A beautiful rainy day today, still cold but the plants and trees are happy.
I wait for a couple of new books to arrive with the post. One will tell the story of the reichskanzlei, the building designed by Speer for Mr. H. The other will tell the story of the (jewish) Wertheim family. Wertheim is also the name of one of the big warehouses that were built in Berlin around the 1900's.
Ironic detail. Wertheim warehouse and the reichskanzlei were on the same street. H.'s office faced the back entrance of the warehouse.
After having read these books I can go to the place on my bike tours and tell the tourists about the things they don't see.
Krakow, city of broken dreams.
days, weeks, years.
I have time.
I can wait for your story,
still have to write mine.
In two weeks time I will be in the Netherlands. There is a place in my native town where people bring all kinds of household items that they don't use anymore. Visiting it is like watching social life after its dissection, all items that once have found good use. And yes, after a ten minutes walk around I found a very tiny space with some tapes in it. I bought two at 25ct each. Next time I will buy all. I need C90s.
I have big windows in my room, and a lot of view.
Main eye-catcher is the Ullstein building, a former publishing house.
Look what I found in the book about the Wall that I'm about to finish:
"I was twenty-two, a technical sergeant in the United States Army, returned to Berlin after an abscence of eight years, this time as city editor of a major newspaper, The Allgemeine Zeitung, published for the Berliners by our Military Government. We set up shop in the Ullstein skyscraper printing plant near Tempelhof"
And a few pages later:
"By the time we were permitted to proceed into Berlin in July, all but the heaviest of Ullstein plant's printing presses had vanished. While they had stalled, keeping Westerners from entering the city, the Soviets had spirited just about every piece of movable industrial equipment to Russia."
It almost feels like a found tape.
Dust off memories, I don’t belong here. I watch the students in the auditorium, row by row. A girl with black hair; I think of The Cure. I don’t know yet that she will be my next girlfriend.
The professor is lost. He doesn’t look at his students. His words are like scarce drops of rain in a desert; they evaporate before they hit the sand.
This time never existed. I go back. He goes back. In his memory he is a young man, walking somewhere in India. One day he changes plan. He says this action changed the texture of the universe. On that same day Gandhi gets killed.
A man alone in his studio with scissors and a piece of magnetic tape. He slices, cuts and glues. He is not aware of any other world. Not on his knees, no statue to look up to, no murmured words, just fragments of life put together in a different order.
The pages of a book, something happened. It was the last decade of the last century. A memory of a man watching a match of AS Roma in the Olympic Stadium. The sun always shines in Rome. The man looks down and he sees Falcão running, totally disinvolved with the match. The player follows the line of the shadow that the giant roof casts upon the field.
Falcão was a Brazilian football player, an elegant one above that, who used to wear Armani suits in his spare time. Armani was big in the eighties.
The image of Falcão running along that line that divided the field in a dark and sunny part kept haunting me. He is still running. I know he is. Running along that line without a chance to go forward.
The eye can fall on that line, just like a falcon launches itself to catch its prey. There is earth under Falcão’s feet, little animals live there, they crawl and slide through the little grains of mud, between the roots of the grass. But the journey can go further, deeper into the earth, where there is no sense of space, just a sense of falling until the darkness goes away. Kids play football on a small football pitch, sand. One of them wears an old yellow shirt, the jersey of the Brazilian team. The kid misses his front teeth. He smiles, picks up the ball and kicks it hard, runs away and celebrates with his friends.
The man visited the game together with his friend. They leave the stadium, discussing the match, not aware of the stream of people around them. They both were stunned by Falcão’s run. The first thing the man does when he comes home is to listen to the answering machine. After a series of short messages and beeps he hears the voice of his friend. He forgot to tell him something.
I want that tape.
Words by Rinus Van Alebeek