Worlds. Fates. Adventures. Madness.
Stories. Songs. Books. Thoughts. Nonsense.
All you dare to know
Dirk Röse, Germany, born in Witten (Ruhr) in 1966, lived in Salzgitter Bad, Lingen (Ems), Bad Rothenfelde, Fulda, Hermannsburg, Freiburg, Werlte and Haren (Ems). Still lives in the Emsland region.
Industrial clerk. Civilian service in home nursing. Studied Lutheran religious teaching profession in Freiburg. Was initially active in the church integration of »German late repatriates from Russia«. Since 2001 employed in the free economy. Since 2004 he has been in charge of Corporate Communications of a medium-sized company group. Has made something of his education.
Numerous publications, including the non-fiction book »Die 111 schönsten biblischen Namen« (The 111 most beautiful biblical names, 2000), the novel »Metathesis« (2011), the science fiction novella »Mondpräsidentin« (She lunar president, 2012), the medieval thriller »Chrodigildis« (2013), the volume of stories »frag-lich-t-e-mo-mente« (Frag-ments, 2014) and the alternative history novella »Der Jeschua-Schrein« (The Jeshua Shrine, 2015). Co-editor of the anthologies »Richter der Nacht« (Judge of the night, 2013) and »Moorgezeiten« (Bog tides, 2016). Publications on church teaching with adults, Elvis Presley, corporate history and sustainability. Types blindly in the ten-finger system.
1980 first own pop song. 1981 first recordings. 1985/86 guitar and vocals for the band »Faxe«. From 1991 analog home studio, 2017 digitalization. Since 2016 music videos on YouTube. Gives his best.
You think you know how to pronounce my name?
Night-Flight To The Stars
One day I dug up my copy of »Irish Tour« from the CD shelf and sank into »A Million Miles Away«. Following an inner impulse I searched the internet for information about the singer and guitarist Rory Gallagher. It was like a shock when I learned that he had been dead for fifteen years. Alcohol, new liver, complications, over. I just hadn't known about it. And I don't understand how I could have missed it for so long. The photo of his legendary, completely scratched »Stratocaster« led me straight to the »Night-Flight to the Stars«.
Editing: Jan-Eike Hornauer
Anthology »Grotesk!« (Grotesque!), edited by Jan-Eike Hornauer
2011, Candela publishing house, Korb
»Night-Flight To The Stars«
The wind moved icy through the nightly alleys and whirled the snowflakes up to the last street corners. I had closed my thickly padded leather case up to the top and hoped that it would at least keep the moisture out. I was already frozen through and had to fear that my neck would warp. It was the first time in years that the snow stayed and buried Dublin under a soft white cloth. Travelling in this weather was a risky game with my historical residual value. If something went wrong, maple and rosewood were firewood at best. No one took any notice of me. The few figures who were on the road just wanted to get into the warmth and stomped past me with their heads lowered. After the many lonely years I would have found my way blindly to the old bar, which was my destination every Saturday evening. Well, it‘s Saturday night and I wanna be played. Involuntarily a chord escaped me, which fortunately was completely swallowed by the upholstery. Well ... nobody had sung it as cool and self-ironic as the King. Rip me up.
I turned into one of the pub lanes off the tourist miles and searched in vain for the faded metal sign of the »Old Bartender«. It was so fucking gloomy here. Hardly any lanterns. And all that snow. I almost walked past it, but the sheer habit stopped my steps right in front of the entrance. I knocked the snow off my leather and pushed the heavy wooden door open. The hinges squeaked. Damp, warm air came towards me. I went inside, but stopped not far from the door and sucked in the heavy haze of alcohol and cigarettes. A tangle of voices and music surrounded me. In addition the smell of old wood. The »Old Bartender« had me again.
As I stepped out of the leather, my gaze wandered through the room and assessed the bar. There were still empty seats.
