Silent Melting Night – Thoughts about Friends and Muses.

The Silent Melting Night: Thoughts at X-Mas Eve.

By ZJ Galos

 

She sent me a portrait. Half of her face, cut perfectly into half. A growing moon half as I saw her on the wintry skies, pale and increasing in intensity as night fell in early afternoon. A wonderful shape a vessel of the soul, half of her being. Which half? The one that reflects the pure feminine side, perhaps as the artistic side sits right above the right eye, it’s the Ini I met with my emotional side and not the conscious mind alone. At one moment of artistic longing I wanted to paint her face, the eyes in which her life’s emotions are compressed together like into a precious gem. Looking into her eyes is a welcome act that raises my heartbeat and it turns into an intimate togetherness, as I read about Ini’s dreams and feelings. For some time I follow her on Facebook and through a journal of her portrait photographs and her visits of exhibitions in and around Vienna. Ini is an unusual person, a colourful appearance and a young woman who is on her long way to her artistic expressions. She goes about it quietly and without airs, except for choosing out of the ordinary locations. There are good vibes between the artist and his model, the artist and his muse. This is uplifting.

PT phoned me while I had been walking yet again to the closest supermarket. B had complained about the Turkish halva, which did not compare well to the Greek halva, we had bought on Friday as we wanted to visit PT in his Art Shop. B wanted me to borrow some cash from my friend. I had exhausted my funds, but had promised to support B, when she returned from commuting for the second time to Athens. I had not intended to get into more debt, not into any debt at all. However I have tried to save up, but it’s never enough for B. Unfortunately she is a peculiar human being with peculiar needs and desires, which are at time inspirational for a writer, but not at all becoming for a human being living on the social edge. Besides, she has difficulty in making friends, and I heard many comments relating to her social behaviour. All I want to do, is visiting my friend preferably alone and enjoying quality time. However PT had a cold and could not come personally to the shop, but he sensed through my phone call that I was in need for some more funds, especially over X-mas, as I only receive my money at the end of the month. He asked his assistant in the shop to hand me 30 Euro and I knew it would go mainly toward B’s cosmetic for her hair, which she needed urgently. We had already bought the Greek halva at a Greek shop in the Lerchenfelderstrasse before, and the injection of PT’s offer of 30, as I had asked for 20 before, made all the difference. After all I had promised B to help her. Yet her mood swings have not changed, she still stirred at personal matters and when I responded, she picked a fight. It all had started with discussing small things and talking about general matters that led to specific ones, which she detested vehemently. Will we find ever common ground?

The night is dead still. B is entering my writers’ and artist’s domain every few seconds. It is irritating to me and it turns me angry, as I am not interested of having general items that concern her, heaped upon my head as I concentrate writing. I long for a quiet place where I could write and draw in solitude and just come home when I have finished my creative output. Would I then come home in a hurry? PT feels suddenly better, as his wife had left yet again on a trip. She had been recently away before, and during three weeks PT was a different man. Anything different to the other married men on a long standing?

One could hear a needle drop. The cars, which usually pass frequently on the close-by main street, have stopped commuting. The dustbins have been placed outside the street, but the sanitary service had stopped too. It’s pitch black, as the opposite neighbour had turned off the lights, perhaps celebrating a dinner at one of their parents. It’s family night and wonderful to have still a family that cares for human warmth and togetherness. It reminds me of Carmen in South Africa. The elegant wife of a friend we used to visit on a Sunday to play a game of tennis. On X-mas day, she brought us presents, as we came back from playing. Well, we had been included in her extended family. This year as X-mas Eve and Chanukah Ten sync together on this night, the merging of two main religious feasts should be symbolic for reaching out and holding hands in peace and accepting different viewpoints and respect each other. For me religious beliefs are secondary to real human beings, like Carmen, PT, Uncle Joe, Anne, and Ed, for many years my collocutor. I have lost Carmen to the universe, just the same as Anne, and yet I have met PT, who is for me more than a best friend. Now, you would ask the question: what about B, your spouse? Quite right. She is around and unfortunately we love each other while we pain each other in oscillating phases. Forty-six years of marriage had turned into two roads we walk parallel on, next to each other. There are spots we meet, on a square, and on a specific corner, and we feel we could make it again and yet making love will be not possible through the way we expect it to be – so different from each other. Damned! B is talking everything to shreds and this puts me off. She complains that I do not care for her with my soul. Well, if she would agree to make love to me, without talking and just get on with it, she would be amazed how well our souls would talk to each other. But she states that she has no energy for that.

