WE ONLY WANT MILK FOR COFFEE. The refrigerator stands cool and straight in the corner, as always. But I could not open it because Emilia was sitting there, deeply engaged in a serious conversation with a chair, standing in front of her.
Johann peered over my shoulder to see what Emilia was doing. He and Emilia are a pair. Shortly afterward, an unpleasant explosion behind my left ear testified to Johann’s futile attempt to suppress a laugh attack.
Most of us have experienced similar things. A beautiful – serious situation, like Hamlet in the Shakespeare Theater, or a wonderful piano concerto, and then something stupid happens, and you can’t stop laughing. Which happened to me in a piano concerto. I wore a beautiful rose in my hair – the third time in a row, precisely because it was so beautiful.
During a slow movement, I leaned forward for something. Well, and there lay all the beautiful petals on the ground and me with one ridiculous stick in my hair. My companion – himself a gifted pianist – and I were taken with a bout of laughter, of which of course nothing may be heard. But it sets you shaking.
Well, it came now thoughtfully out of me. Now it’s 2016. Is that normal today? I mean talking to a chair or something like that?
DO YOU REALLY ASK ME, time traveler since 10.001 years? Once I heard Julius Caesar polemicising with the Plato statue in the Alexandria Library about the massacre of the Gauls, Barbarossa disputing with the bust of Charlemagne in the Cathedral at Aachen about the future of the first empire and Theodore Roosevelt arguing with the marbled Abraham Lincoln in his Washington Memorial about the 2nd Amendment and its meaning for the Constitution. Yes, it is absolutely okay to talk to chairs, tables, monuments, all intermediaries of our inquisitive mind for communicating with heroes of the past, giants of the future, spirits, God. But it is not important with whom you speak but what you say, ask, communicate. And this is your secret, not mine. To recognise this mystery would give my halt in this glade of time an unprecedented significance. Disclosing such a secret would be a great award and motivation to travel further into a future without chairs and the like, where people communicate with today unknown intermediaries.
Friends, let us find out the secret of the rose falling out of your hair, try to understand the cause for the laughter, and a question is answered, a gap closes in your life and will give you rest and peace. So, what is the secret of this rose?
IT’S QUITE CRAZY that our protagonist is called Emilia. For “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” is a part of Gertrude Stein’s poem of 1913. The whole poem is called “Sacred Emily” …
With the first “A rose is a rose” she meant the name of a person, with the second the flower and so you can continue forever. At that time, she tried to clarify how the sound “rose” evokes a different association in everyone and which realises the freedom of thought. Things are what they are. … Just depends what they are for whom.
I say, “If you get a rose you become a rose”. Because did you ever see, no matter whether male or female, someone who does not start to blossom a little, if he gets a rose? A smile and slightly shameful pink cheeks? A rose is a snapshot, like the fingerprint of a small part of your life. But this makes this microscopic part unforgettable and unmistakable. This moment can not be delayed, artificially extended. That is why the destiny has caught our two concertgoers and pulled them into a very funny way.
Oh, and the stick could have been turned around into a pot of soil, which at every tenth try will form roots … but that was certainly not wanted …
SUDDENLY, a shrill sound took me away out my thoughts. It touched my heart and let me look outside in joyful expectation. there they were, the house martins. We know each other. They flew over the roof landscape at breakneck speed, and when they flew an acrobatic curve in front of the balcony door, they had released their loud screams, as if they were trying to wake me up with their enthusiasm and their joy in the game. Yes, we know each other and they love to get my attention. At least, that resonates in my heart. I can feel the joy, when I see them. They make my heart beat faster. Here, I also know that they perceive me and react to me.
Strange beings who rarely touch the earth, who can never build solid relationships. Where everything is always moving, so fast that I feel dizzy at the thought. Do they have friends with whom they can move on for a while? Or is it the game that brings them together? These moments of exuberance, which is also connected with the longing for edible, tangible goals. Everything so fragile and yet full of joy, unconcerned. Every moment full of wonder, full of stimuli to react to what is happening in this tenth of a second. The unforeseen, but hoped. Oh yeah, where was the milk again?
AFTER THESE THOUGHTS, I suddenly looked more closely at Emilia: could it be that she had perhaps fallen into mental confusion? There had been stories, many years ago, narrated by brain researcher Oliver Sacks. About the man who mistook his wife with a hat. Did Emilia mistook a chair with her husband? She chattered cheerfully, and I felt quite queasy when I looked up. Then I recognised how Johann was shaken by an oppressed laughter, just like then we were at the theater when the rose fell apart, and the situation appeared to me increasingly comical, but not dramatical.
There was no heroic character with the statues of past heroes, and a blissful “rosy moment” was just as much in sight as the freedom of the house martin’s flight (which by the way, are always in the air, even copulate in flight as I remembered suddenly). This concrete vision, however, was somehow suited to Emilia’s self-evident absurd chitchat. Then Johann helped me to understand. “Look at Emilia’s mop of curls more precisely, don’t you recognise the dented places? And there is no new jewelry, but a micro at her neck. She has put on her new head-set and is talking with a girlfriend about humdrum things”. Now we both had to laugh heartily, about my confusion and the simple solution, while now Emilia looked at us seemingly irritated, but without being disturbed further in her conversation. The situation reminded me of an occasional feeling when I suddenly meet someone who seems to talk aloud with nature until I see his mobile phone. Irritations of modern communication. Now I finally got the milk and poured it into my coffee.
STORY-TEAM ELAINE (OWNER)
ARABEL, RUEDIGER, TELLER C, GERD (CONTRIBUTORS)
DARMSTADT / BERLIN, GERMANY 2016
CREATIVE COMMONS CC by-nc-nd
(Distribution at the attribution, not commercial, no processing /
Creative Commons license (German)