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Already Afternoon

.

Ines Meier / Alex Gerbaulet

Translation: Timo Wandert


The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Brauschweig provides the time for the whole of Germany. Its atomic clock controls all radio-controlled clocks, station clocks and many processes in the industry. It is so exact that only in three million years a deviation of one second can be expected.

 

Already afternoon, the next beer on the crossbar of the bike. We stare at red heaps of earth, because Darwin is undependable, he hasn’t come for about one hour now. In the meantime, T. has lost both of the earpieces of his glasses and is carrying it now in his hand. No distraction, the brain blows up like a balloon and threatens the skullcap. It’s a good moment to justify a developing squint.

We have animals with us, skin with something in it, which moves and makes difficulties. The thing, which makes difficulties, squeaks, because it is too big for the skin. Yet, we don’t have the heart to kick the skin with something inside to death. I put leaves from the ground in the bin. If the bushes were used to trains, they would not have taken up so much space. It rains as it would never stop, constantly, without hurry, with ostentation. I still have this reservoir belief about weather that sometime it would have to end.

 

I am greeting people only because I have seen them frequently. You can’t drink so much coffee as you have blood. The man of the CroBag mutters, Buy house and car. And again he is telling something of efficiency. As if we were dealing with a colander. Somebody asks for the central station, as if we were in a major city. (At least the place exists all over the year.) This is our first dog and it will be our last. There is no better one. He does what I tell him, he does what I want.

I am practising to exist less. Shallow breathing. Still, a clicking noise in my ears every time I yawn, so that my hearing becomes better and better.

.

When it’s dark and there’s light in the hall, the hall and the glass door to the hall are reflected in the window pane, shining brighter than the lit windows of the house on the opposite side. I always look at it and would like to smoke. Lately, there was a party behind one of the windows. I positioned myself in a way to make it look as if they were sitting with me. When someone got up they went down my hall to enter the kitchen or the bath-room.

.

I have hidden the corpses. In a wall, which now divides the flat. A sink, the gloves are swelling up under the water, becoming to slippery to take off. (Today, I would like to claim: Subsequently, I left church.)

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Bedel. 12,000 parachutists, bags of bones, like jellyfish in the air. One after another gets out, above Braunschweig, 100% genuine.

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I am completely by myself. Thumbs peeled, to the blood. I don’t sleep anymore. A twitching in the stomach region. I forgot, I wanted to look it up: How many does the cow have? Also the frog, letting his offspring grow up in the stomach and then spitting it out. This is birth. Some substance prevents the animal from being digested.

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T. says the first step towards satisfaction would be a happy relationship to one’s own excrements. The place gives me the finger, I make faces. One day, you take this town personally. In the past, T. waved to every plane, because he thought that his mother would be in it. Functioning control of reality is a plus of recovery. I drift myself away, out, always at the margin, the body straight, as if I was part of it. I almost get total parental nutrition. YOU EAT WHAT IS ON THE TABLE. We mistreat ourselves and who can still laugh, wins. I would have scratched my eyes out, so that I don’t have to see it all constantly. If there was a coal-burning stove, we could at least stare into the fire. That’s how I grew up, always an eye on the glow.

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Memories that can be stretched into slow-motion. Passing by, a look into the lobby. A women stands in back light and doesn’t move. Straight, with a craned back. She holds one arm away from the body. Rings from a cigarette rise from her fingertips. Black and white.

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Suddenly, all the leaves are brown. I am back and this back is just a reflex in the language. A placeholder. The sum of the light, which the film irradiates. Film makers cannot romp, they have always a camera in their hand. A puppet finds proof of its existence out of its environment. We know each other, but we haven’t seen much. One litre of green tea each day reduces the light sensitivity of the skin. Digital cameras are only for the long-sighted.

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The birds fall from the wall of the opposite house like from entrenchments, I always fear they would burst at my window pane.

 

It was my first time in Jahnstrasse during the day.