I think of my friends I had left behind, or who faded out of my life: Jacques. For over 40 years we had known each other and corresponded at all times. He had trouble with his son, who had married a divorced woman, who spent the son’s hard-earned money. Well, I had no chance to visit him in France. We had met in Stockholm at a café, popular with foreign students working during their summer holidays in Sweden. We corresponded and Jacques visited me in Vienna, having run away from a woman, he did not wish to marry. Since his Viennese days, he became fond of all my friends and associates and he had a jolly good time. Later he married and had two children. His daughter became a medical doctor and married a doctor moving with him to Canada. Suddenly Jacques had a change of domiciles and he wrote to me less and less. As I intended to move from South Africa to Europe, he stopped writing to me. I could not invite him anymore to Joburg, as we had to empty our domicile. Perhaps he felt that I did not want to invite him. Finally I met him again one day on one of the Internet communication channels and yet, he had changed. Perhaps we both had changed. One cannot mend a long standing friendship from one side only. Finally Jacques had disappeared into the desert of Algeria, where he had done his military service and often talked about it. It appeared to me as if I had seen a Fata Morgana, after so many years of an extensive friendship through letters his distinct face faded out, absorbed by the hot relentless sun. Whenever I read writings by Camus, I saw Jacques’ face reappearing.

Frieke: the young pretty woman from Belgium, I fell in love with as a student of architecture, during a tour where we were building physically a boundary wall for a convent in Louvain. We had danced and we had fun, and I pursued her for a year afterward, returning and ready to marry her, but how could I think to start a family without a job and regular income? Like Van Gogh, I held the palm of my hand over a candle to proof to her that I really loved her. Her mother thought of me as a talented, but slightly mad artist and discarded marriage. Of course she was right, but I wanted Frieke and as our petting became dangerously close to making love properly, she backed out and left me standing naked with an erection, while she had also ran away from her French suitor, who understood to be engaged to her. While we all sat in the pleasant well-decorated art-noveau ‘Villa Roma’ residence of her parents, Charles and I became friends together with Frieke’s brother Jan, while mother and daughter sat together in counsel. Finally a girlfriend of Frieke invited me for lunch at their place and I realised that I had to take my mind off Frieke, who later married a nice young man, as she called him. I often wondered about her and if she had experienced happiness in her life and how her family looked like.

Carl: The engineer, who was interested in architects and architecture on top of his engineering work. I met him during a building inspection, where the client had asked me to call for an engineer. Adjoining to our street, where B and I lived, I had seen a board depicting professional people. As the building site looked similar to the one I had been commissioned with, I phoned Carl. He came immediately and we resolved the problems to the satisfaction of all participants. We clicked with our approach to work and during a light lunch became friends. It was fun to work with Carl, who had a passion for good design and understood the thinking of an architect. As my own business became better funded through more work, I employed Carl wherever I could. After hours we met at a pub or Carl took me to his own building sites, he worked on with another architect. I learned a lot from him and extended my practical experience. At X-mas time Carl had arranged lunch in a sushi bar and restaurant and we had a good time trying out the Japanese speciality. Of course we had more than a few drinks of Saki and enjoyed life. Finally the biggest job I had him appointed with his builder’s friend, had some repercussions for me, due to the tender for the jobs to my design, as the contractor, who had originally brokered the job, had defaulted through his builder. Yet, the man upset that he lost a contract, took it out on me and involved me in some horseracing, where I fell of a horse. Fortunately, I had not broken anything, yet had cracked my pelvic bone. Carl diligently carried on supporting me, but he stood between me and his builder friend who constructed the unusual design of the great extension. Finally I had drawn a wrong card with the owner and he booted me out of the job. Carl remained friends and helped me with fetching materials for beautifying our garden and get refurbishing initiated. His advice helped me a lot and his friend’s building chaps could finish the home extensions B and I had in mind, before we placed our home for over forty years on the realty market. Carl remained a friend through thick and thin. He helped us with our luggage and drove us to the airport as we left South Africa for our European tour, which I had intended for a sabbatical to finish my novels and poetry. I intended to follow my creative path using my talents I had suppressed for working in the building industry. It was time to let the colourful world of fantasy rise like a kite into the skies.

