Mittwoch, 28. Oktober 2009

Daylight Region

the lime trees in the courtyard have exhausted themselves, as the season requires, the trees have stopped flowering, they are old and thin but can still carry a few scattered leaves, nothing else. Beneath one of the trees is a sandbox with toys in it, which are used regularly and stay outside overnight. Bicycles lean on the walls of the building, at the back there is a pile of rusty spokes, twisted tyres, peeling cycle frames. Plastic and metal tractors and trucks park on the grassless ground, and chairs on thin legs. Garbage containers stand lined up and in front of them one drum has fallen over. For a few months it will be possible to see the bullet holes in the walls of the side wing and the holes – mouths – left in many parts of the crumbling plaster.

the light-beam takes its time, shining so brightly between the trunks. As if it were in no hurry and: as if not a single cloud would hinder it in its path and the sun would never go down again; as if the sun would shine purely alone and of itself and again and again (without waiting for anything). The light spread out widely, touching the trees at the edge of the woods with fire. The shadows of tree-trunks will fall across the fields. Long and thin, the shadows will lie across the narrow path on the fields, the shadows of the trees much longer than their height. Individual branches are sketched on the fields in a narrow script with regular ascenders and descenders, as if with a gigantic pencil. The light draws the shadows with sharp edges. But much faster than the approach of the light a cloud will force itself between sun and trees, stealing the light from the trees and the shadows from me. Slowly the big sheep named Cloud C wanders about the sky, breaks into small groups and comes together again. I try not to miss the moment when the many become one. And suddenly the light is gone again. Before all the light has gone, before the light turns off with clouds, lime-trees, sun-switch, before everything wafts away, I go myself. Take a run-up and fly somewhere.

even after the renovation there are still: the four storeys, with French doors at the back. The wall of the left wing is painted with flowers and trees with birds, children playing ball and a swarm of oversized butterflies. Over that is written how we laughed back then behind the moon with three exclamation marks, and over the passage in the front of the buildings someone has started but not finished in similar writing: Vivian I love you st. The bushes are high, and they are confused, as if they had suddenly grown old, they look scruffy, rundown. It is not precisely clear how much they have to do with each other. A woman (long, dark-brown dreadlocks) in working trousers and heavy shoes, who is too late, didn’t hear the alarm clock, perhaps forgot to turn it on, crosses the courtyard. A Tuesday morning in June. She is in a hurry, stops a moment, leaves the building.

after a few trials we took off the support wheels because you were much less secure on the road with them than without. (The road was precipitous and asphalt only came later.) I go about barefoot and have to avoid sharp stones now and then – jump-in-the-air. The bike looks hesitant in its shapelessness, or ungainly: because it has a thick frame and yet is very little. It radiates bright yellow, which matches your shiny red cheeks. Perspiration plasters your light blonde hair firmly to your head, just a few strands stand out over your ears; the slippery sunlight beams through your crown of hair onto your red ears as if they were something special. We drink juice from Dagmar and Rudi and before you have half-emptied your glass your little head drops to your shoulder, your body bends in the middle and makes a few wrinkles, your eyes have fallen shut, you have fallen asleep. It is cool in Dagmar’s and Rudi’s living room, there are big green plants outside the windows. The brown of the armchair and the brown of your swim-shorts can hardly be distinguished from each other. Above your togs a strip of white skin goes around your body, around your little tummy. Swim-short strips and orange braids on the chairs are sleeping peacefully, all of them exhausted. I yearn for the temperature of that day. Dagmar opens a door in the living-room cupboard; little lamps light up the mirror behind the coloured bottles, which sparkle now. Let them shimmer, go and get ice-cream and a camera. Photograph my little sleeping brother. I stand behind the chair where you are even smaller and more delicate than usual.

I stroke your hair from your wet brow. She presses the release button once more. The sun behind her makes me blink and I have to close my eyes. Orange and yellow threads of colour burning under my eyelids. We talk softly about your progress on your bike. I drink the juice in small swallows. Dagmar adds ice-blocks again and again, which she constantly sucks on, and then she takes a little (sharp) swallow; the little tongs put a few blocks in my glass of juice as well, they glide softly into the orange fluid. I think: silently, slowly, I think there is a filter over Dagmar’s and Rudi’s living room so that you can always go on sleeping.
(From : DAYLIGHT REGION/Taghelle Gegend, Novel 2007, translated by Nelson Wattie)

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