass, patti smith, david bowie and also suzanne. i knew that she was a part of the documentary as well because i had seen it two times before. and three seconds after she came on my phone rang and it was nicole and she said: "your star's on tv!". she was watching the program as well. so i told her that she MUST keep it till the end because there are those scenes when everybody who was interviewed is shown for about ten seconds while the credits are rolling. and suzanne's so CUTE because she has to laugh but she doesn't dare to open her mouth (she has an adorable, little gap in her front teeth) so she's pursing her lips and her face looks as if she'd just bitten into a lemon.They're very far away now,
those people we walked with,
and the past is tactful, reminding us
of the lions these people could be,
forgetting that they, like us, could be
shivering and lonely, but with our faces everupward.
[later]just saw the video of mogwai's "hunted by a freak": it's a computer animation of a man who is throwing pets (little dogs, cats, turtles...) from the roof of a skyscraper and they're falling all the way through the song, turning in the air, hugging each other, moving their little legs and arms in what seems to be fun at first but what turns out to be a panic and then at the end of the song they're crashing onto the pavement. i can't get used to falling.
[august 12, 2003 - i go through all this before you wake up so i can be happier to be safe again with you safe again safe again safe again safe again safe again safe again safe again safe again]what a night. at half past ten i decided that it would be a good idea to get the md player and just go for a walk. so i quickly compiled a md with tracks that i knew would get me going. and then i stepped out of the door and walked down the entire venloer street and beyond, until i was standing in front of the cathedral, turned around and walked all the way back home. after the first five minutes i was bathed in sweat. the streets were still crowded: streets cafes full of people, bars with their doors wide open, half of the customers sitting on the pavement, and then, when the trees vanished to the left and to the right and the high houses made way for the night sky i saw the moon hanging above the street: red and round and big. the most beautiful image you could imagine. i kept on walking towards it, it was the original hyperballad feeling, after ten minutes i did not really mind the traffic light anymore i just walked on and then i felt how my skin came apart, it crumbled into a thousand tiny parts which all started to lead a life of their own, it turned into a blanket of ants, sparkling and i imagined what my body would sound like slamming against those rocks and when it lands will my eyes be closed or open??????????????????????????? and it was like my body was not my body anymore it turned into a sound, it turned into a color, it turned into a memory, it turned into a desire, a direction, a stinging, a motion, a line. i go through all this before you wake up so i can feel happier to be safe again with you.
this afternoon reiner called: the nerve bible will have another gig in september! on the 26th we'll play in borgholzhausen!! and on sunday i will meet with the guy from that small label who is interested in 200 lurkers. wish i could report any positive news from the job front. when i was walking down the corridor in the university today a certain person was just unlocking her office door and i passed her and said "hello!" and she said "hello!" and it didn't feel right. i don't know. almost midnight. in alle himmelsrichtungen denk ich mich dauernd zu dir hin.
[august 13, 2003 - where did you park the car? where did you park the car?]oh boy! it's 17:30 and i just woke up from three hours of sleep. scary! i was listening to radiohead's amnesiac and during "knives out" i'd let myself fall onto the sofa (which is also my bed) and i must have fallen asleep instantly. for three hours. in the middle of the day! and every single minute was filled to the brim with surreal, loud and bright dreams! when i woke up i felt tired and my limbs were aching, as if i had done some sports. it took me 10 minutes just to figure out who i was, where i was and where you had parked the car. "it's just that there's so much to do and i'm tired of sleeping..."
this morning i went to the city hall to get myself registered in cologne. "piece of cake" thought i. i returned home with a handful of forms that i need to get filled out and then return! i need a form to cancel my registration in bielefeld and for this i need another form from my former tenant that says that i have actually moved out of my old flat. then i need a form for my registration in cologne and for this i need another form from my new tenant that confirms that i have actually moved into my new flat. so i have been sitting at the telephone all morning trying to contact my new tenant, my old tenant and the bielefeld city authorities. needles to say that none of them answered the phone. and in addition i realized that i should have registered a week ago already and that i will have to pay fines for my belated cancellation in bielefeld and my belated registration in cologne. congratulations, dumbo!
also - but this just as an aside - : empirical analysis seems to suggest that the city of sydney has gained widespread popularity as a place of vacation recently. or in other words: received a set of answers today :o).