Simchi: The young intelligent woman, whose eyes sparkled like a polished tiger eyes, and who was my friend, lover and critique during my student years. We met at a cold clear wintry day at the skating rink near the Stadtpark of Vienna, on Heumarkt, a popular meeting place for the young. When I met her I started glowing inside. After the first few words I fell in love with her. Yet as she started to blossom, at the tender age of seventeen, we met regularly and whenever her mother allowed her to see me. In her last year at secondary school, she had become my steady girlfriend and we were into heavy petting. Simchi called it the waking of our hearts in love. She finished matric, started acting classes and she was good at it. During our relationship we went together to parties, concerts and to the cinema. She liked my paintings and my art style and disliked my poetic efforts. This hurt me. However she had decided that I would be her first man in her life and her cunning mind had worked out a strategy and a place for it. During a weekend party, she could stay at a friend, known to her mother and therefore the opportunity for us to spend our first night together became a reality. I felt nervous and the pressure of not disappointing her grew heavy on my mind, but little did I know about love. Yet, thanks to youth and tenacity, we finally passed the stage of first time lovemaking and the following later events became a pleasure also for her. I often thought of her and about criticism of my lovemaking, which suffered due to a low student diet. When I became strong and vivacious, I often thought of having Simchi again and enjoy with her lovemaking as I felt more virile and continue our experience into the erotic world. Therefore, as we had gained more experience in sex, we could have enjoyed ourselves together tremendously, as we matched well in spirit and in sexual love. Simchi had married the man approved by her mother, who took her to Germany and she would probably have grown children by now. I often imaged that I would meet her again by accident and fantasized about our intimacies that could thus emerge.

Ini: I met her by accident at the Essl Museum for Modern Art. Since I came back with B to Vienna, I had been drawing with a ballpoint pen. I had been inspired by the art of Dolfi Frankl and his great talent to express a character with a few lines. His talent of observation and rendering techniques were to me important. I drew on standard sized paper and added the pieces together like a puzzle. One of the upcoming curators liked my drawings and my way of presentation and I was invited to take part in a competition for being exhibited in the museum, if my work was chosen. I did not make it. However, invited to the opening of the exhibition, I sampled the work of the artists who were exhibited to the curator’s choice. I was disappointed with the work that represented the future of painting, except for a few canvases, which I thought represented a new style of painting. After the opening I choose to have a sip of wine and some bread in the cellar of the museum, which also held the crated works of over 7000 artists collected by Mr and Mrs Essl. I sat down, not knowing anybody and sipped a glass of white wine and had some bread. Suddenly I saw a young woman, dressed in an Indian or oriental way, colourful and as she passed me I felt drawn to her pretty face. She sat down at a deck chair. As next to her another deck chair remained empty, I approached her and sat down next to her. I started a conversation about the competition and we talked, sipped some wine and ate bread. I introduced myself and she said her name was Ini. We talked until it was time for her to take the train back to Vienna. I accompanied her to the train station and she took a lot of photographs. She said she was doing portraits. I wanted to paint her, but she had no money to take the train ride back and forth, but perhaps once in a while. However we parted friends. I often thought of her, as she reminded me of a past girlfriend, an Indian woman, who worked with me in a writing course. Ini would be a perfect model for me, besides she would be an inspiration for a new story perhaps, certainly already for a short story. We stayed in contact through facebook, where she sends me messages and she is interested in accompanying me to a museum. I invited her to PT’s Art Shop, which she will visit in time, I know. Unfortunately I had missed our first date at Essl, as I had been at PT’s Art Shop that day and I apologized to her. Ini did not make a scene, as B would have, or any one of my friends. She said she enjoyed the ride, but she did not paint that day, as we had planned that we would do it together, in Essl’s free paint workshop. I will be visiting Ini’s art exhibition later next month in the New Year. This time I will be going to see her not only through the eyes of an artist. From her last photograph, a self-portrait, I have noticed that she had matured. I like Ini’s art and I hope that we could do a project together.

