I forgot my name. Everything is clear otherwise. The Cosmos is full of Djinns. I see myself lying on a hospital bed. I put the card on this grey cover, one after the other. I will tell, how I came to this mental clinic and how I got to this Hungarian town called Buda. The Jolly Joker: the card of the Fool. The one who goes with his little sack on his shoulders, up the hill and down the hill, and forgets if a dog bites him. The breast. Here I begin: putting the heart in its place. Leva. It means heart. Like this. I am working on a man-like being. Hairs. On the breast. Yes. Should it be curly? The sound "aleph" has to be sung all the while. The letter of the air. Of breathing. The number of the holy animals. The serafim. The sound of the crown. It is here at the top of the head, that the Infinite enters into the human being. The letter of the Spirit. The amoebae. The spontanous fiery intelligence. The fluid level of existence. I forgot my name. The medical orderly calls me Djinny. I know they want to hypnotise into my mind that I am Nijinsky, the Russian-Polish dancer. They even put this picture-machine-box into my room, it's a new invention, looking like an ark. That it will shake me out of my muteness. The Indefinite. To get close and to get away. I try to touch the tits. There should be more hair around it. And now the finer lines. The sound of the infant age. Aleph. Fool. Being born. The sound of a sigh. Aleph. The As. I am moving up on the stairs, to the swimming pool of the hospital. Boys, men, women, old gentlemen. They are waiving to me. The elderly make their radio shout. The infant age. They are smoking, drinking and playing cards. "As" of the Wands – the Fire.The Cups – meaning water.
You haven't been here for a week! Gjinny, did they catch you again? I am just spending my holidays here.
Some wear daring pants. You can see their white skin as they make a step or sit down. Such a heat. The sun-bathing terrace of the Clinic is full. "As" of the Swords: the Air. Pentacles: the Earth. Why do they call me Djinny? Each evening I watch the picture-box, a TV-series called "Dr. Cosmos". Sometimes I feel as if I were myself that guy in Berlin. I don't want this best-boy job anymore. Even to be an extra would be more convenient than this casting assistance. It is cool outside. Brakes are creeking at the corner of Eisenacherstrasse. The TV-screen is sparkling on two sets in two corners of the room. It is mirrored in the windowpanes and also in Dr. Cosmos' sunglasses. He smokes cigars, as he feels a producer should. We are in Berlin. The videos made last week are on the screen – we are set before this palace. It is supposed to be a St. Petersbourg palace – we found all scenes here in Kreuzberg, next to the wall, with canals and gates – so there he stands. Nijinsky, the star of the Tsar, we see him from behind, furs on his shoulder, the screen is flashing, his trousers are tight on his thighs. The guy, who is playing him, works at a grocery store on Mommsenstrasse and when I asked him if he is not bored by constantly collecting money, he answered:"Do you know something better?" I watched him(wearing my red jacket) for a second with his Chinese-like eyes and asked:
Don't you want to dance? He laughed – and I became embarrassed, maybe he misunderstood me, on the street, among car-horns and pigeon-noise: or why does he laugh? It turned out he used to be a professional dancer until three years before. Dr. Cosmos watches him without moving. We hear the voice of the Russian dancer – he says in a whisper: -I am afraid…I don't dare to go in…Diaghilev is the greatest lord…It would be better to go home, not to his party…A real ball…Diaghilev is as powerful as any crown prince they say…Natalia Petrovna says that he loves me. Maybe he will give money to mother…. Dr. Cosmos turns to me: But this guy is not gay! I watch myself in the mirror of his sunglasses, neons in the background, creeking brakes, TV-sets: Nor was Nijinsky gay. He converted. What does that mean?
The grocer from the Mommsenstrasse has curly hair, his T-shirt used to be red – it is purple now – and it lets show the curly hair on his chest too. The Underground is rattling above our head. I explain him quickly, that we are looking for dancers in a film about Nijinsky, so he has to think it through before he accepts the role, because the movie has to deal with the…er…er…passions of "God's Dancer". That was how contemporary fans and collegues and friends sometimes called him, like Picasso, Stravinsky, Cocteau or Rodin. And it deals with his, well, religious madness: that he thought he was the Messiah, and his illuminated conversion, you know. An Orthodox Pravoslav is not allowed to speak. Only if he must. Just like me. So I am telling this guy to think about it twice before coming to the casting.
You mean, if I am acting in the role of Nijinsky…er…people will think, that me too, I am gay? Yes, it is possible, sir. By the way, this grocer is Turkish. Unfortunately the Doctor doesn't want a German for this role, out of tactfulness. This Doctor Cosmos is the producer. According to him, well, the question of sin only comes in your mind, when you have become religious. When you already understand what God wants from you in the world created by his Word to which you are then bound. But Doctor Cosmos himself is not religious. He says understandingly: What can he do, this mute, immobile, Russian-Polish-Hungarian war prisoner, when his desires are pushing him towards men? It is not a question of decision, these are just…given to us. Then, if somebody wants to be with a woman, it's also a natural bent, nothing virtuous: maybe it's luck – said our producer, who is considered in the branch to be an amoral bastard. And not because of his sensuality. We are all sinners. So what? Can we do something about it? Nijinsky decided to try to change his set-up, accepting and following the religious world order: he will marry this Hungarian comtesse. He would have liked to tear himself out of this sinful life he has led up until then. You are a fool! Just because a dog bit you? Of course, reality is never like the words that can be said about it.
The manager, turning fat, pulls off the golden paper ring of his cigar. An ornamental crown on a purple velvet base, falling into the ashtray. I am trying to explain to Dr. Cosmos, that for our Djinny-News-in-Sky-Geniusky it was normal to be the way he was with his deviancy, desire and debility. The inner feeling of normalcy of any crazy person makes me choose a normal dancer for the role. I am breathing deeply:
Nijinksy was normal. He certainly would have liked to be one. So he was Christened in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, to be Greek, Jewish, Western, Eastern, O.K. my son, you got the part, send in the next one, please! -Normal? How can you tell such a thing? He used to live together with Diaghilev! Yes, the one who sponsored later Picasso and Coco Chanel. But without Nijinksy even the century would not have started!
Maybe. I don't quarrel. He had to be a funny creature, this Rusian Pole, who was nicknamed "the Chinese" ("Kitayski") – who danced and suddenly became mute and immobile and imagined himself to be the Christ, and then he recovered when he saw the new far-seeing machine, the so-called "television". A friend of mine – Cosima – has heard about a Buda legend, saying that there lived in the neighbouring flat a famous Hungarian writer with all his avantgarde friends (like Béla Bartók, Melchior Lengyel, Attila József or Kosztolányi, the poets and many others). And there appeared among them, during the bridge parties, this lady, dealing with hypnosis, called Agathe Keller. She didn't know her ancestors, because the Jewish family trees were mostly lost,but still, it is not impossible, that under the menacing shadow of the"final solution" she did vibrate some unknown telepathy through the walls, where the immobile, mute prisoner watches pictures – and a word reaches him: the word "Messiah". Meaning the Oily One. And the word "Yeshooah". Meaning the Saved One. Maybe Agathe just recited a prayer in which these words occur. And Nijinsky cried out loud: my Saviour! And ran into Agathe's arms. Maybe he said it in Hebrew: Yeshooah! This is the original name of "Jesus". So everybody thought he was a fool, and a sinner, because it is a sin to say "I am not I – I am 'He'…" He thought he was the incarnation of the Christ, the Anointed.
So you think Nijinksy was normal – Cosmos rasps. I can see on his face that he will not give money if the dancer will be played by a non-gay person. Leaves are not falling as yet. A red-cross car is howling somewhere, saving someone's life. The ash stands still on Cosmos' cigar. This guy does it quite well. You can feel seeing him, that Nijinsky is a very poor boy, his father dead long ago. He is very young, without really seeing what is going on around him. Dancing and learning day in day out in his shoulder-marked uniform, helping his mother at home if necessary. We don't see all of this at a casting scene. It would be too much to ask from the actor to make him feel the ensuing tragedy. It was a tragic life for him, like for many gay people. How could they see beyond their pricks, or could they at all? But I cannot know about that. I am watching myself in the mirror of the windowpane. My nose is too curved. My lower lip is too thick. And my ears are huge. A Mercedes-taxi cab is flashing its lights downwards. Maybe it's Cosima. She is a very old friend, from Budapest times. She also works now in Berlin, actually, as a driver. She's got very precise notions about life. But it's difficult to talk about it. We just listen to the screen, as somebody is saying: "my God bless you all…I had a dream yesterday, that my mother…my mother died." Jesus, what is this bullshit? – Dr. Cosmos shouts – this snobbish, Jewish fuck! Why don't they enchant him with tarot-cards? Or telepathy? He switches over to another channel, it's the News, The Tagesschau. We see brown-skinned dancers, naked, a military orchestra and a shining dark head, ornated with birds' feathers and they are commenting: On the Easter islands people voted for an aboriginal chieftain. The new king-elect said in his inaugural speech, that he will fight for Independence. Two segments of Easter Island population, the so-called long-ears and the short-ears have been fighting each other since time immemorial. Still, it was a surprise, that only a few hours after his speech, Kone-Ziu-Mato disappeared misteriously.
