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Franz Kafka Does Not Want To be With People – Until He Does

  In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in **missing** diary entries from Kafka’s real diary. He either did not fill in these days himself, or he destroyed them. It is estimated Kafka destroyed 70% – 80% of everything he wrote. I am as accurate as I can be in my timeline.

25 February 1917

               We live a life where the years are short, yet the days can seem so long. We can be lonely, yet find the company of others tedious. I would guess I walked for hours today, so little inclination had I to do anything else. Yet now, with the time soon upon me to go down into the city, I feel as if the day had barely started. The people – numerous, interminable people – whom I met on my walk, wished to drown me in their banal conversations.

     I would flee one, only to run into a couple; escape them, only to be tracked by a family. They enticed me into coffee shops, tricked me into homes, cross-referenced me for their supper tables.

They would even forego meat, they said, if I would only stay. I wanted to tell them that I would actually eat meat, if only I could leave.

And on it seemed to go, an endless day crammed with intruders.

But now, with bare minutes racing toward a new morning, I wish someone sat in my chair beside the lamp, so we could talk deep into the dark.

Kafka Takes Praise With – Not A Grain – But A Bag Of Salt

In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in **missing** diary entries from Kafka’s real diary. He either did not fill in these days himself, or he destroyed them. It is estimated Kafka destroyed 70% – 80% of everything he wrote. I am as accurate as I can be with the timeline.

++++++++++++++++++++++

12 January 1917

I have heard that Max has been praising me again. Excessively.

He not only praises my scribbling, but also imbues me with the fortitude and honesty of the Christian saints. He will next want me to open my own rabbinical school.

It is neither easy nor expedient to be honest, and causes much resentment. People do like to know they can trust you, but are generally wary about the truth.

Especially if it is truth about them.     

Particularly if it is my truth about them.

It is generally acceptable however, to be truthful about other people.

Yes, my writings are the truth – a total truth. But, I do not know how to write any other way.

I may as well be praised for being born with two arms and black hair, my choice in the matter is the same.

They Struggle Out Of Their Wheelchairs To Bow To Queen Elizabeth

It is the final day to view the Lying-in-State of Queen Elizabeth. Thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of folk have made the journey. People are now asked NOT to make an attempt to add to the queue. There is not enough time left to reach Westminster Hall. The waiting time from the end of the queue is currently 10 hours.

I have been watching the lines passing the coffin for hours. It is fascinating to see all these people, whose connection to each other is respect for the Queen. They are of all ages,,races,and social standings.They all, in their fifteen seconds, show some physical sign of respect.

On many occasions, women and men in wheelchairs (most of them elderly), have slowly, and with difficulty, stood so they can offer the Queen a bow.

Her late Majesty was clearly revered.

~ Dale Estey

The Police Pulled Over The Dump Truck Of Delights

It was not a day like any other day, so I suppose it did not start like any other day. I don’t know.

However the day started, it did not end well. It did not go well. It ceased being well half way through.

Half way through the day that did not end well, on the street that leads to the Causeway that crosses the Bay that leads to the street that takes you into the heart of the city, the police pulled over the dump truck of delights.

One police car with flashing lights approached the dump truck of delights and pulled it to the side of the road and parked behind it with its lights still flashing and  . . .

Well, that was it.

The dump truck, painted a utilitarian grey with a rusty dump covered in a tied-down tarpaulin, was stopped. Halted. Pulled to the side of the road by the black-and-white police car with its flashing blue-and-red-and-white lights flashing dully off the dull dump truck.

Far enough!

End of line!

Turn off the engine!

Chock the wheels!

And that was that. In sight of the city proper. So near and yet so far. Over the Causeway was the forbidden land. Do Not Enter!

For the Dump Truck of Delights would rouse the populace and inflame the imagination and loosen too too many tethers.

There were unicorns, of course, in the Dump Truck of Delights.

And Spheres with moons and stars whizzing around them.

And rabbit holes to disappear into.

And cotton candy, floating floating floating like clouds.

And real clouds coloured like cotton candy.

And the Tree of Knowledge weighted down with fruit.

And angels and seraphim with trumpets and harps and chubby cherubim with big brass drums.

And the joys of the flesh and the hopes of the soul.

And the biggest, the widest, the firmest beds where anyone, anywhere, ever eased off into sleep.

