Tag Archives: The Daily Prompt

Retrieving the Irretrievable

I’ve had this post(or a variation of it) in my head for a few weeks but each time I sat down to write it I couldn’t do it. And the other times I didn’t even get that far, I let myself start thinking about it and all of a sudden any enthusiasm I had completely disappeared. It felt like such hard work and so pointless, so I did nothing. Which is pretty much what I’ve spent the past six weeks doing, absolutely nothing. I could say I never meant this to happen but then I never do. I don’t know where it started exactly or why. I don’t really remember any of it. When you sleep that much and you don’t keep a regular schedule the days just sort of blur together, until soon enough there may as well not be such a thing as days of the week. It’s all the same. You don’t care what day it is. The only thing you care about is being left alone and not being around anyone else. With that in mind I haven’t seen a lot of daylight these past few weeks, not actually in the week anyway. Only at the weekends have I been reliably up and awake in the daytime, and only then because I could never forgive myself if I missed a game. I may not have liked myself very much during these past few weeks or seen the point in being awake or really living at all but I can’t do that. If there’s one thing I can’t do it’s that. Screw that up and my self loathing will be taken to a whole new level. I may let myself down and disappoint the people around me in real life but I’m not missing a game.

If I’ve counted right last week’s game was the 75th I’ve seen in a row of Freiburg’s and the 78th in total, not counting friendlies and old games I’ve seen repeats of. It would be a shame to ruin that just because I don’t want to get out of bed and face the world. I don’t have to face the outside world or deal with other people, but I do have to see them play come this Saturday. There are four games left between now and Christmas, a trip to Leverkusen, home to Darmstadt, away at Schalke and finally away to Ingolstadt. I should be unhappy they’re not finishing the year at home but I’m not, even though it’s not a Sunday they’re playing on I’m still glad in a sense they’re away. It’s nothing like that Christmas, they aren’t even close to being in danger of spending the holiday break in the bottom two. Doesn’t mean I can forget it though. Of course that’s partly my own fault, writing that stupid story about Jogi and Christmas hats.

As I mentioned above the previous times I tried to write this post or any post at all it didn’t go so well. I didn’t even get as far as typing the title in fact which is stupid because that’s the one thing I did know. I knew more or less what I wanted to write about too, it’s just the words wouldn’t come out. So I don’t think it was writer’s block, not really. It’s been similar with my stories too. It’s not a lack of ideas, it’s actually putting the words down on paper. Of course with them I have a slightly different problem in the sense I have plenty of notes yet little actual story to show for it. It seems that’s all I’ve been able to do, make notes and come up with potential ideas but not actually use any of them. That part of the process has been a lot slower than I’d like.

I know I shouldn’t beat myself up about that but I still do. Just like I do with everything else. It’s the so-called Enke problem, in the morning you don’t feel like you can do anything and so don’t try to do anything, then in the evening you beat yourself up for not having achieved anything. Despite how the past few weeks have gone that’s not what the title refers to. True I can’t get any of that wasted time back but I’ve lost something far more precious than time. There’s plenty of more time but there won’t be another one of this story. I still don’t understand how it happened, how I could be so careless. I’ve looked absolutely everywhere for it, at least in the virtual sense. I’ve checked each of my laptops, the desktop PC, all four of my external hard-drives and all the USB pen-drives I could find. Which leaves me with only one conclusion to come to. Either it’s gone forever and I really don’t have a back-up, or I’ve lost the USB drive in question. Two weeks later and I’ve stopped looking for it. I’ve not stopped thinking about it but I’ve stopped actively searching. The main reason being I’ve started thinking maybe I’m not meant to find it.

