Titel: Kleine Kreise
Autor: Toralf Sperschneider
Einband: Aquarell von Manuela Duppstedt, 2017
English Translation: Chapter 1 & 2 (EGO 1 & 2) by Amy Grace Whitsey Franklin in 2018; see below
Erschienen: 12. Juli 2017 (eBook), 09. August 2017 (Taschenbuch); kindle direct publishing
Auszeichnung: Gewinner des Deutschen Self Publisher Awards Kindle Storyteller X 2017
»Kleine Kreise« über amazon kaufen.
„So etwas darf man nur begehen, wenn man sich absolut im Klaren ist, dass man niemandem mehr helfen kann. Und er hat genau das Gegenteil getan. Das war unverantwortlich.“
„Vielleicht wollt er ja etwas bezwecken!“ bemerke ich, jedoch ohne Überzeugung in meiner Stimme, „Ich habe mich genau das wieder und wieder gefragt: Warum so? So spektakulär? Das war doch kein stilles Verlassen der Bühne.“
In einem Stadion kommt es zu einem Sportunfall mit Todesfolge. Aber war es wirklich nur ein Unfall?
Ein ICH schlängelt sich in kleinen lebendigen Kreisen durch die Lebensepisoden von sechzehn Personen und setzt so nach und nach das Puzzle einer tödlichen Inszenierung zusammen.
Toralf Sperschneider Romandebüt zeigt das Manuskript des Lebens - von einem Selbstmörder erdacht.
Die E-Book-Version ist aktuell ausschließlich bei kindle direct publishing erhältlich.
Eine Print-Version (Taschenbuch) mit der ISBN-Nr. 9783000575181 ist über Amazon und auch in den Buchläden bestellbar.
Zu meinen Lesungen werden Exemplare auch zum Verkauf vorhanden sein.
Film Preisverleihung Buchmesse
Small Circles: EGOisms by Toralf Sperschneider
Two images have begun to bleed into one another. We walked out of the blinding
daylight of the cheerful morning into the twilight of a small train station. The train’s
interior lighting switches on and flickers. In the window my blurred reflection
appears. The pane becomes the border between the inner and outer world of the train
on which I’m sitting.
I actually quite like getting the train and provided its tranquillity is not polluted by
the clamour of other passengers, I can look out of the window for so long that it
almost becomes meditative. Since I discovered photography for myself, I see the
world around me with much keener eyes. A photographer is ‘someone who writes
with light’, think I heard something like that in a film once, sounds pretty cool.
Somehow my senses are constantly looking for subjects for this poem or script.
Again and again my gaze leaps, captures the next image, glides with it a little
through the world whizzing past and stumbles once more into the train speeding
forward until the barely perceptible rhythm becomes a kind of trance.
But now the world I see through my train window is passing by more and more
slowly as we approach. Outside on the platform and even inside in the aisle, people
are forming a guard of honour, the monotonous rumbling of the train gets quieter,
and the low hum of the engine wins the upper hand. As soon as we stop the cabin
fills with the sound of people; a wave of bodies spill out and another wave brings in
the next group who make themselves at home on the banks of the cabin. Small
vexations that are soon overcome. When I am on the train, I prefer the visuals
without the audio. So now and then I take the time to bore into the pictures of nature
framed by the window. Sometimes without even thinking about it the many impulses
join together into a short and flickering film. Almost like the droning melodies of a
radio accentuating the background noise.
Unfortunately, a lot of the images you see out of the window are ugly. If there were
ever a set designer, it’s clear: he frequently didn’t put any effort into it. Probably a
freelancer, who responded to the call for tenders by underquoting and in doing so
priced himself out. And now he must see what he can pull out of the bag with the
few resources he has available. So, unfortunately, that’s what I must do as well. The
clients never care about things like that. Images seen from train windows just have to
be there, there are no quality controls or anything. There just can’t be nothing there.
That annoys me. Even with a small budget, more could have been made out of the
surroundings by somebody with an eye for design. But I don’t want to be too hard on
the set designers. Most of the time they can’t help it. They just want to survive too,
to have their own scenography office with a few employees and a secretary.
A few of the creatives responsible for designing these landscapes are real aesthetes. I
appreciate their products and feel moved by them. Beside a competent composition
of an open living space with a carefully assessed fore- mid- and background, they
have arranged remarkable colour combinations. These impressions can stay longer,
as far as I’m concerned, I have no problem with them clinging to my retina for
longer. But even their half-life is unfortunately limited by the conditions of the
Nonetheless, characteristic of all the impressions out there is the outstanding image
resolution. You’ve got to give them that. Good depth of field, that is if my eyesight
is up to it. That distinguishes them from the shady reflection which emerges on the
windowpane of the train interior. That’s why I love what’s outside a thousand times
more. Clarity and definition have always meant a lot to me, and I envy anyone who
doesn’t have to wear glasses. To always have a clear view of your surroundings,
without any tool or magnifier, is a blessing. I see myself in the glass again, see the
people who come in and fill up the train.