There were warming winds.

There were cooling breezes.

The food and drink were – well – beyond description.

So – of course – the police were instructed to stop the Dump Truck of Delights, and keep such pleasure and peace from the people. To make sure it would not cross the Causeway and disrupt the commerce of the city.

Besides – the driver had no permit to transport unicorns.

DE BA UEL

Putin And Satan Walk Into A Bar In Kiev On The Way To Hell

~ Vladimir, Vladimir, who’s being a bad boy?

~ I protect all the Russias.

~ Who’s your daddy?

~ They tell me it is you.

~ Then don’t lie to your father.

~ Why?

~ It only makes the dark side darker.

~ But I must lie to get what I want.

~ And what do you want?

~ To be loved.

~ You are too vile to be loved.

~ Even by my father?

~ Who art in Hell. Hollow be my name.

~ I will at least make them respect me.

~ Or kill them in the process.

~ Of course – it is what they deserve.

~Tell me.

~ What?

~ What do you really want?

~ To be taller.

~ That sounds true.

~ My shadow stretches over the world.

~ Yet your body barely blocks the light.

~ I will be noticed.

~ You will be trampled.

What The Tyranny Of An Occupying Government Really Means To Freedom

In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in his lost diaries.  Here, as the learned Doktor of Laws from the big city, he has been asked to speak to the citizens of the small village of Zurau, where he is living with his sister.

He is talking about the end of the Empire that the townsfolk have been living under all their lives. The Empire, the Emperor, and the civilization they know, is soon to be swept away. Will their lives go with it?

Kafka speaks the truth, and Kafka avoids the truth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

15 January 1918

This war. They wanted my opinions about this endless war. These earnest, honest men, awaiting the words from the Herr Doktor of Prague.

I agreed only to answer questions – that way I could not be accused of fermenting treason. Even in these troubled times, the law allows a man to answer questions. Assuming that the law prevails.

The law was present in the form of the policeman, attending this questionable gathering while still in uniform. He doffed his hat as he shook my hand. I would rather have him in our midst, than lurking in the hall, taking notes. We have nothing to fear from him.

“Will the empire last?”

This was first from their lips. And they must have needed to hear the words, for even the Emperor must know that all is lost. The Old Order, having fallen into the hands of dull and witless men, must succumb. The complacency of the age must be purged – but that has not yet happened. That awaits the next generation – and the destruction will be furious. But I do not tell them this.

I am skillful in what I do not tell them, for the truth is beyond their power to persuade or control. (Their next questions would have been more difficult had I not curbed the truth further still.)

“What will happen to Zurau? What will happen to us?”

And they have every right to worry. To suspect. When a society crumbles, it is those at the bottom who get crushed. But I told them that Amerika seemed a just power – not bent on retribution.

I did not tell them that a victor can do as he wants.

And I told them that we live in a secondary part of a secondary empire – the powers of destruction will be concentrated on Vienna and Berlin.

I did not tell them that during the death of a snake, the spasms of the tail can be lethal.

And I told them something which could really be of help. I told them, in this coming year, to grow more food: fatten more beasts: prepare, preserve and put away. Fill their cellars and barns to bursting with food and fuel. Buy some things now, which they can use for barter later if the currency becomes worthless. Look after their families and lands. Look after each other.

16 January 1918

I did not tell them that war is the end result of injustice and arrogance, and that it is oftentimes necessary. I did not tell them that when the natural balance is upset by human action, the cost of righting it must be made in human payment. I did not tell them that a country where neighbour is cruel to neighbour is a country mean for war.

Alive In The World & Not Coming Home Dead

649a839d99330f27cfb30eaa867f3d61

So, fourteen days of self-isolation ended yesterday, and I went into the world. That, plus being super careful at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, meant I had not stepped into society for three and a half months (except for the inter-city bus ride to get me here).

Mask on face, I got on the city bus and sat in a designated seat, keeping folk (hopefully) at a healthy distance. Seating was reduced by half. Not everyone wore masks.

Reaching my destination, and out on the street where I could keep my distance, I pushed my mask off (though I did not put it away). There was moderate foot traffic, and it was not difficult to keep from getting close to people. I ‘d guess only one in twenty wore a mask.