And David has offered before the Eternal burning- and peace sacrifices. Then David returned to greet his house with blessing and Mikhal, the daughter of Saul came before him and said: How glorious he was, the king of Israel, showing off before the eyes of the servants like one of the male prostitutes. And David said to Mikhal: it all happened before the Eternal, who chose me, more than your father and his whole house and ordered me to be the leader over the people of the Eternal, Israel. I enjoyed myself before His eyes. And even if I would seem lesser and smaller in my eyes than those sacred prostitutes (kedeshim) you mentioned, even then I would feel honored to be among them. And Mikhal, the daughter of Saul never bore a child till the day of her death. (Book of Shmuel)
Berlin on the TV: a neon sign at the Beer-hall proposing a Camel cigarette. Dr. Cosmos is smoking cigars because he is afraid of everybody. He is small, he gets bald on the sides of his front, he is fat and he wears glasses – dark ones. If somebody, like me, speaks many languages, he esteems it greatly. He appreciates everybody, except himself. Dr. Cosmos, after a long breath, lets the ash drop next to the small red-based white-haired golden paper-ring's portrait and he says:
I try not to intrude into anybody's personal matters. Still, what do you think, how will you be able to present the..er…tragedy..of this unfortunate man, when you don't even try to…er…experience this kind of life! Well, how's Cosima? Did she get the grant to make that Jewish family reasearch ? I am listening, but I don't really hear him. But I…I don't want to "present" anything. Nothing, nothing at all! Sometimes everything seems to be so impossible: the way I illegally left Hungary – my native country – in 1974. I could have become a comics designer and a museum assistant, framing pictures. After the last Berlin epileptic fit, after I forgot the last time, who I really am. Even then, everything was clear: I could feel people's attitudes – like I know this man smoking cigars really likes me. In secret.
Even the longest life is short at the end: is it posssible to understand what my life is all about? And my relations? And my mistakes? What does God want to say with it? And the lives of all those other people? What happened to geniusky? Did a man love him? So what? God loves all of us. Sure he wanted to reciprocate this love, this ignorant little pagan kid. They say he was "chaotic, schizophrenic" – mute and immobile. What if he was just holding on to the Pravoslav Greek Orthodox customs: talk only if you must. You'll be News-in-Sky. He became a spectator. A 20th Century pillar saint. Just watching. Pictures that he saw and what was put before him on the far-sseing machine, television. So he saw far. Sometimes he made drawings. But only round forms, circles and globes. I am angry a bit at Cosmo who thinks I am a liar – that's what he thinks – because Cosima lives together with me at the Yorkstrasse. What does he think, this name-less Transsylvanian Hungarian who is partly Jewish and cosmopolitan also? Being cut off by a Russian prisoner's beton wall in this Cosmos full of Djinns from the only pillar of all honor and continuity: from God? Yesterday – what yesterday, it was this very afternoon – I went for a walk. There, toward the cave. From the Clinic, if you know where you can cross the fence, you can flee and I always try to come to the little "God Mountain" – that's how I call it, others call it little Shwab (German) Mountain – in order to be able to see the whole town of Buda as a panorama. Buda…some people here in Hungary think, that this Buda, who gave his name to the capital town, who was the brother of Attila, the Hun, he was really a sacred priest, killed by his soldierly brother – and that he was identical with Gautamo Buddha. Maybe the trees will tell me the truth. Yesterday evening "King David and Co." Jumped up – of course nobody calls them like that except for me – and Mahler wore a grey suit. The Bartóks phoned they cannot come. Everybody pretends to like me. As if it wouldn't bother them that they think I am a Russian.
I try to console them by telling them I'm a Pole rather. The balding Melchior Lengyel – which means Polish in Hungarian – says the Chinese will overflow Berlin and Romola, my wife tells him, that people gave me the nickname "Chinese" in Russia. They call me Prince also. That the Chinese will be overflowing the world. Or that they have a method to control the flow of sperm? Heaven knows, maybe. Maybe that's what can make you sin-less. Romola tells them I was called Chinese once. Oh, I already mentioned that. I don't think that people coming from the soul-root of the Messiah are that much rare. I mean, if there were a hundred million people on the Earth at the time of the so-called Saviour-Yeshooah, you would think if there are today fifty times as much people – oh, no. Skip it. Everybody became embarrassed, they say, when I spelled His name, I pointed towards myself. But this pointing happened really when I showed them how big I can leap – before the far-seeing ark. That pointing motion – it was just a small gesture in this Cosmos full of news in the sky. I just wanted to say that everybody will see Him with his own eyes when he appears. Oh, God! I am really ashamed. This constant idolizing.
Romola says I can't do that to her. What will be the comment of Thomas Mann, the writer, who is supposed to visit us? He will ask, if I stopped committing sins, won't he? You can tell him, why I was called "the Chinese". I hear the voice of Agathe from the neighbouring villa in my head:"They have no right to harm you!" I do hope nobody will notice, how much this woman…well..has an effect on me. Nobody likes her, since she is a Jew. Maybe Jews like her, but they will have to be killed, poor creatures. Of course Romola will never tell anybody she called me "Chinese", because when we were together I used the old Taoist method: I pressed two of my fingers at "that place" between the anus and the scrotum – in order not to kill a seed, the source of life. I always wanted to tell people about this. That is why I did the masturbation-scandal scene in the Paris Opera in 1912. Somehow they did not understand. I am sinless before God. And I am coming from the House of David – only nobody knows about the existence of the family tree of Agathe, leading her to the Prague rabbi Löw and to Rashi of Troyes in the eleventh century and to... And nobody cares.
Cosima says she found an interesting passage in Nijinksy's Diary about some mystical Jewish connection, as she put it. I try to explain to her that Cosmos will never allow any other legend to creep in and overshadow his Star of the Tsar. And she doesn't even have any proof. Of course…it's my own business…I tell Cosmos something like that and I'm heading toward the exit door. I am not very far from the Yorkstrasse now, leaves of the platans [plain tree], scurrying cars, Mercedes neonsigns on the bars. No, I will never tell Cosima about my adolescent years in central-Europe: where the boys wear smaller bathing slips than here. All those days, laying on the sun, reading and watching around with my heart bumping…No, I cannot talk about it, it might be misunderstood. There was this guy once, who came over to me – I was watching him for a long time from under my half-closed eyelids – and he said: "Hello, I was afraid we won't meet this year.." So he mistook me for someone else. I didn't shudder when he put his hand on my leg. I was always afraid I was a homosexual – but to be attracted in fantasy doesn't mean to want sex. It is just normal. I just like to watch beautiful men I thought. That's all. They're like statues. But then this strange Czech guy began to push his hands along my thighs. I think his name was Rudolf. I just swallowed – I felt it was not the right thing somehow. There must be something else. Yes. I need time. So we were moving together into one flat – a "studio" as they call it here – with Cosima. What can I do? I am like anybody else. I am average. Cosmic nobody – a common Hungarian. By the way, on a Ritoók-Urban branch of the Transsylvanian gentry family tree of my father's side I am even related to Governor Horthy (who ruled between the wars), which was kept a secret naturally, up until the end of the Communist "Kádár"-régime, until right now. That's how it is. Suddenly I became a gentleman…What does he want, Dr. Cosmos? He wants me to show the way as Nijinsky converted. He wants me to know what a conversion is like. But for me, when it turned out that I am not that much average – that "noblesse obliges" me – it was like a conversion too. But he would not listen to this kind of argument. And Cosima cannot be told about my problems with Cosmos, because I lose too many jobs and now at last we have Coke at home – anyway we seem to have a kind of perspective. We couldn't allow us that before. I begin to play "patience" (solitaire) with cards. I've learnt it from my mother. On the screen somebody just says: "Aren't those cards too small?" Coincidences. Well, isn't it enough if the director knows about the psychic life of the protagonist? And maybe the star would have some vague notion about his role. Why do I have to know everything? How could I imagine how it is when somebody gets crazy? Suddenly he sees everything differently? Not even mentioning that Niji-Djinny-Geniusky began with a religious-spiritual psychosis – suddenly he began to feel he was actually identical with God, with the Saviour. I think Nietzsche has had the same kind of illness. How would I call "him"? Me – I am I. Later, when Prof. C. G. Jung began to use the television as a therapeutic tool (the first experiment was made in 1919 next to Budapest, at Godollo, but the invention became merchandized only around 1949 – two years before Nijinskly's death), he could jump again, and wrote that religion was the only way for him. You shouldn't eat meat, because it produces seeds – which shouldn't be killed. You have to praise God, mainly with your deeds – and he realized how much he was a sinner. In the Bible he was impressed by the story of David and Jonathan, "whose love was sweeter than the love of women", but still don't love a man like you do "unto a woman". If it's sweeter it cannot be the "same" or "like". No, we should not make such jokes. He lived in marriage with God. And me, now, with my normal way of thinking: I can see several truths, but feeling only one: that there are several ways. But a psychotic is not making a decision about choosing one from the manyfold truths – he just gets enlightened. I wonder how he could stop sinning. How he could stop "killing his seeds" as the Bible says. I don't know. At home we never talked about such things, half-Jewish half-Catholic people – mostly just a family with hopes lost. As they decided not to enter into discussions about "religion" – or any such questions. It's a pity I forgot the name of my family.
Still – what does someone think at, when thinking about "God"? I should have known Cosmos will only give me one more chance to try – and I have to lie to Cosima, saying everything is all right. It is too bad when she is upset – and I know, that otherwise the cosmos is okay. Djinns are swarming in the cosmos. I will lose my job again. Jesus, please, let me go on. Thanks. Now, in reality – on the other hand – I went to London in 1974 and I also lived in Paris for half a year – at both places I have had relatives. At that time it was illegal for a Hungarian not to return in a month, but since I had a sickness called epilepsy (in reality), they even allowed me to return to the University after one skipped year, only I did not get back my passport for five years. My mother was manic-depressive at those times, i was in my late puberty and this situation got so unbearable with all the restraints:"Don't play on piano, your mother gets upset!" Don't be glad and don't be sad.
