Another tour bus is turning the corner underneath my window. I have slept like a baby one of the really tiny babies though, the ones that wake up every few hours and cry. Nothing bad, really, just an odd constellation of stars, I guess, the ones far away and maybe even some much closer than that.
I looked out of the window towards New Jersey last night and there was a major, serious flash in the sky, as if a rather large piece of rock had entered the atmosphere, ready to hit West New York, NJ. There are no replays in life they say, but I can clearly remember the split second, the streak, the light.
But maybe my eyes are just deciding that they have been too bored in their sockets for the last few weeks, or that they are tired to be constantly sent to hunt down that elusive mouse pointer. Always the same few things they get to see, always the same short amount of light summer sleep.
No wonder they decide to come up with their own little stories sometimes. There could be a flash in the sky, a little crawling light on the table, maybe a person even, smiling at me out of a New York City lunch crowd?
I will need to take some time off, will travel back to Germany, September 12th is the date, Singapore Airlines will be the airline. (Sixt will provide the perversely sexy rental car...)
Maybe I will find myself on the narrow streets of a small town somewhere in France on September 19th and there will be an overly tired man behind one of the windows and he will write what I just wrote here, maybe with different players, different names, but very similar otherwise.
July 2003 Archives
Another tour bus is turning the corner underneath my window. I have slept like a baby one of the really tiny babies though, the ones that wake up every few hours and cry. Nothing bad, really, just an odd constellation of stars, I guess, the ones far away and maybe even some much closer than that.
so tired right now... I just had to close my eyes... draw completely blindly... draw with closed eyes... And now it is obvious that much of my drawing does not even happen under the supervision of my eyes, but is very much in the memory of my muscles, tangents, my body. Muscle-memory is the expression for it I guess?... Is it that?... I find it interesting that I treat linear drawings so differently than areas of color... hmm, pretty obvious actually, isn't it?...
Outline drawing is a very intellectualized way of looking at things. Areas of color on the other hand are such real objects...
And yet, this area of color that appears like a different person, was created by drawing an outline... so it probably does not really count...
I am now going to sleep. Hope you are asleep as I am writing this...
Toucan or not Toucan. This was her present question. Was it wiser to stay and to be present when there were children pointing in her direction, when there was outrageous laughter around her, or cries, or love, or from time to time a real bird catcher... or should she instead spread her wings and disappear into the dark depths of the forest, end the entire presentation, become a pure and sweet memory, become a glowing shadow in the vivid imagination of others? Just disappear. End the love affair with the visible. Turn off the cameras, close the eyes, first the own, then the ones of others.
It felt as if it were just the right time to look for a completely different branch, a tree, a forest. She was so good at reinventing herself. After all, only the shallow minds thought of her as a colorful, light beaked bird. The wise knew her as an immortal phoenix.
This entry is an extension of a previous entry about Elizabeth Harper... I received her 14 track CD yesterday and it has been on constant repeat since. (Okay, tracks of it have been.) I am listening to a song called "Parlor Window" for more times now than I would like to admit here or anywhere. Wow, this is some stunning material.
I love this CD. I actually feel lucky and happy at the same time.
The songs all sound familiar to the level where I could believe that I grew up with them. Did I have my first kiss listening to one of the songs? Did we drive across America with Elizabeth Harper on repeat? Was it Elizabeth Harper I saw in concert when I was 22?... Did the DJ play her songs at KuBa or at the Krone?... Were Elizabeth Harper songs my very first downloads from the iTunes store?
Hmm... I wish all this could happen to someone... just like that... somebody should grow up with these songs. For somebody these should be the very first songs they hear.
Such wonderful music... such an incredible voice. Wow...
(I sound like a teenage fan, don't I... hmm... so now you know it.)
Update 8/7/2003... According to iTunes... played "Parlor Window" 60x, "Spaling" 22x, "Don Juan" 24x... all the other tracks about 15x.
I can not get "Clean Cut" out of my head... as well as little pieces of other tracks. This is an amazing album. Oh, how much I wish her success with this. But not so she can be successful, only so she can keep making more of these songs. Wow... such good material... really...
Have you ever gone into a conversation with a certain set of rules? I do not mean rules of winning a debate, or convincing the other person to come out to lunch/dinner/country/play...
I would find it interesting to go into a conversation and to set the rule to speak in only 5 word sentences. Or how about making every 7th sentence a question. How about changing the topic every 45 seconds? Or how about agreeing with any odd numbered suggestions of the conversation partner and disagreeing with all the straight ones? (Very dangerous) There must be an unlimited number of such possible rules that could be applied to a conversation. Now these rules could be either applied with the knowledge of the conversation partner, or without the knowledge. If things happened without the knowledge of the other conversation partner, would it be possible to keep the rules from them? How long could the conversation continuer? Maybe the length of the conversation could be one of the rules.
The results could be a pathological simulation, or a lot of fun, an abstract encounter, a way to lose a friend, a way to accidentally find out something about someone (how angry they get, how understanding they can be.)
Hmm... this is obviously all nothing new. I have very often been involved in conversations in which my conversation-partner followed the following two rules:
"Whatever he says is concerning me and has a negative hidden message."
"I will fight him till the bitter end"
I had also the luck to be a participant in conversations in which the rules were:
"He is cute and whatever he says is funny, smart, profound... even if it is not."
(One could think that I would like the second one much more... but sometimes it is shortly followed by the first set of rules... which is sad...)
If I were any more distracted than I am now, I would probably run around wildly waving my arms, screaming, hitting walls and things and the road...
(No caffeine for me on wednesday afternoons...)
Would you like to apply some rules to your comments?
He had been a very kind boy, with incredible sand castle building skills. He used to be able to talk to cats and even tell some seriously funny jokes to dogs. He was able to fly in all of his dreams. There was a princess by his side every time, just minutes before he woke up.
He was the best kid in class, the best kid in school, the best student in college, he got the job, he got the car, he got the house, he got the wife, he got the kids, he got the pills, he got the shrink, he got the place in rehab, he got the minutes of fame, he got the trial, he got the verdict, he got the sentence...
He never built another sand castle, never attempted to talk to animals, never flew again in his dreams, there was no princess in his arms early in the morning when he woke up.
He got the book deal, and yet no clue as to what to write...
when drinking my green tea at lunch time, just a few blocks away from here, I closed my eyes and very actively listened to each one of the remaining senses. Holding the little cup in both my hands I felt the rough underside with the slightly cooler holding rim being in stark contrast to the hot ceramic on my left hand fingers. My right thumb found a little imperfection in the rim of the handy cup. I could not stop my skin from seeing this imperfection as a large interesting characteristic, as a unique fingerprint of this cup which would have allowed me to recognize it among a hundred others without this mark. The rim in general was glazed and smooth. My upper lip touched a glossy surface, while the lower lip met with the roughness of stoneware. This is also when the heat of the tea welcomed my face. The temperature felt just perfect. Maybe 60C maybe a little more. Not a temperature I would like to spend a lot of time in, but just the perfect temperature for green tea to enter my body.
The smell of the tea was very distinct as well. It was not really the smell of a beverage. It smelled like the back of a clean hand of a loved one perhaps? Such a good and familiar and yet distinct smell, or the feeling of a smell.
I slowly sipped a little of the liquid. A tiny bit, really, not a lot. It felt as if my body had been preparing for this moment. It was such nourishment, such good vibration that went through not-described areas under my skin all over my body. I let the tea travel through my mouth. A small, measured amount of warm, delicious, nourishing liquid. I hesitated a bit, then swallowed the elixir. I heard how my body accepted the tea with a whole sequence of unique sounds. I felt how the liquid traveled through me, radiating little shock-waves of good.
I leveled the cup, moved it away from my mouth. Still felt the temperature of the vessel, still felt the little imperfection under my thumb, still smelled the seductive body, still tasted the delicious nourishing liquid...
It was then that I opened my eyes.
The cup in my hands, the lightly greenish tea with little floating particles of leaves, the dark brown outside of the cup, the crackled green glaze on the bottom of it, the light spot with missing glaze on the rim, the steam coming from the cup... the sight of them all took over my perception. Everything was there in front of me, beautiful, subtle, and yet somehow louder than what I had just experienced...
