I’m like You

A story by Katharina Lamprecht

Listen to me, the water whispered, foamed, wooshed, how I hiss and sizzle, light and dull, quietly gurgling and loud and full. I am so many but you can see only one. I sing a whole opera but you just hear one voice. I change myself every second but I´m constantly the same. I give myself up any minute to find myself again at once.

Look at me, the water whispered, foamed, wooshed. I am like you.

Everything Else

In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.

Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.

The Swop

They both heard it. A quiet coughing and then a snapping for air. The owner of the kiosk had just placed the illustrated magazine on the table while the woman searched her purse for change. She looked down. “Tommy, what’s the matter?” she called, startled. Her Yorkshire terrier lay, lifelessly, on the ground. “That can happen so fast”, murmured the shopkeeper. “Probably a heart attack”, he thought, “too well fed”. The dog was dead, no doubt about it. But what to do now?

The lifeless body could certainly not remain in the shop. But neither did the woman want to carry her dead dog through the village in front of everyone and get caught up in a conversation on every street corner. “Have you perhaps got a box?” she asked. The shopkeeper went into the back and returned. “This is all I’ve got.” He handed her a printed box which had contained a small portable television set a few days earlier. After the dog was packed away in it, the woman left the electronics shop. In front of the shop she met a young man who, loudly and with a distinct foreign accent, shouted: “They all racist, hate foreigners! No one will change!” Angrily he waved his fifty Euro note back and forth in front of the old woman’s face. “But that must be possible!” said the woman. “Come, I’ll change it for you in the electronics shop. Just hold the box for me please while you wait.” The young man nodded contentedly. When the woman returned with the money, he was gone. To her shock, there was also no sign of the box.

“I would like to hand in fifty euros here”, said the old woman later at the police station. “Where did you find it?” asked the police officers and listened to what had happened. “Keep the money”, they said. “It will be difficult to find the right owner.”

The New Mercedes

“Your new Mercedes has arrived. You can pick it up from us straight away.” Brief and businesslike, the voice on the telephone reported this occasionevent. For the Brüderle family this was a day of celebration which they would spend with the whole family. One didn’t buy a new car every day! They decided to celebrate by visiting the safari park next to the motorway on the way back.

They drove through the compound in their shiny new car. A highlight was the elephants. They could see them from quite near. Mr Brüderle wound down the window in order to photograph them. One look through the open window and: Slap! The elephant had already knocked the camera out of his hand. Then the beast stretched its trunk deep into the vehicle. Was there something to eat in here? Mrs Brüderle and the children were thoroughly examined by its soft, smelling apparatus. The mood in the car alternated between disgust and horror. Something must be done! But what? Mr Brüderle had an idea. Quite slowly he wound up the window so as to give the elephant a gentle warning to pull back its trunk. However, the elephant did not follow this hint, at least not before giving the car a good kick.

When they got to the exit of the park, the Brüderle family regarded the damage. A huge dent had appearedwas to be seen! In order to soothe themselves the parents drank beer and the children had ice-cream. Then they made their way home. After a while a car followed them which drovedriving zigzag like a snake. The vehicle drove off the road to the right and after a short drive across a field, came to a halt. The Brüderle family stopped to help. It just so happened that the driver of the car had had an epileptic fit. Mrs Brüderle took care of the patient while Mr Brüderle called the police and ambulance.

“Were you also involved in the accident?” asked the policeman, who recorded the accident. “No”, replied Mr Brüderle. “Where did this huge dent in your car come from then?” the policeman wanted to know. “An elephant kicked it in”, was the answer. Dumbfounded, the policeman looked him in the eyes. “Blow in here please…” That day Mr Brüderle lost his driving licence.