Ylos and Danae: A delightful couple. Once pursued by a host of suitors, Danae, like her name suggests, had been conquered by Ylos, who held her under his wings protected from the slightest touch of any approaching friend. A great sportsman, he fathered her children and became a good father to them, yet he still kept Danae locked up behind steel bars of a jealous attitude toward eroticism, which she was inclined to take risks for, he absconded in his traditional way. Through the years the erotic sparks always remained strong between Danae and her friend. One day she had invited her friend with his spouse to dinner and she dressed especially seductively, wearing no underwear, as the friend had noticed sitting close to her. From this point the night could have taken a natural path to a new erotic experiment if her spouse would have been amiable to let Danae live out her fantasies. It happened in the minds of the potential lovers, but not in the tactile closeness of physical lovemaking. However the erotic sparkle still remained.

Kimh: An attractive woman, mother of two grown-up sons, she had been from the start of my asking her to make love to her, distant and a lady-in-waiting. I had been duped. When a woman senses that she is capable of turning a man on for her, she’ll use that power for manipulating her men. Kimh did just that. She was a good friend until she sensed that she could be one’s potential lover, and she used those times to help storing my furniture and valuable items from my mother’s home in her house. During the years of storage, she put pressures on me to take my goods and transport them to my place of residence. As I had been an artist living on and off in Europe, I had no permanent home yet. The moment I had established a future back in Austria, she had suddenly a heated discussion with my spouse. One bad word followed another and finally she cut her sisterly ties with my wife. Meanwhile we had found out that she had rented her additional place and wherefore we had to spend all our saved up money to pay a deposit for a small one-roomed flat, as she would not help accommodating us. Kimh, the woman with steel in her heart. Kimh, the amazon who pursues her own interests regardless. Kimh, the ungrateful woman who grabbed the goods that belong to us. She will not be sated with ‘Raubkunst’ or the other goods falling into that category. It’s a sad story, especially as times are so darned tough for us and she had forgotten that she was always welcomed at our domicile on the African continent. Is that all forgotten?

Anne: She had been a good looking woman, sprung from a Greek island and excelling in the art of poetry and storytelling. Having met her online, she seemed bright and open-minded, with a lifelong connection to art and literature. She became a muse and collocutor, a model, a lover, an inspiring facilitator for modern poetry, and besides had been a good mother to her daughter and a dedicated spouse to her husband. In her later years she changed from a young girl into a mature woman in the process of becoming a writer acknowledged by her peers. She gave me a son-et-lumiere-tour of her life and it seemed that we had known each other for all our lives, as we exchanged photographs and anecdotes, poetry and short stories. Life seemed to be perfect for a creative couple, married to their art through the wondrous love binding them together. But happiness is a rare bird and difficult to keep for long. It flew away, with her passing into the ‘Bog Void’, as she called it.

Jo: Perhaps the woman Anne mentioned to send me? At the stage of one’s pain about a love’s passing another love will turn up, but then it’s a mutually induced happening. Jo had been the other side of Anne, the other half of the moon in the shadow. She emerged as a sudden portrait that smiled and offered her love unconditionally. It took a few years to realize a love that rather related to lust. Anne’s book of poetry came to mind, as I mused about Jo’s lust that evoked my own. Sarching for a love that had been a shock, just like paradise lost must have been to Adam and Eve, friends like Jo come along and help one to stand up and recover with one’s feet to pound the ground of reality again. By the time one realizes that, five volumes of a love and lust story had been written. It had astounded me, this search for an adventure, hand and feet digging deep into the garden of one’s soul. I have not yet typed my manuscript of the last three volumes into my laptop, since the other one had given up it’s  useful life. But just as I had written all anecdotes involving Jo, it seemed that the thrust of lustful encounters had evaporated like a visible gasp that rose to the skies and moved like a cloud toward a northern suburb of Athens.