What I now saw was still the same object with the same liquid, but it felt as if the other senses did not want to compete with my sense of sight. Seeing is such an overwhelming, such a strong experience. It is sometimes quite beautiful to have the luxury and time to play blind and to listen to what the other senses have to say...
The single mother looked really overwhelmed, still somehow collected, tired, maybe a bit annoyed. She had to activate the turnstile to let the token-booth clerk open the special entry door to the subway. Her reason for the special entry was a two year old boy with a pacifier in his mouth, on a very flimsy little carriage. The child looked as if it had cried through the night.
I helped them both down the stairs. 18 steps then 6 steps, down into the smelly pit underneath the tracks.
They both were heading downtown, so I was able to help them up the 25 or so stairs up to the platform.
This was the first time that I looked at the boy. He was staring at me as if I were a really scary 20 foot man. His pacifier looked to huge right in the middle of his barely awake face.
"Hey there." I said...
"Hey there!" He answered with the exactly same intonation. It was so perfectly funny that all three of us started laughing. He turned to his mother and they were both as happy as if he had just invented two very new words.
The mother thanked me and I thanked the mother. This was a perfect start of a good day.
I still smiled when a few stations later, a fancy mother with her overstuffed baby parked her McLaren folding carriage across the train-car from me.
The boy was curious. I was still happy. The mother looked at me as if I were a predator ready to snap. She even took the little guy out of his luxury vehicle and held him as much facing away from me as only possible, laughing at him, and sending lethal looks towards me. It did not work, the boy still laughed in my direction. She had to grab his face, point it towards hers and make some semi cute sounds in her invented toddler talk.
I did not want to worry the mother more and just walked away to stand by one of the doors... Hmm... such different points of view...
She was covered with stars and planets and other celestial bodies. They would travel exploring the alternative universe inscribed on her skin. Sometimes they would add to it, by drawing constellations and our invented signs of zodiak. And as her she shivered under his metal nib, galaxies came closer to each other, planets almost collided, clouds of matter turned more dense and darker between ripples of joy.
There were constellations on her she did not even know of and would never ever get to see... He on the other hand was the ultimate dermonaut, going to where no man has ever gone before.
There are days that are just difficult. A pigeon almost hit my head. I missed a train, no wait, two trains. I had a headache, a bellyache, almost a narcolepsy attack in a meeting. Not a good day today. And then there were these attempts to look sideways, to come up with good creative concepts. To maybe at least draw one, just one little drawing.
Impossible. Not today. Not even this entry seems to make sense...
Some days are just really tough... and this one is not quite over yet...
First she made him fix his hair. Then she made him fix his skin. Then she made him fix his dress-code (well, obviously). Then she made him fix his eyes. Then she made him have softer shoulders so she could have a softer landing place.
He was really thankful for it.
She knew he would never be able to fly anyway...
(And...just for fun, she would make him lay an egg... to make sure he knew what kind of a failure he was.)
There was a white butterfly in the depth of the subway station on 96th street. I was on the way down, she was on the way up. Between her and me was a shirtless man on some controlled substance. We did not meet in person, neither of us did.
As I was leaving the cab on Astor Place and 9th street, another little monarch butterfly almost landed on my forehead. We both were a bit scared of each other. She had to rest on the scaffolding of the white brick condo to calm down. Do butterflies get adrenaline rushes? She did not want to talk to me. She flew away. She missed her cab-fare.
The third pretty insect was suspended in mid air above that little viewing garden with the ridiculously shaped fence (it is a beautiful fence, it is).
She was far too high for me to even see it clearly.
It is good to see butterflies in the city.
It was across the river, right over the bridge where he was told that it was not good enough to have a funny accent and maybe a mustache and this hardcore slick hair. Small white shirts were also pretty much two years ago. The stuff on his chin was basically unspeakable sin.
What was left for him to do? Throw away his digital camera? Abandon his photoblog? Should he move back home?, start waiting, stop waiting?
Was the city getting old? Was he getting old?
Too many questions to figure out on this particular night...
it was a silver fork on the table, next to the large plate, the white one with hand painted flowers. there was a grand excitement in her four sharp points, a prepared feeling of being able to lift pieces of the meal to feed a mouth, whatever mouth she were given to feed on this particular night.
She liked to sink her teeth into steaks. Little juicy strips filled with some captured blood. She would dive into them, head first, the knife would then free the part she was able to carry and she would hold on to the meat until it was removed from her. She could feel how good the meal was by the mere reaction of the food on her skin, but also by the frequency with which she was sunk into what was on the plate. Sometimes the knife and her would perform more elaborate dances. First she would hold on to a little piece of meat, then the knife would stroke her side, leaving some potatoes and maybe sauce on her back. She was a bit worried about metal touching metal, of course, but it was a pleasure to see that she was much more important than the untrusted knife. The knife was never allowed to enter the mouth, as far as she knew. (The spoons would make some stupid claims in the drawer, but she barely ever shared a meal with one of them, so she did not believe a word.)
Her favorite dishes were probably those eaten by some Americans who made sure to cut the entirety of their meal into pieces and then, after retiring the knife next to the plate, had a very private experience with the beautiful four pronged fork.
She loved to hold on to food, she loved to sink her teeth into anything spongy, something that like a piece of bread could then collect a sauce, some oil, some fat, some blood. She was the guide then, moving on the plate swiftly, drawing wild figures on the surface of the plate.
At the end of a meal she would often be put on the side, right next to the knife, resting, often holding on to him, ready to say good bye.
The moments that followed were the ones she feared most. They were the moments she disliked. Sometimes a hand would pick her up and run her through soapy water. Sometimes a much too hot shower would almost scorch her delicate sides. If she was lucky, the cleaning treatment was gentle. On some less fortunate days she would end up under a pile of her sisters, barely exposed to cleaner, cramped and wet.
In the dryer then there would be some fearless conversations. The fish fork girlfriends would argue about who's left and who is right.
There was a soft spot in the velvet lined drawer. Soft and dry. She would spend days in her favorite position sometimes, spooning with the others, resting, dreaming. She dreamt of scratching her circles into the belly of a spoon, while collecting more and more delicious pasta. She dreamt of being cleaned by a silver cloth. A much happier procedure than those buckets full of chemicals. She dreamt of traveling to far away places, tasting other foods, of being wrapped into a napkin with the daring mr. knife...
He was a horrible friend, nobody trusted him, of course, his blade was sharp and he could be quite hurtful. But he was her favorite partner after all. She loved to be close to him before a meal, clean in a warm blanket, and after, messy, sweaty, covered with delicious foods they just had shared. And even during the meal, when they performed their close and exciting dances, he was the only one in who's sides she was able to see herself clearly. She saw her slowly accumulated scratches and little blemishes, but he reflected them quite clearly, with no comments, not making things worse than they were, as the stupid spoon loved to do...
She sometimes looked over to the knife on the other side of the drawer and she knew he was the only one she loved more than food itself.
She dreamt of being passed on for generations. Just him and her, a perfectly matching set. Maybe a salad fork could come with them, maybe a little desert fork... Who needed spoons these days... pasta was to be eaten without them anyway...
Phone conversations with my father are like two streams of consciousness flowing together to make a powerful stream. My father likes to be a serious and very wild river of thought. I like to listen and laugh. He reminded me today of how he used to teach me how to draw by recommending to draw circles until I see something that makes sense. Or maybe some straight lines, just to get the feeling for the drawing tool. He would more often make me draw circles though. (I really wanted to learn to draw as well as he did. So I would always bug him about drawing in general.)
I remembered our little exercises and began with drawing circles on circles on circles while on the phone with him.
I ended up with the drawing below... I emailed it to him right away and he had a really good laugh. And so did I...
Gosh, blogging under the influence again... ; )
It really all started with circles... Here the Outline view of this particular image. (Yes, drew it in Adobe Illustrator.)
Wow, why am I even posting this?... ; )
Under the cover of the night, between the others, down the hill, up the hill. Through the valleys. Not staying too long in the river, though it is quite tempting and dangerous at the same time. She ran as secretly as she could. As long as her young roots carried her. Closer and close to central park. Here she would hide, in the rambles. She would pretend to have been planted as requested by Olmstead and Vaux themselves. She would live to be hundreds of years, she would be in the papers, not the papers. She would look at buildings for who's erection no trees had been harmed. She would maybe even get a part in the movies... maybe...
