but before I began / I was bored / before I even began”
—The Smiths – q.e.d. – as early as 1987
Breathe in, breathe out. Believe me, I try my very best to live a life in the present.
For example, I breathe, in and out, and even try faux-buddhist tricks like attending the air flow into one nostril and exhaling through the other. Yet, Now is a difficult and somewhat harrowing concept for me. As the future also carries only a limited appeal, all there remains is the past; or, so it seems:
1. A random day in London, where I used to live.
2. I buy a book on Dresden, 1945. I am not interested in the present city of Dresden.
3. I buy another book; on Stalingrad.
4. I buy a pair of trainers that are inspired by a 1970s Tennis hero.
5. I buy a book with short poems by W.G. Sebald, a dead writer, very obsessed himself with life and events preceding his own.
5b. I stop myself from also buying a sociologist account on Baader-Meinhof and the Weathermen, and how the 1960s student revolts went out of hand.
6. I buy a book by poet Wallace Stevens, not knowing him as of yet, but feeling a deep sense of doing the right thing as I learn that he died over 50 years ago.
7. I exchange text messages with a girl I used to know.
During all of this, I hallucinate a bittersweet smell in the air, having “better” written all over it, as I derail from my lame attempts to live in the present. I am not here. Here is somewhere else. Breathe in, breathe out.
Dieser Beitrag ist auf Englisch, docheiniges an der Zeitmauer gibt es auch in der hervorragenden Kultur- und Verwaltungssprache Deutsch zu lesen.