[later]went on another walk this night. unfortunately after half an hour i was completely lost and it took me quite some time to find my way back home. rewarded myself with two beers. btw: here's the tracklist of the md:
[august 14, 2003 - so i can feel happier to be safe again with you]it's 1:50 in the morning. i've just returned from seeing a movie with nicole and a couple of her friends. it was an open air venue on top of the museum ludwig, which is next to the cathedral. it has a big terrace on the fifth floor and you have a beautiful view over the city and under your feet there's this huge collection of modern art and in your back the two gigantic towers of cologne cathedral are growing into the sky, every single delicate detail in their stone facade being highlighted by spotlights, and above you a great sky filled to the brim with stars. the movie was a grotesque brazilian film from the late 60s: helge schneider meets monty python.
afterwards we went to a bar with katharina and simone, but we only had a coffee and then left pretty early. nicole and i walked home discussing the pros and cons of having children. nicole was all for it, i was all against it. and at one silent and empty crossing near her house she stopped, turned around and stared down the long line of old buildings that formed a canyon of stained glass windows, arabesque doorways and fin de siecle facades and she said: "i love this view" and where the road ran into darkness, the moon was hanging in a black sky. but it wasn't beautiful or sublime; it was cool and cruel and far away. and suddenly i felt very lonely, as if all the words i had ever said and all the words i would still say could not be able to ever get through to someone. it was a short, cold and intense moment in which i realized that the isolation and loneliness was part of the scenery, part of the topology, part of the composition of houses, cobble stones, nicole and night sky. it was among them. it was between them. it was what held it all together. it was what separated me from it all. and suddenly my body seemed to be too heavy for my legs and i only wanted to sit down on the pavement, pull my knees up tightly to my chest, and make myself as small and round as possible.
since the movie had ended i had this strange feeling in my belly as if something terrible had happened. as if something in another part of the world did go terribly wrong. it was a mixture of being afraid and being worried and being sick. very weird. as if someone was calling out for me. as if some basic law had been broken. something was wrong. i only wanted to hurry home and check my mails and the answering machine. there aren't any news, though. i hope you are all okay. need to sleep now. goodnight. virtual hugs. i'm missing you.
[august 15, 2003 - i'm losing my favorite game, you're losing your mind again...]the defiant guitar rif of the cardigans' "favorite game" is sounding through the headphones. it's friday night/saturday morning, 3:14. i'm not really drunk, anymore? yet? i'm just back from sahand's farewell party. he is flying back to new york tomorrow after having spent almost a year as an exchange student in cologne. he has helped us quite a lot with the translation and corrections of the hollow earth articles and besides he's just a fine, fine guy. it was sad to see him leave. nicole and i were the last and when we left the bar we were standing in the debris and scattered beer bottles of a friday night and sahand took a picture of the three of us and for some reason i wish i had it now. went home sad. i know there's no point in complaining. feeling like a loser. the whole day has been kind of frustrating. my new microwave oven is not working. and i bought it in bielefeld so i can't simply take it back to the shop. fuck. and then i've been working all day on the hollow earth articles corrections instead of on my own stuff. which - on the other hand - is also good because i managed to get some work done, which wouldn't have been the case if i had just tried to do my stuff. "my stuff". ridiculous. as if i knew what this were. nicole showed me a new yogurt flavor today: cheesecake. for some reason this kind of depressed me, too.i don't want anybody else but you. my skin is smelling of smoke. honey can't you see? it's like being invisibel. maybe that's why i wish that i had the photo sahand took: to have a proof that i'm actually there. to have something that lasts. jesus! i start interpreting my own writing. i'm thinking too much about you. there's a line in a text by zürn that goes something like: "das war doch alles was ich wollte - ein gegenüber." there's no better way to say it. i need a miracle. soon.
[august 16, 2003 - i have waited for you / to smear your shit on the walls of this temple / kick down the wall / crack the stain glass window]today: saturday. went shopping for food this noon. walked down the avenue which is composed of a hundred small shops: flower shops, bakeries, mobile phone shops, book stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, fast food restaurants, cafes, and there was also a shop where you can buy cameras and photo-films and make passport portraits. and in their shop window they have this huge sign: "we make portraits of your pets" and next to it larger than life sized glossy photographs of cats, hamsters and turtles. that's what i love about mankind.
and on my way back i went into a women's book store called "rhiannon" - which i thought was a good sign that i might find a copy of that unica zürn book. so i was searching the shelves when i suddenly was standing in front of somebody's book which was on display, the cover laughed at me and her name seemed unfamiliar at first and instead of turning around and leaving i stretched out my hand and took it and opened it and enjoyed the fresh smell of the unopened pages and the little crackling sound the spine made when i thumbed through the pages and i felt some weird, inappropriate notion of pride.
i still have trouble singing. my throat is sore from the flu and i can't hold a tone. listened to a lot of cardigans lately. hm, publish in print. wonder whether this was a serious remark. hell, you know how to get me... tomorrow morning at ten i'm going to meet the guy from the small record label. i don't have any expectations, really - i'm just in it for the fun. and tomorrow night i'm going out with sirka, the sister of that certain person who does not want to see me anymore. right now in the stereo: cheralee dillon. "precious how you shiver / frozen like alaska / have you ever seen an iceberg going under?"