I have a favourite walk along the harbour, and when I reached the water I attempted to set out on it. First, I did check to see if the public washroom was operating. It was. However, I found my usual trek was restricted by construction. I had to start along a city street, which is narrow this close to the harbour. There was no way not to be close to folk walking in my direction, and I pulled up my mask. Again, few others were wearing masks.

Once beside the water, where the wooden walkways are wide, it was much easier keeping away from other folk. There were many people there (it was a nice summer day) and the majority of them did not wear masks. Outside bars were open, and I saw groups of people (10 Р20) sitting at long tables. There were  also folk in twos and threes sitting on public benches.

I knew there would be no cruise ships in port (that business is dead for the year), but I eventually realised there were no pleasure crafts, either. All of the moorings were deserted, and it made quite a difference. The only marine traffic I saw was a Pilot Boat on its way out.

I did sit awhile (a favourite pass time) at an individual chair, and looked out toward the Atlantic Ocean. And was happy there was some breeze.

As I continued, I was surprised that (I believe) all the restaurants were open. Folk were inside and out on the patios. No masks were visible (except on the servers). There were reduced numbers, of course,  but I bet the restaurants were as full as they could be.

I eventually continued along the streets to get of a large grocery store. I had not been in a commercial building for three months. I lucked out when, as I entered, one employee was wiping down a shopping cart. I grabbed it. I was only getting a few items (though – as usual – there were some unplanned purchases). More shoppers had masks, but I’d guess 50% did not. Nor (you can believe this) did they all follow the arrows on the floor. Still, I was in and out quickly, paying with a credit card (I did see one person use cash).

Next door is a Liquor Store, and I made some purchases there. No one else wore masks. I did not stay long, knowing full well what I wanted.

The bus back was much like the one I took to the harbour. Enter by the side door. Designated seat. No ticket necessary.

So a day has passed. Purchases requiring refrigeration were disinfected and put away. The rest I’m just going to let sit until the respective safe time frames for the respective containers passes.

I decided to stay put today.

(image) https://i.pinimg.com/originals/64/9a/83/649a839d99330f27cfb30eaa867f3d61.jpg

A Flash Mob of One

flashmob

It is difficult to be,

Or, to do,

(Hard to say which is more accurate)

A Flash Mob of One.

Particularly the alto parts.

But that is all

Which is allowed

In these times of

Pandemic.

Six feet (two meters)

Apart.

Multiplied (x)

By who knows

How many people.

So,

Ya gotta be community safe

(So much better than sorry),

And do it all yourself.

This does, however, make those

High-kick routines

Much easier to

Choreograph.

(image) https://reputationtoday.in/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/flashmob.jpg

 

 

QWERTY of the World – Unite (do not Untie)

qwerty-keyboard-840x420-1

WHEN IN ROME!

There was:

an Abyssinian (I made her),

an Albanian,

a Bolshevik,

a Brataslzvian (he was worst),

a Brazilian,

a Canadian,

a Cannibal (uh-oh),

a Colombian (smoking hot),

a Cynic (she didn’t believe the Canadian),

a Dominican,

a Druid (he prayed for the Dominican),

a Druze,

an Eatonian,

an Estonian,

a Fool (ha ha),

a Freizen,

a Gazian,

a Graduate,

a Haligonian,

a Helgolandian (he was and gone),

an Israeli,

an Iranian,

an Iraqi (they three went into a bar),

a Jamaican,

a Japanese,

a Kazistanian,

a Kurd,

a Lithuanian,

a Lush (one in every crowd),

a Mongolian,

a Monster (them is the odds),

a Nederlander,

a Norwegian,

an Olympian (he was game),

an Opportunist (coulda been me),

a Pole (he vaulted over the rest – *joke*),

a Quebecois (I’ll never forget her / Je me souviens),

a Russian (great dancer – he had the steps),

a Scandinavian,

a Southerner (I melt when she says ‘Y’all) ,

a Stevedore,

a Transvalanian (out for blood),

an Ukrainian,

an Unitarian,

a Vulcan (he was eerie),

a Waalloon,

a Wisenheimer,

an Xanaduian (and on her dulcimer she played),

an Xaverian (he shot daggers at the Dominican),

a Yugoslavian

and

a Zarahthustain (thus he spoke a lot)

The Canadian won the first game.

 

(image) cdn.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/qwerty-keyboard-840×420.jpg?7497b8

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