Right now she had to somehow get past that Hudson River, America's Rhine, a big time water barrier. And she could not even remember if she knew how to swim.
This entry is just a marker that McSweeney's issue 11 arrived today. It is a beautiful pleather bound book with many secret messages on its cover. I am sure I will spend days and nights reading the cover alone.
The issue actually comes with a DVD and I think there are some really stunning little pieces on the DVD. Glad McSweeney's found out that I barely ever get past the first 5 pages or so in every issue. Adding a DVD will open the other pages to me. Well, I always read every word in the Lawrence Weschler pieces. (He appears to be a generally cool guy... I hope he will smile when he reads this...)
Issue 11 of McSweeney's contains pieces by people (and yes they are real, I just saw them on DVD) like Tom Bissell (he plays banjo, I think), A.G.Pasquella, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Alison Smith, Brent Hoff, Sean Warren (very cool guy, it seems), Stephen Elliott, Dough Dorst, Lawrence Weschler (!), Benjamin Lytal, David Means, Daphne Beal (what a fantastic interview on that DVD, with her husband on the left hand side...and some maps in the background... and she sings in Nepali too! oh my God!), Samantha Hunt, Robert Olmstead, Joyce Carol Oates and Denis Johnson.
(How is that for name-dropping.)
My issue also contains some pretty good little drawings by a Witold Riedel, but this could have something to do with me still holding a fountain pen in my teeth.
Did I ever mention that I am one of the lucky people who managed to get a lifetime subscription to the miraculous world of McSweeney's?
Yeah... I just hope they will not really start hating me when issue 50 comes out and they still have to send it for me as promised... will they then start to somehow "get rid of me?"...
They would never do that, I don't think. I hear they are all really nice people over at Timothy McSweeney's...
I hope to eventually expand on this entry and maybe provide more than just names. Even though they are pretty names, aren't they?
update: The DVD contains a "director commentary" by Francis Ford Coppola. I laughed so hard that my stomach hurts. (Francis F. Coppola was obviously not the director of the piece on the DVD and was only provided with an almost muted version of the tape, which leads to the probably best director commentary I have seen on any DVD so far. Fantastic.)
It was the crazy kind of life he had selected for himself. It was the life that pretended that there was a stage and that there would be later broadcasts of the performance. He somehow expected roses in the end, thrown at him, as the curtain rose again and again.
Had he only known that his was the early morning slot in a tiny theater and that the audience were schoolclasses of bored boys armed not with roses but with rotten fruit.
At first the big eyes meant that she was seeing the world in brighter colors. She did not just see art, she saw right through it and beyond it and in its future and present and past. So bright, so open, so... wow.
Then there were flashes on those same eyes and they meant trouble. There were really tiny things that were just not 100%, but the punishment was beyond severe. Sometimes there were not even tiny things going wrong and the punishment was still severe. Then there was just severe everything. Flashes of ecstatic beauty, followed immediately by full blown all engulfing hell.
Softness, followed immediately by large sharp objects, airborne, moving towards him at high speeds. Beats of the heart were followed by bangs on the door. Steamy little rooms were suddenly lit by nothing more than infernal flames.
It was not until she made a joke about a billboard on 72nd street that he began to slowly grasp that humans can be fueled by quite chemical reactions...
It was less funny when she declared that she no longer needed her medication.
Oh, what deful movies over at the Digital Kitchen.
I am especially enjoying Women by Annie Leibovitz (which appears to be very much analogue, just wonderful), Analogue Artists Against Piracy (scary, isn't it?), Platinum looks quite sexy...
I still think that this Six Feet Under opener is one of the best pieces on American Television these days. (Like Crewdson in Motion.)
Oh, and something about these floating objects in The 6th Day blew a certain piece of my mind...
(But maybe because they reminded me of the Annie Leibovitz spot... and of the first time when I put a brush with paint into water?)
Art, amazement, agony. Brutality, brushes, blisters. Creation, cigarettes, climax. Drinking, drawings, dressing up. Ecstasy, energy, evolution. Freedom, frustration, fists. Greatness, gambling, gut. Home, humility, hosiery. Independence, interest, influence. Joy, jealousy, jackass. Klients, kickbacks, kaputt. Love, lust, lost. Money, mask, massacre. New, not, never. Oral, optimal, out. Priceless, primitive, positive. Quotes, questions, quits. Red, raw, roots. Special, smart, sold. True, told, timed. Unbelievable, undeliverable, used. Visual, visionary, vaseline. Words, works, world. X-ray, xenophobia, xmas. Yes, you, years. Zealous, zoom, zombie.
He knew he was three times the alphabet. Nobody would ever find out anything beyond the abc... nobody would ever ask...
Definitely not the students.
There are rodents in the New York City subway system. The rodentocide notices attached to the poles between the tracks on most subway station are hung really high for a good reason. Nobody would want them to be eaten by the mice and rats that live on the tracks below.
I tend to go all the way to the end of the 50th street station when waiting for the 1/9 train to go uptown. I want the last door of the last car to stop right in front of me. There are always seats available and this is also the car where the performers count their money, where the homeless travel with their mobile homes. My favorite car.
The area on the end of the platform is a bit narrow. What appears to be a trash collection room has been added here some time ago, leaving the platform to be maybe 20 inches or so. I was the only person waiting there, right next to an almost eaten chicken bone.
The shadow that jumped out from around the corner, straight from under the door of the trash room was not large, maybe 10 inches or so. It was a fat, almost anthrazit colored animal.
"Hey buddy" was what I heard myself say, as I almost jumped off the platform.
The animal must have been as surprised as I was, as it ran really quickly towards the little service ladder at the end of the platform and then jumped onto the tracks. I lost a bit of orientation. When I looked down onto the tracks again, there it was again, the 10 inch rat, a young buddy, rushing to get to a perfectly sized pipe opening.
As soon as he disappeared in it, the tracks to the left of me lit up reflecting the heads of the oncoming train. I was glad that I had not accidentally jumped off the platform...
I have seen more courageous subway rats in the past. One time a cat sized rodent terrorized several straphangers on the 96th street station. The animal was very courageous, very territorial... it was also pretty late at night...
Hmm, it all sounds much worse than it was...
really... (Oh, and please forgive me, but i kicked the chicken bone down onto the tracks, so little buddy does not have to risk his life to climb up that emergency ladder onto the platform again... at least not for a day or two...)
The casual observer saw nothing beyond a tulip. The casual user gave her to his girlfriend. She was so much more, she was the first of her kind, the leaves curled up at night, her petals were such perfect eyes, her filaments were like arms, the anthers were only missing thumbs. She never had the chance to embrace any insects.
She tried to talk to the woman she had been given to by changing the position of her stigma ever so sly, slowly, majestically, every day at a well calculated time.
Nobody ever found out her true nature. They did not even use her for recycling. It was a really good thing that each one of her cells would carry her memory and reinvent her in a new generation of her... eventually, maybe in a thousand years.
it was about time to give the headers on this page a more summery look... enjoy about 50 new random headers. refresh to see a new image... (maybe...)
i liked the idea of being able to see very familiar motivs in a sly new . the pattern breaks down the image into either triangles or cubes, dependent on how much effort one puts into seeing what is there. the flower images are also reduced to a play of color that makes them more like something seen through the eyes of a different life-form. It is interesting, that treating the images this way emphasizes the lushness of the flowers and at the same time tones down other elements of the picture. some of the images had insects in them, but what used to be quite good macro shots of these animals is now turned into just darkish clouds on flowers. a fascinating way to see things.
If you step away from the computer far enough, your brain will be able to reconstruct a surprisingly sharp image of the flowers, btw... give it a try... it is always nice to get away from that screen, isn't it? : )
(I hate it to write about changes to the site itself, thus this here is a temporary entry, okay?) : )
the rain is pushy and dense, it feels like a heavy curtain woven with threats of water, hung in every street around buildings and cars and trees.
how nicely soothing to experience it from behind a closed window.
this would be not a rain coat i would like to be covered with, sleeping on a corner in a cardboard box.
