Marlen Haushofer • Ein Abend von Marie Rosa Tietjen und Fee Aviv Dubois
What would it be like if you weren’t here in the world? Meta closes her eyes,constricts and contracts everything she can think of: eyes, nose, lips, she wants to stop hearing and smelling and feeling. She stiffens, but she’s still here. Her stomach rumbles, her heart beats, a reddish gloaming looms behind her eyelids. She wants to bodily retract until she’s shrunk to a tiny version of herself.
Rolling herself up, mouth-to-knees, Meta practices how not-to-be-in-this-world. The gloaming beneath her lids is fading, arms and legs are going numb, the rumbling is trailing off, the heartbeat slowing down. Meta has never been born. It is not unpleasant, this feeling of not-being-here. In fact, she doesn’t feel anything at all. Then, slowly, she gets to be reborn into this world. The ears awake to life, listening to the wasps buzzing in the roof beams. The nose is sensing the smell of flour emanating from the sack on which she’s curled up. The taste of saliva on her tongue. She opens her eyes and the world is flooding back into her. She is back again at the mercy of noises, smells and images assailing her. To feel incapable to defend yourself against it – that’s what life is. And there is the cap with the hole next to her.
You should be grateful, other people keep telling her. Meta is beginning to doubt that. She’s not grateful. She’s alive and there’s nothing she can do about it. At times it’s nice, more often it’s awkward, and mostly it’s a great distress.
An evening about just the usual childhood, conceived by Marie Rosa Tietjen and Fee Aviv Marschall. Based on excerpts from the novels Himmel, der nirgendwo endet and Der gute Bruder Ulrich by Marlen Haushofer; music by Fee Aviv Marschall.