think i will have to make serious decisions concerning "the nerve bible". :o( i don't have the student's ticket for bielefeld anymore, so driving to rehearsal two times a month is out of question because it's too expensive. sigh. i don't know. my favorite dillon song starts: "tropical island": a quiet song, although it has lots of distorted acoustic guitars, and a sublime accordeon and an awesome chorus with great backing vocals.
guess who'll be signing a record deal? i'll give you a clue: it's me. got up at eight to meet thomas from the small label "music for life" at ten. he came with the train from hanau. whenever i have met somebody from a label the conversation went sort of: "hey, we like your songs. we would be happy to make a cd with you! what about it? al in all it will just cost you 1000 euros..." today the conversation went a different direction: he wants to produce "the space & the sea" including studio, mixing, mastering and layout without any costs for me. okay, i will only get 50% of the profits after the costs are covered but since i don't expect to make any money at all with the songs that's okay with me! he is going to ask the studio if they can use the tracks that i have already recorded, so i wouldn't have to record all ten or eleven songs that will be on the cd all over again. "you know" he said "i don't really like jewel cases. the company i'm working with has pretty good offers for other formats, such as digi-packs" - my heart stood still! - "and i think that we should also include your lyrics and translations of it!"[august 17, 2003 - everything in sunlight. from here you seem hard to make out.]i've never sunk quite this low before
i'm way past your submarines
almost reached china
where are you china?
give me more line
give me more line!!
i've got to find
a tropical island
i've never soard quite this high before
i'm way past your rocket ships
almost reached jupiter
where are you jupiter?
give me more line
give me more line!!
i've got to find
give me more line
give me more line
give me more line
so all in all it was really better than i had expected: seems like i can make a proper, professionally mastered and designed cd out of "the space & the sea" without having to pay anything for it. "of course it would be good if you played live after the cd will have been released..." thomas said. the negative side: i will have to give up the rights (not the copyrights, though) for as long as the contract is running. and i won't be able to give any cds away for free anymore. jesus! the thoughts are already rotating inside my head! i wish i had more time (thomas said that the cd could be ready by the end of october) so that i can find someone who can play keyboard and handle the technical side and rearrange the songs and write new ones and make it all better sigh sigh sigh i need two lives, i definitely need two lives!
nicole sent me an message while thomas and i were meeting asking me how it went so i called her afterwards immediately and she said: we have to celebrate this!! so we went to the cafe around the corner and ordered a big breakfast and i tried to make up my mind whether i should just be unconditionally happy or worried about how to improve the songs. haven't decided yet...
[later]it's 22:39. i'm waiting for sirka who will come by every second and we'll go out and have a beer. strange day. my best unbeaten brother, this isn't all i see...
[later]3:23 in the morning. sirka just left. things are much clearer now. she said a couple of things that explained quite a lot. need to sleep now. tomorrow is another working day and blaine will be back from konstanz.
[august 18, 2003]mood-o-meter: 0.6
[later]nicole h´just left. it's 0:32. we ordered pizza, watched tv and had eight beers. i'm pretty pissed now. it was good that she came over because it had been a fucking bvad night. cried my eyes out for whatever reasons and was just henerally in no shape to be burried. listened to "i see a drakness" all fucking day long. now i'm dizzy. nicole said that she had read the whole july and august today. "i have to tell you this" she said "because otherwise i feel like spying on you..." guess i'm going to re-read the entries of the last two months now and try to come up with some convincing excuses...life sucks.
[20 minutes later]"and you know i ahve a drive for life i won't let go." everything came crushing onto me tonight. maybe because i had talked about my former life with sirka extensively last night. it all came back and it was terrible. suddenly i felt like having no bonmes anymore, nothing that suppoerted, nothing that gave any shape. i must stop strating to drink when i feel these states beginning. it's not a good tactic to cope with it. nicole is pretty cute when she's drunk. we wrote a mail to thomas which i prevented from being sent off. luckily! i don't know. i can't tell you how much i'm missing you. you lknow, not you but that which you have been in my eyes. i don't know. i just don't know. tzö t3po3 b456 i35 g25to 2tg2rt2o 2t2t 2 252nv 04598vwklr 22vnt 89t923tg p3rt ptg9t8g tug tgivn20458g24oig onkrjoiutg 9grr tghtuoig tgnniwtu25t tht hggih4wighktghwl 2o24itg vitu 39tg3g3og3ottgtgtgutgutgut 3utg wefvnrhuug 3p998v whglh320ß4ß5´34g tgnvjflöwgto98 39tg hgotgh3ghiot ttghklk it3tgthg3gh tg ugitught tgh3povw,fjv89 tgtughöwjg995ot g3otig4og i see a darkness did you how much i loved you? i'm hoping somwhow you knew.
[august 19, 2003 - i get easily confused these days...]hm. sitting in the office. it's 11:50. my mobile phone rang. i picked it up: "hofmann." a female voice said: "are you oliver hofmann?" and i answered. "no. but i wish i was." "sorry, i've got the wrong number then..."