It was added to this, that at those times a man of spiritual leanings – even if young – was in fact compelled to be mute, I could experience that from the way they cenzored the few publications I made while at the University. But it didn't console me, that in the West it's just the other way round (I always found someone who would have bought my drawings and comics.) For me freedom was anguish and stress. Once I've stolen a blue shawl at the corner of Boulevard St. Michel, where the pavement bends lightly. The problem with sins from the past is that they do exist. We live in Eternity. It was terrible to realize that my flaming friendship-feelings can change in my head into unlawful homo-erotic desires. I felt this to be a non-allowable bend. So I came home to Hungary because of the restrictions. Nyanyi – my grandmother – was in Paris once to visit me. I call her the way my mother called her mother too. She explained to the owner of my flat that her ancestor stood on the side of the great Hungarian revolutionary leader, Kossuth. He was called Rabbi Löw in the last century and some say his ancestor was the legendary clay-man-maker, or something like this, she told the owner. So that's why the owner has to be nice to me. I mean everybody was nice to me anyway! It made me angry. This legend is not even proven to be true, there are no papers left about the family – except on this revolutionary rabbi. How can a legend be more important than myself? I was ashamed of this. Of her. Of my mother. Who always knows what to do. A survivor. Maybe they just see some horrible dwarf in me. I am small, bent and big-eared. Nobody cares about me. I don't even exist. Ten years have passed when I was invited to West Berlin to work on a science fiction production as a dialogue writer and actor (for the ZDF by the way) – as a beginner. It was altogether for a half a year or so. There somebody told me to write something about Nijinsky. So this is what is happening right now. In the olden times, as I was embarrassed by the smell of the burned rubberwheels in the Paris metro, or the noise of the bubbling of the coffee-machine (instead of the normal Hungarian spluttering) –and also I was easily embarrassed by this latent snobism, when Nyanyi was talking about their friendship with the composer Béla Bartók, and others, like the poet Attila József or Kosztolányi, and Milán Füst, and Melchior Lengyel (whom I even had to visit in Rome in seventy-one) – I was just not interested. Until now. Until now, when I heard about the Villa, where all these people went to play bridge, and which has had the famous neighbour: Nijinsky. Of course in his case it is intriguing how he lived a Law-less life before "converting". His mentioning the "Christ" and the concept of "saving" the seeds seems to be just a profanation – my mother would never even mention the possibility of Nijinsky's really being the Messiah. Can I ever find in this swarming-djinn-full cosmos-box the man who finds out who Agathe Keller really was, and what her role was in giving over the secret – without even knowing about it – to Geniusky, the mute prisoner of war.
All men are like a program, we are like channels. How can I find the Finder? I have to leave space here for the hairs on the chest. All the while humming the sound "beth". With my lips. The lip….The letter of the "house", referring to any holder or cup. The sound of the cherubim, the Close Ones. This is also the Jolly Joker of the Magus. The one who used to be a shoemaker before. To make order in the chaos – beth. The sound of the Wheel. Of the Forms. The sound of Youth. Of cleanness. The letter of life and death. The sound of the Shabbath. The letter of the theoretical mind. The shark. The Magus. Let's put some fine lines around the corners of the lip. The Saturn. The sea. The East. Raphael. Hi – I'm saying it half asleep. It's the medical orderly who sits next to me. I like the proportions of his body. I feel his breath in my ear: What's your name?
I don't know – I am just shaking my head. It is not a good feeling. But I don't have any recollection about my former life. Outside, on the street, I see a poster in the yellow lamplight: a shark. I remember how I arrived to this hospital, jumping out of the ambulance, buying some chips on the corridor and then just sitting on my bed for hours – fortunately they gave me an empty room all alone. I suppose they wanted to bring in this television to see its effect on me. It is an experiment. I see a thin line of light on the floor: the ambulance guy stands behind me, I feel his presence.
I remember how he pulled me along the corridors when we arrived, how I saw through the open door this small room, painted white, with spots on the wall, like a map. Like the map of the sea-shores. I am allowed already to go to the swimming pool of the hospital. They've just let the water down. A bath of concrete. The sun does good to my skin. I am just laying around. The sun is shining. Old people murmur next to me. Some are laughing. This young one looks good. A cherub. I like the line of his mouth. He never lets his eyes meet mine.
I am looking at him: he is shining like a bronze statue. Why should I be so much afraid? My heart is bumping.I see a female figure downstairs among the trees, but I don't remember her name either. Is it Romola? Or Cosima? I know why I am so terrified. All through my life I always heard about "God" – but only through strangers' talking. I canot trust strangers. The ambulance guy tells me to take it easy: it's the same for all of us. We are never close enough. At the top of the hospital-roof, loose planks are squeaking in the wind.The card Two of Pentacles belongs to the Qooph – one of the hundred levels - of Kabbalic Wisdom, "Hohmah" in Hebrew. Okay, I ask the ambulance guy if he likes to play cards? So you do remember the cards' meanings? Yes, I do remember the numbers.
I demonstrate it to him. This is the Two of Wands: the rules. The Cup: love. Swords: balance. Pentacles: harmonious change is its meaning. First: the Fool. Treasure. Oxen. Meaning: value. Second: the Magus. House.
These numbers are like programmes, like channels. Djinn on ski – News-in-Sky. New jeans – no genes: geniusky. New sky jeans. The neighbours house. The House of David. I even remember that the word "david" means "the Beloved One". The ambulance intern looks at me with his black beetle eyes like at an idiot. He did not shave himself. He just cannot grasp – since hours – how is it possible, that I seem to be able to talk normally on these esoteric topics, while I still just don't remember my own name. - Well…I cannot explain it. Some say there are biblical heroes in touch with my family. Does that mean that I have to change my life? But how? I think this is what is called an "identity crisis". If I only could be sure that "God"…the "god" of "god's people" is in reality…er..that it "really exists", then maybe…Of course it is presumptuous to make conditions on recovery…but maybe if I knew more about that I could be giving up my "sinful" ways. Maybe. Because it is sinful only in "God's eyes". Yes, they call this an identity crisis – the ambulance guy tells me.
I was just living my life like all of us, having been a Young Communist Pioneer in red silk ties, having spent my summers in state-run Holiday Resorts and finishing my university studies in the then prevalent bad mood, and I went to the West illegally, doing all kinds of odd jobs (picture-framer, waiter, ticket-collector), until I got this job…yes, I remember it's an assistant producer job at this film…and now I don't remember more. Why do I have to tell him all this again? The hero of the "Dr. Cosmos" series went mad? So, here I am, in a Budapest psychiatric ward. Here I was. Here I will be. And I continue wondering about "God" – not knowing enough to enter into religious practices. And not being religious, because, being "half" Jewish, I even was christened by my Father's mother – a beautyful, greyhaired woman with shining white teeth – so I am a Catholic officially. I don't think it is "all the same" what one thinks about oneself.
Now, that this unproven guess about my family is spreading –that we are not just one of the many millions of Jewish fanmilies (living or killed), but actually we would belong to the family of this rabbi Löw of prague, the so-called "Maharal" – that means we can know how they lived and what they thought – even to minute details. I got scared a bit from this. I don't want to care about how they lived. If I could ever read one of his "deep and loquacious" books (as Gershom Sholem put it expertly) I would probably feel it to be as strange as any other mystical writing by anybody else. But I would really like to know, if there is any sign left that his secret Kabbalistic- Messianistic beliefs were not completely forgotten all through the centuries. It is quite interesting- all that talk about "God" – not to talk about the "saviour". It seems that mysterious and incredible ideas do influence human life as much as "real" facts do. "God" does "exist" some way or other – as a thought if we cannot experience him otherwise. It's like gossip. Abraham told It to his son – and Abraham was not a Jew – and he told, that this Being, the Lord (the entity which is common in every existing being) has talked to him. His Name should be "blessed" (moved), the Creator talked to him. This tradition then went from lip to lip until today. Yes, even today, there are people who say they are in contact with this tradition. For instance, there is this Russian – or Polish – guy, the prisoner of Hungarians – who was not very loquatious, he just once spelled the word "saviour" while jumping up again several meters and stopping in the air, when he first saw himself on the picture-box. In a film about him, one could make even hints – that maybe he really was in touch (via telepathy) with some descendants of Abraham, who – even though themselves have forgotten the Promise – still might have helped in transmitting the message. But in real life I would need some proof. Already Herod has burnt all the Jewish family trees, to make it difficult to find the Son of David, the Messiah-Anointed. There are today very few family trees left. It would be great if Cosima could come to Budapest, although I don't have hopes that the family Keller and löw can be proven to be the same as the Prague Löw family – who were said to be the descendants of King David. Nijinsky's house – nest to the House of David? This is the problem of the protagonist of this "Cosmos" series.
Like myself: forgetting my own name means I would like to be related to the whole world. It's great to be in Berlin that is full of parks, it's more Buda-like than Buda itself, only Berlin has no hills – but in winter nothing helps. It is humid and grey. On teevee, a woman with blue earrings is laughing sweetly, a computer writes out some scoresm, people are constantly competing: who knows more rhymes from the Faust, who eats more Knoedel-balls, who is the one who gets up earlier – this last one is on only since we have the European Playboy channel, which we canot afford anyway.
