Kito says that Lily is playing with my foot. This prompts me to consider that all two years of her tail-wagging happiness is fully aware that my foot is attached to me, and that she need not affect anything else to get my attention, despite my ignoring her.
The river Spree begins here in Upper Lusatia and ends in Berlin, but only in name. Every ensuing twist & turn lends inhabitants of each proud provincial community to lend it a new identity. It serves us right, poetically speaking, to be recipients/inheritors of the previous province’s piss. No name change can alter that reality.
As it relates to self-delusion, I got up before Robert and Kito this morning, crept around the kitchen, poured a cup of leftover filter coffee and heated it up in the microwave: having chosen to do without the latter two conveniences for so long now, I appreciated being able to run this java recycling program under the circumstances.
As soon as Kito arose, Lily wagging along, he made sure to mention that I could help myself to whatever. I told him about the coffee. His response: It’s decaffeinated. I wouldn’t have guessed, but after several minutes I began to feel a dreadful deficiency. Fortunately Robert awoke in time and we’ve tanked up. Now we’re off to the bakery.
The beginning of the road from Wuischke to Kamenz is lined on both sides with apple trees, which does little to obscure the relatively barren valley stretching out-, down-, upward to the mini-range of mountains on the horizon, achievable within an hour on foot. Wuischke bei Hochkirch is deceptively the size it is.
The house is small. Not in surface area, there’s plenty of that, but the doors and ceilings befit the size o’ th’ Sorb. It doesn’t have a street address, just town-name and number, which befits the population and surface area of the village.
If Upper Sorbian has only tens of thousands of speakers left, judging by its limited scope of influence, it’ll be six feet under in a generational pair. Or judging by the scope and scale of the Sorb, under a meter and a half. Perhaps this is unfortunate. Maybe it’s a shame. But if I don’t exist so much as an individual, am just an event, it is no more a shame than the scope of my delusion allows.
Elke may be away for the time being; her presence is evident, indeed alive, in the multitude of flowers that dot the cottage’s perimeter and further define the garden and surrounding yard and adjacent tiny field: a bush here, a pair of flower pots there.
The sun is shining as the clouds take a break. It warms my face. Robert is gathering walnuts from the area around the barn. Apples, pears, walnuts, cherries, and plums; just a sample of what is naturally available; one need not be versed in the art of agriculture.
Robert said yesterday, autumn is his favorite time of year; it reminds me of the coming winter: therein, respectively, classic examples of the optimist and pessimist.
Now the sun has just come on strong. I sit at the end of a rectangular table, on each side a bench with arms and backs, and each end a chair, similarly constructed of the same wood, untreated and raw. I hear Robert futzing around in the large shed next to me, which is probably not a shed, but a house of original versus specific purpose – like the potato barn opposite, now a garage.
I don’t feel the same connection to nature, to life, that so many people do – those who have adopted me as a friend over the years. I recognize again and again this lust for living and wonder why I’m able to observe and appreciate it, yet reject it somehow.
I am not living, nor want to be in that sense. I’m just waiting. Waiting for the next opportunity to be alone, to be free of responsibility or anything to accomplish.
On cue, comes Robert with the sickle. Not as Death, whose task would be sitting at one end of this table, but he with a chosen chore in the field behind me. Death has it easy, assuming he’s no more attached to his prospects than Robert is to those blades of grass.
I suppose death comes easy to those who are accustomed to it. So much is state of mind. To get into a state of mind or out of another takes something: To get out of one state of mind and into another. To want to.
Indian Summer/German Fly
This fly and I are looking at each other, observing one another. It is aware of me, I am sure of it. I wonder if it knows that I’ve been alive hundreds of times longer than it can expect to be. I wonder if it wants to live more, more vivaciously, than I. What would it be like to be bored and depressed for twenty-one days and then die? Am I that fly, imagining a life of wondering about its purpose that ‘ll be gone long before the winter comes?
I’ve moved to the solitary solid oak bench at the far end of the field, next to the headstone, which reads:
As that guy from Bonanza and the original Battlestar Gallactica (the Not Yul Brynner* for dog food) would say: “That’s like a hundred & five to you and me.” How horrid! And eating Alpo!
Poor Robert: if he had a lawn mower he’d’ve been long finished by now; but world weary, I suppose. The Socialists may’ve had their share of schnapps & suicide, but there was no tractor on that coat of arms. Come to think of it, no sickle either.
The apple tree in front of me, which Elke had me prop up (three, four?) years ago, does not want to straighten up and grow right. My wedge is still in place, which is remarkable.
Too soon after breakfast, even if it’s been six hours and I’ve walked Lily, or rather she’s pulled me, five kilometers through the hills and forest. Everybody eats too much, except those who cannot.
* Not Yul Brynner = Euell Gibbons >>