Cold, Warm, Colder.


Retreat: An unemployed hero begins to feel chilly while finding lost clothes at the roadside: Cold! Do these pieces of clothing come from somebody who was too warm? Does the patchy image speak of a recent wedding? Whose last shirt gets lost this way? The loose connection between the taut questions excludes a blanket answer and allows the drama to run its course for a second time: Nobody knows anything about a sudden fall in temperature that took place between the vows and the loss of clothes. But why, the saucepan drummer asks himself, does the thermometer have to hang in the shade? Why do I get chilly when I see somebody else’s clothes in the field?—He who asks questions like this tries to make out the blade of the fan through a fast movement of the eye in the direction it is spinning. The point of departure of his movement cannot be covered by a law from whose effect this point of departure recoils. Wardrobe inside or outside! A change in the weather now or never! Turn off the whirling thing, then you’ll see what you want to see! Only the supposed nothing between the blades swallows the resistances, by means of which the meteorologist collects his data—so that in the end he believes it is cold because he himself is not moving. Departure is the slogan, regardless of where to!


Wind in the sails: Where a word about the limits of its meaning is missing—not even a breeze tautens the cloth—deeds must help against the calm that turns the sea into a mirror. Nothing that has happened can be reversed once one has agreed to the stupid rule that the activity of the hero means, above all, one thing: Warm! From now on, one should not stray from the path that has been taken, regardless of who has left his clothes behind before, and why. Where the convicts of their wealth can no longer escape, because the prison is everywhere, the axe in the boat appears as the last binding sign of a society that weighs its centrifugal conscience against the anchor to be raised. At the unraised spot, however, where the circle of vision no longer comes full circle, because one stands in one’s way (false polarization, necessary mistake!), a flashing blue light penetrates the dusk. Whether the stations Warm and Cold end a phase of doubting or whether the air movements of the electronic fan produce an optical signal that illuminates an ideal space, Eurasia’s unity remains a fertile endangerment. At other shores, no mainland is reached anymore! By the time the difference in temperature results in the contradiction of Cold and Warm, the finger for checking the direction of the wind has long fallen asleep. Departure for departure’s sake, however, was successful.


Estimated numbers: Neither arithmetic errors nor miracles have taken place, just a few variable factors that have always been variable play their usual game. What has changed since the first step anywhere was a mere misjudgment of its possibilities—and since a polarized area was declared to be a border through a measure that had yet to be introduced? Unknowingly, the hero has moved away from the hearth. The wind machine slows down, stands still for a moment, and then starts to turn in the opposite direction. Whether the standstill that marks the change of direction comprises an endless time span in the twilight, can only be decided after a period of waiting, i.e., after a waiting period, come hell or high water. However, the things that some forerunners of expelled spirits had placed on the blades of the fan are now thrown through the room—charging devices, square box wrenches, counterfeit money, and soap. Dust is raised and obscures the hero’s vision. For a moment, he is in that—as it were—condensed void, which is only called “the new stream” in the emergency call center: Colder! The unordered removal from the hot area results in the finger’s hit rate in the fan rising systematically above the number that we count per hit and light ray frequency. One dresses more warmly to bite off the thread before being fixed to one reality. Or one lights a new light at the next shore that will disperse the shadows of falling wings. Who now still asks about the clothes in the field? Who has to pay for the drama for the umpteenth time? Is there actually an exact number behind the estimated numbers? Who blames what on the weather? If the hero doesn’t hurry now, a cold downpour will soak him to the skin.

Halcyon Days, Cologne 2013, p. 223