Suzanne Vega's pick of her favourite tracks (source: bbc radio 2: the ken bruce show)she's SO sweet: she didn't mention 200 lurkers on purpose so that our secret love affair might not be threatened. pretty unexciting day at the university today. pinned up a couple of flyers looking for a musician/technician for 200 lurkers. also added a respective paragraph to the intro section of 200lurkers.com. thomas (my boss, not the one from the label) mailed and asked how the article was coming along. gulp. at least i've got a title. read some lovecraft recently. made me smile. now: hollow earthing while listening to the rainbirds tracks i downloaded today: "This is not about the word. There are many words. This is just about- real. When there are many things to one. I don't think i've ever learned this, nobody ever taught me- real. When there is nothing but: now"
Pump It Up Elvis Costello
Hard To Explain The Strokes
Show Me The Pretenders
Living It Up Rickie Lee Jones
Berlin Lou Reed
The Girl From Ipanema Astrud Gilberto
Suzanne Leonard Cohen
Mr Tambourine Man Bob Dylan
Luckie Laura Nyro
"ich bin neu in der hamburger schule..." amusing detail of the day: a right wing populist politician has lost his job today in hamburg. which was really a pleasure to see. he was a greasy, dumb and reactionary piece of shit. well, seems like he'll have to look for a different job now. the music has changed. now it's björk und sie lügt sich gerade eins in die tasche: "you'll be given love. you'll be taken care of. you have to trust it. all is full of love. all around you. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love. all is full of love." let me tell you one thing, björk: it's not getting any truer if you keep repeating it.
[later]twenty to twelve. went walking. when the last chorus of the indigo girl's "fugitive" started there was a cramp that moved up my legs through my stomach and into my fingers and for a moment i thought that i would have to throw up. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
[later]this is getting more and more fragmentary. guess i should better go to bed. audrey hepburn is singing "moon river" - no, she's not really singing it, it's more like a whisper, like she would only tenderly set the air in a gentle motion like the waves of a river themselves. her voice celebrates a becoming river. can it be that this is one of the ten most beautiful songs that's ever been written? i wonder whether she ever thought that in 2003 someone would still be enchated by her voice? there's such a lot of world to see.
[august 20, 2003 - schreib dir ne null auf, smoky]it's 01:06 in the morning. i'm just back. blaine came over tonight and we've been watching the big lebowski. then we went to a bar. it's strange, but somehow it's difficult. hearing blaine talk about his new relationship is...h...difficult because i'm envious. guess i'm a very envious sort of guy. but it's like reports from a world that i would like to be part of as well but am not for some cruel trick of fate. like someone would tell me all night long how great it is to be a professional singer/songwriter and what you experience on the road and in the studio. i don't want to know that there are people in love. that's sick, i know. i don't want to know about beating hearts and butterflies in your tummy and flirting with people. it's like people would talk in a language that i don't understand. i feel closed off. i feel left out. i feel like some kind of weird alien. i don't know. guess i need less beer and more sleep. every day i'm thinking: "it cannot go on like this! this cannot go on even a single day!" but then it does and night comes and nothing has changed and everything is the same although i've tried although i've really tried. it sucks. it just sucks big time. boy, isn't this getting boring for you? always the same complaints, always the same sentences? if i were you i had stopped reading a long time ago.
[august 21, 2003 - it's just around the bend]hm, it's 4:04 pm. sitting in the office. it's a beautiful day. sunny but not too warm. just had a conversation about, well, me - basically. the online journal was heavily citicized again. that i would hide behind a fiction. that i would be fatalistic. am i? i don't think that i am. but then already the other day i had the impression that there must be someone who is looking exactly like me, and he must be some very strange fellow. i don't know. one point in the conversation was that i would always excuse things by saying that writing and reality are not connected, that the online journal doesn't really have anything to do with the "real life", that think that things said and things written have to be dealt with on a different level than things done or acted out. it was said that writing and reality ARE connected. that i can't just say: what do you want, it's just language, it's just writing. is this so? is this so? i don't know? am i the only one who is taking (post)structuralist semiotic theories into his everyday life?
i felt strangely unaffected by the conversation. no, not unaffected, but i just thought, yes, maybe you're right. yes, you're certainly right, and i'm sorry. i was too tired to put up a defense or to try to explain why i have the impression that writing, words and singing and everything else does NOT influence reality. i just felt tired and frustrated and am i really fatalistic? i don't think so. why can't things be easy? why can't i think and do things in a straightforward matter? why am i writing this journal at all? what is the purpose? does there have to be a purpose? would anybody believe me that i'm just doing it for the good feeling of writing a paragraph each day? for the good feeling of arranging words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs? but why doing it online then? why not doing it like any normal person does? would anybody believe me that there is no other way to connect to people? and while saying this don't i contradict myself? is it just my egomanic, narcisistic desire for exhibitionistic self-exposure? but why then this constant emphasis that this is not ME, that this has nothing to do with what i think and what i feel. why don't i just write myself an ideal-i that is handsome and strong then?