Sure you can say a lot about horrible figures on TV, who, if you would see them in real life, you should attack or flee – but this way, closed in the box, we get used to each other, watching each other calmly. I don't know why they are saying that TV causes agression. We are not apes. I think it's a sedative, a pacificator – many times the saviour of mankind (think about demonstrations, when they stop shooting at people, for instance.) And there are so many nice people also. The cosmos is swarming of them. I don't know why the TV is on, Cosima is not at home. Pete, a friend of his – blonde, like herself, but always squinting – was telling jokingly that he sees her already the third time with the same yellow-brown skinned guy among the reddish pillars of the University Restaurant, she wearing her green pull. But I know her real hobby is comparative anthropology. And suddenly I remembered the name of the guy. Ko…Kone Ziu Mato. They call him Ko-Z-Ma. Funny coincidence. There was the Easter Island president who has had a name much the same... She learned from him the ananas á la "rapanui", baked in soya plus garlick. But I had to prepare it myself. Anyway I am happy she is not at home, she would see on my face things are bad. If it can be called that bad, that we won't have money again, in case Cosmos doesn't accept my candidates. The screen asks: "How come Pilate's hand was clean?" Next to the Jolly – the Queen of Cups: full of fantasy, so I seek out the twelfth card from that row – it's that Hanged Man, or maybe the Last Judgment. Hey, give in to the "Spirit". We gonna live again, resurrected!
Some minutes before: she was going to the metro. Probably for the jobless support money. Metro Adenauerplatz. My direction too now. A vapory, cool day – as if the Mercedes cars would be sliding on cotton. In this weather the underground has the same odour at all corners of the world, a smell of people and tabac which you can feel even here outside in the smog at the iron bars of the gates. If I hear it coming I'll run down the steps, it's a low underground station. I mean not too high. I am standing up here, because I hate to go down. Up here there are some more people. There is this old black fat woman in her turqoise jogging suit. There are lots of foreigners in Berlin. People are not ashamed here to be curious, even funny. They have a completely different mentality here in this respect (compared to the East.) As if it would be natural to them that it is so much better for us if we are trying to differ from each other. So people look at each other reassuringly or neutrally – instead of the refusing suspicion in usage on the other side of the Wall. All of them: the guy with the leaflets, the man at the newsstand, the policeman, the bywalker and the neighbours. They all try to be nice. Of course, they're better paid, though with more insecure jobs, so maybe it is just reasonable to be nice.
The metro is here. I do run down. Yes, Cosima will see at once on my face that Cosmo was not accepting my casting list. I've got one last chance. An awful situation. And I cannot hide my face when I am in a bad mood. I don't know how others solve these difficult situations. Probably they have many different things to hope for. I am always into dreaming about the one-and-only…I mean the real thing. And if it doesn't fit – i quit. And I am depressed. I still remember the Clinic from the last timespent here. The male nurse with his first aid kit. Grrr. It is a pity I am not a believer. If I do convert accepting the World as created by the Word – does the great male Nurse come for me? I believe this when I see it on TV. The Jolly Joker is now going out with the Tree of pentacles (construction, ingeneer) and the third place from here, at the place of the Empress we see the Hanged Man again. I go on watching them in the picture box Maybe "God" will help me. I am sorry, but I probaly commit too many sins. Even just now I'm being preposterous. I'm afraid one can feel the love of the "Lord" only when he punishes me – but only if one is chosen for that. But I cannot talk about this to Cosima. That I only have one more chance before Cosmo and then I am sacked. These fags are so awful. I will never be able to explain to him why I think Nijinsky should be played by somebody totally normal. Okay. He is a saintly pillar. Well, I still might make some money out of my drawings, like years ago… I try to move away from the big road where they are splashing water and the drivers don't care. Funny the ambulance cars are not white here, they are yellowish, and naturally, it's mostly a Mercedes – a few of them can be seen at home too nowadays. I arrived to the dark red brick building with the iron gate and fence – I like the way these houses have fences in the middle of the town (it can be considered the middle if we take the two Berlins as one town): handsome little gardens with dry, matted grass. In the dark staircase I recognize that urn-like curve, yes, it is Cosima bending to the mailbox and when she hears my steps she is crying out:
Look! From Buda! And she shows me the yellow packet. At home we always speak English, I don't like to speak German, it's too tiring. They have sent the package from Pest, probably my mother, Nyanyi. That's how we used to call her with my cousins. Some people say her first son used to call her like this, but it's improbable since he disappeared from the orphanage where he was put in 1951, my mother being too ill… But nobody knows for sure, she never talks about it. She refuses to talk. Will I ever know if I have a disappeared brother? All the while we arrived high up to the studio flat. Cosima begins to pack the things she bought – once you should try to do the shopping, she grumbles. She always chimes like this, and she is talking about one of my friends having taken away our laundry iron. Some other guy (called Christian) has seen him swinging it round his head at the Pestalozzi strasse, just near her work place, Cosima says if he continues to do things like this, they will - God forbid - kill him or something. Aren't they cute, your chums.
Nothing. War and peace in the small black picture-boksz. Sins are tempting in my dreams. I'm more afraid than ever. And I don't remember my name. The Star-Being of an Age? how can he be related to other Star-Beings? Where does the soul wander, when it is not here? Dream? Hypnosis? What's that? Lights are dancing in the ark of pictures. Cards and sounds and parts of the body. The Bartóks, the Stravinskys, the Davidhausers. How could we understand; we, simple people, where we go during 'Cosmos'? in eternity. The Screen: the atomic Shield is shining. Pearl drops of parts are falling on and splitting off.
I don't know why I am on the Earth.
I'm a man among milliards.
I'm getting afraid of my guesses: far-seeing does exist indeed, the Great heads could really be pals: the great-grandson of Ruth, the Moabite and the Polish-Russian dancer. They could bind a covenant through the ark of the Lion of Judah. While David danced and Vaslav watched TV? you will get saved, someone will save thee.
By realizing that everything that has happened until now was a mistake. And you accept what you will get from now on. You might even talk about it to others: the personal, coincidental meetings (and not the family trees) can be the Right Track.
The Way of the Found Child.
But I'm talking in vain, they will not listen to me.
I'm turning around the small hut (built since I was here last time) behind the yellow building. The smell of chickensoup, GDR car numbers and petrol vapour, door-knobs humid from sweat? That fat old woman has never heard about the Road of the Red Army, where I'd like to slip through the fence. But I change my mind. I will watch the series "Dr. Cosmos". I begin to accept that I forgot my name and that I don't know who I am.
Cosima wants to go to Pest.
She thinks it's not impossible that she'll find some documents hinting at Löw, the renowned baroque messianic expert. Sure, she should go to Prague too. I don't know what to say. Sure, she should go to Prague too. I don't know what to say. She should know that such documents? if ever? they appear mostly 'by chance'. And even if we don't find anything, it's evident, that 'belief' and 'tradition' reappear in our life, and we should take them seriously. If it's not too late. It is also rather curious, the way this golem-maker rabbi's legend meets the face of Nijinsky: or its twentieth century variation. Since it's a fact, that Nyanyi was playing bridge in the neighbouring flat, and the cards, well, originally, in the Kabbalah, there are supposed to be some magical forces? Who knows? Sure, there is a level in the world, where the magical cards don't have any effect, where the limbs of the body are not bound to planets and crystals, where it's impossible to create the atoms of the human body out of the atoms of the earth? where God is just a figure of speech or a person from an ageold tale? like the Hunter in Little Red Riding Hood.
And unfortunately Dr. Cosmos lives on this level, so he won't let us put this legendary level into the movie about the Russian-Hungarian prisoner.
He says, it's enough if he just looks into the Nought. There is nothing there.
Immanuel Löw (the son of my great-great-grandfather)
Old age has thrown roses on the grave of their beloved, the garden of tombs became a garden of roses. The soul flies away in death like a butterfly, like the flying odour of the rose. The symbolism of the rose comes toward us in the deep poetry of the ghetto.
On the city Council House of Prague we can see the statue of my legendary ancestor? his death's tale is interesting.
The angel of death could not approach the sainted sage whose magic spell made matter breathe, whose eye-twinkle made the dying alive again. So the angel took the form of a rosebud. The charming great-granddaughter of the old man, without knowing what she does, gave the rose to grandpa, and from its smell the great soul slumbers away, flying to the Infinite. The dawn of eternity is reddening toward the soul that searched its secrets? the dawn of the roses of the Garden of Eden. The thorn of sorrow and the dawn of Hope are proclaiming through the rose our faith that reaches over the grave, our faith in the eternal mercy whose love is never restrained, not in life, nor in death. Amen.
Cosima tells me, she has to go to the post, to give in an advertisement to the Zweite Hand, that we need dancers. Okay. I should just feel myself terribly, yes I know they give you this horrid 'downer', just take it easy, relax. Cosima knows that without the drugs I feel better at once, she perceives it at once. And she is able to betray me, she phones to my mother, who would fly here at once, in order to stop my 'sickness'. For them its a sickness when I feel better. Yes, I talk a lot then and quite quickly, probably from relief. It must be annoying. I'm kept down since puberty? since?sixteen. I will accept it while my mother is alive, because you cannot deliberately cause harm and pain? Although its very bad. Should I stay or should I go? Cosima ran away. I'm staying here. I'll watch this cassette that Mom has sent.
I can't go on, no? Well, life is difficult. Now there she goes on video, my mother will teach me what to do and what not to do if? for instance? I meet a gallerist or a producer or an editor.
The phone is ringing. I let it ring.
