As I sit here in this chair listening to the rain against my window I cannot help but wonder if its raining where you all are?
5 friends. On a train back to the city of their destiny, fate perhaps, important at least. A train that doesn’t really go where it should go. 5 friends, together again, never lost, never forgotten, but far apart for a long time. Together again. What they should be.
No one says a word. Silence. The only sound is the branches slashing against the side of the train, the diesel engine humming like old diesel engines do. Not one single word. 5 friends. Words are not necessary, silence is all we need. Tired. Excited. Thinking. Reading. Troubled even. Words serve no purpose but worldly communication here. 5 friends. This bond is stronger than that. No one needs to say anything. Simply because what needs to be said will be said in due time.
Still. 5 friends. A train that doesn’t go where it should go. Together again. E trying to make a conversation, not confound to the emptiness of non verbal communication. M reading his book, slowly, a page seems to take forever. H is almost sleeping in the corner, the world forgotten. G, trying to sleep in his own manner, elegant and upright as always. Me, observing, watching the world go by. 5 friends. Together again.
In this moment. This perfect moment. I know. I know what we will do, I remember our purpose. 5. Friends. Together. Again. Silent but not quiet. A moment that will come again and again. Still. 5 friends. A train that doesn’t go where it should. Still, we end up where we want to. Together.
tHis Perfect moment
this post is just for some of hans’s testing.
Only read this if you have nothing to do for a while, I intended this to be a short post and it turned into something… else
Upon waking I foundd my mind in a state like one of those old IRA sheds in the 80’s… after they’ve exploded. Looking at it from the outside I will be aware that all of these constituent pieces add up to a shed of some sort but beyond that nothing. I explore. I start to discover pieces of the objects the shed contained amoungst the wreckage, a wheel, I grab at an end of the tangle that is my mind, I pull, a flash and I remember the bicycle. I pull harder and the thread starts to unravel. I remember cycling through hampstead heath on an idle weekend with my father, he had oil on his hands from trying to fix our failing bicycles with keyrings, we were hungry… The thread snaps and is lost. The shed starts to rebuild itself, I have a part of a wall. I open my eyes and discover a ceiling above me… but that doesn’t make sense. Who am I? Eyal would be waking up in his bed and would see books above him, I see ceiling, so I can’t be Eyal. Do I have any hands, I use my right to grab my left and they are both confirmed in the process, my left palm feels large and course, I count, I also have 10 fingers… good. I can hear deep breathing, a thread appears and I pull, it is Christmas and I have my head in a fishtank trying to prove a point to my brother and can hear the echo of my own breathing. Snap and its gone. hold onto the fishtank. I remember the fishtank I got it for my mother to cheer her up and remind her of our huge aquarium we had in Israel. Israel I remember a tank, red, ontop of a hill, and two more appear, there were three of them, one red, one green, and one blue. I remember my father telling my that those three tanks on their own held the whole of the Golan. Snap. When was that? I don’t remember my father’s face when he told me that, or his voice, or wether he told me in Hebrew or English. But I’m sure it was my father. I can smell TCP, another end appears and I pull, James Markey, he was working on a project in my first year with a friend called Sam, there was a big box and a smell of TCP. Snap. Why can I smell TCP? And now that I think about it, looking at this ceiling I do not recoginse, why can’t I move my head? I speak but can’t hear my voice, a face appears infront of mine and answers but I can’t hear it over this breathing, who is breathing so loudly? I try again, “Where am I?” I hear the word “Hospital” but the rest is lost, That doesn’t make sense, the only hospital near me is in Barnet, a thread appears and I pull, “Barnet chopped”… I pull harder as it starts to go. Richard.. I remember Richard, I wen’t into his office when I was at JFS and he said “You got your Barnet Chopped” and I, not understanding him replied “Of course I did… I’m Jewish”. I do not remember Richards office, but I remember that I was there most days in my final year. I saw Richard years later in Kings cross Station, actually I heard him first, I was walking from one platform to another and heard someone sneeze, so I said “bless you”, Richard turned around and said “Thank you” and turned back, in that split second synapses sparked in both of us because we turned back towards eachother and shouted “JESUS”, the thread wanes again and I pull harder but nothing comes out, perhaps that is the end