Geschichten aus Kalifornien

Ein Dichter, der mir im Café ein Gedicht vorliest. Eine Schülerin, die mir erzählt, wie sie mit acht Jahren von Schleusern in Mexiko festgehalten wurde. Palmwedel, die nach dem Wintersturm unsere Straßen blockieren. Eine nächtliche Fahrt mit dem Bus durch Los Angeles.

Von Begegnungen und Beobachtungen wie diesen kann ich in meiner journalistischen Arbeit selten erzählen. Das finde ich schade. Deshalb habe ich dieses Tagebuch angefangen.

Start the Smoke Signals - Los Angeles, CA

The start key of my computer broke.

"This is a sign", a friend suggested.

Is it a sign that I should never start the thing again?

Is it a sign of improper handling on my side?

Is it a sign of bad design and shitty craftsmanship?

Anyway, I kept using the computer and each time I did, I wiggled the start key alive. I used tweezers, scissors, sometimes a letter opener, sometimes a nail. Until the light came on and the computer sighed its signature start-up-melody. When I was done working I kept the computer in sleep mode. Until out of habit I turned it off. Which happened more often than you might think, and forced me to wiggle it alive more often than I wanted to.

The computer I am writing about is the one I use for writing, editing, producing, sending my stories to the clients. It is my only one. IT IS IMPORTANT. And the start-key is an important key. The most important, I used to think. But that's

Fresh Air - Venice Bach, CA

What I brought back from Germany: 

Christmas gifts, cough drops, and a nasty cold.

Memories of my mother's 80th birthday with family who came together to support and help each other.

Memories of my mother's bent over frail frame.

Memories of my mother's funny self, her frustrated self, her soft self, and her stubborn self.

Happiness and sorrow. Exhaustion and hope.

Anger. Love.

I walked through brain-fog for two weeks after coming back. Then, I went to the beach.

Clouds moved fast. Sand blasted skin. White winter sun turned playing children into long legged shadows.

Waves broke in relentless avalanches, rippled and rumbled, zishhhhhhhhhhhed and tshooshshshshshshshshed.

Time Zones, Life Zones - LA-Germany

I am not here yet. I am not there anymore.

My body is suspended between time zones. My mind adjusts to life zones. My spirit crosses galaxies.

I breathe presence. I swallow past.

I taste a hint of future in the finish on my tongue.

Rain glides off leaves outside my window.

Rain is a lullaby. Rain is a symphony of silver notes. Rain is my familiar melody. Rain takes me back to muddy paths. Rain makes me feel thunderstorms inside of me. Rain fills my desert heart. 

Rain is my mother.

Rain tells me to stay warm and safe inside. Rain tells me not to waste my time just being busy. Rain tells me: "Come back home to what you know."

I long for stillness. But I leave.

I follow anything but lullabies.

I need to move. I need to dance. In rain and sun, I need to fly.

I need to spread my arms towards the sky.

I need to claim my space between those time zones, life zones, galaxies.

I'm here. I'm there.

I'm home inside of me.

 

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Socks. Tree. Love. - Los Angeles, CA

"How about holding?!!!!" the husband shouts at the TV.

I guess, the team that just scored a touchdown is not the one he marked as winning in his office pool. He leans back into the sofa. His feet rest on the couch table. Black socks between a plate of self made cookies, two tea mugs, a box of matches I wrapped in shiny paper, a stack of books and Sunday paper clutter. It's mostly advertising for last minute shoppers. Toys. Cameras. Sweaters. Diamond rings and necklaces. Washer/dryer combinations. My mind plays videos of people covering washers and driers in humongeous Christmas wrapping and the faces of those who receive the bulky gifts, a red mega-bow on top.

Next to the TV, our funky Christmas tree stands tall and twinkles.

We did not want to buy a tree this year and opted for branches from the front yard juniper. I thought, we were going to cut two, three big old limbs from the bottom. I thought, we would put them into our biggest vase. I thought, we would decorate those with a few ornaments and place the whole ensemble in front of our fire place, right in the middle, so you can see it when you walk down the hallway towards our living room.

That was not what the husband thought.

Stretching For The Rain - del Rey, CA

It rains. It rains, It rains. it RAINS!

I turn the lights on. I turn the heating on. I put my sweater on and the comfy pants.

I step outside. I feel the rain on my face. I'm getting wet. I love it.

I look towards the sky. I see clouds moving. Shades of grey drift into each other, separate, then rejoin and create new formations.

Water in my eyes. I go inside. I start to write.

I hear rain on the window now. I hear a klicke-ti-klack. It is the little wooden Christmas bear I hung on the nail in the middle of our front door. His feet are dangling in the wind.

On my desk in front of me is a small plastic bag with black and white pictures of my Mom when she was young. A set of six dice in rainbow colors. Pens. Scotch tape and glue. Lip balm. A notebook for the novel I just started to write.