Cosima runs back from the staircase with reproachful eyebrows.
I open one of my old diaries.
It was your doctor, he says you left there your sunglasses.
I was sawing wood, I was gathering trash, I was on service group. They don't talk much to me, since I don't really understand them, and all that. It's very unpleasant? what you can hear at home in a camp, you can't deal with here, it's so much worse.
Today, the first time in my life I was waterskiing. I was terribly afraid and I did it at once without falling. It's great. Everybody thought I already did it at home. At four in the night there was a huge storm and we couldn't sleep because of the water flowing into the tents and then because they began to prepare themselves for the souscamp excursion with shouting and running. At half past eight everybody from my group was on the other shore with tents. Me and a guy with some sickness couldn't go. I had cold? and I had cried enough to stay. So we moved into Gilbert's ex-tent with two moniteurs. We even had mattresses. I'm very tired. During the night there was such a storm, that I never saw before, with huge thunderings, lightning and windstorm? and in the whole camp only our tent was blown away by it, so all of my things were wet now, completely. My photo machine went wrong but my watch survived. And we were freezing in hail. So I'm the only Hungarian left here? Bori Sarkadi and Jutka Lakner, they are heroines, they went to the souscamp.
Sepia check-patterned shirt, grey polo? black-and-red jacket? changeant raglan ballon? krüger trousers, grey shoes? mirroring sunglasses: I'm starting to go to the laundry, and I don't care what the passers-by say, seeing my elegance. Or this old woman to the small child: "Come now, we go quickly home and have a rest." My basic astonishment these days is related to the fact that they will change all the bus and tram stop signs. With Lukin we went and took one as a collector's item? I mean the old one, that used to be longish with a round plate at the end. From now on it will be a simple blue cube. Dad says there is an international agreement for them. It has a small bus symbolized in the middle? it's a great joy when you see the bigness of the arriving real bus. Sometimes those hinged ones arrive. They were described fittingly by the International Herald Tribune: "One and a half bus? great in taking the curves."
So I am going through the park "Major", the leaves are falling, and the car numbers before my eyes: PE, TA, CY and TE again? And there's a YOU? A stranger.
He is not my doctor, he's just Dr Cosmos. Leave me alone? answer to Cosima? I'd like to watch TV.
On the screen we see a young guy, standing in the high grass. Suddenly there is a lion on the picture. In the hand of the guy there is some shining object, maybe a piece of bone? so the lion keeps himself away. Kellogg's diet soup without meat? Cosima is mirrored on the screen's surface? she begins to look for something, goes here and there, picks up a guitarre and all the while she is trying to persuade me to go out together to the gay bar: - Sure it will be great? It would do good to you? You should think twice about it? You can't hate yourself that much? From too much sternness evil is born. You can't jump headlong into this movie about a gay star if you are completely unexperienced?
And about some other things.
Completely unexperienced? Should I tell her about the 'case' of the East-German guy some years ago; I was not thirty yet, looking younger and? Even now, years after I'm thinking about him sometimes although the relationship didn't really develop, sometimes I think of jumping over the Wall, I'm only restrained 'cause it might be unpleasant for him. And how should I explain to Cosima, that I don't feel I would like to go to a gay bar nowadays. If there are any left? When i was young, in the seventies, the whole thing had a different aura? But now?Cosima knows I like to be with her, although lately we are much more cool and the traditional act is just skipped.
"You are being lucky with this AIDS paranoia? It was invented for these lazy people like you"? she says? "God aids you."
And I also have some remorse. I have the feeling I'm doing something bad.
No, you don't do anything bad, you are bad? If you don't come with me to the Gigolo? - Cosima makes her black stockings smoother at the bathroom mirror? then?well?I'm going myself and I'll get some guy for you..
I'm always wondering how come Cosima's and the Doctor's name are so much alike.
January 17th. I've never been so much afraid. At the sports' swimming they said there is a test today from biology and physics. But there was none. Thank God, nothing. If only my math test would be '4': Oh, God. In the Young People's Magazine (which is the best newspaper I think) there is everything in it, it's cute; there is a quiz, you have to send in the actors of the 'Stars of Eger' until the 20th. Vera Venczel is my favourite. It's the 17th- Happily I'm in Pest. With the 7000 (code number of a gal), snub-nosed, flecked skinned, we were hanging around for an hour. In a garden there was an amateur group playing rock-beat songs. I couldn't buy 'Ludas'. I'm reading the book 'Mine, Yours, His, Hers'. It's Wednesday.
Is it true? It's a Jolly Joker!
On the screen: a woman with a crown. Nyanyi is pulling out the baking pan from the oven. The Empress. The friendly truth. Yesterday too there were potatoes. We see the left eye. Then: the right hand. Eyelashes. The small crescents of the nails? With the fingers to touch the fingertips? something begins? The fire is cracking? I don't see it clearly? The Four. The sound of 'Dalet' from the aleph-beth-gimel ABC.
The image of the body.
We see the lying body's outlines. The form of matter.
Broad shoulders, strong chest? it already exists with the heart in it? and a tight hip, double half-globe buttocks, softcurved thighs, legs; then comes the solid sole? I'm still at the right hand.The sceptre. The splendor, the glory, the news. The friendly truth.
The angel of Abraham: Tsadkiel. The Wisdom of God.
We could have thought he is not here at all.
The sceptre (Wand)? four: a clean, finished work.
Four of Cups: the peak of joy.
The Empress, the hierarchical knowledge. The amphibious life. The surface of the Earth. I'm feeling love and harmony. Belly touching belly. Small child.
Sharp mind. The Gemini. The doors. The shield of my Mother. The Monday, the Tuesday, Wisdom. Silliness. Highness. The splendid intelligence. Chesed: the cup or ark of mercy.
Left eye, right hand. And: 'Daleth'? Mars.
"Don't let me onto the road of lies."
Four of Swords: withdrawal, peace.
Four of Pentacles (club): wealth, law and order.
I see the first-aid kit in the hand of the ambulance guy.
He is going somewhere. Aha, upwards.
The concrete pool, the blue house, doors, gates, steps.
A little later I'm following him.
Pretending I'm looking for something else.
'Cause the old people are watching me keenly.
They should mind their own business.
There is the turn of the staircase. He's there. Okay.
An iron door.
I am stepping out in my tennis shoes, slowly. There was a Geniusky performance once upon a time in tennis outfit. After the one in the rosebud costume.
So it's better for him here up on the roof. Slowly I'm glancing through the half open door. The sky is grey-white, in the background the yellow-brown and green hills of Buda. I'm watching the first aid guy (who looks like my savings accountant). He puts his coat on the edge of the chimney, then he squats down, raising his hands to his head, he leans his chin on his fist. With closed eyes he looks into the sun, his uniform hat falls down. Then he reposes his hand on the earth and sits down. He opens his eye, turns my way and looks at me smiling. He means I can go to him and sit next to him if I want. With his left eye he's squinting.
I go up to him and I'm leaning my back to the chimney. I don't care if my Clinic uniform with its red sign will get dusty.
He is leaning back too, the cigarette in the corner of his mouth doesn't burn. And over the edge of the roof I see the pavilion of the buffet with that tender white-robed woman, maybe Romola will visit me today too.
Am I sure I belong to her?
He reaches out his right hand, 'Satan's bar1 BETWEEN HIS FINGERS? i DON'T REALLY WANT TO SMOKE, BUT i STILL HAVE THE GOOD MANNERS LEFT OVER FROM MY THEATRE TIMES, THAT i ALWAYS HAVE MATCHES ON ME, EVEN IN THE POCKET OF MY BATHING SLIP. The only role I was at ease with 'outside'? the role of the nice, quiet gentleman. It's a pity I became a prisoner here, because here there are less possibilities to play this role I think.
My hand shakes with the fire. I don't think he realized that, although I see he watches me closely. I don't think I seem to be that young? Maybe nobody will believe me, but except those dark figures? they were a threesome? that doesn't count after all, since they were? well, I mean, I haven't been with anybody? not 'like that'. I mean, never with a man. The only woman I was together with, well? it's another story. I try to pull in my belly. No, I can't cheat any more.
He knows I won't say a word, and he doesn't say anything either. From down under I hear the voice of a woman:
Yesterday we had a visit from Australia?
Another raspy woman's voice asks:
"Friends of friends?"
No, relatives of relatives, very nice kids, from some University, they studied Rustém Vambéry, Karl Mannheim, Max Weber, so it was difficult for my English but they wanted to hear about my husband of course?
Now, there is nobody in the buffet pavilion, in the garden.
I think maybe? No? I don't think any 'maybe's'. Down there the glass of the brown-yellow plate mirrors all the other tables, cupboard and window, all those legs in jersey, lilac-yellow-red-blue-green patterned skirts and even pink silk lamé; and all the trousers, jeans and corderoy and ice grey-squared like the roof under my feet.
I see you on the roof of the Hospital as you are sitting behind the chimney looking toward the Small God Mountain, following the clouds.
I see downstairs in the curve of the road as the sign ABC is hanging high up, plastic surfaces on some nails? sparing money. In my heart a very old song is thrumming: "If I don't see you, I don't love you any more, if I love you now, I'll see you forever?" and a new song too, whispering with a childlike or old man's voice: "I like it as I put my arm around your shoulder, or should I ask someone else again?"
My right hand is sweating, that female just arrives from the coiffeur, she even has some rouge on her lips. The first aid guy is nice, he is not forcing me too much around the problem of my name.
My brothers and sisters:
Mute Russian prisoners in the picture boxes and around it!
