“Love was in the air, so both of us walked through love on our way to the corner. We breathed it in, particularly me: the air was also full of smells and birds, but it was the love, I was sure, that was tumbling down to my lungs, the heart’s neighbors and confidants. Andrea was tall and angry. I was a little bit shorter. She smoked cigarettes. I worked in a store that sold things. We always walked to this same corner, Thirty — seventh and what’s — it, Third Avenue, in New York, because it was easier to get a cab there, the entire time we were in love.
“You must be nervous,” she said when we’d walked about two puffs.
“Yes,” I said. “I am nervous. I’ve never been to a reading of a will. I didn’t even know they still did things like this, read wills. I thought it was, I don’t know, a movie thing. In a movie. Do you think everybody will be dressed up?”
“Who cares?” Andrea said. She threw down her cigarette and ground it out with the heel of her shoe like a new kind of halfhearted dance. “Look,” she said, and shaded her eyes with her hand for a minute like she was actually looking at something. I turned my head to see. “I just mean, look,” she said, cupping my head with her hand. “The expression I mean. Look, I’m trying to be nice, but I’m scatterbrained right now, if you know what I mean. I’m frightened by your behavior. I woke up this morning and you said good morning and I said good morning, what do you feel like doing today and you said well I sort of have to do this thing and I said what thing and you said go to the reading of my father’s will and Isaid what are you talking about and then you told me your dad died. This morning. I mean, he died two weeks ago but that’s when you told me. That’s when you told me. I’m trying to think that you just must be in shock that your dad died but it’s very, very, very, very, very, very difficult.”
Daniel Handler (San Francisco, 28 februari 1970)
Uit: Berliner Simulation
“Nur einer in diesem Ubahnzug läßt ein Rätsel bestehen. (…) Voller Gefühl sieht er finster drein. Wir haben den gleichen Weg. Er komme aus Süddeutschland, wo er arbeite, zum Wochenende nach Berlin, wo er wohne. Er macht einen militärischen Gruß und sagt: »Diesen hier! Vier Jahre freiwillig. Im Jahr verdiene ich 25 000 Mark. 6000 gebe ich für die Flüge oder Bahnfahrten aus. Am Wochenende muß ich eben zu meiner Frau!« (…)
Der Vermissende ist der Idiot. Das höchste der Gefühle anderer für ihn ist Mitgefühl – was ihn rasend macht.”
“Und dann (…) gehe ich nach Hause und was sehe ich? Ich sehe das Modell eines Fernsehbeitrags über das Modell einer Demonstration. Was wirklich ist, rutscht, wie üblich, hinten weg, und in der Hauptsache wird das gesagt, was an anderer Stelle auch schon gesagt worden ist. So geht das Tag für Tag. Nicht die Ereignisse, sondern die Modelle werden wiederholt. (…) In diesen Modellen sollen wir bleiben wie in einem Hamsterrad, denn in ihnen bleibt nichts wirklich; nur die Simulation.”
Bodo Morshäuser (Berlijn, 28 februari 1953)
Foto: Brigitte Friedrich
My love, while we talked
They removed the roof. Then
They started on the walls,
Panes of glass uprooting
From timber, like teeth.
But you spoke calmly on,
Your example of courtesy
Compelling me to reply.
When we reached the last
Syllable, nearly accepting
Our positions, I saw that
The floorboards were gone:
It was clay we stood upon.
The Golden Hook
Two fish float:
one slowly downstream
into the warm
currents of the known
the other tugging
against the stream,
tearing its throat.
John Montague (New York, 28 februari 1929)
In the Confessional
Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.
this week for the first time in seventy-eight years
I have committed the following sin:
I watched a rugby league game from start to finish.
And what is more, Father, I enjoyed it!
Especially Israel Folau’s high ‘screamer’
and his two touch-downs.
Oh, and also Johnathan Thurston’s
Dummy pass splitting the Blues’ back-line.
Oh, and also Billy Slater’s dashing subsequent touch-down!
For these, and for such other Origin-al sins
I may in future commit, I ask penance
and absolution of you, Father, and I firmly intend
with your help to sin no more, unless
as God’s AFL representative of the one true Game
which we are told is played in Heaven
I have indeed committed the one unforgivable
–hullo? Are you there, Father?
Bruce Dawe (Fitzroy, 28 februari 1930)
Uit: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
„Columbus kidnapped ten of his friendly Taino hosts and carried them off to Spain, where they could be introduced to the white man’s ways. One of them died soon after arriving there, but not before he was baptized a Christian. The Spaniards were so pleased that they had made it possible for the first Indian to enter heaven that they hastened to spread the good news throughout the West Indies.
The Tainos and other Arawak people did not resist conversion to theEuropeans’ religion, but they did resist strongly when hordes of these bearded strangers began scouring their islands in search of gold and precious stones. The Spaniards looted and burned villages; they kidnapped hundreds of men, women, and children and shipped them to Europe to be sold as slaves. Arawak resistance brought on the use of guns and sabers, and whole tribes were destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people in less than a decade after Columbus set foot on the beach of San Salvador, October 12, 1492.
Communications between the tribes of the New World were slow, and news of the Europeans’ barbarities rarely overtook the rapid spread of new conquests and settlements. Long before the English-speaking white men arrived in Virginia in 1607, however, the Powhatans had heard rumors about the civilizing techniques of the Spaniards. The Englishmen used subtler methods. To ensure peace long enough to establish a settlement at Jamestown, they put a golden crown upon the head of Wahunsonacook, dubbed him King Powhatan, and convinced him that he should put his people to work supplying the white settlers with food. Wahunsonacook vacillated between loyalty to his rebellious subjects and to the English, but after John Rolfe married his daughter, Pocahontas, he apparently decided that he was more English than Indian.“
Dee Brown (28 februari 1908 – 12 december 2002)