August, 28, 2019
In August 2019, I had a ten-day writer’s residency at Anatolia Schnitzel, a temporary art space
established over the summer in a former fast-food restaurant.
I decided to continue a short story that had originated from a dream a few months prior to the
residency and give it a site-specific turn. A one-hour reading of the result took place on the 28 th of
August 2020. Paul Sprung made a drawing of the event.
I called the story SANDY – according to the cotidian protagonist of a conversation overheard during
my residency. Excerpts of it were published in “Gegen die Leere”, a publication commemorating the
literary activity that took place in Anatolia Schnitzel in summer 2019.
The story begins with a dream that confronts the protagonist with emotions and images of unknown
origin and continues to influence their waking hours. Traumatic experiences from teenage days
surface and past associates are not quite met. The story works towards a climax in a place familiar to
Read for a short snippet, a larger excerpt can be found in words
When I came home, I had two important things to do.
I was walking through a park I seemed to know, and I clearly remembered the night I had locked the
dog out. She was used to my affection, but that time I avoided her. She couldn’t be in the house
because I didn’t trust her. I could have opened the door and padded her head, but I just gave her a
pitying look and went to bed. My life was revolving around a story, a grown-old love story.
I walked on and asked a couple that was making out where the bridge across the tiny stream with all
the reeds was. I remembered hiding out there between the reeds one night, but I was not sure if I
had dreamt it. To my surprise, the red-haired woman knew what I was talking about and said, “It’s
right across the lawn there, behind the public campsite.” I tried to follow her directions and realized
two long swimming pools had been set into the lawn and found the path between them to cross it.
There were children swimming and playing despite dawn. Yet a bit further ahead I saw the wall
behind which the stream was running. There were steps leading up the wall not far to my right, but a
group of boys were standing there peeing and I didn’t fancy passing them, so I continued to the left
going for the next stairway. While I was walking parallel to the wall, I found a photograph in the
pocket of my shorts – it showed our dog, her name had been Fify. Energy and joy spread in my body
upon remembering that. My pace quickened and I chanted her name to myself in a mock French
accent, evoking her power. For all I knew, if Fify was still here, barking through the layers of
forgotten memories, forgiving me – maybe so was Sandy.