Everything happens during 'Cosmos' with djinns swarming everywhere. The one who answers to the ten good advisements of God, changing point of view? the one who will be saved. News written on the sky?
I'm closing my eyes now. I lean back. I see some words written:
"The one I chose will repent all his sins!"
I don't say a word, because I don't have words in my head, but I'm very grateful toward the first aid guy. You know I think you are good and beautiful and whatever you are doing is good and beautiful. You didn't ask me again, the tenth time if I remember my name at least? or not. We were just sitting on the roof. It's the first time? maybe there were some other times still? that I meet real goodness: I become mute from rapture. I will help the blind old woman to cross the road? her face has a shadow of rouge on the sun? when I get out of here.
A bit later I go to the window and I'm looking out. There is that flower stand. Parallel lines on it. And the curves of that Camel-sign? The mouth of the camel.
In every form we can meet God.
Nothing interests me any more. From now on I'll just be watching things. And if I don't realise who I am? then I won't know it.
When Agathe's grandsons or granddaughters find their grandmother's diary from the forties, about her 'great love' after her husband's murder? well, they will be wondering. But I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to fall in love with her. I want to commit myself to my vocation? I have to stay clean for it.
I don't eat any sugary thing, they are putting drugs in.
I met Romola on the ship Avon. Funny, they say it means 'sin' in Hebrew. I gave her roses, they cost five francs each. I gave her twenty or thirty such roses every day. I felt eternal love and not sensual love. My love was white-not-red. Red roses make me frightened. I am not a coward.
I married her.
Three or four days after the marriage i felt uncomfortable for the first time. I wanted to teach my wife dancing, but she shied away. Any of my body's atoms can draw worlds. They create worlds. My eyes, my mind? they create the world. I am a tool in God's hands.
Once I have heard Gustave Mahler and Thomas Mann speaking in the garden? they were talking about the Hungarian sanatorium 'Siesta', if it was better than the 'Leopold' clinic in which I dwell now. The doorknob moves
The ambulance guy with his first aid kit arrives. He is smiling. For me it's okay to be here. Romola will have a child. Until then they might let me out. And then I'll be sitting before the house watching the thighs of the passers by, the wheels of the cars, the swirling red lights on the road, under the trees, the rectangular windows, the flickering TV lights. I'm watching this beautiful world.
Even the machines are answering you. Telephone-crickets are chirping over the autumn fields. Maybe these forms, all these globes and rounds and openings? and? and? is it possible they all exist even without ourselves?
I'm standing at the window. The first aid guy eats some salami from a grease-proof paper, I don't watch him. He is ordered to stay with me continuously, to supervise me waiting for my regaining of name-consciousness. If I would remember my name i would tell it at once. I don't do this directly.
Jehuda Löw (Leva) ben Betsalel (1580)? great-great-grandfather's great-great-grandfather's great-great-grandfather
"Those, who are telling lies against the non-Jews, having prejudices against them, are classed amongst the blasphemous ones. Talk with the Non-Jew tells him his mistake? If a Jew is attacking a Non-Jew and there is another Jew present, this last one has to defend the Non-Jew, even if he has to kill the dangerous Jew. It is not advisable at all to be prejudiced against the non-Jew, because it's written: 'To be unjust is a sin in the eyes of God.'
On the other question? why do his former friends keep apart from the baptized Jew? The answer is: every King has many different soldiers; infantry, navy, royal bodyguards, and so on? They are all under the commandment of the Supreme Lord of Armies. Still, they consider it to be a blasphemy to the flag if a soldier flees from one corps to the other, and his fellows, whose flag he deserted, are despising him, as much as if he went over to the enemy."
I'm watching the 'Dr Cosmos' series
So the production awaits me to enter into the spirit of the hero's role. Coveting means to suffer. Maybe that's why it is a 'don't'.
Cosima will not be happy if I begin to watch the Budapest video without awaiting her coming back. If she is angry, she shouts, "One of these days..!" She was rather upset once, realizing that I have never heard about the Prague rabbi Löw? except for the legend of the clay-man, which is just a legend. In reality he is considered to be the spiritual father of the later Jewish conversions and assimilations, since he interpreted the Scripture saying "the Saviour comes from Edom", meaning from the Evil Empire, which Kabbalists call 'golem', thus saying that the Saviour need not be Jewish?
On TV we are seeing how a Berlin senator, just talking about how it's time to stop the newest vogues of godlessness, pornography, AIDS and seed-killing? Somehow it's not easy for me to imagine God as a policeman, although he is policing us. He did accept us killing each other, even in His name? probably, because of free will? It's also possible, that if somebody does some evil thing, he or she falls out of God's world? over into the 'pre-world'. Or our words are not adequate, and in some unimaginable way the otherworldly judgement does exist: if nothing else, maybe in the last second of death -?time ceases, there's a Rewind: and man or at least his soul will know who he is, what he's done all along his life's course.
I switch over to the video? Rewind
It's funny, one can even forget his own mother? the way she dyes her hair; sure, she does, but I'm still surprised. And I forgot about all the shoutings that took place when living under the same roof. The lines on her face are not so evident; so you can see, she was really beautiful when she was young. Nobody ever will look at me with my mother's loving eyes?
Still, I get nervous when she begins to give me her advice. When I was at home we burst together into laughter; but now, she only goes on telling me how to? and even if she keeps silent: something lacks.
Yes, it's her presence. The personal presence.
Suddenly it cuts into my heart, how great it would be to go home, to find the adequate geniusky protagonist and to shoot in Budapest, since he was a war prisoner from 1914 there, it was there he ran mad, his wife having been Hungarian.
They were living in the Cool Valley. This thing about his getting crazy is a bit suspicious. I don't believe somebody just gets crazy. The camera shows us the panorama. The Cool Valley. The City Park 'Major'. The Small God Mountain. The Field of Leopold with the Clinic.
There he walks around.
You have to be born mad.
Or: who knows.
I'm watching TV. My mother is just pushing her folding chair backwards? they are sitting before the house on the veranda with the pillars. It could be in new jersey, if the bricks couldn't be seen behind the plaster. Nyanyi, my mother, is always being active; now, as the camera runs, she is wondering how to steal the show, she tries to get a better position, angling in her deck-chair, looking here and there, looking up suddenly:
Gyuri, I'll be writing to Mr Basquiat to tell him not to raise your rent, we had a common friend in his mother, you know, we were together in Paris in the thirties?
There is a small telephone table before her, on her legs I see the red-black chequered hairy cover. She is playing 'patience' with cards. Two of Diamonds: balance. Three of Clubs: originality.
Take that ark up in the kitchen? she waves to somebody outside the frame. I don't follow it, I hate nostalgies. I mentioned the name of Mr Basquiat in a letter, because it reminded me of the name of a Warholian painter. Anyway, my mother found out who he is, and she will attack him with letters about the rabbi Löw. I only hope Cosima will find some real 'document' to make Nyanyi happy.
Meanwhile, Anna arrives on the screen, infant on her arm. Funny, what a sweet kind person she has become, Anna?I'm sure it's my other cousin, Sanyi, behind the camera.
It's Thursday, and for the sake of variety, it's the 18th. After getting up at 9, I prepare the writing housework, then at 10 I go over to Sanyis, to learn and watch TV at home. Mom doesn't want TV. While going to the school, two (2) chimney-cleaners, who will? I hope? bring luck for tomorrow, for the phsics' test and for gymnastics, but anyway I will be telling my knee aches, because there will be this 'cat's springing' course. Oh, gymnastics? If I had luck tomorrow, school. Today in school: the gal of Maté said 'yes' through Macska, the '7000' told me while going home quickly, what Hoffmann, the idol of the girls had said. Do I believe in God? Not in a religious way. But I believe in something that has power and people made it 'saint'. But the people of primal times did believe in him, to have some consolation, support. Basically it's the same with me, I have my special prayer method, that? to sound like a real prayer? includes the saints too. Biologically, naturally, the creator is an impossibility, but I need someone to trust. That's how it is. And I'm also superstitious. Mainly in schooltime, and it's only since? two years, that I'm writing down every day: Oh, if tomorrow I would be lucky? January 19th, Friday, day of Sarah. Sun gets up at 7.26, sets 16.24. Moon gets up in 53 mins. It's 20.00 now. Sets 9.39. I do write in this light mood, but I haven't been so cheerful when I got up at half past six, since I had to be at Zsóka's flat at half past seven (mom's colleague's third daughter), and then we went to the German and Belgian Embassy with Sanyi, I don't know why.
We have been talking about the Hungarian language, that it hasn't got any nasal or 'rolled r', so Hungarians learn languages easily.
School. Hungarian. Uncle Tottery? like some dried up cream on a muddy shoe, but the poet, Attila József didn't write it that way, I'm sorry. Physics: although 240: 80 = 3 and not 30 my test was good enough. History: Fascism. The Comrade Director is always saying: 'blood-vaporouis faschism". I will note his platitudes too, like the ones of Mrs Dancshazi: the murmuring of Uncle Tottery is covering his golden heart. Gymnastics: exempted. Biology together with the 'B' class (they are very bad), poor teacher. Russian: the teacher, who came instead of David, is like the one before, quite good. But she said: "Russian is not in your blood." Father and Mother laughed a lot when I told this.
High buildings on the screen. Demonstrators. Japanese or rather Korean writings. Watercannons. Now we see a balding head, talking.