On the far right there was a stool, but from that corner the sounds of Old Shep-pie - a languishing children‘s song, bumblingly strummed by this would-be guitar. Sure, it was important for the history of music, but it never made it to a single recording. The King got it for his birthday on the day David Bowie was born. And that was just too soon. By the time Elvis finally began to shake his erection from the hip, it was already in the fireplace. Sure, I loved those legends. I was a legend myself. Still, I couldn‘t stand the self-pitying fuss of that no-name, wet Mississippi driftwood for five minutes.
It wasn‘t any better on the opposite side of the counter, although there would have been a place there as well. The pianos had spread out there, and it took only seconds before I could hear the unspeakable arrangement of Imagine all the people from the sounds of the bar. The typical sound again tried to hide how unimaginative the key sequence was.
I hung up my case and looked for a place in the middle of the bar. The stuffy warm air crept over my strings and I felt how out of tune I was. Right now the blues want to surround me. The Old Bartender winked friendly and pushed me a double. Wordlessly I waved the glass, put it on, smelled the salutary karma and sipped thoughtfully. Very slowly the fire burned through my throat to Svādhisthāna. The rest of it I threw down.
Finally I got warm and relaxed, looked at the guys standing to my left and right and talked about the good old days. Hardly anybody I knew or wanted to know now.
The bartender swapped the empty glass for a full one. »Howdy Cradle, how are you?«
I shrugged my shoulders and said, »How's it looking for you?«
»Like your liver‘s in pretty bad shape these days.«
I nodded. »Well?«
Without comment, he put the full bottle in front of me. »Make sure you get back in time. It‘s a long lonely highway and the crash dangerous.«
I raised my hand in reassurance. Everyone had crashed long ago, but we had survived and would survive the next crash. With a steady hand, I poured myself a triple. Old Bartender gave me the ice cubes. I felt that I would soon be ready for the next flight.
It was tragic that most people could only imagine a spaceport in space. because it wasn‘t out there. Science fiction started in you. For the night flight to the stars, for the flight to the eternal field of the departed, the spaceship had to crawl inside you, through the narrow neck and spread inside you. Until the flight began on its own.
Golden yellow the shuttle seeped leisurely into every pore and released me from the gravity. Why Dublin, of all places. But we all came here to pay homage to the past. Even though many of our roots were in the swampiest southern states, only in Dublin could the wooden soul lose its footing and embark on a melancholy journey.
When the door opened behind me and the cold breeze blew over my body, I immediately guessed who was coming. With slightly clouded eyes I looked over my shoulder and awaited fate. They had come here without a case and unprotected by the rigours of winter. They entered and smiled sadly at me. Little Wing was freshly flamed, and the snow steamed on his heated varnish. Discreetly fuming, he leaned against the long Statesboro, well refuelled and ready for take-off.
»Hello boys«, I said and waved them to me.
They did not answer, but dragged themselves over to me. Sluggishly they pushed their protruding hips between my neighbors and me. Little Wing looked for support at the bar. When he found it, he tapped me on the shoulder and made a throaty vibrato sound. Statesboro took a deep breath and made a howling sound. I saw the bartender squint his eyes, but a high »e« from me was inevitable.
»Folks,« hummed the innkeeper, »please slow down. I can‘t have rock 'n' roll suicide here. Not again, not today.«
»Gee,« mumbled Little Wing, »don't stress.«
Statesboro was now in an audibly good mood. He giggled softly and howled even higher. »We just wanna play.«
Little Wing poured out a few chords that rolled down our throats like syrup on a Southern breakfast. I started out with a gritty rhythm that was like chewing gum stuck under the soles of our shoes. Statesboro tugged on his E-string and drove tears between my pickups. I woke up this evening and had them Statesboro Blues. In some godforsaken corner a completely destroyed drum set was laboriously assembled. Next to it stood Boris the Spider, stiff as a poker, buzzing a bass line.
At the same moment I felt the ecstasy that was sweeping through the room like a wave. The air crackled. Seconds later the Mystery Spacetrain took off and we were on our way. We left time and space behind us and pushed forward into the parallel universe of our desires.
