Marcel Möring – Amen
The fact that there is a beginning that begins and an ending that ends and the end begins and the beginning ends and that the tide of time washes in and pulls out and leaves behind the wreckage of what was come on Saturday and get the last box, ok? and you saying that that’s ok, that everything’s ok, it’s ok that I don’t get it, it’s ok that the end begins here or the beginning ends here, there’s absolutely nothing that isn’t ok, ok doesn’t give a toss whether we get a move on or whether we don’t, because nothing ever changes, not between us, not the world, not history, everything flows and you can just look at and think: everything flows. That if we’re talking about beginnings, if there has to be a beginning, that you wanted to be alone, doesn’t matter where, that you walked into the woods but didn’t actually go anywhere, that you (what’s the word?) walked for the sake of walking and thought about the last box and what was in it and why you hadn’t actually looked in it while the box had been in the corridor for weeks, months, that you wondered whether the box was a symbol (of what?) and what it meant that you hadn’t looked inside it, that you’d always just walked past it and that you hadn’t even seen it, or maybe you had seen it, but the way you see a chair, a curtain, the things that exist because they exist, the things that have no meaning until you look at them and suddenly start thinking about them and that you just started thinking about the box… a symbol, because you haven’t found out what’s in it, who’s what, what ‘s what, alone why its at your house, not that you haven’t tried, God knows you’ve tried, you’ve tried to look into it, to get to know it, really get to know her, and that you still would, that you wouldn’t have stopped if she hadn’t said out of the blue that she was going away and would only be coming back once more when you weren’t in to fetch her stuff, apart from that one box which he… and what if I had said just once that it wasn’t ok, Joyce, what if had said are you totally round the bend now not to mention hey there’s another box at your place is it all right if I come and get it and when would suit you? So that you start walking, into the woods, because there’s nothing here but woods (and heath and bog, let’s not forget the heath and bog), and you walk and you walk, one foot in front of the other, the other in front of the one (a poor and lonesome cowboy) and you walk and you walk, it doesn’t matter, everything is ok, everything is terrific, and after a while you don’t even know where you are or how you got here, to this point in your life, in your history as a human being. This Brief Flickering Between The Darkness From Which You Came And The Darkness That Awaits You, to this spot where the forest stops and the void unfolds, a plain, unruly bit of nature, just like Joyce, attractive in a coarse way, just like Joyce, by which you mean that you couldn’t make sense of her and wanted nothing more than that, for example; when you were doing (what’s the word?) that thing then sometimes it was as if you had nothing in your arms, an almond-eyed beauty with a face like the moon and her breasts like lambs that graze beneath the lilies, eyes like dewy grapes and a mouth made of honey, a dream that flies into your arms and makes you forget what it is, life (that brief flickering etcetera), the world, you two, that means what you are and what she is, that there is no longer any difference between her and you, that she no longer knows where she begins and you end, she in your arms, you in hers and she moves and the world moves… under us all moved, and moved us, gently, up and down, and from side to side… and suddenly, when the moment is there when two people cease to exist and are on the point of becoming one, that is when she suddenly dissolves and suddenly there is the void and the understanding of what you’re doing, that you’re lying on top of another person, that you’re a tangle of limbs, a tussle, pillows interfering, sheets grabbing your legs, the neighbours’ radio… even when your lover is gone gone gone… your bent wrist, her empty eyes, her eyes staring into nothingness, or maybe they’re just looking inwards, at a place deep within her a place where you can’t go but where you want to be, because you want to know who it is lying here in your arms and doing this with you but also to a great extent without you and you say what are you thinking about? and she says nothing and you can’t imagine that because you have fused into a group of Greek statues of pleasure and desire ad craving and then there must be something like what do I want from him/her, what does she/he want from me, what am I for her/him and what is he/she for me, so you ask what she feels when she’s not thinking about anything, lust, rage, fury, joy, horniness, what do I know and she says horniness, I think and you think I think? because horniness isn’t vague, horniness is clear, if one thing is clear it’s horniness, you say so what do you feel when we’re necking (what’s the word?) and she with a frown because Joyce doesn’t like talking about these things – you once asked her what her fantasies were and it was three years before there was any kind of answer and it wasn’t so much a fantasy as a plan of attack… what it was like when you did it, you asked, and she said something like well, normal and you think normal? normal is like a Catholic describing holy communion as ‘a bit of bread and a slug of wine’. Maybe that’s it: that you wanted communion and she wanted bread and wine.
So the fact that there was an end that began and a beginning that ended and you didn’t know that it was ending, that it was beginning to end, which is to say: that evening, five months ago, May, her on the sofa opposite you, the fading light of the evening behind her, and her saying that she isn’t happy and you asking what she means by that and her turning her face away, a leaden silence (This boat is sinking…).
You’re the Buddha and you’re sitting in your room listening to the sounds of the world and the world says: this isn’t going well.
‘Joyce,’ you say, ‘happiness isn’t something like the weather, it isn’t something that comes over you, it’s a responsibility, you’re responsible for your happiness, for that of your loved ones, for happiness in your relationship, you can’t force it, but you can’t sit and wait for it either.’
Whether you mightn’t be able to show a bit of sympathy.
My fucking middle name.
My sympathy oozes out of me, Joyce. Your I’m-not-happy is a natural phenomenon that happens six times a year and that always needs to be met with sympathy and understanding and saying nothing that Joyce doesn’t like otherwise Joyce becomes even more unhappy. I’m tired, Joyce, I’m goddamned walked-to-the-end-of-the-world-and-back-tired. Of myself. Of my sympathy. Of your unhappiness. Yes, of your unhappiness too and then I’m ashamed of myself for being tired of your pain, your unhappiness, of the things that can’t be healed, of always coming running with my first aid kit where’s it bleeding? to discover that it isn’t bleeding anywhere, which is to say; nowhere that I can get to, nowhere that I’m allowed to get to. Joyce, you have no idea of my impotence, of my inability, of the guilt that I feel, the guilt for my innocence and my disbelief in my innocence.
But you don’t say that.
You look at her and you know without knowing why you know what’s going to come and that there’s nothing you can do about it or that you might be able to do something about it but you no longer want to, because you can no longer summon the strength to show for the hundred-thousandth time the understanding that is the glue that holds everything together. A train in the distance and you’re standing on the track and even though you know you can move, off the track, you can’t move. You’re hypnotised by the train. No, something else.
I’m a rabbit in your headlights, Joyce.
But you don’t say that.
Instead you say what do you want? and she says away from you.
So that’s how it goes, the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning, the end of the end. You’ve looked, you’ve listened, you’ve seen and heard and now, even though it’s a Friday evening in May, the apocalypse is here. You were the first human being, man and woman, woman and man, in paradise, hand in hand among everything that needed naming and was new and strange, the birds, the beasts of the field, the clouds and the mountains, the endless sea. You lived in the space between beginning and ending and you thought that everything was as it had to be, but now here comes the rider on the pale horse and you wonder how he differs this time from all the other times, why the sword is falling now and didn’t all the previous times and while the conversation – the few sentences which you will, when all of this is over, call ‘conversation – while that is going through your head it gets through to you. Why now all of a sudden. Why not all those other times.
It’s always been there, it lay slumbering like a snake on the bottom of the deep pit of your relationship and now, now that its name has been named it has awoken, it has sat up and shown its teeth and before can say bugger, or shit, or fuck, or damn it all, it has happened.
In the beginning is the word and the word is the beginning and in the beginning is the end, the end of the beginning, the end of the end, the last word.
Translation by Shaun Whiteside