The story in question is partly centered around Klinsi because the majority of it took place during the international break in mid summer 2015, when Germany played the USA. And now of course Klinsi isn’t in charge of the USA team anymore, hence why I think it’s kind of fitting in a way that I’ve lost it. Yet at the same time it makes me want to find it more, as if it’s all that’s left of those memories. There is one place I haven’t looked yet, I haven’t checked my notebooks to see how much if any of it I hand-wrote. I’m not sure I even want to look. Maybe it’s better not to know. I remember my favourite moment from the story, maybe I should just leave it at that. I have to say it does feel strange, to remember a moment which didn’t even actually happen to begin with. Not just remember it but actually picture it. To actually see in my head Jogi wearing that blue shirt and Hansi helping him out of it, but for innocent reasons for once. Just so he could put on a white shirt because the blue one made him sad. As Jogi put it “You were there, he was there, but it didn’t rain.”

I could probably rewrite large parts of it from memory alone, though with how much else I’ve got to catch up on adding something else to the list probably isn’t wise. Perhaps the past is best left alone. On the subject of writing I am glad at least that I finally wrote this post. Whether it makes sense or not I needed to write it. I need to get back into some kind of routine and writing forms an important part of that. I need to get outside of my own head and the timing could not be better. I had no real plans for the rest of this year but one thing I just assumed I would be doing is the advent calendar posts. Though disappointingly there’s only two calendars this year, a Freiburg and Dortmund one, no DFB one. I don’t know if I can stick to a post a day but I plan on trying at least.

Even though I’m annoyed with having taken so long to post something in retrospect I’m glad. It’s better to have waited for all the craziness to have passed and eventually faded away. I think had I written something last Friday in particular then the end result would be a lot angrier and messier than I’d be happy with. And that would have been true even before that disastrous defeat to RBL, I was in a bad mood even before the game. It’s nothing new, just the same old troublesome problems, finding it difficult to deal with change, trouble with understanding other people and their motivations and of course the ever present thoughts of death. It’s just they were a little bit more troublesome than usual. What made it all the more disturbing is I actually planned on writing about it, not like this but in a fictional sense. I had this image in my head of one my characters hanging themselves and being found by their father. It was something that came to me in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep, seemingly out of nowhere. Usually when a story starts from a moment like that I think it’s a great thing, I love it when something begins that way, it’s usually the very best stories which start with just a little moment or a fragment of one. But not this time, this was just disturbing. As strange as it sounds I’m more upset by the thought I wanted to hurt Matze than I am at having similar thoughts about myself. I don’t know quite what to make of that, the idea I care more about him than myself. I mean he doesn’t even exist, I really don’t know what to think.

Verbotene Liebe – The first morning

It was not the first night they had spent together, nor was it the first morning Hansi had woken up wrapped in Jogi’s arms but this was the first morning they had woken up in their bed, in their house.
Picturing this, Hansi had envisioned creeping out of bed early and making Jogi a romantic breakfast in bed. As tempting as this sounded Hansi knew better for as easily as he could picture this, he could picture what he knew would follow; Jogi trying and failing not to freak out at the crumbs. Not even at the actual crumbs, just at the possibility that some lone crumb may escape his watchful gaze. A nice thought it was but one that would be more of a torment for Jogi than a gift. Hansi would have to settle for making him breakfast upon his return from his morning run. Hansi had no complaints, how could he when the second best was just as good as the first.

Watching Jogi wake up and get out of bed, Hansi cast his thoughts back to that first morning they had spent the night together, the morning after the Argentina friendly. Except on this occasion there was no awkwardness, no wondering what to do, Hansi could lay back peacefully and watch Jogi get dressed. As he did so Hansi thought of how awkward it had been, the two of them waking up and neither of them knowing precisely what to say. All such feelings had been vanquished however when Jogi returned from the shower, his hair looking simply irresistible much like the rest of him. Walking in the door Jogi had observed the look on Hansi’s face and instead of drying himself off and getting dressed, he walked over to Hansi and allowed him to take over. Once he was finished, Hansi threw the towel aside, took Jogi’s hand and returned him to his rightful place beneath the covers. If it hadn’t have been for the usual round of meetings that followed a match day, that was where the two of them would have spent the rest of the morning.

