In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in the missing entries of his actual diaries. There are many days to fill, as he either did not write during these days, or he destroyed the record.
Kafka did have occasion to ponder Friday 13th. The date was connected to “The Swiss Girl”, whom he met at a resort. She was eighteen and he was thirty-four. It is unclear how intimate their relationship became.
Twice, I give him a brief recognition of Friday 13th. In reality, The Swiss Girl haunted him (pleasantly) all his life.
13 April 1917
I almost wrote down the year as 1913. That was the year I met the Swiss girl. And I remember her joking about, and how we had missed it by just a day. She was superstitious – Christians seem to be. I wonder what precautions she is taking today. It will be three years and seven months since I saw her. Yet some of the things we did could have happened last week. I think that memory must be made of rubber. You can sometimes pull it toward yourself – and sometimes it snaps away like a shot. Causing as much pain.
13 July 1917
Friday the 13th again. What better time to think of the Swiss girl, than with F. I don’t know if such memories help sustain me, or if they revel how intolerable the future can sometimes be. I can not imagine the Swiss girl’s face across the table from me, nor her voice singing one of her quiet songs. If I must be trapped, then why can’t I be trapped in the past?
[The Swiss Girl ~ Gerti Wasner] p8.storage.canalblog.com/89/52/207513/106933578_o.gif
I gotta say, I’m actually pleased that I did not see this coming.
As long as one did not nod off for too long.
10. Dame Edith Sitwell would start her day’s writing lying in a coffin.
The hurricane is coming tomorrow. I have found that when I try to experience a hurricane when it is actually upon us, I don’t get to see very much. Wind and rain, fog and cloud. Often you can’t see across the street.
So I went down to the harbour today. Hours before the storm, though reports indicated there would be waves. It certainly was cloudy. There are new docks at the Container terminal, and one can go out (or so it looks) almost a third of the way into the harbour. On a cement walkway which is fenced off from the terminal itself.
Had I not known a hurricane was coming, I would have noticed little change. The white caps which are always present at one of the points of the shore were longer and higher. There was a lot of stirred-up vegetation in the water, and a noticeable number of jelly fish. In an hour I saw but two sea birds, one cormorant and one seagull. One ship went out and one ship came in. There was no excessive wind, and though the clouds roiled more than usual, not by much.
As I stood standing, one of the huge trucks which move the containers came to a roaring stop behind me. I though this odd as there were no container ships at berth. The driver apparently wanted to talk.
“Are you going to jump?”
I assured him I was not.
“Well – the only people I see standing here are fishing.”
He was on a break and had time to kill. All the while listening closely to the two-way radio which exploded information from his cab, he nattered away. There had been higher and numerous white caps two hours earlier, but they had calmed. The small container ship I had seen leaving (and I wondered where it might be headed, for it was obviously a coastal vessel) was going to the islands of St-Pierre et Miquelon, a small group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland and Labrador. He wished the boat well. So did I.
He talked some more (commenting, for instance, about the terrific view from the cab of the gigantic cranes). But he now had to leave.
“I have to change the fours and threes into twos.”
“Pardon me?” asked I.
“For the storm tomorrow. Where we have containers on the dock stacked three and four high, we have to level all the stacks off to two high. Don’t want the wind knocking them over.”
I couldn’t tell which ship had left port, but I did note the one which scurried in. It was a Research Vessel, the Western Patriot. And damned happy (I would guess) to have made it to port.
When In Rome!
an Abyssinian (I made her),
a Brataslzvian (he was worst),
a Cannibal (uh-oh),
a Colombian (smoking hot),
a Cynic (she didn’t believe the Canadian),
a Druid (he prayed for the Dominican),
a Fool (ha ha),
a Helgolandian (he was and gone),
an Iraqi (they three went into a bar),
a Lush (one in every crowd),
a Monster (them is the odds),
an Olympian (he was game),
an Opportunist (coulda been me),
a Pole (he vaulted over the rest – *joke*),
a Québécoise (I’ll never forget her / Je me souviens),
a Russian (great dancer – he had the steps),
a Southerner (I melt when she says ‘Y’all) ,
a Transvalanian (out for blood),
a Vulcan (he was eerie),
an Xanaduian (and on her dulcimer she played),
an Xaverian (he shot daggers at the Dominican),
a Zarahthustain (thus he spoke a lot)
The Canadian won the first game.