Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends at ad/ad - Project Space / Hannover

Some of my best jokes are friends
Ulrich Pester & Ralph Schuster

04/09/2020 — 20/09/2020

ad/ad - Project Space

Photo: Samuel Henne

The sun presses. Like a hot, invisible film it settles on the body, pushing every movement, each breath into the floor. Smoke stands still before my mouth. It seems to dissolve without a single movement. The floor is smooth, dry, dirty. It’d blacken my bare feet if they happened to touch. Brown fields lie in the background, mute and barren. They give the sky a vastness similar to the sea, which sinks into darkness behind a house made of neon tubes. The hostess looks like an agave. The prices are without pride, and the innkeeper wears an ascetic sheen. I get goosebumps every time a droplet falls from my chest to my bellybutton. I breathe and my ribcage rises. This is my center, I think. With wonder, I register the soothing sight of fogged glasses and the budding anticipation in the patterns pearls of water leave behind on their surface. I paint a line with my left little finger and feel for a moment the coolness at its tip. The idea of snow on window panes or car hoods seems oddly far. I put my finger in my mouth. This sea will soon dry out, I think. It’ll get all wrinkled like the innkeeper trying to fight with the stereo and losing. Laugh lines spread over my face and I squint, remembering the dull pumping in the depths of my stomach, remembering my body as an echo chamber. There was a girl once. She was pretty, a bit older than me, strong, blond, and spoke with a sympathetic accent. She asked how I was doing and offered a cigarette. My mouth was a desert. I formulated a desire for a lollipop. Yes, a lollipop. She took my hand and drew me along decidedly. I was never the chewing-gum type. She worked at the addiction center. I bite into the orange and throw the peel back in the glass. I light up a new cigarette with my supporting arm. It works right away. I smell gasoline and observe how the shadows stretch into skinny giants. I try to remember school. I look at myself tensely, like a player before the showdown. Maybe I’ll win with a low hand. I’m old, I think, and feel lopsided. Hey, remember the time? Amazing all the corners you pee in over the course of a life. Always facing the street in order to escape your seat as quickly as possible when necessary. I smile to myself, rummage through my pocket for a pen, wipe the sand off, and successfully smear half a letter on the back of my hand. The card has yellowed. I’d looked for it with a fisherman’s patience. I wonder whether there are as few fisherwomen as there are female pilots. Dear Ulli, dear Ralph, the sun’s shining, the sea’s warm. Hope you’re doing as well as I am. The outside is increasingly illuminated by white light—as if the inner had been turned inside out. Best wishes from the mainland’s southernmost tip. Luisa

PS: some of my best jokes are friends