Hauschka – foreign landscapes
Yesterday the doorbell rang. I took a long time deciding whether to get up and follow the sound of the doorbell. Should I take the trouble of walking all the way to the door, despite the shrill protestations of my intuition? Don’t go; don’t open it; there won’t be anybody there; there won’t be anything at all! But, I did go. I opened the door, even though the doorbell had ceased to ring a while ago… a long time ago. I couldn’t even remember the sound the doorbell had made. Even under oath, or undergoing a third degree interrogation, I would have been unable to emulate the sound of that doorbell. I would have made a complete fool of myself trying. So, there I stood, leaning against the door, peering out into the hall, seeing, well, nobody. What else? Then something remarkable occurred: Loneliness stepped into my apartment. You wouldn’t recognize her if you tried. She was all clean and dressed up, and there was a scent that seemed to wrap itself around my astonished expression as she breezed past me. She sat down on a chair in a room which I had, so far, reserved for other purposes. Actually, I didn’t care all that much. Looking as she did, I wouldn’t have barred her from any of my rooms. She made herself at home, and during the next few hours I catered to her every wish. She even let out a sigh when I declared myself unable to serve the particular kind of tea she desired. But, I wasn’t sure I understood her correctly. I seemed to be doing everything right, despite the fact that I was rather confused and generally at a loss, mostly acting on gut feelings. Later, after we had had food and drinks, and several topics of conversation had been exhaustively covered, she virtually attacked me, screaming with excitement and arousal. I found this to be a little too much, but she scratched, bit and swallowed some of me. She screamed like a banshee, then laughed, giggled, snorted, and finally grinned before she fell fast asleep. She woke up hours later — at another time, that is. Looking at my watch, I didn’t know what I saw anymore. I was unable to read any of the numbers. You forgot, didn’t you? First time this happened in my life. Was that some kind of sign? That’s not a question you would want to ask somebody who’s in the process of waking up. Next to me, Loneliness woke up. She looked at me with her sad eyes, breaking my heart. It was as if she was thinking, “Damn! I am not enough for you! Although, I felt as if, for the first time since the last sun, somebody really understood me”. It would have been great if she wouldn’t have thought that. That pure and uninhibited look in her eyes would have consoled me to no end; I could have forgotten a number is a proper reason to mourn. I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t understand that! There she was, next to me, breathing deeply, but not at all amused by my having momentarily blamed her. Well, this was only the beginning. How should I know if that was right or not? You can’t take things back, even if it would have gone another way. I wanted our relationship to be devoid of misunderstandings. After a while, bleakness set in. Then I only felt sorry for her — not for the bleakness. Tough luck. I thought, “If only more people were around. If somebody else would join us – maybe Humor or one of his relatives – then things would definitely be different. As a threesome we might be able to…” But things being as they were, there was no reason to stay. I had stayed in this apartment way too long anyway. There was more air outside, and I was not worried about Loneliness being unable to rub the sleep out of her delicate little eyes. I turned my head from right to left, and back, and then once more. Then I closed my eyes and started all over. I came up for air, my face all red. I punched leaves off the trees. I spiced up other people’s moods. I crowned my intoxication with laughter. “If the soul sizzles and cracks,” I started to say, “then that is not because… If the soul lies across the paper… If the soul… If the soul…” Yeah, what about it? Lost in reverie? I really can’t be bothered to think about this right now.
In a corner lay a cat that was closer to fatal hypothermia than to hunger, or to the keenest reflex. I lied to the cat and made up a weather forecast that made her whiskers quiver. A white lie is all it takes, I admitted to myself. The cat laughed with a reedy voice, as if there were no tomorrow. She had lit a fire in her eagerness, which I could only trace back to my excellent storytelling. I was proud. I had a new female friend. We warmed our nails over the flames of a tender fire. She said she counted the caskets according to the Grudgefire. Had I understood her correctly? It appeared to be unnecessary to tell each other our names. That was a given. “How much longer do you plan on running away?” the cat asked me, as she passed water. I am not running away! “And what about your visitor? She is waiting at home for you! Did you really think I didn’t know about her?” My breath caught. To be perplexed doesn’t begin to describe it. Even less so for a cat. “That does not contribute to ascertaining the truth of the matter.” she purred serenely.
The other day I forgot to sit down. I came into an auditorium and there were seats. Seating accommodations, a voice whispered to me. I think it was my own voice. I was unable to give in to it. Mind you, it was not my intention to stand. It was not out of spite. And neither was I absent (or) minded. I can’t quite recall the feeling – it’s, after all, not really now that I am telling you about this – but it felt like a paroxysm, like trampling down a dirt floor, like… Oh well, I guess it’s completely unimportant! They took me outside and reprimanded me. I let it go, and that was that. As usual, I was unable to articulate a single coherent sentence, but that didn’t really matter. My opinion was the least important in these worthless moments. A short while later my prostrate body slipped on fish with their mouths wide open.