Egon crossed his eyes. The great war was just about over. Some of the burned crippled ones were coming back. Some managed to return earlier and were now okay again, spending time with their leathery dreams. Others were not even sure there was a great deal of a difference between dreams and meaning.
He looked at the table and knew that a jug that might even sometimes appear broken, can still be a better carrier of wine than one that is whole and yet does not have a handle. There were some more issues, of course, but they would need to wait a bit. He felt tired and hungry and sick and his eyes really hurt a great deal. Not much longer, not much longer...
There was no way anybody would want to buy her. They would not even look for her on eBay. Seriously. And things looked out so fantastically when it all started. She had a heart of gold, well, aluminum, she was a really powerful little car. She could outpace all of the other's on the racetrack. She was a real star when it came to turning corners and looking forward and ahead and into a bright bright future. Her interior was made out of most incredible wood and softest imitation leathers.
She was the first of her kind. She was the one all others would be measured against. All she needed was a nice name and a pretty hood ornament to go with it...
Other cars have been known to be named after girls. But nobody before has attempted to leave the naming of a fine vehicle to a five year old with early ambitions to be come a clay sculptor.
Möpmöp, the car has cried since... and how much she wished that the rust were eating away at this stupid little crazy head on her grille and not on her blinkers.
She wanted this thing to finally fall off, she wished people would finally stop pointing at her. (Laughing)
If she only knew how to drive herself, she would probably drive out there to find this little girl, who by now was perhaps the CEO of some large naming corporation.
It began all with a sliced piece of meat. She had smuggled some of that fantastic prosciutto from Parma and decided to cut it like Gino, her secret loved one, the man who helped her wrap the illegal meat into his own pajama pants. It had been a long f, she had had plenty of Chianti, she barely managed to lift the smuggled meat onto the table.
She wanted to make it real, it was supposed to be a Gino moment.
She put the large object onto her pink marble table and took good aim. With one hand on the handle, and the other on the end of the large blade, she cut through the "skin" of the animal part, revealing the salty dark red core. Oh, delicious sin. She closed her eyes. She smelled the intoxicating aroma of the delicacy. She slit the second slice, as thin as humanly possible, with same attention, same slow speed, same micro movement. She was pointing the blade away from her body and so the tiny piece of meat fell behind the large pig leg.
She reached over the collect her culinary masterpiece. In front of her was just the table, the Prosciutto, the knife still in her hand. She leaned over, around the salty object. Nothing. She looked under the table. Nothing.
Where was Orange, that crazy hungry cat?
She was too tempted and too hungry to look for anything or anybody now.
She cut another little slice. Same technique, same results. The meat fell out of sight and disappeared just like the two previous pieces. She could be dreaming. She could be just imagining this. In front of her, a large meat object with a deeper growing cut.
She cut again, this time the risky way. Holding the slice, not letting go, she held in her hand her little trophy. Gino and her would slice them just like this and then each one of them would start at either end. He was obviously not here now and she was not crazy about the not all pretty fat rim he liked to eat, and so before she ate her snack, she hat to cut it into shape. She wanted the pure red meat, the pure hemoglobine drug for herself.
The sharp knife went through the white rim like through butter. The moment was here, she was to close her eyes, she opened her mouth...
there... on the surface of the pink marble table, the pieces of fat were sucked as if they were drops of water on a sun dried sponge.
She took a step back. This could not be normal. She quickly ate her piece of meat and touched the surface of the table. It was a very smooth surface, polished, warm. It felt quite nice. It was an expensive table. It had been a gift from Wolfram, her past boy from 2002. They had been quite obsessed with things designed. Well, she thought it was a gift from him. He had left the table for her, when he left to go back to Germany, overnight.
The fat was gone. She licked all of her fingers. She would now try to cut herself another slice of ham. Again, with high precision, off came a little slice of time cured pork. She put all of it on the table.
The slice, as if were a tiny model of a torpedoed ship, sank into the surface of the marble tabletop. This was not normal.
She laughed out loud, such a surreal illusion.
She cut another slice, put it on the table. It sank much quicker than the previous ones, it seemed. Another slice, same effect. This looked like a perfect trick to be presented on a morning show.
She drew her hand again over the table surface. Warm marble. Soft and smooth and warm as if the sun had given the stone something of a body temperature. She moved her nose closer to the magic "make the meat disappear" spot. Could she still smell the meat?, would it be neutral marble fragrance tone?
The table smelled like a delicious plum.
How could a marble table smell like plums. She loved plums, they were in fact her favorite fruit, but she had not bought any for weeks, they were not quite in season.
Her senses were quite obviously playing some elaborate tricks on her. First the disappearing meat, now the fragrance of plums... She moved even closer. Now it was the knife, the large piece of meat and her, leaning over the table, holding herself up with both hands, moving her nose just millimeters above the reflective stone surface. Plums. So rich, so fresh, such juicy fragrance... oh, how incredibly strange. Her tongue gave in, she had to taste the table.
The table surface was completely smooth. It was a thick slab of pink marble on quite thin and interesting legs. It was a very unusual design for a piece of furniture only because whoever had created this piece, must have been obsessed with taxidermy. Attached to one of the shorter sides of the tabletop was the tail of an orange striped cat. The animal part seemed to come straight from the marble. A very odd design.
There was nobody here to ask about the secret of this cat's tail. The previous owner of the apartment had left it, just stopped paying rent, disappeared, gone.
She might have not even returned from her trip to Italy?
These were the moments when the super wished he lived here in the building. Nobody heard the woman move away. He would have caught her. He would have al least made her leave an address. She really did not seam to care. ONly the piles of mail gave away that she was gone.
All that she left in the completely bare apartment was this strange table... obviously too heavy to carry down the stairs all by herself at night?
The super was done with the apartment, there was no need to clean or even sweep. He leaned over the table like a field marshal and looked out of the window. Just a few more weeks and he would be able to retire. He was a bit tired of this suddenly thankless job. Before the recession there were the good tipps, the friendly, honest people. Now tenants would just move out without as much as a word.
This city was getting expensive, rude, dumb.
At least there was still somebody in the building who knew how to prepare his favorite dish, a home made beef stew. Actually, it almost felt as if delicious steam were rising from this strangely warm pink marble table he was leaning on...
I like stories about tables, and tables in stories. The one above was inspired by a drawing by Funtime Ben, from the Fun Tree House... (Hope he does not mind...)
Take a look at his... Killer Table. (A Subway drawing!)
: ) Thank you for the kind words, Ben.
The other Mammoths would whisper behind her back: "The herd would never survive if they let her stay with them", "she was ugly", her "bare skin" was "not even red", it was "pale", "greyish", "wrinkled". Her tusks were "too straight" no matter what rules one wanted to apply. And she was "small", "much too small" for a good mammoth. Simply put, they had to get rid of her. If they let her stay with them, she would probably just bring them into serious trouble. She was probably responsible for their dwindling numbers anyway.
Nobody ever had the guts to tell her all this directly. She knew what they thought, she knew of all the things said behind her back. She was okay with dying alone, somewhere in the south. She would just walk, until she reached the legendary deadly edge of the tundra, the "In die", she would then just let herself fall into the abyss into which all the "freak mammoths" before were sent. It was a place with no return, it was the dark and scary A-freaka...
They would forget about her as soon as they reached the forests in the north. She? she would never forget...
He had his feed covered by teflon for heat protection and met-life for insurance protection. He had Belgian manicure (like French, except for birds, you would not understand). He used little velvet protectors for his head feathers, to make sure they shine through the night.
The best thing however was the flame-tail upgrade. This thing was awesome. When running at full speeds at night, he looked like a shooting star on speed.
It looked as if he were burning up, though he was not, of course.
He just recently discovered that a city had been named after him. He was the coolest bird in Arizona... really popular with all kinds of chicks.
imagine diving into a day on one end, then making some desperate strokes, maybe some little grasps for air, and then coming out all wet and exhausted on the other end. this is how today felt. well, some of the gasps of air were incredibly fresh and invigorating, but most of the day had the shape of a tunnel with no windows, just two little s at the end(?) of the tunnel, coming closer and closer.
So here we are. I will need to catch up with drawings again. It is not easy to draw inside of a tunnel, you know...