The first time I was in Jahnstrasse was in daylight. Summer. C. and two guys were sitting in armchairs on the street. I thought of Permanent Vacation. The clothing also looked like film quotes from the 80ies. I looked no better. Misplaced in shirt and suit trousers. I share a beer with C. Her cat runs across the street and hisses. In the background there are dogs barking. Actually, I’m too tired for this.

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Axis station-Pippelweg. In the roundabout plants, which no matter what season resemble hedgehogs. The taxi driver speaks about the advantages of plastic Christmas trees. Running time: less than ten minutes.

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When he came here for the first time, T. slept in a home for the elderly, because everything else was already booked out. Barber, pharmacy and orthopaedist available. T. said, god has no need for synapses. He moved here when he was eighteen, behind the theatre, it was a major city back then. Every day, he drank his first coffee in front of the cathedral and the second at Karstadt’s.

.

In the supermarket a man runs through the isle in front of me, shakes, tears at the trouser legs, whimpers. An animal would be following him, he whispers, it threatens him, he wriggles, the animal doesn’t let go, desperately he snaps at his trousers from behind, tries to grab it.

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After an accident a car hangs down from a bridge, the continuation of the journey is delayed, we are asked for our understanding. By now, my ticket has so many holes, that I wonder, if I can still use it for the journey back.

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June 6. 2:50 h. I call 110. Place: Takeaway on Hugo Luther Strasse just before the turn to Jahnstrasse. They arrive within minutes in two cars. 4 cops. Or should I better say po-lice. Riot police and vice squad.

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A naked man is following me. Starting at Blumenstrasse. About 1.80 meters, dark hair, maybe a pigtail, stubble, not old (whatever that is supposed to mean), pale skin (at the beginning the police officer at the phone asked me, if the guy looked foreign. I almost hung up), erect penis, no tattoos, barely hair on his chest. After some time a police officer has the heart to ask, if he was shaved down below. His colleague says that’s not of importance. No, I say. That’s no evidence or something, he says. The hippie type, lanky, might be drunken, babbles.

I think he is screaming, because besides it’s so quiet. But I know that he’s not much louder than a whisper.

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Evoking. My own voice is extraordinarily loud. Quick steps. Is it shock? Everything like in cotton wool. I dream of naked zombies. It turns out that all of them are gay. I’m relieved. But then a zombie talking my ear off on the stairs. By now, I am really annoyed.

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Permanent wave, to the back, adverse winds have no chance. The face as a picture made by the hair-dresser. In last year’s newspapers a black swan falls in love with a pedal boat. Being always the second, saves the world. My colleague had the wrong date in the pincers. Only because you drive too far on the left, it doesn’t mean you’re away on holidays. I knew someone, who didn’t go to work, because he forgot to turn the pages of his calendar. The view tilts from the vertical to the horizontal, reasonably accelerated we’re being shot towards a destination, with the back of the head pressed flat. The travelling consumer. Invention of cans and packet soup. The landscape is being torn apart. Nystagmus. The flickering of the eyes out of the train window, attempts to fix, in staccato. Photographic impertinence. Snapshots: All are just still on the picture, in the black hole of the camera. The view as the last contour.

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An underwater scene from childhood. I can’t swim, cling to the edge of the pool and descent every one and then with my eyes open to watch the movements of the swimmers. The feet of a child. Like a frog, the legs open and close. One leg strikes more than the other. A false position of the foot. Yet, I imitate that and even today I strike more with one feet than with the other when swimming.

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Comfortable flat in an old building, 3rd floor in unconventional Jahnstrasse is looking for the next tenant.

The flat has three rooms and beautiful high ceilings create a pleasant atmosphere. There is a view onto a small park from the kitchen window (south side). No annoying neighbours as very many of the flats are vacant. The few still living in the building are very very nice and helpful. Penny and Hornbach can be quickly reached by bike and you always find a place to park directly in front of the house. The flat was renovated two and a half years ago, and has a shower, which can’t always be taken for granted in Jahnstrasse. The sitting room is painted in yellow and orange, the sleeping room is painted in a dark yellow on wall paper, and the workroom is painted in a pale blue also on wall paper. The area is quiet, because no traffic.