There you were again. For years you were stuck with me and never complained. I was the weight on your shoulder and you cradled me. Like I was a red-hot iron on an anvil, you sent sparks flying at me. And I knew you‘d be good to me tonight, too. I missed you so much. I felt your tight grip around my neck as you pulled me with you. Finally back on stage, your fingers gliding tenderly over me and thousands watched enthusiastically as you loved me. Then you hit me and took me hard. Your hand was so quick and dexterous that I raced with desire. And then, just before redemption, you slowed down and spun me around. I lost all grip and became a part of you, merging with your soul. Slowly, unbearably slowly you became faster again - and drove me to climax.
Something hit my head hard and I fell to the ground. All around me they were cheering and jumping on their flight into the past. But I was already back and blinking. I was not sick, my head did not hurt. I was just tired. Infinitely tired and sad.
With difficulty I got back on my feet. I put a few bills on the counter of the Old Bartender, then I got into my leather and stepped out into the night.
The cold did not disillusion me. It only increased my loneliness. I crept through the streets, left my strings dangling and kept myself in the shade.
My path led me straight to the harbour. I stood there motionless, no longer feeling the cold, forgetting the world around me. In the end, I too was nothing more than a piece of wet driftwood, pushed back and forth by the wind on the waves of fate. For a long time I stared into the dark bay. The drifting snow prevented any view of the stars. And I knew that I was millions miles away from you.
The price of preserving the supposed freedom and prosperity is high for many. Instead of further improving their living conditions, some live beyond their means. It is no different when the only alternative is relegation.
Genre: Short Story
Editing: Sue Bechert
Anthology »Untertan« (Subject), edited by Reinhard Rakow
2015, Geest-Verlag, Vechta Langförden
The phone rang and Bergmann looked at the display. The board. With the second ringing suddenly the queasy feeling came. »Bergmann?« His voice remained firm.
»To the conference room.« No unnecessary platitudes. In seven years hardly a personal word, but in the annual meeting the recurring recognition of how satisfied the board was with Bergmann's work.
»Right away,« said Bergmann.
»Not right away. Immediately!« Pure functionality, high-dose pressure.
»That's what I mean.« Bergmann hung up, grabbed the notebook and hurried out of the office. As he approached the boardroom, he wondered what had gone wrong. He had meticulously prepared the meeting and coordinated with the chairman of the board. With a little luck, he got off lightly. But deep down, he knew it wasn't going to work out that way.
He knocked on the door and entered.
»The Bremen 3 process is missing from the meeting documents.« The chairman looked at him with a fixed look on his face. The glances of the other board members and department heads were also fixed on him.
Bergmann felt his eyes flicker and this totally helpless feeling overcame him. A child caught in the act. »Bremen 3 was not on the agenda,« he apologized.
»You always have to have something like that up your sleeve,« replied the chairman.
»Give me a minute and I'll organize a handout.«
»I happen to have the document on my stick.« A hand rose above the heads of the men's team, a small piece of plastic between thumb and forefinger.
Czerkowicz, of course. Bergmann caught a lightning-fast side glance from his colleague. His little triumph. Probably the damn guy had deliberately directed the conversation to Bremen 3 in order to score.
»Fine,« said the chairman. »Bergmann, you're out. Thanks.«
Bergmann closed the heavy door behind him and crept back across the hall. At the vending machine he took a coffee, got his coat from the office and went outside for a cigarette. The demand for perfection and the experience of never achieving it was overwhelming.
A colleague was already standing under the roof. Damn, of all things it was Lücke. Bergmann felt his appetite for caffeine and nicotine diminish. Lücke was no longer anyone to talk to. Two years ago, he had been severely thwarted, had disappeared into a psychosomatic clinic, and since his return he had worked much less, but he no longer played a role in the struggle for advancement.
