Monika or the woman servant by H.-J. John, translated by Anthony Cataldo

First chapter

He was lying, on the floor in the middle of the untidyness of his room. Breathing. He wasn´t sure what time it was. Time wasn´t important anymore. Monika had gone.

His breath was becoming calmer when he became conscious of the great distance which was between them now. He first had to go to Mexico and then conquer her heart. Two impossible to manage tasks were dividing him from her, whereby the last seemed to be the most difficult one. The ticket to Mexico could be bought by credit. He had only two months before the holidays would be over. He wanted to see her. Even stronger than this wish, was the longing for her love. Two aims which could not be reached by a flight to Mexico City. She had taken off. With a lot of hand-waving she had said good-bye. His hope had gone with her passing the airport controls.

When the plane took off, he was still hoping that suddenly she would stand beside him and say in her very good German: “I thought about it, and decided to stay here.” After having a pott of coffee in the airport restaurant within sight of the airport runway he had together with the reviving effect of the coffein experienced what it meant to have fear of being left behind. He had suppressed the impulse to follow her with the next flight. If his love could not hold her back then every effort from his side in a foreign country without knowing the rituals and the language to reach her feelings would be without success…

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The game by H.-J. John, translated by Anthony Cataldo

Dedicated to uncountable gamblers who paticipate every week from the beginning in the lottery and give their money to help some win the jackpot and make them happy. The profit is for gamblers only.

First Chapter

In the 20th century there lived a human being in Germany who belonged to the most intelligent and at the same time most despised of beings in this of intelligent and despicable rich persons period in time. His story is worth to be narrated here. His name was Stefan Georg Wadenbeisser.

No, let it be. Names mean nothing. And if his name is not mentioned in the history books along side those of Einstein and Sartre, Hitler and Stalin, it is only because all his longing and all his endeavours were concentrated on a small part of human activity of which less is told about than is told of war in times of peace; the loss or the winning, the luck or the bad luck and how unequal and unjust in the lifes of man, is the luck in gambling.

In the years I am talking about gambling reigned everywhere, where there was a lottory office that is to say absolutely everywhere. The streets would have been covered with lottory tickets, if it were not for german tidyness and cleaness, the buildings would have been surrounded by successful suicide attempts, if there were not the promise of luck in the lottery each and every week again.

© 2010 Hans-Jürgen John

The scales by H.-J. John, translated by Anthony Cataldo

First chapter

Sometimes we are very persistent and insistant in the way we live our lifes. We take solicitudes and happiness, as they are served to us by destiny, and secretly we hope that there are people, who by their knowledge and pursuits, their ambitions, and perhaps a certain amount of freakishness, are able to ignore the circumstances of life, that we are subject to; looking for the outstanding, searching for it, and maybe play an important part in it and so be sucessful.

For we, or better still our children can learn a lesson from those who are gifted and enterprising, and learn to emulate them, and strive to make a name for themselves.

For everyone wants his name to be known and to mean something in the world, and to stand out from the crowd. To have some equality that makes them different: Be it tall like Abraham Lincoln or small like Napoleon, or big and strong like Robespierre or incredibly thin. To be tremendously clever or brainy, or have some special spiritual quality like Jesus or be a tyrant like Hitler or Stalin.

It is part of the caracter of men and woman to be attracted to the darker side of life as well as the lightning side, in the hope of drawing to themselves the attention that they desire.

This explains to why there are bank robbers, murderers, rapists and preachers. Bad is glorified in history books, where it is mentioned and described. For instance, Ivan the terrible has more prominence in history books than his unfortunate victims. He is portraid in printings, film and theatre.To be good is possible and normal, but considered unspectacular and boring.

In our times in Germany there lived a man who was average in every respect. He was 36 years old. An average income, all in all, an unremarkable life; he lived, travelled, ate, drank, smoked and loved just like everyone else, just an average man. His name was Smith, his appearance was the same as his neighbor, he had a wife and a television.

But like most of his circle of friends his marriage had ended in divorce after a few years. Smith had an average amount of debt, talked an average amount, sometimes he had nothing to say, and he was aware that he would probably have an average life-span, unless something had happened to him, to shorten his life.

A normal life he had, and it seemed to be how it would stay. Smith believed in justice in life. He didn´t aim to high, and believed that those that did, sometimes risked their downfall. It seemed to him that everything had to be in balance. There was good and evil, there were rich people and they sometimes exploited the poor. And there were poor people who worked for the rich. And many in between.

Of all the technical development, the discovery of electricity and its applications, seems the most important to him. It allowed him to listen to music, read a lot in the evening without candle light, use a dish-washer and washing machine, and not least watch television. Actually he thought man had indeed amounted to much. A time machine he pondered, could be usefull in addition. He thought this over a glass of wine, southhill; and a piece of curry sausage, from a food stall on the corner of Kelterstraße and Büchsenstadel….Reduce his weight? No, that would be to give in to consumption and to bend and to drawback to that invisible power that was dragging at him, and is know as gravity.

The scales showed these powers; it would show any changes in weight. He started dreaming and saw himself as a benefactor to mankind. They would cheer him, they would admire him, he would be the first to take the burden of gravity from them. The Nobel Prize in Physics was … to be his.

An overpowering sense of delight swept over him, like always when he was dreaming, and the he would be overwhelmed by his genius, which existed only in his mind. As usuall he did nothing to bring it into reality.  A little stone on a scale! One of various trials. And he intently watching the screen with one eye. That was his future as scientist. Knowledge of this subject was unknown to him. Patience and childish curiosity would be his tools, he tought, as he drunk all at once the cold, bitter coffee. It was like like a vow to achieve a weightless and antigravitational future for mankind. If he failed it would be bitterness indeed.

He smiled….Sven sneezed, he liked it here. He worked a lot and he only came to this place in order to sleep. An advertising poster of a local radio station was hanging on the wall opposite the window. When he came home in the evening and switched on the lights, the smile of a pretty and yet unknown woman beamed at him. He had got the poster one evening, while he was waiting at the bus stop from a guy called coincidence. At the bus station, in Tübingen, at the right place, at the right time. How remarkable he thought. From this time Sven got power from the smile of this unknown pretty woman, like from an endless fountain, and he wondered even from the beginning, that it did not ebb, that it did not diminish, because of his staring.

Power sources created by definition were limitless in their usefulness. To learn to fly was relatively easy for mankind. The birds had shown that they could do it. But how to switch off gravitiy? He had a look at the light switch. There was nothing like it in the wonderful and rich diversity of nature. His eyes went to the handy lying on the white table cloth.

Or was the solution hidding? What material should he use? Edison was popularly known for having made 9000 trials of various materials before finding the right one to use for the filement of his light bulb. Trial and error. How to succeed? He needed a scale with a very precise display. Then he had to make a list with all materials on it that could be useful, so that they could be tested to see if any of them would work.

Was there a material that was yet undiscovered somewhere on this earth? Was an alloy the key to a future without gravity? The scale would display it. Nervously he drew his right hand through his hair. Cars would be parked at the eaves or towed near the satellite dish. Old people, otherwise bedridden, or who used a walking frame, would fly through the kitchen window on the third floor, down to the bakery to do their shopping. The growing energy consumption would cease. And we would no longer be dependent on OPEC for our energy needs. For the carrying of great burdens, it would take only what strength was in the finger of a child.

© 2010 Hans-Jürgen John