Val: She came and conquered my aged frame of being, shaking it up and infusing into me the lightness of her young being. I felt happy in her aura sitting close to me and typing my poetry and prose. Then I felt that the ink had not been dry yet on my creative work and I asked her to teach me Greek. That way I could keep her close without touching her, as she talked about marriage and children. I felt suddenly old and not in the frame of mind to be guided along as a future husband in a game of love. I told her and she slept with a guy she had met in a bar, being unfaithful to her boyfriend. I am not a good teacher for making love and yet as I desired her young body, I knew she reached for a way forward escaping from a home where she missed her privacy. If I had access to good funding, I would be an acknowledged artist married to three women at the same time. She laughed. Good humour and open to erotic games, we would have matched for good lovemaking, but we had no privacy for that. The story of V & Z remained open, even when she decided to lose weight in a gym, where she met her next boyfriend. Her face of the time we were studying the Greek language together remained with me. It repeated on my drawings and paintings. One day after I left for Vienna, she seemed to be sad. Val would have been a wonderful model and muse, would I have been able to secure an atelier. I wonder if she is all right, as I received no reply to my mail any longer.

 

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silent Night

Silent Night.

The night is falling fast

grey skies gusts of wind

settling around diversities

of man and wife

childless.

The poet writes

his mind married to his muse

his wife stirring talk

provoking.

Love‘s attractions gone

sex a foreign word

she’d be too tired

he’s sick doing himself.

The night is falling fast

like a giant dark stone

shaking the heart

squashing fondness

turning feelings to ice.

The poet writes

his story denudes his

favourite lass

his wife has retired

void of x-mas in her heart.

Not even a dog howls

the usual cat stopped

walking past.

zoltanzelan

©ZJG-Poetry’14.

Rip-roaring X-mas for the Soul.

Rip-roaring X-mas of the Soul.

ZJ Galos.

This time – Sunday 15 December, ‘Öffis’ have different schedules to weekdays. Buses and trains run at slightly different times. Why B chose to take a Sunday flight is not clear, as I had agreed with her Saturday flights. However, as she had given me her arrival time at 16:30, I had to walk from Weidling Church to Weidling train station for catching the bus to Heiligenstadt in good time. I had to connect to the train at Wien-Mitte to reach the Airport in time for her arrival. And she had messaged me that she would be not falling asleep on the toilet this time. I was in good shape, having cooked myself a hearty beef goulash, and could make the 4km distance on foot in 35 minutes, just in time to catch the bus to Heiligenstadt. From there I made it in good time with the U4 to Wien-Mitte, to catch the train to the Airport. The train arrived on schedule at 15:45, meaning that I would be at the airport just at the time the airplane landed.

But instead of enjoying a good coordination of our arrival times, fears began to rise in me, as B had not emerged from the bi-parting doors at the arrival gate after two hours. There must have been a problem, perhaps airline schedules had changed and I was not contacted. The electronic information screen showed that planes from Athens had landed at 16:35 and 16:55. At the airport info-desk I was told that the airline B had chosen had arrived at 16:55 and not at the earlier time, B had phoned through on Mrs M’s mobile phone, as she had been part of the booking. Well, I had waited for over two hours and had not been able to stand up on my feet for much longer. At the second time the info counter called up her name, which she said would be announced all over the airport, the info woman received a call from the luggage area that B needs still to pick up her luggage onto a trolley. I asked the friendly young woman to message to the baggage counter that somebody could help retrieving her luggage. I had to wait patiently for another hour. At quarter to seven B emerged talking to a woman, dressed in dark blue indicating to be part of the airport staff. B waved her hands and seemed to be highly excited. I said hello and she addressed me with good afternoon. I kissed her cheek. She still carried on talking to the woman from the help desk, pushing her trolley. “The one suitcase had split open,” she said. I took over and the startled woman just kept repeating “No more stress now, no more stress…” addressing B, who carried on with emotional talk.