i don't know. is it my task to make sense out of myself? at least i should stop hurting people by what i'm doing and also stop complaining about alienating them if i think that i have to be like i am. fatalistic? i tried to explain that i DID have the impression that what i'm doing (not just what i was writing but what i was actually DOING) did not have any effect on "reality", that at least the last eight months of my relationship have given me this impression of being powerless and somehow cut off, of being out of reach to change things. but it was said that this wasn't so, that i have to take the responsibility for what i'm writing and doing.
hm...yes: sometimes i guess i DO seem like a simple minded husband from the countryside, strolling without orientation through some big city streets, being exhumed and reanimated to appear as a comic character in a 1998 coen film, searching for holly (or bunny for that matter) to show her the picture of our farm, convinced that it will make her return, that it will make her change her mind, that it will make her come back. and i guess THIS is my overexposed picture.Subject: waiting round the bend
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 23:55
To: paula kostel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
it's me, philipp. i just felt like talking to somebody tonight. i've been listening to "moon river" all day long. the past weeks have been very strange. i feel like losing all my bones, one by one. they're dissolving, not even breaking, simply crumbling painlessly. there's some darkness closing in from the corners and i don't know where it's originating from. probably from my heart. i'm sad all day long and it's getting worse every night. i'm trying to do a lot with people: going to bars, watching movies, trying to distract myself. but nothing seems to go the right way. there is something working within me, and it won't stop. i cannot describe it. sometimes it takes the shape of a song and the most precise thing i can say about it is that it is exactly like "moon river". it is a craving or a longing and it is not, because both these words are too worn out and used: they are blunt, and the feeling is sharp: it has cutting edges, it is pointy like a needle. i don't know, it is a missing. it is sparked by an absence. i feel like being incomplete. i feel like some parts of me have gone missing along the way. paula, how strange that you can sing a love song to a river. "two drifters off to see the world." i had hoped to find such a kind of recognition in a person. "we're after the same rainbow's end." is it easier to find this in a river, in a song, in a book than in someone made of flesh, someone equipped with a heart as well? audrey hepburn has such a frail voice but it is worlds apart from being fragile: i feel drawn to it. i want to be protected by it. i want the voice and the melody to take the place of my missing bones, i want it to support me. the way she's singing the "two" in "two drifters" is so beautiful, and pearls are dropping from her mouth. it sounds as if she had a curious accent and the words are detached from all normal use of language. free floating, without history or context.
people confuse me. they're telling me that i have the wrong feelings. they're telling me that i don't feel what i'm feeling. they're telling me that my feelings are appalling and stupid. and then they're complaining that i've stopped talking to them about what i'm feeling. sometimes i feel ashamed of how i'm feeling and of what i'm thinking. i'm ashamed of the darkness and i try to ignore it and i try to act as if it wasn't there and i think: if i don't talk about it it will go away. but THIS is stupid, isn't it? paula, it seems like there's no way not to act stupid. people say i should stop being silly and that the online journal is the wrong thing to do "why are you doing this?" they're asking. and "everybody is telling you this about the journal, maybe you should think about it if everybody is telling you that this is a crazy thing to do?" but not everybody is telling me this! not everybody. i'm alienating people. but then how can i expect people to have patience with me if i am losing patience with me myself?
also i cannot work. and i don't mean: temporarily. it's a structural problem: i can't write. i'm sitting down to work on an article and after twenty minutes the panic is creeping up my legs. i cannot write. i've tried to ignore and hide this the past three years but it's getting more and more obvious. all of a sudden i have no idea how i've made it up to this point. i'm just clueless. it's a wonder.
and then there are these manic moments when songs take hold of me and squeeze me so that i almost have to throw up. helplessly overjoyed.
i'm standing at the tracks and the train is gaining speed and i can't jump onto it because my feet are glued to the ground and it has gotten so fast already that its outlines are blurring and i fear that if i hang on to the railing it will tear me into pieces. instead i'm peeling the labels from my beer and hammer onto the keyboard hoping that the sound that it makes will someday resemble the rattling of trains. and then the soft guitar chords start again and audrey is breathing this simple melody into the room. we're after the same rainbow's end. but you can only see the rainbow with the dark clouds in front of you and the sun in your back. i've ended up in clichés. i'm needing something or someone. i don't know what or whom. i need something to fill the void. it is always there. wherever i'm going it's going my way.
i can't make sense of the senslessness of everything and the beauty that is there at the same time. it doesn't figure. i want things to be simple and plain. but they refuse to be. and then i'm thinking of you and that there is such a lot of world to see.
