21.10.13

A special kind of closeness

One of my short stories of everyday life for english speaking friends. Thanks a lot for the excellent translation +Adam Dutson !
Die deutsche Version gibt es hier:
http://mal-so-mal-anders.blogspot.de/2011/11/if-you-want-to-go-far-go-together.html




One morning, just like any other, the alarm clock sounds at 6:15am. The morning routine is carried out just as mundane as any other day. The morning light flirts with the fog as it is dissolved by the rays of sunshine. Grab the purse, but don’t leave the disk in the computer this time! Where the hell are my car keys? What? 7:30am- School! No! I’m going to be late and I am going in the wrong direction!

 The sun does me a favor and vanquishes the rest of the morning fog. I look into the distance and see the golden fall colors of the Harz valley surrounding me. Two dogs and their owners pass by. They greet me with a friendly hello. Again I’m at a loss- man with dog vs. woman with zoom lens. A few more steps through the field and a new feeling comes over me- dissatisfaction.

At this point the man with the wolf stops and says, “when you are at the bottom of the hill and can’t see anything because of the fog, it is a must to come here to the top! The view is incredible.” A conversation begins. At first it is superficial drivel of niceties, but then plunges into a conversation with depth. He told me of times way back when….when he was younger, of his job that he had for years on end, and that he actually liked his work.

But then times changed, always in a rush, never a moments rest. Traveling mile after mile, adding up an endless distance on the tachometer. Then there was the ever looming “sorting out” of the firm and who would be the next to go. Beggars can’t be choosers, especially when there is no other alternative. One must simply wait for his time.  

On such days as this, he used to go on walks with his wife. A wife that was always a good listener. They shared many walks together and the memories of the walks of old give the man strength to carry on for the next day.

 If you want to go somewhere fast, go alone. but if you want to go far, go together.



09.10.13

The girl from Fairyland Forest



Unrest reigns in the second grade of an elementary school in Berlin.  The teacher has given the students an assignment for social studies.  The assignment was for each student to go home and ask their mother about their own birth and about what life was like before they were born.  The children whisper and giggle.  Some of the boys roll their jackets and stuff them under their shirts and laugh.  Over the next few weeks everyone will have the opportunity to share with the class about their birth.  The bell rings and school is out.

She rides her bicycle home.  Her mother has dinner ready – meat balls, potatoes, and cucumber salad.  “How was school?  Do you have homework?”  The girl replied, "Was I in your tummy?  What was it like? ”
The mother caught by surprise and a little bewildered asks, “Why?  I thought I asked you about your homework.”
The girl explains, “That is the homework!  We are supposed to be able to tell the class about how we were born.  It’s for Social Studies. We also need to be able to tell what life was like before we were born.”

At first there was not an answer.  The table was set and the father came home.  One eats dinner together.  The girls wanted answers to her questions.  She pressed her father.  “Papa, I was in mom’s belly wasn’t I?”  The parents look at each other.  “Eat your dinner first.  One shouldn’t speak with when one’s mouth is full.“

After dinner the mother said, “You were not in my Belly.  It was different with you than for other children.  You came from the Fairyland Forest… because we wished for a girl like you for so long.”  The mother then rose out of her chair and said, “I need to go buy something now.”  The father glanced at the mother and said, “We will tell you everything about your birth, when you are a little older.”  He then stood up and left the room.

During the next few weeks students stood in front of the class and reported their findings from the homework assignment.  Five children told what their mothers had said.  They told of which hospital they were born in and what the circumstances were when they came into the world.  The girl from Fairyland Forest was not called upon.

(Many thanks for this translation to +Adam Dutson !! Thanks a lot my friend! )