Was du mir bedeutest

Personen: Janine, Dave, Paula, Björn, Linus, Melanie, Jenny, Johannes, Simon, Marco, Teja (aka Steffi), Ray Zeit: nicht angegeben     Akt, 1. Szene   (Es ist nachts und Janine steht auf dem Geländer einer Brücke und starrt kaugummikauend ins Wasser. Ihre Hände in ihren Hosentaschen.)   JANINE: Ach, das Leben, das unerklärliche Leben… Wenn man damit nicht klarkommt begeht man Suizid, weil man hofft, dass man nach dem Tod endlich den inneren Frieden findet. Aber ich bin mir nicht sicher, überhaupt nicht, denn ich glaube ja nicht an das Leben nach dem Tod. Wieso auch? Wieso auch? Auch wenn ich itzt springe wird sich auch nichts ändern. Wenn ich sterbe, will ich nicht ertrinken, dann verschluck ich mir die Zunge oder sonstwas. Nein, nein…   (Es taucht Dave auf, der etwas angeheitert ist. Er sieht sie und läuft unverzüglich zu ihr, um sie aufzuhalten.)   DAVE: Ey, Kleine…was macht Ihr da? Es ist unsinnig, was Ihr vorhabt! Ich werde es nicht zulassen, gebt mir Eure Hand, kommt!   JANINE(erschreckt sich): Holla! Wer seid Ihr denn? Was glaubt Ihr, was ich vor habe?   DAVE(nähert sich ihr vorsichtig): Hört mir zu, es ist keine Lösung…   JANINE(nervös): Kommt ja nicht näher zu mir, Ihr macht mir immense Angst! Ich warn Euch, kein Schritt näher!   DAVE(kommt ihr noch näher und hält ihr eine Hand hin): Vertraut mir!   JANINE: Weg!   (Dave stolpert über einen Stein und stürzt mit ihr zusammen ins Wasser. Sie gibt ein Schrei von sich.)   JANINE(japsend): So helft mir doch! Ich kann nicht schwimmen! Hilfe!   (Dave schwimmt zu ihr und hilft ihr bis zum Ufer. Sie völlig durchnäßt und schnappt hastig nach Luft.)   DAVE(besorgt): Geht’s Euch gut, mein liebstes Fräulein?   (Sie schlägt mit ihrer Faust heftig auf ihn ein.)   Janine(endlos verägert): Zum Henker! Was denkt Ihr, was Ihr seid, Ihr alter Schwede! Wolltet Ihr mich umbringen? Glaubtet Ihr, ich war bereit für den Tod? Glaubtet Ihr das?   DAVE(zurückzuckend): Was? Also wolltet Ihr nicht…   JANINE(unterbricht): NEIN!   (Er fasst sich an den Kopf, sie macht heftige Schritte und ist immer noch verärgert.)   DAVE: Es tut mir…   (Sie läuft davon ohne ein weiteres Wort)     Szene   (Dave ist bei sich zu Hause, steht vor dem Spiegel und schüttelt endlos den Kopf.)   DAVE: Wie eine Furie! Dabei machte ich mir bloß Sorgen. Doch, was wenn sie ins Wasser gefallen wäre und keiner wäre ihr zur Hilfe gekommen? Ich hätte sie dann tot aufgefunden…und mich dann geärgert, warum ich sie nicht ein paar Tage früher oder vielleicht Monate,...

Savasana

He opened his eyes in the dark. There was an unpleasant taste in his mouth and his throat was dry. The ceiling was of dark colour. It seemed to him the sets of lights had been on not so long ago – in a different life. As he peered to the side, he saw more than ten people lying flat on their backs. In a flash, he saw an image of narcotized patients surrounding him. That image faded as soon as a gentle female voice broke the silence. “You may now open your eyes.” He felt like he had cheated, as though it had been an experiment in which he didn’t follow the instructions correctly. “Gently stretch your arms and legs,” the voice continued, “wiggle your fingers and toes and slowly turn your body to the right side.” The halogen lights slowly came back on as everyone moved to his or her side, placing the head lightly on the right arm. Watching the strong, tanned back of his female neighbour, he saw the sun-kissed desert sand of a far away land. A little over her left shoulder blade was an unusual birthmark in the shape of a gecko paw. The sight of the gecko paw made the bad taste in his mouth go away. Or it could be the change of position. He slept better on the side than in the supine position, due to the risk of the base of the tongue collapsing into the airway triggering snoring. He was the first to leave the room after the Namaste. His girlfriend Dawn was waiting for him outside the studio with a pleasant smile, which reminded him that all was real. “Hey babe,” she said and kissed his dry lips. “How was the class? Do you feel relaxed?” “I don’t really know.” They got in her car and she waited until all his Yoga classmates had walked past the car. There was his neighbour with the gecko paw on her shoulder. “Should I be worried that you might be getting too intimate with these ladies?” He puts his hand on her big belly and felt a little kick against his palm. “See how she’s agreeing with me?” Dawn said. He shook his head smiling. “Perhaps you two could keep an eye on me by doing Yoga with me.” She started the engine. “I would love to, babe! But don’t you remember the last two times? My back was killing me! Savasana has never been so painful!” “You didn’t give yourself a chance to get used to it.” “I’ll be...