It's terrible, one's mind constantly turns to sex. It isn't worth while to philosophize upon it too much. As if there were electromagnetic? I mean unseen? waves, that are striking out and they either hit somebody else, or not. Well, yes, this is a kind of force. And the most astonishing in the whole thing is that no rational decision is valid? it's a passion that drifts you along.
The first-aid guy sits on the bed next to the window reading the news. I'm standing with my back towards him, but I feel he is watching me. It's funny how people can sense if they are watched. As if some rays would come out of the eye. In the mirror I discover my face. Unfortunately I don't know this man. If I would move away a bit, I would see the first-aid boy, his grey uniform's jacket and his belt are hanging on the white banister of the bed.
It's the face that comes now. And the left hand. The face? The nose, the cheek and this line here, and here too? the front? the eyebrow. Like this. We sing the letter 'he', the Five. The Ram.The letter of cleanness. The Sword, the Belt, the letter of the jury. The sound of Fear. The sound of elements. The seal of Highness.The liver. The liver will be here? sidewise. Under the skin, under the muscles. Here. The Joker is the Emperor.
The Emperor? Might. Self-control. Decisiveness. Wild animals. Gravitation. Territoriality, house-gods. Gamael, the angel of Samson. March? the month of Nissar. The 'me'? joy, fright, extasy, despair and the sound of sorrow: he. Life. Neighbours. Dragon's blood. Rubin.
The cup of Five: Sternness, Truth (Geburah)
I see in the mirror that the first-aid guy is telling me something. He is probably interested how I feel, what's up. Probably he is not just a medical orderly but a doctor. I don't understand what he is saying; anyway, I can't say either yes or no, whatever he asks. His trousers must be too tight if he put off his belt? his white shirt hangs loose. He waves me to approach him.
I'm rather afraid. But still I? feel: it's okay this way. If my guess is correct I should never want anything other than what actually does happen. Or anything else, except who I am. There is a teethbrush in one of the five glasses on the plate over the washbasin.
I'm squatting next to his bed.
I feel, as he touches my face with his left hand, smoothing my cheeks, and he puts a question, probably, about who I am. Maybe loving kindness, trust, will help me getting back from my amnesia. The five of cups: the cup of happiness fell apart. Melancholy.
The first aid guy mildly slaps my face and then, suddenly, gives me a real backhanded knockout.
I see the stars. But my name doesn't jump in.
I know he means well. He looks at me eagerly? his eyes are full with tears. He is my helper. Five sceptres: fight. The animal side.
Tears go down my cheeks. I point to the TV screen with my head, to tell him, to switch it on, "Cause he was leaning on the switcher.
In the "Dr. Cosmos," the protagonist watches the home-made videos he's got. With Anna, we always argued, when we were young. Blonde and blue-eyed, she is like Cosima; it's a pity Cosima doesn't see her, she would be searching the medieval Jewish families even more passionately. I wonder what kinds of monsters she will take home from the bar. Otherwise it's a good place, flowers hanging in every corner, for quite a fortune; sure, there will be a return on that too and there are these plastic tubes, like on construction sites, the bar seats are on them... And the guests are also wearing these working uniformlike dresses, loose, linen, it's very trendy? with holes at the adequate places.
Some, of course, do come in tail coat.
I should be preparing the next Nijinsky scene.. I've got the feeling we ordered somebody to come here, only I don't find my notice book again? So we're on a ball, women in silk gown, men in tuxedo.
Sweat pearls on the front of the dancer.
He can't answer the congratulating honey-sweet smiles all round him. A small, stocky, moustached, tail-coated man with a monocle steps over to him, with one white curl in the middle of his black hair. He grasps his arm at the biceps.
A princess with sparkling diadems leans over to ask:
The puppet is, of course, the symbol of passions that are pulling us on-line? isn't it?
The man with the white curl? Diaghilev, the manager? evades the answer:
I'm sorry, the artist needs some rest?
Oh, I'm so much afraid.
Am I afraid!
Oh, my God. Oh, God. I can't do anything else. A brake. Swishing of a car. Dribbling water. Leaves of a platan. Chopin. Oh, my God, my God, I can't do anything.
The leaves on the trees. They don't do it otherwise either.
I'm putting on a disk. I'm at home. The camera is showing the garden; we hear the sound of somebody dusting a carpet. There's the cherry tree. Down under, it's the triangular roof of the school, built by Karoly Koós, also a Transsylvanian Hungarian, like the gentry family of Pops'? inside it's paint oily green with yellowish lines, and photos on the wall about houses being built, black-and-white, with the subscription: Debrecen (city hall).
It sounds as if the voice of the piano would come from out house. They are putting chairs on the veranda, green leaves run all over the house, this man here from behind, is probably Charles, he puts down a green fauteuil with metal tubes and he waves to the camera: "No, not yet?" And I see Nyanyi with her cards, the pictures whirl away: Five of clubs; Poorness, worries, but not to lose hope! Sure, they agreed, that once, after the family meal -?mostly on Saturdays, and I found some reason to evade even then? well, they'll come together to send me a message on video. Nice idea. I'll send them one too.
Poor little cards without Jolly. King of Diamond. The untouchable. It helps, that the ten of diamonds is there too, it means: the worst is over.
Sometimes I would like to stop? I feel like it's all over. Okay, in '90 there will be this Nijinsky jubilee? or we can honor him later, no need to run. Okay, the Doctor wants a film, it's his business; well, Cosima wants to prepare for her doctorate? very well. And there were already many other films made about Nijinsky and there will be several others yet. And about the golem, too.
He is travelling with a ship to Rio, the wind caresses his hair, with the tennis racket in his hand he sees the Hungarian aristocratic little Comtesse with her tennis shoes, Romola Pulszky: in her sunglasses he sees the Christ-statue on the mountain high up over the harbour.
Yes, and then the rupture with Diaghilev, who will pay money for a theatre worker to throw a beam on his head. "Diaghilev didn't love me, if I didn't give all my money that he used for the ballet." Picasso. Cocteau. Rodin. 1914. Budapest. He becomes a prisoner of war, since he is Russian and Polish. With his last statement? Sankt Moritz, on a silk in cross-form, with his naked dancing? some say he proclaimed himself to be the saviour. He is mute and immobile in Buda. And maybe this "golem-family" lives in the last four-hundred-and-thirty years. Funny, this was the number of the years spent in Egyptian slavery. The Jews are harassed continually, and in every three-hundred years there are massive killings too? and not many papers are left after the fire; however dilligently the masters have written their notes with the Assyrian-originated letters. Even Herodes began his reign by making the family papers burn.
It would be great if we found some descendants of these neighbours. But it's hopeless. And I don't have money. Not that much. And I don't even know, if I woulld like to go back into this shabby, voluntaristic little town to breathe its used air? On the other hand, there is nowhere else I want to be. Some say, the best place for meditation, apart from india? it's Buda. Here is the place where the Blue Ribbon touches the Earth. A light-path. Oh, Buda!
Knocking on the door.
I switch off the voice from my mother, she just raised her stick, beginning to tell about how they will pull down the neighbouring house, that's why we see these ruins? I never understood why she was always so fascinated by the neighbours, even if they were Nijinsk's and all those stars.
One of the reasons of my deserting home.
Here too, the neighbours are astonishing? one of the elderly ladies dying her hair bluish green and putting some of the coloured dyes on her cats? sha has seventy cats, and she goes out on the street once in a month, to go to the hairdresser. And there is this balding, fortyish gentleman, who plays an oboe, and with puppets? dressing huge barbie puppets, sometimes when angry at them, putting some of them before his door. Cosima once? stopping researching Egon Erwin Kisch and Sacher-Mazoch (Budapest stars)? took these puppets in our loft, they will do nicely at the rehearsing of the ball scene.
Somebody knocks at my door, no doubt it's here.
On the screen I see the Page of Cups at the family garden party, all alone. In the Middle Ages there were two Jacks; a jack-boy and a jack-girl. Boy-boy and boy-girl.
I am looking through the hole; it's a boy. I reach the doorknob. It's round and metallic. I open the door and a small yellow-green-grey boy is swirling inside, his back is bent, his ears are big, his mouth is thick, his nose is lightly curved, his eyes are deep.
Surely he came for the ad. He doesn't look like a star. Although? His legs are really beautiful and his arms too. If the lights are good? No, no, no. What shall I tell him?
On the screen I see a moustached man. He is the Tsar now, his name is Stalin. And now, many little people running around the place; they are like ants. It's at the time of the first war. We see the father of Agathe, in 1907, in a Paris hotel, in pajamas. He was delighted by the 'undressing man' and the 'Russian dancer'. And the 'projected pictures'. Tomorrow, there are negotiations again; they want to buy 'concrete'.
We are seeing the daughter of Agathe in the lap of Attila József, the poet. We see her later as she tries to resign to having lost everybody she ever loved, and even their house they lost, she has to go to a bureau to work every day, the guy she loves refuses her, so she makes a marriage just to show off to him; then she divorcesand does everything till her death for her child.
Oh, such a pity I can't say a word, I'd like to console this little girl! What was the sin of this generation? The generation of Agathe and husband Gyuri strayed away from God with the rationalism of friends Mannheim and Max Weber. But their children? And their children? (yes, in the bible, sin is punished until the third or fourth generation).
I'm not happy to see what I'm seeing. What was the sin of this generation born in the twenties-thirties? that their young age fell on the years of barrack-building and ditch-digging? When uniformed youngsters were shouting with the greatest minds of the age till these died. And later, when for decades, orange was a luxury item, and from behind glass windows and from under their perms, the honest man was looked upon with distrust?