Throughout said meetings, they could not help but exchange glances. When Hansi looked at him with the same trace of mischievousness in his eyes as when he had pulled him back into bed, it took everything Jogi had to keep a straight face and to focus on what was being said. Hansi had a similar problem, whatever it was that was being talked about; none of it could keep his mind off the image of a freshly showered Jogi walking in the room. It didn’t help that his hair was not quite dry yet, due to the fact that before leaving the room he had talked Jogi into taking another shower. Jogi had needed no convincing really, but he enjoyed letting Hansi think he was resistant to the idea and enjoyed even more the playful way Hansi had half dragged and half led him to the shower. It was nice to let someone else be the boss for a change, even if it was only an illusion.

Through showering, getting dressed and having breakfast, Hansi continued to think over the events of that night and the morning that followed it. He thought of how nervous he had been going to Jogi’s room which made no sense since Jogi was the one who had made the first move. Hansi couldn’t help but think it was the wrong time; he didn’t want to be the one to interrupt Jogi’s post match deliberations, especially considering the result. And yet at the same time he could not help himself, something told him this was the perfect time.

When Hansi had opened the door he was surprised to find Jogi sitting quietly and without his not quite perfectly folded paper in hand on which he furiously made notes that only Hansi could decipher. How strange it was that a perfectionist and lover of organisation such as Jogi would like to make notes on such a thing, one would expect him to have a crisp and perfectly clean notebook with equally perfect pages. How Hansi loved Jogi and his crumpled up pieces of paper, those pieces of paper that he would bring out several of at the oddest times, his pockets full of random ideas excitedly jotted down. Hansi loved noting the difference in his handwriting, seeing when something had been written in anger and when it had been written in excitement. Even more amusing than the times he had brought them out to share with Hansi were the random times he occasionally brought them out to make a note of something. Hansi most enjoyed the baffled looks on the faces of anyone who happened to be there, that is people who were not particularly familiar with Jogi and his ways. Anyone who was familiar with him knew enough to know that this normal, that it was pointless to try talking to him until he was finished and not to bother asking what he had just written.

Instead, Jogi was sitting, seemingly deep in thought, a lonesome and troubled look on his face. So deep in thought was he that he hadn’t responded to the sound of the door opening and was as far as Hansi could tell, unaware of his presence. This worried Hansi, even when deep in thought Jogi was always aware of his surroundings, this was not like him at all and he was unsure of how to play this. Hansi decided the best course of action was to go over and sit in the chair next to Jogi.

He did so and then Jogi became aware of his presence but he still didn’t say anything, he smiled at Hansi but this did not make the lonesome look disappear from his eyes. Hansi had gone in the room prepared to deal with an angry Jogi and ready to calm him down. This he was not prepared for, this was not anger, and this was not part of the play-book. Whatever was on Jogi’s mind was more than just the score of the match.

Coming to his senses Jogi took Hansi’s hand and told him that he was glad he was there. He continued, saying that whilst he usually liked to be left alone after a match they had lost, he was glad Hansi was here now. On this night of all nights he simply couldn’t imagine being alone. If Hansi had not come to him, he would have gone to Hansi.
“It’s not just the match Hansi, it’s that you’ll never be by my side again. You’ll never sit next to me again or be there when I turn around.”

“I won’t be there for the next game or the one after or any of them, that’s true. I won’t be there to sit next to you, to celebrate with you or to keep you out of trouble. I won’t lie to you; I’m really going to miss all of that. But I’ll be there next to you every night when you go to sleep and every morning when you wake up. I can’t think of a better consolation prize. If that’s what you get for second place, then who the hell in their right mind would want to be champion?”

Sitting silently, seemingly mulling over what Hansi had said, he did not respond at first. A few moments after he smiled in the way that only Hansi could get him to and repeated the words from that fateful morning “Ich liebe dich Hansi.”

After doing so he got up and still holding Hansi’s hand led him to over to the bed. At work he may no longer be Hansi’s boss, here tonight he most definitely was. And all was right in the world.

I didn’t write this piece today, it’s something I wrote last week but the required phrase fits here perfectly. A very timely prompt.

Agree to Disagree

Agree to Disagree

Do you have a good friend or close relative with whom you disagree on a major issue (political, personal, cultural)? What’s the issue, and how do you make the relationship work?