Oh, there were actually some really incredible moments today. One of the moments involved the fantasy of a library. It was quite a mouth watering experience and it was one of the fantasies that are like a little spark that can set an entire barn of ideas on fire. (it would really not make sense to explain it any further.)
A different moment was in the subway (again). I was on the local train, going downtown, when I noticed that every single person in the car was really holding on to some-thing. It was a very simple but incredibly interesting revelation.
It all started with this couple, at a door away from me. They were having a conversation and the man kept touching and grabbing this one sly bulging spot on the woman's lower back. She was wearing a very tight top, so it was all right there, her two symmetric soft spots on her back, his hand on one of them, moving, as if to hypnotise the little animal under the skintight fabric. It seemed to work. The woman was holding on to his pocket.
Next to them was a younger African American woman, holding on to a story hidden on the pages of a rather pretty book. She was probably on page 120 of 350, still a while to go. I was not sure in her case if she was holding on to the book, or if the author of the book (not pictured here) was actually holding her by the edge of her attention, using a thin string called "the plot"...
An older lady next to this reader was holding on to her groceries. A mother was holding on to her child. The child was holding on to a toy, well one of her hands was holding on to the toy. The child was looking to the fast moving outside of the train, the depth of the dark subway tunnel. Or was the child looking at her own reflection?, looking at the aging glass, the glass that reflects the future looks of anybody who dares to stare.
Next to the child was a big guy. He was also African American, he could have been seven feet tall and very heavy as well. His training pants had a large 97 embroided on the leg. He was holding on to a spiral book, and a ballpoint pen. He was writing poetry, I guess. His face was so incredibly serious.
By the door stood a woman, she must have been Italian? She was holding on to Vogue Uomo, a rather thin edition. She did not consuming the magazine, she was devouring it...
The train door opened and several passengers entered and certain left. A very tall woman with short blond hair walked in. She was wearing a gents shirt and a pin stripe skirt that barely covered her rather well shaped knees.
She sat down between the woman with the book and the mother with groceries, child and toy. She pulled out her Blackberry, one of those little portable email devices. I did not really pay attention to her but when I happened to glance in her direction again, the device in her hand had transformed itself into a passionate and yet very kind lover. He was there kissing her face, he was there playing with her hair. He even unbuttoned her shirt a bit and was about to kiss her neck.
It was an incredible scene. There she was, still holding a little piece of technology, and yet the expression on her face, the laughter, the glow in her eyes were so intimate, so warm, so loving. It really felt as if the Blackberry were her lover. Seeing her there, being touched intimately by little words on a tiny screen, somehow really made my day.
It somehow made me happy to see that it was possible for love to crawl through the strangest cracks and to find its way into the oddest places.
It also reminded me of my library fantasy earlier in the day. (It involved books and hidden traveling messages, to give away a tiny bit.)
There was a circle, a surface, a boat?... I was still diving, but it was not inside of a tunnel... for a moment there was no tunnel, there was no need for windows, there was just an ocean... filled with messages, exactly like the one that went straight into this woman's heart.
It felt nice and warm... almost healing.
It was again time for me to leave the train.
The touching couple left the train with me.
They took a different exit.
I was in a tunnel again...
glad I remembered those people holding on to... things?... Not really, I guess.
The best parents, the best school, the best neighborhood, the best job, the best gym, the best nutrition, the best tooth whitener, the best biting toys...
If only somebody would just throw this damn bouncy ball for him. He could really show off that backward flip, the roll over... even some bipedal action perhaps? Okay, take back that bipedal action.
This was no circus, this was a very serious exotic pure breed dog's life.
What breed, they asked? He liked to blank them on this one, his Philistine social "friends".
(Did this sound to you like a bark or a straight up, vicious bite?)
It is almost midnight again, I am logging into the system again, as it has crashed ag(blip)ain. Oh well. What can be done. I will need to buy a new PowerB(blipp)ook sometime soon... There was a high pitched blip there, was there no(blip)t?...
The blipping had started about 30 minutes ago. There would be just a very high pitched, very short, faint (blipp...) and then nothing.
I thought that maybe some device wanted to be charged, wanted to be connected to the almighty electrical outlet... (blipp) if I only knew which one of the devices might want that... It was not the oven, it was not the fridge, it was not even the intercom at the door.
Soon (blipp) I found myself standing in front of the smoke detector, staring at the barely glowing red "press here to test" button, which should be renamed to "press here to regret"... Oh, I was not standing on the floor either. It was just me, a chair and the detector. All of us smiling. (Blip.) The baige device looked at me with the smirk of a ventriloquist. I was looking at the detector, I was looking it in the red "do I look like HAL" eye and this thing still managed to outsmart me? (Not a good feeling to be outsmarted by a simple smoke detector.) I decided to check on the battery anyway. The instructions on the thing were pretty clear. I was one twist to the left away from silencing the secret beeper. I twisted, pulled the device off the ceiling... but instead of a battery... there was a simple -switch. 110V cables. This fire alarm did not trust Duracell, it only trusted ConEdison... I guess fires do not occur when there is a failure of the electric system in the building? 1989 logic. My building frightens me more and (blip.)
Here I was, standing on the same chair, in the same boxers and the same old disintegrating "Computer Museum Boston" t-shirt in front of the coat closet, waiting for the beeping opponent to give me another incriminating clue. (BLIPP!) there he was, we were getting closer. Now I only had to find the shoe of hat or box that could contain the device that could possibly have a system that would want me to be present at its death-bed.
It took a few more beeps and some digging around until I was equipped with an old mail.com baseball cap (1999 .com gift quality with brass buckle) staring at two old bags on the top shelf. (The floor around me littered with whatever else could have made any kind of sound. THe suspect ended up being the old vintage PanAm bag... or more BLIPP! its content. It was indeed an old smoke detector, one I had brought with me when moving here, an old one, one that used a battery. Just in case somebody had decided to burn something inside of the old PanAm bag, I would have known about it right away, of course and could get out of the closet with not a second of delay. (Boy.)
I somehow managed to open the device with my bare hands and to remove the battery successfully.
Now it is just me again, in shorts, t-shirt and a high quality hat, the sound of the air conditioner and good old Buddy Broadway. All the familiar sounds, the cars, the screaming, the policemen in their cars, discovering that button on thir dashboards that makes the syren go Böooooooop, bwoooop, bwoop...
The whole mini event reminded me of 1998, when my friend Alex Hefter came to visit New York City and decided to stay in the not very expensive hotel across the street from the New York Times. (Carter) The smoke alarm in his room also began to beep like crazy... He called the concierge, of course, and the reply was a real New York City classic.
The man at the front desk was just a bit annoyed:
"Sir, you have to take out the battery."
Sometimes the most obvious solutions are the somehow favorite ones...
Migration was not much fun anymore since the last one of his friends went down over Canada last november. What was left to do? The offer for the movie sounded too suspicious. Why would he need to fly over a hunter's point?
The offers from Museums sounded equally creepy.
He was sick of it all, ready to retire, ready to settle down. Maybe marry a seagull or a pelican, create a new species, call it a life.
Oh, so lonely, so lonely, so lonely...
There is a haunting quality in the work of Julia Oschatz, the young German artist from Frankfurt/Main. There is a certain coolness and coldness and cruelty in many of the depicted scenes, even though the visual language of the work could be perceived as sweet and innocent by someone who does not know a dark side of life.
Take a look at the artist's extraordinary site. Julia-Oschatz.de.
I recommend that you start with the paintings and then look at the drawings, the clay-animation the objects and installations.
Just keep clicking, keep clicking. I also really like the references section of the site...
(Entry to be extended...)
Careful this following post is a little nerdy. I think if I found it on somebody's site I would be a little worried about the author. So as an introduction I should probably mention that I visited the Coke campus in Atlanta several times, (and it was for work, not just leisure.)
I think quite highly about some of the people I had the chance to meet there. Some previous Coke employees are among the finest people I know.
Knowing the dedication and the attention to detail by those who work for and at Coke, the following observations were a bit of a surprise...
Let us walk over to the Coca-Cola Worldwide page on Coca-Cola.com.
The first thing that appears to be quite extraordinary here is the fact that there is no Iceland on this corporate map and that a place called Greenland also went missing. Am I being too focused on places that "do not matter"? Do I have a strange point of view? Well, Coke does have a local Website in Iceland and as for Greenland... does this count?