»Hello, Bergmann.« Lücke sipped his coffee and sucked on his cigarette.
»Hello Lücke.« Bergmann also lit a cigarette and tested his coffee. Already drinkable, not too hot.
»Who tripped you up this time?«
»How did you ...« How did this guy know? After only five minutes? The hallway radio was working frighteningly well. But still: There was no sign of malice in Lücke's face, rather interest.
»Czerkowicz or Westerhoff?«
»Czerkowicz.« Miner blew off the steam over his mug and took the next sip.
»He's snappish right now,« Lücke confirmed.
»And how are you doing?« asked Bergmann.
»I have an authoritarian boss and a tyrannical wife.« Lücke shrugged. »How am I doing there?«
Bergmann looked at his colleague in astonishment. There was no way he wanted to talk to Lücke on a personal level.
»Don't look at me as if I'm going to tell you something totally out of the ordinary.« Lücke smiled softly. »You've got the same problem.«
Bergman felt the nicotine getting the better of him. A leaden weight lay on his shoulders. He was pushed to the limit. Lücke should leave his depressing résumé alone.
»Do you know why so many people suffer burnout?« Lücke calmly sipped his coffee.
Bergmann didn't react.
»Because things aren't going up.« Lücke took a deep breath. »Only for a few people things go up. But most of them soon realize that they are not among the chosen few. They know that for the rest of their lives, the only thing that matters is not to get off.«
Bergmann sipped his coffee and remained silent.
Lücke coughed. »Until we retire, we will struggle murderously every day just to maintain the status quo. We pay the installments for our house, go on vacation twice a year, get our children on the same lousy track and die one day in some understaffed retirement home. Or roll over dead from an office chair, and everyone says it's because we smoked. That's not exactly a life-enhancing perspective. We're like hamsters in a wheel.«
Bergmann pulled the cigarette.
»Also applies to failed marriages,« added Lücke. »Burnout of the partnership. No love, no sex, no emotional perspective.«
Bergmann was now annoyed and looked him straight in the eye. »Then why do you do it to yourself? All this fucking filth?«
Lücke put out his cigarette and lit another one.
The doorbell rang. Miner fingered his smartphone and looked at the display. The board. Suddenly his circulation went down. Stand still, calm down, just stand still. He accepted the call. »Bergmann?« His voice was shaking.
»Where are you, Bergmann? Into the conference room.«
Bergmann put the phone in his jacket, flicked his fag and ran back into the building.
»Why are you doing this to yourself?« Lücke yelled after him.
Bergmann took the elevator, threw the coat into his office and the half-empty coffee cup into a wastebasket by the copier. Why are you doing this to yourself? The question echoed in his head as he rushed to the boardroom. Why are you doing this to yourself? Yeah, why? Bergmann stopped outside the door and took a breath.
Is there anyone who can offer an alternative? A real alternative and not just some ecologically motivated drop-out blah-blah with vegan work contracts from freelance lean food? Is there somewhere a guaranteed salutary master plan for a wealth-driven life?
Bergmann opened the door to the boardroom and found the high gentlemen engaged in lively conversation.
»Come in, Bergman, sit down.« The chairman was visibly in good spirits. »Coffee?«
»Thank you, I'd love some.« Bergmann sat down.
»We have made good progress,« said the chairman. Your paper on Bremen 3 was a useful decision-making aid. Fortunately, Czerkowicz had it at hand.«
Bergmann caught a sour smile from his colleague.
»Good work, Bergmann.« The chairman showed his benevolent smile and slipped him a bulging file.»«Tomorrow morning at eight I need a contract template for our lawyers.«
Bergman nodded. He slipped the folder under his arm, left the coffee and headed for the office. The impending thunderstorm had given way to a scattered ray of sunshine. Motivation enough for a long, intimate evening with Bremen 3.
Why do I do this to myself?
The hamster wheel keeps on turning. If you get off at this speed, you'll land on your nose. Well, I don't have any choice.