of that memory… It can’t be, something must have happened, I will just have to leave that one for now. It is a complete coincidence that I bumped into Richard in that manner so many years later. I find this unfamiliar face infront of me again. It is not unpleasant, uncomfortable, I should feel self conscious, I only just woke up and who knows what my hair looks like, hair, “Barnet Chopped” means hair cut, its slang from essex. What is essex? I search for a thread but get nothing. I look up at this face again, I am not familiar with it but it seems to be familiar with me, so we must have met before, “Everyone meets twice”. Someone once told me that they say that in Germany… “Everyone meets twice”. Who told me that? I remember that it was comforting, which means they must have told me this upon our first meeting… did I meet them a second time? Did the face above me tell me this? I speak again, aware that although I cannot hear myself they can hear me. “Everyone meets twice”. It looks confused. I have reached a dead end, “Everyone meets twice”. I look back at my desamated shed and realise just how much there is left to rebuild, I, frustrated, shout “Everyone meets twice” and dive into my flattened shed and pull out the first thing I find, a remote control car, and I refuse to let go of it willing the memories to pour out of it. A thread, I was in a park, Hendon, it was raining and I was trying to drive the car up a hill, but the path was so slippery that the wheels had no grip, my mother had left with my baby brother and older sister long ago, but I refusing to leave until I got the car to the top of the hill was still standing there alongside my father who stayed with me, when my father saw my will start to wain he turned to me and said “when we go home, which way shall we go?” I was angry, that he didn’t believe in me, that he thought I would fail, I told him that I was not going home until the car reached the top of the path, he replied that of course neither of us would, but when we go, should we go on the motorway or take the backroads? Knowing that I preferred the motorway, So of course I fell into his trap and replied “The motorway”. “But the motorway is dangerous in this weather, the car will slip all over the road, the backroads will take a bit longer but we will get home in the end”. I was disappointed that, just like my car would not climb the path, my fathers car would not take the motorway, that I had been cheated twice, and in a moment of realisation I was a genius, I maenouvered my car onto the grass beside the path and zig zaged it up the hill, it took what felt like and eternity, but it was always climbing, steadily. I reached the top and basked in what must have been my own genius, which my father recognised immediately and told me how clever I was. Snap. No there must be more to this, that cannot be the end of the car, I look down and see the snap was not the thread breaking but the car broken. It is that summer, and I was playing with the car in my Garden attempting to make it go up the slide as a brick comes over the fence and breaks both car and slide, I stand bewildered for a moment, unable to comprehend what has happened? Why would this brick want to break my car? As I move over to my broken car I feel something strike my shoulder and I spin with the impact of a second brick coming to the aid of the first, I lie on the ground shocked that these inanimate objects would have such a vendetta against me, as a third appears over the fence I guiltily grab my car to shield me, close me eyes and wait for the inevitable. I feel a dull thud on my leg, a shout, wether it was from me or not I don’t remember, but I remember being hauled up by my grandfather and carried inside, leaving my poor car at the mercy of fate. Later when I returned from hosiptal I asked my grandfather why? And he replied “Because we’re not Jewish….” No that can’t be right, I am Jewish, I tug harder at the thread, “Because we’re not Jewish enough” Yes, I remember. In New York Hendrik was shunned by religious Jews as well, because he was non Jewish or because he was German I don’t remember. German…Hendrik is German maybe he told me “Everyone meets twice”. The face appears infront of me again, and I can’t help but think that if the last time I met this face was the second, then this must be the third, and that perhaps “Everyone meets twice” is not at literal as I was thinking. Where did I meet Hendrik… my mind goes to the pilgrim, But he is not a Pilgrim… Pilgrim Street, I remember the name Pilgrim Street, my brother said it to me… but my brother cannot speak? How old is my brother? It is cloudy and I have my remote control car in a park, my brother is on the grass with my mother keeping a close eye on him, and my sister and father have gone to buy ice cream, I recall a conversation minutes earlier “Ice cream? But it look like it will rain” “Then let it rain, and the ice cream will get wet”. I don’t ever recall my parents saying I