please be well. sorry for my ramblings. your huckleberry friend,
[august 22, 2003 - just cause you feel it doesn't mean it's there!!!!]friday afternoon, ten to five. spent the day shopping for food, cleaning the apartment, doing the laundry. reality has caught up again with the journal, meaning that things have happened which i cannot really write about. well, it's not that big events have taken place, at least not in my life - and still..., i don't know. i think i reacted in a strange manner on the phone this afternoon. which wasn't fair. but i was tired and the gloomy thoughts from yesterday night hadn't dispersed totally. and besides the stale taste of being not (good) enough, it's also that i'm an envious guy. when i'm unhappy everybody else has to be unhappy as well. and it's a strange feeling to see this match making going on around me. everybody else seems to make a strike, to win in the lottery. it seems to be so easy and i feel like a total idiot that i don't seem to be able to do the same. and the more people around me make it - and with ease i want to add - the more it seems to be a problem within me, and i'm hearing the voices: "well, it's YOUR fault. you just have to DO it! you know, but you're never DOING anything. you don't really WANT it. you're too fatalistic. if you only believe in yourself and work hard and hold on to your dream and work hard and believe in yourself than you can achieve anything." the american dream of hearts. yes - of course i'm victimizing myself again! what other pleasure is there left for me than the sweet taste of self-pity?
[later]listening to hail to the thief for the first time. "a working band is a miracle of everyday life" thomas pynchon wrote. got a mail tonight:
Subject: 200 lurkers cd?seeing myself in the bathroom mirror. unshaved. fashionvictimhairsytle. wearing paula's bright yellow t-shirt that says "egelloc notknay". i think i have to be careful not to freeze in some pose of martyrdom, you know, the logics of: nobody knows the trouble i've seen and (thus) nobody can understand me or tell me anything. but you know, sometimes i'm getting just angry and i get the impression that people are behaving towards me on the grounds of pity. in that conversation the other day in front of the university it was said: "and i tried not to give you the feeling of being unattractive and unlovable..." well, THANK YOU! what does this say about reality? i don't want that people are talking to me out of pity or because they're feeling some kind of duty or because thomas has been telling them: "hey, and keep an eye on philipp". jesus, the drums in "there there" are really great! and maybe that's another function of the online journal: it is a substitute for a kind of intimate closeness that i'm missing. because everyone who's voicing doubts and objections concerning the oj is in a relationship. maybe this enhances the notion that all criticism is coming from a kind of outside perspective. i think i've always been someone who needed a lot of feedback, a lot of talking. i love reflecting about things - but i also need a partner to do so. and i guess the oj is such a virtual partner. i'm coming home, throw my stuff into the corner and say: "hey, wanna know what happened today? wanna know what's been bugging me? wanna know what's on my mind?" lucy - i'm home of course after a while it's getting pretty frustrating because it's a one way conversation. i want to hear your voice again, talking to me before you've even unlocked the door: "guess what happened today!" and while you're unlacing your shoes and hanging the wet umbrella into the shower, leaving an almost invisible trace of soft rain drops on the floor "you know, i've got this weird idea..." and then you're coming into the kitchen, standing behind me while i'm stirring in the pasta, put your arms around my waist and press your forehead on my shoulder and say in a tired voice "help me. because i can't stop being overjoyed". boy, if i would only think half as much about cohen than i'm doing about myself the dissertation would have been finished two years ago.
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 13:39:59 -0400
I sent you an email a while ago asking for a copy of your CD, which you graciously sent off for me (for free! I couldn't believe it!). Well, I gave the CD to my dad, who's apparently enjoying it and won't give it back... and we're a bit behind the times technologically, otherwise, I'd just burn myself a copy. Anyhow, if your struggling-artist lifestyle can still afford to send out freebie copies of "The Space and the Sea" I'd *love* another one (I'm excited about the new songs on it, too!). If that's not possible, I understand; if it is, my address is below.
Thanks very much, and keep it up!
[later]0:50. went walking, listening to "there there" on repeat. strange that such diametrically opposed music as audrey hepburn and radiohead create the same emotional landscape.
[august 23, 2003 - and all of the words / that you threw away / you said i was the one / at least i mean what i say]a thousand small castrations every day. you know, i think i know why the idea of releasing "the space & the sea" as a real cd is paradoxically depressing me: because i have to realize again that i can do things only halfheartedly. because actually the big chance to produce the cd professionally would mean to record all the songs again, in a better sound quality, with better equipment, with better instruments. but this would mean at least three weeks of rehearsal with someone who can play keyboards and handle samples and then at least two weeks in the studio. and of course i can't do this because a) i don't know anybody who can play keyboards b) i can't concentrate fully on the music because i have to concentrate fully on the university c) two weeks time in the studio is just an un-payable dream - two or three days would be more realistic.