Perhaps someone else is looking out of me too? Funny thought. My body as the
border and the little person wonders what’s going on outside. And he sees the
reflection of his own border as a reflection and so on. Like the story of a man
reading a book which tells the story of another man reading a book…
As the train platform begins to move away, my shadowy copy in the glass fades into
near unrecognizability. The train station disappears, the world speeds cheerfully and
gradually past me again faster and faster, like a new skin being pulled over the train.
Tunnels swallow us up and spit us out again. Sublime bridges stretch over the
valleys between wooded mountain ridges. A total absence of ideas and the greatest
possible fascination for these postcard landscapes alternate with one another.
No longer troubled by unsolicited standstills, we pass through a little village, cutting
through streets protected by several red and white barriers. Behind a half-decayed
factory building, a vibrant yellow-coloured wall gleams as it gets gradually closer.
Embellished with curved ornaments, I can read a piece of graffiti as we pass by. It
imprints itself on today’s memory-film like a well-selected tagline.
“Today’s a stunning day.”
Brilliant! That’s it in a nutshell. Someone should really write that with light, well,
take a photo of it. As quickly as this image arrived, it sadly leaves my train window
again and after the last, small, increasingly sparse houses standing around, I see a
graveyard approaching. Even from far away you can make out the gravestones, like a
sombre army that has been hastily thrown together and that forms a guard of honour
waiting to be awakened from its slumber by true love’s kiss. They’re not in a hurry,
perhaps they have not yet received the telegram commanding them to fire. They lie
in wait there, the stony watchmen; big and small, they show me their backs and their
patience. As we pass the graveyard, a colourful dot becomes visible between the
graves; a woman gets up from a crouching position. Something is living there
amongst the dead. With her right forearm, she brushes the greyed hair from her
forehead. Her hands seem to be dirty — from pulling up weeds or planting flowers;
there’s no way she’s digging up an urn. The woman remains standing and, using the
back of her hand to shield her eyes from the sun, she looks in my direction allowing
her gaze to rest upon the train speeding past. A small shadow falls over her face,
covering her eyes and nose and obscuring them. I feel our faint connection, and
although she certainly can’t see me, she brings life to this place and thus becomes
the living centrepiece of my image of the day.
Small Circles: EGOisms by Toralf Sperschneider
The ten o’clock train advances menacingly and for a short while it roars and rumbles
through my head, challenging the atmosphere of silence that envelops everything
here in the graveyard. I wonder whether I should read my destiny from the number
of coaches as I did all those years ago when I was a little girl, one be cursed, two be
blessed, three’s a letter, four’s a guest... carriage by carriage it rattles past and takes
its stressful little disturbance away with it again.
I’m already looking forward to the silence — the train having passed by — the
silence which lets me to be as close to you as nothing else can. Glittering extracts of
my own background play like a dazzling silent film in the train windows and then
the raging monster disappears and is swallowed up in the recurrent noise of the wind
and the birds around me. If graveyards didn’t have such a sad background, you
might find them quite beautiful. Something between living and lifeless nature. There
are hardly any other places where you can get as close to this almost tangible
transition as here.
Why this lump still hangs in my throat, even after all the time that I’ve been coming
here, trying to make it slightly nicer for you and comfort myself, I don’t know. There
are phases when I manage to make you stop being dead, you regain some colour and
tangibility, as if you were just living in another city. In these moments, time has
pulled away/pulls away the sheet of sadness lying over me, just for a brief moment.
Whereas on other days that sheet smothers me like a wet, heavy blanket; it’s
boundlessly present again, and I can’t imagine that other city, it doesn’t exist.
Meanwhile, at home everything is fearfully normal without you. After your
children’s childless years, you even have a little grandson, who will only ever hear
stories about his grandpa or be shown a photo in which he’ll a stranger. A reminder
of you which reminds him of no-one.
Even the last objects which you somehow touched or used have long since been used
up. Some I threw away and was pleased finally to be able to. The achievement of
letting go. I didn’t leave anything, no toothbrush or shaving materials, I didn’t even
have the heart to finish eating the bar of chocolate we started. What was I supposed
to do with your glasses, which didn’t fit any other eye, and behind which I could
only see your face? What about the records and CDs? I don’t listen to any preprogrammed
music, especially not yours, I can’t listen to any of it without seeing
you sitting in the armchair nodding along. I prefer to leave the radio on in the
background and occasionally hum along to something that never belonged, that
never belonged to us. If I’m unlucky, the radio team still finds a way to rummage in
my grief, and Mr. Presley or another one of your musical flings sings out of the
speaker. For a while now I’ve even been managing not to switch off the radio in such
nightmarish situations, to enjoy the dull sting these songs trigger; I think of it as a
gift of being a little closer to you again. I just stop moving then, no matter what kind
of chores I’m in the middle of. I stand still so as not to disturb the moment. Not until
the next song or until the voice of the radio host returns does life flow back into my
limbs and reality return.