Both of my friends in real life think football is the most tedious game known to man, but I’m not sure that counts as a major issue, though it’s major to me. How do we get around it, with the first, the answer is simple, the light of Löw. They may think football is boring and for brain dead idiots (they didn’t say that, but they didn’t have to) and they may be unable to fathom my interest in the game or indeed in sports at all, but they can and do appreciate the perfection that is Joachim Löw. Talking about the game in any way is off limits, however talking about Jogi’s newly observed oddities or discussing his latest attire is always a popular topic of conversation.

With the second person it’s much more complicated, I can’t share my appreciation of Jogi with them. Not when they feel so threatened by his existence. I just try not to talk about football too much, which I know is impossible, but I can at least try.

Like I said, I don’t think people would consider that to be a major issue, but it’s major for me. I could write about the rift between us on the subject of religion and how me being interested in Judaism and them being an anti-Zionist naturally led to some very awkward conversations, but I could write an essay about that and still not be done with it. Some things are better left alone.

The Language of Things

The Language of Things

You have to write a message to someone dear to you, telling that person how much he/she means to you. However — instead of words, you can only use 5-10 objects to convey your emotions. Which objects do you choose, and what do they mean?

I figure this should be about someone in real life, thus removing the obvious choices. I should pick the person who does the most for me, that is my long-suffering mother.

First object of choice: my cinema card. The reason being that I consider the cinema to be like a sacred holy place, if I let you come to the cinema with me, then you know you’re on my list of people I find slightly more than tolerable.

My laptop – I use it to show them all the funny videos I make, they don’t really understand football at all and they can only reliably remember Jogi and Hansi’s names but they do like the funny videos I make and the Jogi und Hansi Adventures. The laptop  goes some way to connecting us, without obsessions like this we would have no connection at all, we would have nothing to talk about. Or should I say, I would have nothing to lecture people about whilst they pretend to be interested and/or understand what I’m saying.

The hard-drive – this contains all of the TV shows that we watch, and a lot of crap that they watch that I don’t. Every week they can’t believe that I do this for them, like it’s too nice a thing for me to do, or I must have an agenda of some sort. I tell them I like the hours spent compiling videos and subtitles files, I don’t tell them the truth, I think it’s a nice thing to do, that’s all there is to it.

My book collection – I lend them a lot of books, I like the fact that by doing so I’m widening their perspective, giving them an opportunity to learn about things they never gave a second thought.

This last one is cheating a bit, since the object doesn’t actually exist yet, it’s still just an idea, all I have is a piece of paper listing some details and with a rough sketch of a football stadium – Die Mannschaft Cluedo. The reason I’m adding it to the list is that we sort of came up with the idea together, and we worked on some of the details together. I rarely do stuff with other people, not in a truly collaborative sense, I usually insist on doing everything myself lest other people get it wrong. They were helpful here, coming up with as many good ideas as I was, and they came up with the first choice for the murder victim.

I have to add something about Joachim Löw, despite what I wrote above, but seeing as this is post 147 (two lucky numbers in one) I have to, though what’s written here could mostly apply to any of my previous special interests. The objects: my collection of matches (DVDs blu-rays and what’s on my hard-drive), my picture collection and the alternate universe itself, in this case Löw-land. What do they all mean or represent? Control, there I can be anything or anyone I want to be. In fact I don’t have to exist at all. And other people don’t place ridiculous demands on me that I cannot meet. There people always know what I mean.

I can trick myself into believing that I can belong somewhere, that there is somewhere in the universe where I am not the strange one, somewhere I can say what I want to say, and even if I don’t know it’s exactly right, I won’t spend all day worrying and mentally torturing myself about it. The matches and my ever growing video collection mean I get to do one of my favourite things, observe people, and because it’s a video, I can watch it as many times as I want and I don’t have to worry about not able to watch people without them noticing. A way of being close to people without actually having to be anywhere near them I guess.

And on the subject of collections and Jogi, my latest acquisition is very funny, I wouldn’t have minded seeing this in real life, or seeing Jogi and Klinsi both wearing Lederhosen: