notes from the white city.


We’re in the middle of nowhere and we’re lost. We’ve been looking for the lost souls. After turning the corner from the McCafe we sunk into silent roads and estranged surburbia. The locals peer at my snow covered faux fur and red-chilled cheeks. Inappropriate shoes wade through untread depths. The journey gets odder with each twist. The train to the end of the line, the tram to the end of the line. We’re at the boundaries, walking without signposts.  And then, a sign points through an assortment of factories. Individuals abandoned to obscurity, no glamour, no fanfare. Death collected in a little field. I sat in the snow, wearing black in my mourning.


It’s approaching midnight and I’m tap-dancing outside Cafe Central. The courtyard is empty save for the few pairings that meander through the night. The snow is heaped at the side of the road and glistens under the street lights. The cobbles shiny, the buildings grand; a deconstructed kind of romantic. Love is a kind of madness they tell me. My gut is resisting. This form of happiness is wearing. At midnight, I’m alone and the words ring in my head: I love you, I love you, oh brother of mine.


Rot wein, bier und whisky. Kaffee Alt Wein, Kleines, Ich liebe dich. The boy with the long greasy hair lights another cigarette and he is beautiful. In different wor(l)ds everything is enticing  Groups of youth sit around the big tables over tankards reveling in debate and laughter and good food. The walls are lined with posters. One picture catches my eye, a female figure. She is nude and distorted.


In the day we see galleries of naked men. ‘Cock and Jeans’ the title reads. In another photograph the cock rests in a pint glass full of beer. Children walk past me indifferent as I muffle my giggles.

Each night I dream of rape, uncomfortable sex, nudity. A furious desire to feel. It shivers my bones.


It’s so quiet I can hear my soul creaking. The morning is raw but nothing stirs the slumber except the melange und apfelstrudl. I feel something dark and powerful inside. We’re constantly in translation. Without language, the landscape is terrifying and nothingness. To cling to my self I remember to note all the things I have lost.

Happy Be Fine

Oh I’m not going to fix you… or any of you people. I’ve tried about a million times to fix you, but it was so wrong for me to want to save you because I only wanted to eat you to make me stronger, I only wanted to devour all of you, I was cancer- Oh but I do this for you. Don’t you see I do this for you? I have done this all for you. I pretend that I do not but I do. I eat you to save you. I drink you to make you new. I gorge myself on all of you, and I stand, dripping, with fists, with heaving shoulders- I will look stupid, I will crawl, drenched in blood and shit, I will- … There is nowhere I stop and you begin. I am exhausted… I am there. I was there. Don’t you know that I am connected to you? Don’t you know that I’m trying to pump blood to you, that this is for you, that I hate you people, so many of you motherfuckers- When you sleep I want you never to wake up, so many of you I want you to just fucking sleep it away… if you’re going to fucking sleep all day fuck you motherfuckers oh when you’re all sleeping so many sleeping I am somewhere on some stupid rickety scaffolding and I’m trying to get your stupid fucking attention I’ve been trying to show you this, just been trying to show you this- What the fuck does it take to show you motherfuckers, what does it fucking take what do you want how much do you want because I am willing and I’ll stand before you and I’ll raise my arms and give you my chest and throat and wait, and I’ve been so old for so long, for you, you motherfuckers, do it do it you fuckers finally, finally, finally.

Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, p435-7