North pole and South Pole are gone too, of course. Where did the Coca-Cola ice bears move to now? (Did they have to move in with the penguins at some not disclosed location?)
I understand that the designer did not like the look of the map which is quite wrong as it is even if it included Greenland and Iceland here a quick comparison. London is about as south as the real world Rome. What a dream map for somebody who likes to refresh the world. (Just hope that this is not the "official" view of the world... real Japan, for example, does not touch the equator.
So this all could of course still be filed under me being too concerned about an idealized map somewhere on a corporate site...
Well, let us take a look at that Coca-Cola worldwide spinning globe that morphed out of a little gas bubble as we entered the page.
Not only are the same suspects missing of this not-blue planet... no Greenland, no Iceland, no North-pole and no South-pole... the sun on the Coca-Cola site appears to rise in the West. (I wonder who thought this far out of the box as to make the globe spin the other way. Are we being told something here? Am I missing some really cool message?)
Oh this is a really weird nerdy complainer post. Not really my style. I am not really good at these... hmm... I shall now stop...
Wait, one positive thing... On the cocacola.is site (Which really can not be reached via cocacola.com, are some quite funny little movies I think this one is my favorite... Oh and can somebody please help me understand this?
Woke up again, in the middle of the night. Looked down on Broadway. It was quiet last night. I adjusted the air conditioning from loud to cross atlantic f. I must have spun five times before ending up as a little ball of human on one of the sofa pillows in the living room. Not quite sure if my dreams included imagining being an Irish Setter named Steven but I certainly woke up as if I had spent the entire night running like mad. I am really dog tired now.
Looked out of the window again, and there, on the concrete bench outside of Symphony Space was a homeless person, curled up in the exactly same position as I was just minutes before.
Oh and the air conditioner managed successfully to bring the room temperature to however warm it is outside. I will probably be reborn as a tree just for that.
Dog tired, confused, with a dry and warm nose. This is going to be a tough monday of an even tougher week... yooowl...
It took about a hundred years for him to find out how to a spark. Another hundred and he lost the fear of darkness. A century later, candles paled when he decided to have a fiery thought. It took millennia to refine this kind of mental sharpness.
Now, at the age of several thousand, he finally succeeded in launching little comets from his hands. He was so glad that he found a way to win some time. He really had this childhood dream of helping out with that milky way above.
one of the jade plants lost a rather large leaf. The leaf was still a bit attached to the stem when i took it off. The fleshy object was has a sun exposed side which is dark red. Tiny skin scales appear shimmering in silver. The other side of the leaf, what used to be the top, is now a flatter green than when it was alive. There are also silvery flakes on this side. It appears as if there were a red rim around the green leaf. It is the sunny side reaching to the other side.
The leaf contains some water, it is warm and soft. It feels like a part of a living human body.
After several minutes in the shade, the warmth is gone. The softness is now almost spooky.
I will give this leaf back to the soil. Some of them manage to become plants.
I will need to buy more flower pots. I am running out of space.
Some of the plants are growing beyond their proportions.
There are flowers in places I would have never expected.
Thirsty quiet creatures.
Bye bye leaf.
People who do not read sort their few books by size or color. My sorted my mother's books that she had laid out on the floor when writing her master thesis in pedagogics back in Poland. Can you imagine how happy she was, finding her books organized by size, not by ideas? I was little, but I understood very well why she cried.
My mom and I later built a wall of books in the doorway of my dad's darkroom. It was great fun building this thing. Mom was okay that we left the books there, once the wall collapsed.
I remember discovering that out neighbor had layers of books on her shelves. They were deep shelves and she layered books behind books. How was anybody supposed to remember that there was anything behind that first visible layer on the shelf?
We had a whole closet that was just books and books and more books. These seemed to be the titles my parents did not need. (This is where I discovered my first art book, somewhere high up, after building another tower out of maybe three or four chairs.)
I have an entire attic of books at my parents' house in Germany. Boxes and boxes of books.
My little library in New York is actually organized by size and color. I also have several layers of books on my shelves. Does this mean that I do not read perhaps? Hardly. The layout of the apartment only allows me to have a limited amount of shelf-space. In order to shoe-horn the maximum amount of titles, they need to be sorted by size. Then there are the books which can be sacrificed to the power of the incredible sun. Some titles do not mind to be exposed to . Some others would greatly suffer.
Then there are those books I do not want to be reminded of ever buying, like Music to Move the Stars. So now I also have layers, like the neighbor in Poland...
Why did I write all this down, this is pretty embarrassing...
Next entry will be more fun, I'll try...
Before she even knew it, her head turned into a piece of clear hard candy. She was so sweet and yet so constantly wrapped up with things. All that fruit she ate gave her a sugary complexion. Her thoughts elevated her, even the sparkles helped.
Eventually her hands simply disappeared, and so did the feet. She was a lovely, sweet, sometimes sticky but always hard on the inside and so soft and deful on the inside kind of girl.
Four cops in shorts have captured a tall guy in a t-shirt right outside of McDonalds across Broadway. They do not seem to have a car, so they are killing time with a joyful conversation. He has his handcuffs on, he is not going anywhere. One of the policemen just finished going through the wallet of the captured guy. Glad he is done, he kept dropping stuff on the floor.
Everybody is just standing around now. The guy in handcuffs is just leaning against the wall in the alcove which is his temporary three wall prison.
Kids are fooling around outside of Mickie D's. Still no Police car in sight to pick up the 2am catch. The shortest cop must be telling a big time joke, his arms waving around and clapping like a little boy's.
He is now swinging his stick, he's making funny moves, he is hilarious. The other guys are pretty mellow.
The kids are leaving now. I wonder why there's no police car in sight. There are usually three here... maybe it is a busy night?
2:11 update. Policeman 5 arrives by foot. Now car 2789 also made it to the scene. Six men in black uniforms and one captured kid now. The shortest policeman is actually a woman?
Everybody looks still pretty relaxed. One cop went to get something to eat, another cop is going to get some money from the ATM. The kid is stepping from one foot to the other...
2:17 The cops are now talking to some sort of security guy. One cop stayed with the arrested kid. The kid is peeking out of his alcove, looking over the waving papers in the hand of the security guy.
Everybody is hanging out again... it is 74degrees out there. A nice and mellow night.
2:20 ATM cop is now talking to the captured guy. The kid is saying something, then trying to turn around. I think the cop just read something to the kid. Kid does not look happy...
ATM cop eneterd the alcove and is now talking to the kid, who is more than a head taller. They seem to be having a real discusion.
2:23 discussion is done. They are back to mellow standing around.
2:24 one of the policemen is using his cellphone. He is walking around with it.
2:25 they are taking the kid into the car. He will be riding in the back seat, of course. Four officers are going with him.
2:26 car 2789 has left the block.
All that is left is the MacDonald neon sign of a burger a shake and fries disappearing in a constant animation.
And there are people in the street, of course and cars. But they probably don't know about what happened, or the police, or that really tall kid.
Der Pater: Ihr seid Manschenfresser, ihr Neuseeländer.
Neuseeländer: Und ihr seit Gottfresser, ihr Pfaffen.
The : You New Zealanders are cannibals.
New Zealander: And you clerics are Godeaters.
(the above was written some time between 1789 and 1793)
"Gottfresser" is such a strong word... Godeater does not quite give it justice... or does it? (fressen is not to eat... it is to devour...)
life sometimes turns into a single point of , so tiny and dim, so barely there... just a single... it.
then it can unfold and turn into the thinnest silky strands, like hair, long hair quite deep below a glistening surface of an ocean.
then clouds of strings, as if paint first met a glass of cold clear water. A body almost, an illusion of one perhaps?
At times there're solid ribbons of life, rich and ornate and strong.
Then there are sheets of interwoven fabric, silk perhaps, sometimes, then again a carpet, and...
Thick curtains, lush heavy softness, the colors somehow...
Then solid metal, a wire, a string, a rope...
and again layers and layers of translucent skin,
an upward movement?
a sweet pure thought?
which one of the many shall we ever wish for?
where are the words that say: life?
could they possibly be hidden between these layers and layers
and layers of layers?
