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Sie sind hier: Home » Girl Friday – the Book of Bad » Girl Friday – the Book of Bad 22. The Right Time for Tea
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Gabbi WernerGirl Friday – the Book of Bad 22. The Right Time for Tea

Von | 10.01.2014, 9:01 | Ein Kommentar

While I made tea, neither of us said a word. But he watched my every move.

Welcome. To the stories I told in many hotelrooms. To a man who had trouble falling asleep. A business deal. He paid for my words. Here they are.

*

So, I was stuck. No Jules Verne  Just Iceland and a foul scent. I returned to the village, just a bit more than an hour had passed. At the gas station, I looked at a map of the area, in the hope to find another road. This was the only road. There was nowhere else to go.

I would have to wait for the bus to return. I sat down in the fast food restaurant. The place was crowded, it was a saturday noon. I sat at a table near the window, overlooking the road and the fifteen houses. Everybody stared at me. I ordered tea and some French fries, the people returned to their conversations or to their pinball game. I had no book with me, all the magazines available at the gas-station were in Icelandic, the toy shop next door was due to open in another hour and a half.

I bought a gossip magazine, so I could look at the pictures. I kept looking at the clock, waiting for the toyshop to open, so that I could kill 20 minutes there, if I tried hard.

Just after one thirty, I went to the toy-store. The store also had household equipment and sold paint, nails, and hammers. Every item in the store was still in its original wrapping. None of the items were from after 1984. It felt like a museum of unwanted belongings. I found a stationary section and bought a little booklet and a pen. The pen was bright orange and so was, as it turned out, the ink.

After my shopping spree I walked past the two streets of Olavsvik once more and took a stroll over the meadow. I sat down on a rock, had some tea and a bit of a feel of adventure. There I took the photograph.

After that, I came to the conclusion it was best to return to the gas-station. There was nothing else for me to decide.

Inside, it was more crowded than before, mainly men. They all stared at me again. I somehow managed to get back to my spot at the window and ordered another tea and another portion of French fries. I convinced myself that this would be an excellent time to write my good-bye letter to the ex boyfriend, thus spending my time a little bit useful. So I wrote the letter, with bright orange ink

The waiter turned on the tv. It was ten past two. Two and a half hours more, then I could go out and wait for the bus for fifteen minutes. The crowd started talking animatedly and cheering the screen. There was someone singing. Some comments, then a jury vote. Then a guy, playing the piano and singing. More applause this time, again a jury holding their votes. This was the national song contest, deciding who would go to the Eurovision Song Contest.  The songs went on and on, each and every one in Icelandic, long discussions between the members of the jury, some kind of tele-voting as well. I thought, maybe  the villagers were watching together because one of theirs was taking part in the contest, but they responded the same to every song. Every half hour or so, the waiter came to my table and made me order another cup of tea. Or something else. I was not hungry, so I settled for the tea. The people in the restaurant stared at the screen and sometimes at me. I feigned to be completely taken up by writing the letter. At half past four, I couldn’t take it anymore and went out. The toy-store had closed by then. I just sat on a bench at the side of the road and counted the minutes until the bus finally arrived. The whole journey back I was the only passenger

I went to bed, completely exhausted. The next day, at breakfast, I did not encounter the surgeon anymore, he must have stayed at his aunt´s place. That afternoon, I took the bus to a safe expedition, I went to the Blue Lagoon.

I must admit, the pastel blue water was amazing.“

*

R. shivered a little, as if to make a point of still being cold. He was under the duvet, he was wrapped in it, he looked like a mummy. It was very warm in the room. I went over to the desk to make myself some tea. I asked him if he wanted some too. He was silent and nodded. Whilst I was making the tea, neither of us said a word. But he scrupulously watched my every move. Before I could think, I blurted out if he got off on watching me making the tea for us.

„Why would you think that? You asked me if I wanted some, and I just said yes. You are still here, though your job is done for today, you could go to your room and have some tea there. If I wanted to make out with you, I would have, right? Are you having second thoughts about the deal?“

I nearly started to sob. I felt so embarrassed. Here I was in this room, with this man who would not share one private thought, gushing out mine, on demand.

„Have I crossed you? I didn’t mean to annoy you. It´s just so hard travelling all the time and you seemed so right to lighten things up a little, but if it is too much you just say so. I don´t want to kiss you, I think I made that clear by now. I thought it would be fun for you, too, travelling to places. As it is, you hardly make any money with your movie thing. Could inspire you for some documentaries, the places I take you to. I want nothing but a little distraction, why do women always think I want more of them, is it my money? There are many guys richer than me. Or do yóu want to be physical, is that it, am I insulting you by not making a pass? I don´t get it.“

I just stared at my teacup. I noticed that at the bottom the dried out liquid had formed the shape of a whale. I showed him the cup and said: „A whale“.

„Dear girl, you have one twisted mind working for you there. Better watch out you don´t jump into that cup with your imagination and someone cleanses the stain away before you are ready to get back into the real world.“

He sniggered. Then he sighed.

„Do I strike you as simply logical?“

„Well, yes.“

„So why would I like hanging out with you then?“

„We are not hanging out. You pay me. I cannot ask you any questions.“

„Go ahead. Ask me one, ask anything.“

I asked him why he wanted me to go along.

„I told you before. I just hate travelling all by myself. I sometimes would get so lonely my brain felt like it was eating me up, all those thoughts just popping up out of the blue, hitting me like crazy, they go on and on. They melt my mind into a complete chaos, you know what I mean, when it gets so bad you can feel the pain of the brain? The thinking. The staring at the wall. Being here. Or there or wherever. It hurts. Sometimes I would just take painkillers to fake-make it stop. At moments like those, I have to shut down. At some point, I just started doing the equations, it helped. Numbers always soothe me. They are good company, those numbers.  And you are, too, in a way. You are so funny. So lost. I never thought you would do it, you know, to come along and tell me stories. I thought you would freak out in sheer fear. And then I reckoned I see how long you´ll stick to it. And you do. That amazes me. Tell me, is it the money, do you need the cash so desperately to go along?“

His question took me by surprise. I could not think of any valid reason why I joined him on his travels.

I still held my teacup. I told him that some people use tea stains to predict the future. But that I thought that, with his logical mind, he would probably not go for that.

“You are absolutely right. When you leave, would you turn the heating off, I am warm enough.“

To be Continued. Next Friday. Every Friday. From 09.00h.

Link to German Translation: click  Girl Friday – Buch des Bösen 22. Tee für gewisse Stunden

Artwork: Gabbi Werner

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