love you to one another. My father bought an ice lolly and puts it to my brothers ear, he is crying because he was stung by a bee, but its sunny, and I don’t have my car, we are in Florida, The ice lolly is orange. My brother is saying that his ear hurts, so he can speak? His first word was ‘Mama’, Shelley asked my mother to teach him to say Shelley next, and my mother said how hard it was to get him to speak at all, I was learning to tie my shoelaces, my grandmother was teaching me, years later my grandmother joked how hard it was to get Adam to speak, now it was hard to get him to shut up. My view of the ceiling and thus my memories are disturbed by this face again. It is strange, apart from the indecency of interrupting my thoughts uninvited it is quite comforting to have near me. Another face appears aswell, not as pleasant to have infront of me as the first. It starts to speak but the breathing blocks out most of the words, I wish who every it is would stop breathing, I must have looked baffled as it repeats itself, I was prepared this time and listened very hard, but I still only got,” Your Name”. Shit, this could be anything, the subject of the conversation (if you could call it that) was, my name… but I’m not sure if they were asking my name, or telling me me name? So I said “I understand the subject but not the context?” The first face looked upset, and the second looked concerned. If they had structured the sentence differently I would have understood, like Yoda. Say the sentence the other way round, with the subject at the beginning and the context at the end. Yoda… I saw a Star Wars film with my brother on a train once, I can’t remember anyone else being there, but my mother would never allow just me and my brother to travel alone on a train, he can’t even speak. No he can speak, my grandmother said it’s hard to get him to shut up. So maybe we were on a train together? But where were we going? And why were we watching Star Wars? Star Wars is 2 Hours and 7 Minutes long… Why do I know that? Why is that Significant? “The train ride is 2 hours and 8 minutes, the walk to South Hunter streets is about 15 minutes, and then Pilgrim Street is just round the corner. Pilgrim Street. Hendrik. Hendrik’s English is much better, he told me once that when he first came to England he couldn’t pick up half of the words people were saying so he just listened to the way their voices fluctuated and for key words like his name. “Your Name”. The voice went up at the end, that makes it a question. Do you know your name? What is your name? Either way I would have to answer with my name. Eyal, I think my name is Eyal, but I can’t be sure, I look past the faces at the ceiling, if I was Eyal, I would see books not that ceiling. So logically I cannot be Eyal, who’s ceiling is this? Perhaps one of the faces, perhaps I am Eyal, but I did not sleep at home, is this Eyal’s body? He has a scar on his left hand from when he cut his finger open. I was in the Kitchen, making a fruit salad, and I was cutting an orange and the knife skimmed off the peel and went through my finger instead, within seconds there was blood everywhere, I was so shocked it didn’t hurt, I ran into the other room where Joel & Daniel Farache were sitting and showed them my finger, they thought it was a trick. Daniel Farache was our friend when we were young in school, but he slowly slipped further and further into bad circles until I just didn’t trust being around him anymore and asked him to leave my house during a party, I saw him years later, during my Mother’s Surgery at the hospital, I was sitting outside waiting for the operation to end, and he arrived with his wife, they were both so young and she was pregnant, as he looked at me with vague recollection, his wife took out a cigarette and started to smoke, I was about to ask her to stop, but the look on his face upon recognition warned me that to get involved in his life again would result in something very unfortunate happening to me. “Everyone meets twice” I pray I never meet him again. I realise that the faces are still waiting for my response to their question, and I move my left hand in an attempt to locate a scar that may or may not be there. My left hand, still being clutched by my right is heavy, as I try to heave it up I feel a sharp pain in my shoulderblade and it drops limply by my side, leaving me as answerless as before. Desperate now I try my other hand, it moves freely, my arm glides up nicely and as it does the faces back away, aha, a defense should I need it. Eyal had a beard, if I have a beard I must be Eyal! I think moving my hand towards my face, it is strange watching my hand get larger and then disappear under my eyeline, I forget about touching my face for a moment and move my hand back and forth before my eyes and then down to my chin where I cannot see it. It is like sitting at the front of the top level of a bus. On journeys on busses into town my father would sit with us on the front seat of that top level and tell us that the bus was trying to eat all the other little cars, we would believe that it ate them when the bus pulled up behind one in traffic and it fell below our field of vision, and when the traffic started moving again and the car pulled away and into our sights again my father would declare that it got away that time, only to be devoured again at the next set of lights. I feel my chin with my hand and discover that there is indeed a beard there, although it is not the one i remember, it is clumped in parts and gone in others. On a drunken night James once attempted to set my beard on fire, inbetween that evening and the following morning (when I would be able to shave) I had a bald patch on my chin that felt very much like this. I could not identify this as Eyal’s Chin, it could be anyone’s chin now. I return my hand to my side only to discover the faces have disappeared. How long have I been here? Will the faces ever be back? I know the second one will because I have only met it once so far. I wonder what the name Eyal sounds like, I have been saying it in my minds ear over and over, but I feel it should venture beyond my lips. “Eyal” the word feels right, it fits like an old leather jacket, from the peak of the Y to the depths of the L. This is surely my name, quick, tell the faces, tell the faces, where are they, I attempt to move my head but a pain in my spine stops me, so I lie there and yell, EYAL! The first face reappears smiling. Right answer! There are two Truths in my new found reality, Everyone meets twice, and I am Eyal. The breathing that was so loud was silent during my cry and is now faster. But I don’t care about them, I have a shed to rebuild, twine to untangle, people to meet, and then again a second time! Time, how long have I been here? What date is it? Where am I? After my moment’s celebration I realise the vastness of the task ahead of me. If I am Eyal, then my brother is Adam, and if he can speak then he is older than I remember him to be, which means I must also be older than I remember, of course I am, I met Hendrik at the Pilgrim and they wouldn’t let a 7 year old into the Pilgrim. Why did my brother want to go to Pilgrim Street? “The train ride is 2 hours and 8 minutes, the walk to South Hunter streets is about 15 minutes, and then Pilgrim Street is just round the corner.” I met Hendrik at the Pilgrim, and my brother wanted to go to Pilgrim Street? Did my brother want to meet Hendrik… no, that’s assuming that Hendrik can only be met at Pilgrim, How did I meet Hendrik at the Pilgrim, there were two Hendrik’s there that night, no there was only one Hendrik, there were two Germans, and one introduced me to Hendrik. German, I have never been to Germany, so this German must have come to England. I first came to England when I was 2, I don’t remember living in Israel, but I do remember visiting it in the following years, I had forgotten my Hebrew over the years but am slowly reclaiming it now. There are video’s of me as a child talking in hebrew, and I am sad that I don’t understand all of what I’m saying. My sister is in these video’s also. My sister, she was meant to come to Pilgrim Street with us… why? I am missing something. Why was Hendrik on Pilgrim Street, not just him but another German were at the Pilgrim on Pilgrim Street, why did my brother go there, and why did I go with him and my sister want to come also, What is important about Pilgrim Street. It was my turn to ask the question of the faces. “Where is Pilgrim Street?” I called over breathing which was loud once again. The face looked lost, it doesn’t know, I tried something else “Where is Hendrik?” This time the face brightened up, and I realised how beautiful she was. She, how did I not realise that it was a woman, I saw eyes and a nose and mouth and ears, but it just didn’t register, I still have no idea who she is, but I know its in this shed somewhere, because as she smiled I recognised her, like a whale’s tail in the ocean, it appears amoung the waves, and is distinct against the background, but then splashes down, and it, and the place it emerged from are lost again. I tried to coax another smile, another memory from her “Where is Hendrik?”, ” … here… he’s Ok”. Nothing. No smile, no memories. Why is Hendrik here? Where is here? What does she mean he’s ok? Why wouldn’t he be? Then it came. “They’re all ok”… They? More Germans? How many more people were on Pilgrim Street? Are my brother and sister here? “Who else?” I asked, partly to retrieve information, and partly to coax another smile. But this time she just looked more worried, and answered slowly, “Hans…” Hans! Like an explosion my synapses kicked into action, I know the name Hans, I can see the back of his head as he sits facing his computer, from outside my field of vision a ball flies past me and lands near him, and I am gone before he can turn around, there are two people laughing uncontrollably, and the thread snaps, I refuse to let go, Hans I think, Hans, I’m sitting in a theatre, watching some people dance, and I turn around to find Hans sitting behind me, Everyone meets twice, and this was the first time I met Hans. I see him now, in a kitchen leaning over a large pot full of mashed potato adding butter, I can see myself, sitting on the sideboard laughing at something, and I can hear someone else laughing, I look over and can’t see his face, he is obscured behind a teatowel that he is holding infront of him. We hear a knock on the roof window, and we look up, and see someone through the darkness, I cannot make out who it is until he speaks, ‘Excuse me, is this a hostel?’ Hendrik asks, and we all roar with laughter, I look away from the window as turn to see the man behind me, unobscured now. “Georg” The girl says as I remember him, cowering behind a teatowel with me everytime Hans made milkshakes, I can see him sitting opposite me in my room throwing a ball back and forth between us. I remember him at the Pilgrim, but I didn’t meet him there, I met him months before, we were sitting opposite eachother for the first time, there were other people there, and one of them called him Georg the German. German, he introduced me to Hendrik at the pilgrim, Georg was the one that told me “Everyone meets twice”. I know who the third person will be before she says it. “…and Mike” she finished. Mike used to live with Hans Georg and I, but moved in with Hendrik and they lived together for 2 years and now… the thread snaps. I’ve lost it, as the breathing grows louder and faster once again I find it harder to concentrate. I would always find it hard to concentrate as a child, they would think I had learning difficulties because I spent hours looking out of the window, they assumed I had emotional problems because instead of playing football with the other children I would read. Read, where are my books? If I look up I should be able to see my books, where are they?
He he, I’m writing as Hans…
Yes. The truth is always best. Even though there may never be a comfortable time to tell it, the aspect that shows the most about our character, or infact our soul is that we recognise that uncomfortableness, because for us to tell the truth may hurt someone, it may offend them. Yes. It is best in the long run but initially it could hurt them, and that is why we feel uncomfortable, because we don’t want to see them hurt.
What’s the difference between a good person and a bad person is the balance between the wisdom to know we cannot always be good and honest, the stubbornness to try, and the foolishness of blaming ourselves when we fail.
The universe is so huge and we are so small, there is only one thing we can truly control, wether we are good or evil.
We become the people we will ourselves to be, or infact we are already the people we will ourselves to be, because only the people we are would will ourselves to be that specific thing, therefore surely the pursuit for truth makes us truthful people, the pursuit for good makes us good, and the pursuit for god proves our faith.
thinking when i’m not DirEctIng
Whatever we do, whoever we meet, whatever we say, we always change the life of everyone else around us as well. Sometimes what we say or don’t say changes someone else’s life more, the longer we wait to tell the truth. I know what I am talking about from a lot of different occasions and through different situations. In the end, I still believe the truth is more important than anything else. Maybe the time to tell this truth is not always ideal and maybe sometimes we could have found a better time to do the right thing. But is there something like the right time at all? I am not so sure…
Yesterday I was talking with a friend of mine. At some point we reached a very spiritual topic. How much does the church as an institution have to do with faith? Because my belief was that those two things have become more and more separated from each other. The institution church, being the christian church, or more the catholic part of it, judges so many people on this planet. Where did the open spirit, the open mind go, that everyone was created equal?
We also came to a point when I said, I feel that I should be a good person. Because this is what I feel this is what god really wanted us all to become. But then it is such a great struggle sometimes. I want to be a good person, someone who does not judge the people in advance. Someone who is not unfair and gives each and everyone the same chance to prove that there is a special talent in each of us. And that the challenge is to find it… But then, I feel that I am far from being this person. So many mistakes done and so many still to be made… so many people hurt on my way through life. And I am not sure how many good things you have to do in order to balance out the bad things… I hope the knowledge of all of that helps me to become the person I am aiming to become…
Jumping stream of thought… As always. Good night.