extract from chapter 11 – New York is made of veins...

I have been running the six-mile route counterclockwise starting from the hospital – past Harlem Hill, the Jacky Kennedy reservoir and The Lake. Now I find myself at the Columbus Circle, which means I have left the runner’s loop. Completely out of focus I look at my watch, which has stopped ticking since five minutes to twelve, so has the public clock. There is an eerie silence. The car engines are off. The entire city has come to a halt. A blockage of cars in the circle stops everyone from moving. And all the cars upfront on E 59th St are lined up in front of red traffic lights that are not turning green. I take off my sunglasses to observe the people at the food vendors and in the cars. The sun and some drops of sweat blur my vision for a few seconds. I take a deep breath through my nose inhaling the weak scent of my aloe vera deodorant. Usually, I would perceive the scent of hot dogs and roasted peanuts right away in this area. Despite the closeness of these food stalls, I smell nothing, but myself. As my vision recovers, I see how they are all staring at me resentfully without a blinking eye. I perceive a thousand eyes. If only people were cells. I run down E 59th St until I reach Madison Avenue and take a left. The city is made of endless veins like a functioning human body. This is why this city never sleeps. The human body never sleeps. Here I find the same thing as before – motionless cars, dark gazing eyes. Before reaching the DKNY shop I suddenly see blood washing down the entire avenue, coloring the street with a metallic smell that makes me hungry. Just before it reaches my feet, I see a naked replica of me crucified against the DKNY building. The crown of thorns has pricked numerous wounds around the head and the flowing blood has dyed the hair slightly ginger. With the excess of blood flowing down the body, my replica looks tortured and exhausted, almost dead. Its eyes are closed. The flowing blood on the street is coloring the soles of my sneakers crimson. From the top of the building crawls down the Norman look-alike figure whose movements are as disturbing as that of a creature from the spider family. He approaches my replica and scrutinizes it. As his head moves closer he places his tongue on its shoulder and licks his way along the clavicle and down my replica’s left breast. I...

Small hands

She was eating the skin around her finger. The TV in the waiting room was reporting a New Year’s rape that took place in Sydney. New Year’s was seven hours ago in Australia. As a kid, she used to think that people in Australia were in the future and one had to travel through different dimensions to reach that future. The idea of being behind made growing up a lot harder. The girl that got raped was a 24-year old student, who was on her way to the harbour to meet her friends. Though she never got there and was found bruised and unconscious behind a fast food restaurant. No sperm was found in her vagina or nearby. She didn’t even remember the man, who had approached her. There was merely an intense sensation of being smothered. Doctors had analyzed the marks on her neck and thighs and figured that whoever had attacked her must have had small hands – only if there had been a potential attack. The whole world was speculating. The nurse called her name and she followed her to have her blood pressure checked. Then the nurse escorted her into the doctor’s office where she sat for the next ten minutes. Going to the doctor’s had always been a pleasure. Ever since she was a kid, she was curious to find out what was the matter with her.  One time many years ago she ran to her local doctor without an appointment and claimed she had an asthma attack. It took her three visits to understand that a panic attack was a name for shortness of breath and rejection of reality. Something in her mind would distort her vision and create scary men with butcher knives or crazy mums with hairbrushes made of metal spikes. If strong enough she could control them, if not, they would control her. This, she never told the doctor. Her doctor enters the office with a smile. He was tall and fit and married; his hazel eyes resembling driftwood in a Corot painting. “How are you feeling today?” he asked She nodded OK. He scanned her face thoughtfully as though recollecting his memories about something. “Does the medication that I prescribed you help?” “Yes, thank you, but that’s not why I am here.” “Ah, yes, pap test results…” He scrolled down his mouse, narrowing his eyes as he read the details about her medical history. For some reason, she believed he was looking at everything but the Pap test. She began tapping her foot on the floor. “OK…” She stopped...