Workers are dismantling the scaffolding around the Columbia House, across Broadway and 96th street. The sounds of their hammers hitting the layers of wood over the heads of pedestrians arrive here with a s delay there it is again, that speed of sound. The planks that used to secure the workers from falling off the protective roof are already gone, their floor is next. Soon there will be only a skeleton of metal rods, then just the dirty imprints on the sidewalk, then just a memory. There will be the memory of the fire on that very scaffolding almost a year ago, there will be memories of the shade on the sidewalk on Broadway.
The trees will continue to avoid the scaffold in their memory, growing around a then invisible obstacle for the next few years.
In the lobby of the building in which I am writing this there are framed reproductions of photographs of the neighborhood. There is a picture of the subway being dug, which was about 100 years ago, there is a photograph of a tabacco shop on the corner that used to be a place called Fowadwhen I moved here and probably many other places before that and which is now a pretty generic and not very well designed branch of Washington Mutual, another bank (there are three of them here now). The entrance to the subway, which I enter every morning used to be an ornate structure that would now be a landmark, if it only had survived. Symphony Space across Broadway, used to be a food mart...
This city really feels like a living river. New Yorkers being the water in it, shaping and grinding the stones as we go along. This very water helps plants of imagination grow on the banks that are now everywhere in the world. There are floods of information, there are ripples and waves and mists and downpours of rain. But as much as the waters of the Hudson travel to the ocean and back and evaporate, as much does the very idea of New York flow and evolve and invent itself with at least 8 Million thoughts per New York Minute... Oh wait, there is a little (and it is tiny) book called something just like that.
This was not her hair color. This was not her eye color. This was not her lip color. This was not her skin color. This was not her time of day. This was not her time of year. This was not her temperature. This was not her part of town. This was not part of her diet. This was not her friend at all. This was not her kind of smile. These were not her favorite shoes. This was not her kind of party. This was not her kind of crowd. This was not her age. This was not her name. This was not her phone number. This was not her opinion. This was not her true intention. This was not her first time. This was not her last time. This was not her dose. This was not her wildest dream. This was not her best night out.
She would be a mess tomorrow. But monday, monday would be just another stupid monday.
It was a small package of wild cherry and melon. And I have no even opened it. I just decided to get them, the little Wonka Nerds. A man with a heavy spanish accent happened to buy some beer and found it very amusing that I would buy this stuff. "Are you buying them, because you are in fact a nerd?" He thought it was really funny... (he laughed.)
"You know, maybe I really am." (Nerds are nice people aren't they?)
"No worries," he said "too much readin' has not ever harmed nobody. And maybe you know the numbers of the lotto."
"Oh, sorry, I certainly do not know those." Now I really sounded like the candy.
"Yeah, even you can not know them, it is one in three hundred million, it is really hard to guess..."
He had a point.
Later, walking by the same bodega, the same man happened to cross the street. It was a big event this time, he was incredibly drunk and slurred something under his breath. He lit up when he saw me. He must have liked with how I agreed with what he said.
"I came thiiiiis close!" he made a gesture with his fingers.
"Maybe next time!" I answered.
"Yeah!" he laughed.
Just a few yards from us, a man with a refrigerator was selling water in the street. The hair salon must have given him access to their electric outlet. He was one of the screaming salesmen. "ICE COLD WATER ICE COLD WATER ICE COLD WATER..."
The farther away I went the more it sounded like "I stole water, I stole water..." but that's a completely different story...
The plants would not play with him, because he was to jittery and nervous. (Though he suspected that they just had foot envy, perhaps?) No animal would play with him either, because of his very clear floral roots. At times he wished there had been at least a brother or a sister or some sort of rhizome, so he could spend some time with somebody or something that would somehow understand. But no, he was condemned to play all by himself. He would sometimes go into bloom, attract some selfish insects, often bear fruit and run away from birds. Other than that? His instinct for survival was the only reason for him to stay alive.
Ocho really wanted to fly. He had seen the birds, he had seen the flying fish, he had seen what the dolphins were doing. It was time for him to spread his wings and fly. He imagined going to far away places. He could be the first octopus to climb a mountain, ride a bike, he could be the first one to make it through the clouds...
He did not really take of, of course. At least not using his wings. Jet propulsion was a much better idea.
As I was leaving the building, I could have sworn that the mother and daughter were giving each other a far more than motherly kiss. Did I see a tongue? I could have sworn I did. The mother was maybe 60, the daughter 25?, pregnant. I do not think I should believe my eyes.
The almost invisible man in the subway station below had handcuffs on. I saw them very clearly. They were the strong metal kind, binding his wrists behind his back. He was surrounded by a group of overweight undercover cops. One of them, a lady in a skin tight jersey, wore white rubber gloves. She kept repeating something to an officer in uniform rushing out of the station. "Just one more glove, just one more glove!" This could not be. She did not really say that, did she?...
"So you just picked that stuff up?" The undercover cop was now questioning the very thinly man, the poor chap looked as if heroin were on his best friends list.
On the hot platform a man dressed almost completely in black was cursing at his invisible partner. He looked very dangerous with his yellow tie. I tried to not get into the same car with him. He looked as if he belonged to the woman I saw on the platform last night. She also was arguing with the shadows. She rolled her eyes, waved her arms, threw back her head. Was this a delayed, disconnected scene? It was just me, connecting too many dots.
It took a long while for my slow train to arrive. Three express trains went by before finally the s of my number one train appeared in the distance of the subway tunnel.
The car was packed. A tall blonde woman with a striking flower tattoo on her back gave out a little barking sound. She looked like a body double of some b-line celebrity straight from the Hamptons. She did not really bark, of course. She just carried a Chihuahua size dog on a pink leash in a special bag. If dogs came in egg-shells, this one would be just freshly hatched. It was the most perfect set of huge brown eyes with gigantic ears. The skin of the animal looked so soft as if it were velvet, not fur. Maybe there was no fur at all. Just a perfect little guy. And he or she hardly behaved like a dog. It was more of a little interested monkey. The old man with red flaky skin gave it a little touch on it's curious nose. The dog immediately started lo lick the face of its owner. Once done with licking the face, the little head curled into the neck of the woman, as if she were the monkey mother. We all stared. One man with a very ornate tie did not pay attention at all. He was reading a guide to birds of prey. I imagined how each one of the pictures he was looking at showed natural enemies of the little baby on the woman's shoulder. The dog wanted to say hello to all of us, it seemed. There were smiles. The older man had a smirk on his face, as if it had been him who got to lick the woman's face.
A younger man leaning by the door decided that it was time to say something clever. "So what do you get more, the Taco Bell jokes, or legally blonde jokes?" She actually replied: "Oh, totally the legally blonde jokes. I live in Chelsea and..." the doors opened, it was my station... I had to leave the train...
The "mobile washunit truck" could really use a wash. Sometimes, at night, it stops at the entrance of the 96th street station and somebody pretends they are cleaning the station. I do not believe any work gets actually done. The station is like a kaleidoscope of smells we do not like our bodies to produce. On cooler days, there is a smell that reminds me of a not very well brushed tooth. On hotter days, like these days, the smell gets more of that "under arm pit flavor" or even some of that other unblogable kind of stuff. It is so intense and rich and kind of creamy, like evian, except for the nostrils. Maybe the washunit delivers? It is a nice little white truck with a dark blue stripe. Dirty yet nice. I can see from here that the workers are just hanging out... right next to the police men, who love to just stop cars for fun. (Now that's a completely other story.)
"When do you close?... Oh, you never close?... You're open 24 hours?"
Tourists get really excited when they find out that the city really never sleeps.
The guy behind the counter speaks like the Korean version of Sean Connery.
Love this guy.
"hooow yoo dooin'"
"how yo doiin?"
"hoow yu doin?"
I only walked out of the bodega as the flower-guys (the guys who sell the flowers) were teaching each other the street "hello".
Just steps away the shoe-shine-guy who happens to live in the special housing across the street on 95th, was using the same old trick of which I still do not know the ending.
"I bet, I can tell you exactly where you got those shoes and when you got them there. And if I am wrong, I will give you a shine for free...:
Two tourists were staring at him as if he told them that he knows how to turn shoe strings into snakes.