[later]it's 4:48 in the morning. i've just returned from a night out with nicole and three of her friends: lazlo and his friend jan and m.. we went to various bars in ehrenfeld (the quarter i'm living in) and unfortunately nicole didn't feel very well so she left early. at about 2 lazlo and jan left as well, leaving me and m. back to discuss happiness, relationships and other intimate and nonintimate topics until 4:30 in the morning. when we said good bye: a long, firm hug. here's the nonsurprising news: she's got a boyfriend. right now the thought ogf having missed a chnace occurs. and is gone. and is gone. and is gone. just cause you feel it doens't mean it's there! doiesn't mean it's there. deosn't mean it's there! and still there's been the feeling of having been closer to anything or something rather than i've been in 2 years before.
[august 24, 2003 - ]sunday, 18:07. it's sunny, warm, a little wind. i'm tired. too much alcohol yesterday night. nicole called this morning and asked whether she could come over to work on her term paper on my balcony. which she did. for ten minutes. then we went out to have some fast food and now she's sitting at my pc writing a mail to thomas while i'm sitting on the sofa in the opposite corner of the room trying to understand chapter 10 of 1000 plateaus - but i didn't even get the difference between series and structure - and while i was musing over whether to shoot myself or just skip the next ten pages of 'becoming imperceptible' i looked up by chance and had something like a deja vu: i looked at nicole who was sitting on the wooden chair in the corner of the room at the desk, back slightly bent, legs forming a right angle, hands floating above the keyboard while she was pondering over the next sentence in her mind, and i suddenly realized the resemblance of the whole scene with the back cover of cohen's songs from a room: and it was one of those puzzling, beautiful and magical moments. a tableau vivant of the cover staged in my room. wish i had a camera. maybe the image can be used for the booklet of the space and the sea? suddenly nicole turns around, looks at me and asks: "what was the name of the bass player of metallica again?" and there's a silence for about ten seconds before we both crack up laughing because of the absurdity of her asking me this question...
[later]he he. nicole has just called. she's talked to m. and it seems that my impression of yesterday night has been slightly distorted by alcohol, wishful thinking and my blooming fantasy... :o)
[20 minutes later]folks, my life is a riot! so nicole called and she said: "hey philipp, i've just talked to m.. she asked me whether i would like to go out with her tonight. and i said that i didn't have any time and that she should call you and i gave her your number!" and i said "really? what did she say?" "she said: if you want to make matches you've got to get up earlier!". so just the other minute i was brooding over how to word the add that i want to place in the rolling stone (it's limited to 120 letters which is not really much) when my mobile phone was peeping: i received an sms that read: "would you like to go out with me tonight!" and i thought: hm! and then scrolled down and the message continued "please answer me! 2,99 euro/sms" [later] hm, the guest in the tv program "room for rent" is roger wilhelmsen - and against all expectations it's quite a lot of fun. "ich quatsche frauen verliebt..." hm, sounds like a plan... and to finish the day with a touch of class here's another nice image of our hero's favorite heroine...
[august 25, 2003 - the air is transparent oder auch mein lieblingsspruch weil's so schön ist nochmal: "wenn kunst von können käme hiesse es ja könst." or: to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again]i shouldn't do this. i'm sitting in the office, it's 16:18 and i haven't written a single line. the other day nicole said: "so what is your article supposed to be about..." and i answered: "i have no idea!" and she looked a bit startled and said "i don't believe you. i don't believe you that you don't have any idea. i thought you'd like the novels..." "i do!" i exclaimed "i don't believe you that you don't have any idea!" but i don't. the only thing i can come up with (and this is neither very groundbreaking news nor at-the-edge theory) is that the image of maleness in The Favourite Game is a very traditional one. that in this initiation novel the bonding between the protagonist lawrence breaveman and his friend krantz (Q: why the german sounding name? krantz, krauts?) is more important to the protagonist than his various relationships with women. the friendship lawrence/krantz is more durable than the sexual encounters and/or love affairs that breaveman has. the only relationship that lasts longer and outlives the childhood/adolescence friendship with krantz is the protagonist's relation with/to language/writing...sorry, something lets my train of thoughts derail: nicole (who's working in the office as well) and i are going to meet m. now and have a coffee.
[later]so we had a coffee in front of the university and m. said: "would anybody care to join me for a drink tonight..." and nicole said: "i don't know. actually i'm pretty tired..."
[later]here are a couple of images from the studio which thomas' label is working with and where i would record the new versions of the songs. it's amazing! i mean it's no comaprison to the studio in which we have recorded the first nerve bible cd, which was basically an old farmhouse with leaking roof and low ceilling.
