ISSN 1989-4163


Summer or Bust

Coos Palmboom

The subterranean traveller and Trandi Romantic were expelled from their beautiful yet not always very comfortable gothic townhouse in the neighbourhood of Lower Guinardó. As the central heating wasn't functioning properly, with the boiler mounted on the roof and the pump not strong enough to get the hot water all the way down to the radiators on the groundfloor, they used to spend their winters in the kitchen and in bed. Come summertime, the house would be pleasantly cool but new challenges emerged by way of an endless stream of cockroaches, crawling out of difficult to identify tears in the wall. As the little creatures for some reason chose to by-pass the kitchen and congregate in the livingroom, they again ended up around the furnace most of the time, though the roofterrace made for an appreciable alternative. The wonderful living, ceiling four meter up and walls stacked with what they considered their art collection, some real stuff bought from the artists when they were cheap, some of whom stayed cheap, so it was always justified to mix in some well-done reproductions and have an acquired collection of artbooks on shelf, never demanding attention, just there, and of course show vivid memory of visits to the admired real thing, homevids comin' handy here, oh yes, their gorgeous gothic showroom where the subterranean played his Schoenberg records while cleaning the fine wooden floor from dead and not so dead and some very lively cockroaches, death coming to them through severe poisoning which affected their own constitution equally, this saloon was never a healthy environment, but the traveller liked the winter seasons when he found contemplation amidst ice cold beauty. Well, that was gone then. See what the new place had to offer.

They found a modern flat, recently and by the look of the mass of dirt left behind quite rushedly refurbished, with agreeable living space for their company and a fabulous backdoor terrace, even with a view of a tiny stretch of horizon with some sea beneath and a whole lot of sky above, if you were willing to walk towards the outer limit eight meters away from the living's glass doors. The word room would perhaps have made for a more honest description, but they had chosen to integrate it with what was quickly becoming their outdoor summer living, everything covered at rainfall, hoping to make adjustments before they headed for winter, so there was no time for second guessing here. Not that it matters, though. What matters is nothing was working correctly in this appartment, literally nothing, although the water tubes so far were holding out. The ordinary masonry though, electric communication and the likes, were done outrageously badly, with many wallsockets simply not functioning, with the place laden with wireless lightswitches, meaning they were in no way connected to anything, with no sink or other lavatory installation working anywhere near as most brochures promise. That the bathroom basins have lovely shiny bathplugs which hover over the sinkhole yet are impossible to move at all, that gets laughable quite quickly, but that the kitchensink was leaky most of the time and when you finally got it right, meaning you kept the water inside and you did the washing up in a somewhat classical way and when flushing away the dirty water it would immediately spill out of the dishwasher's lowly placed drainmouth, lower than the siphon exit for sure, wetting the shelf below and the kitchenfloor as final recipient of all these undoings with you left to clean it up, that's only half as funny. Witta suggested foul play as gardendoors weren't closing properly and the entrance suddenly lost its doorhandle, that one could perhaps be blamed on the manufacturer, but the subterranean and Trandi both preferred to think they were stupid mistakes, the work of a total nitwit who had never done any building before. Their flat was starting to feel like a comic about a continuously rebuilt semi-detached family unit which was popular in the subterranean's domestic homeland when he was still more of a superterra trotter, the builders called the beeraycose, on the second. But all this is nothing. Their problems will likely be solved as the traveller is kind of handy and Romantic has a gift for getting money out of bureaucracies, yet the thought that more flats may be done up this way contributes to a strong and cyclical feeling of incongruity, of time and place disorder, which is what the subterranean traveller actually wanted to write about. Better get the private stuff out of the way first.

So why is everything so weird? 2017 was the year when the world, the connected parts thereof, started becoming unhinged and illogical, with the sun too strong and the moon too big, plants and animals quietly starving, tv and the internet full of fake information and even fake realities where people expressly believed something which was obviously untrue. Some examples caught worldwide attention, others stayed local. This summer, the heat is on. The continuous bullshitting has people utterly upset, their foundations forever shaken – how can one retain a belief? - while the advancement of events has this undeniably scripted feel to it. What's happening these days? Can anybody tell? We're all confused by our own particular brand of lie infested infotainment ration, not able to see clear. It's ridiculous and funny at times, but it is scary as well to think we are being left to our own devices, quite literally. What are you going to do without a modicum of honest information? Will you continue living? And what are you going to do when they cut off electricity next? How are you continuing then? That's how people used to think way back in the early days of no future, let it happen now, give us the show while we're still young. Now many wouldn't mind seeing it postponed till after their deaths. This summer you feel the moment of disruption or malfunctioning is creeping upon us. There is no need, you think, please no, we're doing fine, it's just all popping at the heartseams is what it is. Where are the insects? you wonder. Where are the birds, where are the fish? Where is everybody? Are men and cockroach and the occasional rat going to be sole survivors of our descend further into hell? They're all dying on us, the animals, and they can't even notify us. Typical them. And then there's the great heat scorching the northern latitudes. Will our daily bread still be baked in abundance come this winter? We don't hear much about these issues. Will we still have a polar cap next week? Meanwhile the freaks have decided to trigger another crisis, starting on the southern hemisphere once again, so we up north will likely be safe for a few months more. Meanwhile, summers have this inherent quality of wanting to believe in them and pray they shall forever be, might come in extra handy this time. Autumn somehow doesn't seem to be an option. It's summer or bust.

Summer or bust






@ 2018