Tennis shoes on the camel. A sign: Adidas.
No plaster in the corner of the room. I'm lying on my bed, he lays on his. If there are others, they're not inside. So maybe this Nijinsky was in the very same room watching TV. It would be great to get up, but I'm full of drugs, I can't move. János Sebestyén plays cembalo? Haydn, Scarlatti and bach. Then: comrade Kádár speaks about the stabilisation program. Five of clubs: poorness.
Yes, sometimes I become very quick, because I had to take medicines that made me slow for fifteen years. It not only made me tired, but it changes my attitude, takes my faith, and I become full of doubts, hopeless, cynical, terrified from death: but I remember how much I was happy when I didn't have to take the drugs! Life was beautiful! The cosmos was shining? But it has passed away. They took me off it. But what's my name? Who am I? A hero from the 'Cosmos' series? Geniusky, the star of the tsar? Transylvan gentleman or a lecherous Jewish prince? Come on: common Hungarian, during cosmos.
Now, to place the bible? Somewhere on the side? How silky his skin is? This way? All the while singing the 'vav', the Six: oo-oo-ou-w-oo-woo-ough? And to place in the hearing, although the ears don't exist as yet. 'Vav' means the godly force of virtue. Light. Crystals. Six: the Beauty, the holding Cup of Tiphereth. Six of Sceptre: victory. Six of cup: delight. Six of sword: (diamond): success. Six of clubs (pentacles): no worry in material questions.
The Sun. The Seal of Deepness. Raphael. And Pheliel, the angel of Yitshak. The month of April, Iyyar. The sign of Taurus. The High Priest: the society of children, the horde, the group. The ape. The lion. Apollo.
The Jolly Joker of the High Priest. Goodness. "My hand reaches toward Your Law"- Here I will smooth out the skin.
It's simple: I like to touch another body? even if I don't want to be touched, mostly. Of course it would be great to have children from a woman. My mother always said at that: you should have been born a high priest? No she wouldn't say that. I'm so abundantly an outsider from everywhere, sometimes I begin to think I might be chosen. But of course, probably, it's a misunderstanding, after all, our human eyes can fail in these bodily questions, who knows what the body in reality is?or means? Between lions I'm an ape, between apes I'm a lion.
Fright woke me up, when it became evident, that in my dream, I'm not 'at another place', but 'anywhere', in such a way, that maybe it will not be possible to come back? Of course this should be read only afterwards? Like?like torn skinsurfaces on the flesh, that's how it was anywhere.
I'm waking up. No, it was not Satan, no. It was the feeling of my own self one minute after. ONE MINUTE AFTER THE ONE BEFORE.
And all this was high upon the Back of Baghdad, behind the Night: the High Priest Backwards.
Backwards: from two directions at once? looking like a dandy, a? stocky, moustached, country gentlemanlike, jovial, turn-of-the-century? person. Backwards: now here, now there? disappearing in the light? no, it's not blood, not blood, it's clouds, it's the wine of sacrifice, it's seen from another angle of the mirror? the other side of the Back: instead of the cold, humid hill?
Loveless mercy, covering itself into physical and other pain: and white silk sheets forming a cross.
I don't know what to say to this guy. Behind the door? just a board? Berlin is throbbing. I tell him to come inside, this floor is never closed, and inside it's warmer too. I packed up a bit, I tried to hide the disorder. I threw the stockings of Cosima behind the folding screen next to the oven. How pearls can stay, and to the pillar? grey-and-white? I pushed the TV and the writing machine.
His skin is too dark to play the role of a Russian dancer.
On the other hand? His face is beautiful. On video it's quite okay.
I should offer him something to drink. Where was this cocktail? Yes.? A Manhattan?
He waves, no. I don't drink either. One of the carpets is laying in the middle of the bathroom, I don't know why. I don't watch him. But I should.
Oh, my God, how do we come here, into this world? There are all these people around us, they've got their hands, legs and eyes? and everybody does a million different things, and from the many, many houses, suddenly somebody pops up here? I don't know, how many there were before him, I think thirty at least? and I have to watch carefully this stranger, to prepare him for the rehearsal. The studio-loft? as Cosima says? gets its sun-ray portion through the round window. The guy is shining even more, like a diamond.
On the screen I see the polished nails of Mom: Four of Diamonds: Conflict with positive outcome.
This guy, as I'm watching his bright eyes, his open smile, the skin covering tightly his cheekbones? well, he certainly isn't such a miserable mewing moron, like myself.
Oh, again I'm having a soul?
Gosh, he just found our ad two months ago?
Jesus, it's also possible he's just some maniac from the Cosmos Bureau, as the Doctor calls it. Maybe he's just bringing money. Or he just heard about the production. A 'dancer' film: 'Shooting in Budapest'. What a pity we cannot get there by ship from Berlin. There is this wall. Maybe they'll build one on the Danube too. They have begun. What can they do about it? There are astonishing types that ring at the doors. One of them had an alligator once.
Now I see the eyes of this nice, thin Asian. Sure, he's a Chinese prince.
Why did they call Nijinsky 'Chinese'? I ask him, where he comes from?? I'm Rapanui. And they call me? because of those stone faces on the Easter Island? they call me Ko-ne Zi-u Ma-to. You may call me just? Ko-Z-Ma.? Kozma?? I raise my eyebrow: in Greek it means ornament and order.
It seems to me I've heard this name somewhere.
Hm. I'm going into the background of the room, to the little cassette-cupboard that even has a bullet from fifty-six in it? to give him a script.
He is standing in the shadow. His shoulder is sweating. Like a peach that fell into yellow-grey-pink-green shoecream: anguish and hope on his face. I begin to switch on a few lamps. Why don't we call the old lady? No? no? Kozma? Funny name. (Maybe my own name is beginning with 'K' too?)
I see he is reading, standing. I sit down. So does he, without looking up. This is the part, where Nijinsky is pulled by Diaghilev behind the velvet curtain at that party? golden fringes, old prints, Persian carpets, a porcelain leopard? the boy is trembling with tears in his eyes and, behind the window, under the deep grey Petersburg sky, he hears the cry of the gulls over the carriages sliding and ringing in the snow.
And, as you know, Diaghilev, the impressario tells him in his silky voice:
"Yes. Of course, you are afraid. My sweet little gull. All normal people have fears. And you just take on yourself their fears. You don't need it any more. Say it after me: I'm not afraid of people?"
"I'm not?"? says the boy and shakes his head. He doesn't want to tell it.
"Yes. We agreed, you will accept my advice. Repeat: "I'm not?afraid?" I?I'm?nooooooootafraaaaa?..raaaaaaiiiiid," the guy began crying. And even shouting, hoarsely, tearing the velvet curtain:
"But I am really afraid of all of you!!!"
"Oh? my sweet little prince? who is my little prince?"
Diaghilev stands up here and reaches toward his light-green and pink homegown, and there is the small silver bell to ring the lackey.
"I told you; I ask you to tell the exact opposite of what you really feel in your head.While you are afraid you are still saying? "please? I am not afraid."
"I am not afraid?I am not afraid of anybody," says the young dancer and smoothes the fringes of his uniform-shoulderplates, his yellow eyes sparkling.
But then his regard is darkening and tears drop out of his eyes? who knows, he might think about his mother, who is just doing the ironing in a cellar, next to the bare white-washed wall? and then he suddenly grabs the good-smelling, grey-locked, monocled uncle, Diagow-Diagow: like a kid he is shaken by sobbing. They are both sobbing and then laughing. And the last one(says the children's rhyme): a big beating.
Teardrops in the corner of my eye. Smile on my lips. I pat on my knees.
"Why does he do that?," my Rapanui aboriginal friend looks up, turning his catlike eye and thick eyebrow towards me, and his nicely formed mouth is smiling a bit together with his lightly cracked nose expressing wonder.
"You have to act this role. You don't have to understand,"-I would tell him.
But he doesn't really follow me. His English is not the best.
Neither is mine.
I'm looking around.The lamp is shining.Golden greenish purple copper switchboard. Light dust on its legs. Grey-white pillars. Boxes all over the place. Like a stable.
It's not easy to imagine in this place some velvet curtains at the turn-of-the-century Petersbourg. Where snow is falling. Some three-horse carriages trot, ring their bell in a rhythm that was not so bad for the health. Nijinsky makes it stop, looking around. Which one might be the palace of Diaghilev? The one with lions at the entrance? A general in a general's uniform: Feodor Vassiliewitch, the porter of the Mentor.
If this guy really comes from the Easter Islands? can he learn the right shade of shyness, the one that this young and talented Russian-Polish dancer feels when he is invited for the first time to the official Maecenas of the age, who is laying now up there at one of his bearskins at the fire of the fire-place, mixing his cards slowly.
The blunder won't repeat itself. But shame burns forever.
Could Kozma ever hear about Russians?
Does he know what it's all about? Has he ever been in such a situation, when it was not Fate that stood against his will, but the net of will of other people, who are also lazy, evil and self-deceiving? Was this man ever over the Wall? I have to ask him. He does live here for some reason. He is reading so concentratedly. Maybe a Russian should be played by a Russian. But?They say Russians are extremely cruel or extremely good, so maybe one should not be too carefool.Still, it is astonishing that such "national" characteristics do exist at all. Yes. It is very funny, that there are differences between people from the point of view of skin clour, constitution of body, hair colour and I don't know what else.
Except that Jews are of the colour of the rainbow as we know.
The heart is throbbing when throbbing.
Oh, if ever there will happen something interesting to me, I'll tell you about it.