“Could we take the cab now?” B ignored my question, she carried on talking, a cacophony of words about her most difficult stay in an unheated cottage at a southern suburb of Athens and the difficulties of booking a flight. While I pushed the trolley forward, she insisted taking a seat at a nearby resting area, where she wanted me to listen to her story. She discarded my plea to take the cab, as I had booked it and by now the driver had waited also for over four hours to drive us. Besides I had to apologize to the company about more than an hour of delay, where the contract becomes void, yet they told me that they would keep me on their books, until I would return when my spouse had finally arrived. I felt like a fool already, but B carried on talking and I sensed that I had to let going on until she ran out of steam. After another hour I finally could stop B talking reminding her gently that we supposed to proceed to the airport services’ cab office. The driver helped us pushing the trolley with the 5 pieces of luggage and we followed. The drive to Klosterneuburg was short and along motorways most efficient, I hardly remembered of having ever been driving. Of course the navigation-system chose the most efficient route, also being the shortest.

It took some time until B had settled down. I helped her to overcome emotions she carried inside her that returned time and again and seemed never to stop, her anger rose about her experiences that left her stranded in a cold unheated cottage, without hot water for a bath and a hard military-type bed that had no warm cover, and no cushion to sleep on. Well, B could not communicate with her estranged landlady and therefore communication through her mobile phone had been difficult, or impossible. In these three weeks, while she stayed at the cottage in Androutsou Street, she had attacks of failing strength, as she brought up too fatty food the landlady had prepared. But she could recover through the kindness of D, a friend living in an apartment opposite, who brought her light digestive food that she could eat and recover again. Unfortunately the landlady did not take to her kindly and she had a standoff with her and her favourite tenant, looking for her garments, which she had expected the landlady to keep in store for her. “Well,” B swallowed “the man behaves aggressively toward me and besides he had been in prison.” I just kept quiet, as I do not know the circumstances to all these events, as I had originally entered with the landlord, part of the illustrious family, into a rental agreement that had been endangered to lapse due to our incapacity to pay the rent any longer. As we had to stay in Austria at that time for registering our permanent home again in our place of birth, he had never answered my emails explaining our precarious situation, although he had asked for written communication from the start. Without a will for conclusive communication from his side, our rental agreement had lapsed and we had to pay five months back rent.

Therefore we had agreed to have B fly to Athens and oversee the sale of our furniture and household items, as I had to stay back for legal reasons. As the rental amount had to be paid in short time, the landlady had phoned all her friends and associates to offer our goods for sale. B had reserved certain items of furniture and lamps for us to be kept in store until we were able to take some of it into Austria, when we had saved up the cost for air-tickets and for overflow luggage. However, the writing was on the wall that getting rid of household items at a time of an economical low in Greece, meant that the goods went for dirt cheap prices and all would have to be sold to cover the high rental for five months. The drama increased in intensity as B became physically and mentally overextended, and she often phoned to ask for agreement of offered prices, although I had given her a list of items with prices and free hand, there were misunderstandings and a hectic bargaining that left her exhausted in Athens and at the same time it left me frustrated in Vienna. I had asked G, a friend to assist with selecting my poetry books and my manuscripts for keep. However as he did not strike a good understanding with B, she felt provoked by him and she let me know that I had friends that were unsuitable for her. This concerned me deeply, the more so as I could not immediately react and my hands tied through garbled up communication and only a distance of three hours.

This time in December, when peace should be in the hearts of all people, life had become hard and unbearable for me, and yes, it has been for her unsurmountable too, and a lot to ask from her, with her lightweight figure and the lack of even average strength. Trying from her side to be reasonable and nice, as she put it, faded out on day three after her arrival. Stirred up, she worked out for me that I owed her more than I had worked out and a domestic fight about money matters ensued and ruined in a few seconds the envisaged attempt of getting on with each other. B demanded love, but she slapped my face with the statements that I cannot give her the love she wants. Now of course she has been thinking all the time to place me into the defensive, so she could demand more money out of me as she had spent her surplus part on a perfume, she said she needed. Again a debate ensued about priorities of spending one’s apportioned funds on. I do not direct B how she supposed to spend her funds, but then she comes for food, I have to assist her and my budgetary allowances tumble into turmoil. Well, one must understand that we have strictly split our income from social funding. There’s no room left to manoeuvre around with virtual cash.