On the corner of 95th and Broadway, two huge Cadillac Escalade pickup trucks were used as oversized DVD players. The doors open, some strange looking movie on the dashboard display. The brothers are here almost every night to pick up some food at Nueva Victoria, the Cuban Chinese place with a tank full of lobsters in the window. Some say that Broadway up here is like any road in New Jersey, a repeating sequence of fast food joints and pharmacies and shops. But I still love my neighborhood. Hey, it is home...
(Note to self... do not drink and blog)
Why would they make her look like a device for fighting small office fires? She was so much more, so much more than that. She was hours and hours of perfectly disarming laughter. The most powerful antidode to any kind of depression, sadness, confusion. Really powerful stuff, grade A. Not some tiny chuckle, not a smile, she was the real deal.
She had the power to make armed villains drop their weapons, she could heal wounds on skin, memory and heart. She was able to make ice melt, plants grow, animals go wild. (the good kind of wild, of course.)
But they would certainly never find out. They would just run to her when there was some sort of birthday cake induced cubicle fire. And then her laughter would hardly be the right thing do.
Oh, if they at least removed the sticker that prohibited kids to play with her. She loved to play with children. The young, the old, the not so old.
The policeman on the corner of 96th street is fanning himself with an empty water bottle, as he is leaning against the entrance to the subway. The green 24 hour globe over him looks like his very private sun. A large black and white face just a few yards from him "flew American for $89", great.
A white plastic bag filled with hot air is dreaming of being a tumble weed, as it is rolling up Broadway. It is hot and humid outside and the sun will soon return to make the city sweat a little more. A lot more.
She started with a tiny note next to her bedroom mirror. It was a choice not really against anything, but for a more intense and more aware and scenic route. She would soon seek out the slower kind of transportation, the slower kind of conversations, the slower kind of love. And while some of her friends soon turned into blurry streaks of color, rushing left and right of her with full speed with no destinations, she slowly began to understand the language of the clouds, the rivers and the plants. Trees were greeting her on her week long walks. Rocks rolled over with joy whenever she approached.
Mountains would soon bow to her, and oceans would open up and close her doors.
She was never lonely, not in a million years. Soon the universe and her would have intriguing conversations. And their love would grow and never end.
Something in the air is making me feel like a bit of a winner this morning. What could it possibly be? Maybe the dream I had, which included a meeting with some of my old friends? Or was ist just the time I spent sleeping. Two hours more than the usual 5 hours of rest?
Today does not quite feel like Monday. But I can imagine that this bubble is bound to burst in just a few air conditioned hours.
Good morning... what time is it?...
Five layers of separation from what we think we think we see. The world before our eyes, one we create, as we move through it barely touching it.
There are tiny windows sometimes through which we can see beyond the layers. Even if some of us manage to find a view beyond... we still often do not even realise that we might have touched something more universal than what we have accepted as our individual reality. The further we go, the further we remove ourselves from the first look we had at this world?...
Or could it possibly be a circle, could it possibly be a path that will bring us back? Maybe a bit more complex than that... maybe a bit more complex than that. Maybe much simpler than that... and language itself keeps us from understanding. Language, the sugar for the mind...
There were many quite beautiful thoughts on his mind, thoughts filled with color, form, dimension. He really thought about quite incredibly elaborately stunning structures, Soaring pillars and chambers fragrant and warm and soft.
They saw in him the master of numbers, of time, his thoughts were more in love with the winding, beautiful and quiet kind. They thought his calls every morning were happy cheers to greet the day. For him they were cries of desperation. Oh how much did he wish he had been given a vocabulary larger than the few syllables that, to make things worse, translated completely differently into most languages.
The city is waiting for the arrival of colors. There are grey clouds over a de-saturated Manhattan. The houses look as if somebody washed them with fresh concrete. The water around the island – almost black.
I can see a tiny piece of a deep orange glow in one of the windows on the other side of the Hudson River. It is a reflection of the trusty sun, it will be here soon, it is just finishing up on the other side of the world.
In just a few minutes from now there will be a dance of hues and an explosion of reds and yellows and blues and all of the others in-between. Right now the colors are still asleep, they are resting, oh, except for that taxi-cab yellow, that never tired 24/7 worker bee.
... the sun never really came out... it was a pretty rainy morning...
She spent years and years learning languages and cultures in night courses. She understood nearly 1500 dialects, could howl all 19 owl languages. She was a very well read owl, seriously. Her hearing was so incredibly great and not only did she hear all conversations, she also remembered them.
Her family had the tradition of being consultants as far back as Athens.
This should have been the glorious part of life. This should have been the relaxed time. Kids were out of the forest, the mortgage on a barn was almost paid off.
So why for heaven's sake did the mice still have to party every single night?
Wait, wait, wait, not yet, it was not time yet, not quite, not quite, just a little minute, just one more, please, just that little minute please?
The corners of his colar would just point towards the sky every time he got as excited as now. Oh boy, such glory, such glory, such glory....
Oh, wooow, wooow, wooow...
Even though each moment was filled with excitement, he sometimes had the feeling that the life he was living was a rather replaceable one. Why him, what was so special about the way he saw things? Probably not very much actually?
Oh, wait, wait, not yet, do not let this moment pass....
(Please stay tuned as this little fragment will very likely be replaced by a completely different story...)
Another Tuesday, ladies and gentlemen, the day when visitors come to this page, maybe because they were able to survive a monday? It could also be that Tuesdays are just days when search engines send out their bots to read all the things we write and look at all the things we managed to collect. I do not know. It would make sense. The German word for Tuesday is "Dienstag" which very much feels like a marriage of Dienst (service, ministration) and Tag (day.)
What a perfect day to do check up on things... and not only if the Sunday (Sonntag) was sunny, which it was. (Yes, something is telling me that the right side of my brain is not in today and the left side is obviously also running late.)
It really does feel like it. My brain feels like a giant cotton ball that somebody stuck into my scull, for the time while my actual brain, the friend whom I know longest, is out for a thorough cleaning or something. Wash, rinse, spin? My thoughts are not very organized as it is, but the cotton ball just does not do as good of a job as my original, sly less bleached matter did.
I did not recognize myself in the mirror last night. There are large mirrors where I looked. There was a man staring back at me, who looked as if he were somehow related to me, but he was definitely not me. I tried to calculate the years. Did another seven pass? 7,14,21,28... 35... no, not yet... so what the heck is going on?
A cotton ball is soft and certainly well wired, but please, if you come across the ticket from the cleaners, please let me know where I left my brain.
I might need to read some Oliver Sacks again, just come to terms with what is going on up here on my top floor.
Just a few soft touches on numbers and letters and they were closer again, so close and warm and good. She could hear him whisper softly. He could hear her loving breath. And even though they might have appeared to others as two people connected by something man made, they were actually united, melted into one beautiful idea. And the tiniest words could send jolts of electricity over the wires and the smallest sound could make them shiver.
This was not surface talk, this was the deeper, deeper, deeper beautiful world they would visit again and again. So what about the weather? Oh, lovely thunderstorms...
The catalogue to the first Wolfgang Tillmans retrospective at the Tate in London made it here from Cologne. I was lucky enough to get one of the books from the limited edition of 100 containing a charming signed C-Print. 56/100 made it here tonight. The little print is a tiny bit smaller than the book. It is the portrait of an apple, still on a branch. In the background is a large residential complex. There is a little note attached to the apple: "Please leave this one" It is called "Please leave this one (day)" (2002-87), see page 270 . It is almost tempting to keep the packaging that protected the book and the artwork on the way from Europe. The book itself is not very large, 22,5 x 29,5 cm, the box it came in was about 1x2x3feet... The title of the book and the exhibition is: "If one thing matters, everything matters". : )
Here is some information about the exhibition, here some
more information about the exhibition.
The catalogue contains about 2400 images on 310 pages. The soft cover version is still available at the excellent source for photography books: schaden.com.
Additional discovery: One of the packaging layers of the parcel was a poster for the exhibition "Der Fotografierte Mensch" (The Photographed Human) at the Fotografische Sammlung, Museum Folkwang 5/24-7/24 and 8/16-10/5 (?)
The poster is a quite sweet photograph by Nan Goldin "Ulrika, Stockholm 1998"
The piece is especially a keeper because of all the tape marks and folds and cuts which were caused by using it as packaging.