Retrovertigo

Craving a Scotch he enters O’Malley’s bar late at night. Walking past the sign saying, “sorrow can swim”, he attempts to build a descending surface above the water by setting an image of the sky crashing down. There are people in the world whose imaginations are so strong they could kill. But going insane is not the best response to reality. The barkeeper approaches him with a sympathetic smile. The bar smells like a mixture of washing up liquid and dry sticky beer. Ever since smoking was banned indoors, the walls and floors reek of post-party hours. Suddenly he feels older than he really is. “Evening, Sam. Same old?” Sam nods. “What’s up?” “She wants me to fuck her in the arse, that’s up.” The barkeeper laughs as he prepares Sam’s drink. “Taking a woman up the arse has various meanings, y’know that, right?” Sam’s eyes glow in curiosity – no matter if sacred or profane, his wife Lorraine no longer knows the difference, not to mention her modesty over which she used to be so protective. Ever since she picked up a gay man’s erotic book, she has transformed into a sodomy obsessed little woman with the wild desire of having her husband’s 5’5 inch erect penis up her anus. And every time he refuses. Sometimes her fingertips would brush along his curvy bum cheeks and even run between them. “They envy homosexuals such as Wilde or Ginsberg,” the barkeeper says. “Why? Cos they’re poets?” “No,” he says and places the Scotch in front of Sam. At this moment a small group of middle-aged ladies enter the pub with high pitched laughs. One of them, Sam recognizes, is Lorraine’s gynecologist Dr. Fitton. A few days ago, she called him to ask if everything was ok with Lorraine, as she had asked Dr. Fitton to stroke her anus with the speculum because she felt a tickle. So he asked Dr. Fitton whether she had done it or not, but she refused to reply, and instead, indicated that his young wife was keen on some adventurous approaches. He has only seen a vaginal speculum once and it’s no instrument one would want up his arse. He instantly downed the glass of Scotch and stares at the barkeeper. “I understand,” Sam says ,“men don’t need extra toys.”   The night seems endless as if it hadn’t been day at all. Never in his life has he walked that slowly – the ground isn’t as solid as it was before; it’s like walking on soft soil. At least it feels like it....

My conversation with Ho Li-Fuk

Introduction: October 2013: I had two things in mind at VPL this afternoon, which was to continue working on the short story and also finish reading The mind of Mr. Soames. Since the short story wasn’t coming along too well, I decided to read the last 50 pages of the novel and took a seat in a communal area on level 3. Halfway through the last pages, I noticed a Chinese coming towards me saying that he’d been watching me for a while. He must have been in his mid-fifties judging by his receding hairline, the sideburns turning gray. He was slim and somewhat weakly built and carried a rucksack. I’m not much of a liar, though I wish I had lied to him right from the beginning. It’s just a language that you need to learn, requiring a calm state of mind and even creativity. I never learnt about his name, though I’d like to call him Ho Li-Fuk. Here’s the fictionalized and shortened version of our conversation depicting what a bad liar I am. At least strangers believe me. However, it doesn’t change the fact that he did catch me off guard. (Translated from Cantonese.)     Ho Li-Fuk:                  You speak Chinese?   Me:                             Yes.   Ho Li-Fuk (takes a seat across from me.) You from Hong-Kong?   Me:                             Something like that…   Ho Li-Fuk:                  You either are or not. Where are your parents from?   Me (pause.) Singapore.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  You’re from Singapore?   Me:                             No, I’m from Germany.   Ho Li-Fuk (looks impressed): Germany? Interesting. So you speak German and Chinese!   Me:                             Yes.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  And English!   Me (eyes fixed on my book.): Yes.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  You look well educated. You must be in your mid twenties?   Me:                             28.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  Wait, what’s your Chinese zodiac?   Me:                             Ox.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  So what are you doing in Canada?   Me (looking up again): Working and travelling.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  Interesting. How long you here for?   Me (looking around me.): A year.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  Nice! You in Vancouver for a year?   Me:                             No.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  You going back to Germany after?   Me:                             Yes.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  How long have you been in Canada?   Me:                             A couple of months.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  Why aren’t you staying in Vancouver?   Me:                             I’ve found a job elsewhere.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  And where’s that?   Me (pause.): Toronto.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  What kind of job?   Me:                             Hotel.   Ho Li-Fuk:                  Nice! You can easily find a job here,...