X-mas comes to 2014 like a red-hot comet that splits me into half. I have taken my last amount from my savings account, even if I had to shed a tear for being scolded as a rascal and an arsehole. Perhaps I am, but I beg to differ very loudly and with a raised voice that she tags as being aggression. I am far from being aggressive, perhaps quite temperamental and I flare up if I am accused for wrong reasons and with wrong chosen words. Now I am feeling a racing pulse and fortunately some milk and cocoa had pulled me back to a normal heartbeat again. I intend to still live and see my friends and perhaps being able to sell a painting from T’s gallery, to have some pecuniary delight that would recompense me. On the other hand, I am sad that I had to witness the fast downslope of a once successful marriage at first hand. This is the pinnacle of a serious crisis. As there is no way of either of us to finalize, what is a painful and unavoidable process, but with the way of recalling events mutually, when having found a love in the past that felt different to the one at present, is not delightful. Hurting a spouse with placing oneself high onto a pedestal, is not the right way of recreating a new-born loving husband or wife. To die and to be reborn is very difficult, stated DDr Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt-Philosophy.

An early evening arrives in winter time and the sounds of the day turn into stillness that reflect the feelings of the soul. As the debate between our frustrations in marriage to the background of having lost the majority of our valued possessions, clothes, a CD-collection, A library of over 1000 books, leather suitcases, painting accessories and manuscripts, with B having lost her leather coat and karakul-coat, it’s difficult to stay completely cool and rational, and one is floating in a vacuum connected with a thin thread of friendship. B has retired again to her bedroom/lounge and I sit down at my desk and type, words that reflect my state of being, into my acer laptop, the most necessary tool acquired on instalments. I have the inner urge to carry on with my creative writing, to the end, just as Udo Jürgens did with entertaining us with his chansons.

I am unable to lift my fingers as a strange paralysis has taken hold of them, but I am still able to type. I felt for a moment like suffocating, but I am still able to breathe. B does not give me peace of mind at present, but she even enjoys to pain me, as she cites her dark perspective of having sold all her jewellery for me to have a roof over my head. But isn’t it her roof as well? I have no idea how this will carry on. She states that I already insult her for two years. I am not aware that we do not love each other anymore, these outbursts are a cry for love. It’s a desperate cry for help and my hands feel paralyzed and heavy like lead. My heartbeat is up, as if I had consumed many cups of espressos, it’s hard to get down to normal standards, without the help of a friend. I suggest to see our friend, but when we arrive at his Art Shop, he is also incapacitated with a bad cold that is caused by a spreading viral infection. Yet we talk on the phone and I ask my friend T for a small loan over the pending X-mas holidays. However I do it mainly for B, as she is in need of low-fat food for her delicate digestive system that had been attacked, besides of vitamins. We have to survive until the 28 December, probably to the 29, when we receive our monthly financial assistance paid at the end of a month.

Our fights have made us rethink our state of a marriage that lasted for 46 years. I have to quit my creative work for a while, I think, sit at her bedside and talk to her, sing her a lullaby, hold her hand and warm her up if she has an attack of cold. I do everything she asks me to, but those are only material things. B demands love, compassion and attention to her needs. I just had to endure one of her Xanthippe-type verbal attacks, but I know that she feels pain all over her emaciated body and she does not mean it, yet it hurts me. I begin to scribble on a piece of paper and it becomes a figure and some portraits emerge and a bird and the drawing takes shape with the use of colour and a ballpoint pen that renders the composition finally. I glue it to a dark blue folded card and address it with a silver coloured pen to my friend for a greeting of the upcoming holidays. Chanukah falls together with X-mas this year. Again an emotionally upset state has kindled off my creative groove and I have absorbed the fighting between Mars and the Water carrier nymph. I have regrouped and as B opens the kitchen door to my artistic domain, she asks me quietly for assisting her to order a minestrone from the local pizza. I also order a focaccia and as the glorious food arrives, she asks me to share the food with her. We eat quietly and she commends Elena, who has added a slice of feta cheese and some green olives to the order. “She is a human being,” B comments on the woman with a golden heart.

Peace had settled at the early afternoon, when the wintry day has turned dark and the dark blue of the sky changes to another inky black early evening as if it would be already deep in to the night of pre X-mas. It’s wondrous, our love has come to the fore and we are hugging each other, even if in mind at present, as the bodies are still weak.

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