in the meantime it's 21:09. what a strange day today. it didn't feel real. the air was ultra transparent, the sun golden and distant as in autumn, it felt like walking through a dvd version of my life: everything was so sharp and in high definition. surreal. wish i could live it from the beginning again. it started not very positive with bad news from my mother who will probably have an operation on her shoulder later this week, and her general health is not very good and she has a pace maker and i constantly try to suppress the thought that she would be dead in 10 seconds if the machine wasn't working properly. her life has become so brittle and fragile, like a system that's been kept constantly on the verge of catastrophe and every little cause can have the most devastating effect. my parents are getting old. i don't want them to get old. this means that i am getting old as well. it means that i am grown up. i'm not grown up. i feel like a twelve year old. i want the security that they're there forever, even if i don't talk to them or need them. i don't want my mother to die. and what do i do? i can't think of anything more productive today than to hurt nicole's feelings, who has been caring and supportive and affectionate all these past months! and then to top it i've been sitting there with a tall, blond and bright woman with the clearest blue eyes that you can imagine (who - by the way - does have a boyfriend) and i blew it! schreib dir 'ne null auf, smoky! i probably don't deserve any better. silver lining: the new ikea catalogue which came today and the feedback form (received another set of answers today, no. 26). feeling displaced. this is no day to be.
[later, 01:11]"gurgle and mutter, hiss and stutter, moan the words like water, rush and foam and choke. having waited this long of a winter i fear i only croak and sigh..." hm, just read todays entry. how unbelievably corny! however, i really can't complain that my life is too boring. maybe it's not good to write down everything that happens. i must stop hurting people by what i'm writing. and i must stop destryoing things by writing about them before they can develop... having said this i'll take a little secret with me into the land of dreams now...
[august 26, 2003 - it's four in the morning, the end of december...]nicole invited me over for breakfast today: bacon and eggs. i went to the university then. office hours. had a coffee (or rather ice cream) with m. who had sent a mail yesterday night from work. talked to my mother on the phone. she'll have the operation on thursday and on friday i'll be driving to bielefeld to spend the week-end there. cologne is cold but i like where i'm living, there's music on intzestrasse all through the evening. worked on the chronology section of the hollow earth cd-rom. didn't work on the article. it's really getting ridiculous and pathetic. this morning when i was sitting at the breakfast table in nicole's little kitchen that was filled with the morning sun and the smell of fresh bread and bacon we talked about various topics and suddenly she asked me whether i had ever taken drugs, apart from alcohol. and i said no. which was not a very glamorous, but honest answer. and then she tried to describe to me the feeling she had when she was stoned back in her late teens. and i was wondering whether music had some similar effect on me. i mean usually i'm feeling like the elvis in warhol's painting: there are at least three versions of me living, acting, working, (dis) functioning side by side. mostly more. some more transparent than others, some overlapping, some moving autonomously, some interdependently. a constant notion of being fragmented. but there are rare moments when all these versions seem to close up like a fan, melting together into a single, coherent, version of myself that is exquisitely grounded in a here and now, in a momentary intensity. playing the last verse of "cultural studies II" made me feel this way. or singing the chorus in the band version of "headcrash". as if the center of gravity was inside my chest. as if a sun would shine from my lung. hm, anyway. that's probably one of the reasons why stopping with the band is such a hard decision to take. i'll have to talk to reiner and daniel this week-end when i'm in bielefeld. sigh. did you ever go clear?
[august 27, 2003 - baby, you're my yellow summer. baby, you're my winter blue...]woke up this morning and the day started with a reappropriation of a heather nova song that had been taboo for two years because i heard the wrong people singing it to th wrong people but form some somehow this morning i could sing along to it (w)holeheartedly. "I'm coming, i'm coming home to you I'm Alive I'm a mess I can't wait to get home to you To get warm, warm and undressed There've been changes beyond my dreams Everybody wants me to sing There've been changes beyond my grasp Things are sinking in So keep me, keep me In your bed all day, all day Nothing heals me like you do Nothing heals me like you do And when somebody knows you well Well there's no comfort like that And when somebody needs you Well there's no drug like that So keep me, keep me In your bed all day, all day Nothing heals me like you do Keep me keep me In your bed all day, all day Nothing heals me like you do" cedric has mailed and he has attached a great picture of stevie. nicole called and asked me whether she could come by because she wanted to discuss a couple of aspects of her term paper about mulholland drive with me. which i haven't seen :o) she came over anyway and right now she's lying on the sofa, tired and stuffed with turkish fast food. m. mailed. "are you flirting with me?" she asked and continued "i'm a married woman...!" so that's that. nicole is sighing on the sofa, curled up like a little child, letting her bare arm dangling down onto the floor. i'll be driving to bielefeld tomorrow because my mother will return right after the operation and not spend a night in the hospital. so i'll be in bielefeld from thursday to sunday. which is a little unfortunate because thomas mailed today and said that he was going to send me an article that he has written which has to be formatted and to which images have to be added and which then has to be sent away by monday. pretty good timing, since my parents don't have a computer where i could a) check my mail and download the article and b) work on it to add the images and edit the bibliography. oh, i forgot. nicole doesn't want to be called nicole anymore in the journal. not even n. from now on she'll be called princess superstar. "because half of what you've written about me is fiction. and the rest is a lie!" she's shouting at me from the sofa. i really had forgotten all those beautiful heather nova songs...