As a child, whenever I went to the cemetery with my grandmother I always
wondered why, even twenty years after grandfather’s death, she still sat on her bench
at the end of the visit and took the time to cry. She could grieve as if at the touch of a
button. Now I’m beginning to understand. On the one hand, twenty years no longer
seems as long as it did when I was a child, and on the other hand, the instant of your
death simply travelled through time with me. It couldn’t be dumped somewhere in
the past or just disappear like a tiny dot on the horizon, instead it hounded me
incessantly. It doesn’t hurt so much anymore, but that moment is clear and obvious
in whatever I do.
At home, whenever I put all the garden tools in the basket it’s completely normal,
it’s become an integral part of my everyday life without you. No tightness in the
chest when I fetch the watering can out of the cellar, not once when I unpack the
memorial candles, stuff the matches in my jacket pocket and pull on my old shoes.
The short walk here is mine and mine alone. The two of us never had to do it
The little plants in my basket looked at me inquisitively, wondering where their new
home would be — and I smiled, the way I’d smile at you, because I can do
something to make you happy. Of course, I’m only really pleasing myself, but the
beautiful thing about it is that, in all this busyness, I am near to you. With every
movement, even shopping at the garden centre, finding the plants, I am with you. A
language of flowers that no one can hear.
And then when I enter the cemetery and am greeted by the first grave stones — by
now I know all the names engraved on them by heart — I’m overcome by the urge
once again to work out the ages of the deceased. It’s unbelievable how young many
of those lying here were. Some of them I even know from my childhood and youth.
Back then, they were adults to me — we looked up to them or made fun of them. In
those days, the elderly really did seem very old, particularly as they acted and
dressed their age. Without feeling even the tiniest bit like them, I have long since
outstripped them. The dead and the grave stones around here are all like stopped
clocks. My time is permitted to run on, like me, whenever I am not here with you.
The never-changing last few metres past the Virginia Creeper hedges, turning onto
your street, heading towards your final resting place as if drawn by a magnet. Then
the incomprehensible: your name in stone, and now the past crashes over me like a
tidal wave, always new, and anxiety creeps up into my throat whenever I read the
engraved letters. That’s why every time I only look briefly, a quick peak. Then
promptly look away again, like back in the days of class tests, scared someone would
catch me cheating. No one saw it, my hazardous glance into inconceivability. But it
comes very quietly closer again, the ticking of the clocks that point to NOW. Hope is
like a memory into the future.
I relax as I work on the flowerbed. Joy, silent joy, comes to me, because I can do
something for you. I’m a little proud; the flowers look really pretty in their damp
earth and will soon feel at home with the other plants. My hands are black with earth
and I reach into the watering can to rinse them off. The dirt comes off and disperses
into little clouds in the water. I water the bed and in doing so return the earth to
where it was, to you. I don’t want to take it home with me and it doesn’t belong in
the drain, it belongs here and I at home in my everyday life, which has become a bit
more normal again, which once more belongs to me. Am I a loser because I have lost
something, lost you?
At the end, I sit down, just as my grandmother did, just as I do every time when I’m
with you, on the little, white bench by the grave, an intensive being-with-you, a
return to the times which we went through together.
Your little notebook. I fish it out of the basket and flick through it at random, then I
point at a spot and begin to read your words. Perhaps even today I am still looking
for answers, even though the question never really comes to mind. Still, the police
and the prosecution believed at the time to have found all the necessary information
in it. “Winter solstice,” I read quietly aloud to myself. I like these surreal worlds of
ideas: your escapes into dreamy disassociations. Your poetic collages of clashing
unrealities have always embedded something wonderful in normality. And yet I
should have recognised your contempt for life in fantastic, absurd texts like this.
“My face sank slowly deeper and deeper into the soft snow and gradually the white
sea solidified under me and became a barrier. Somewhere far, far away, a small
section of the horizon ruptured, and a slim slit opened up between the sea and the
sky like a horizontal curtain. Scraps of light sprang up and through them I caught
sight of a vague and blurry shape moving and as it became clearer it stood out from
its background. The shape seemed to glide softly and smoothly from one position to
the next, but without any system, without rhythm and without revealing itself. And
suddenly all the snowflakes which had settled on the ground began to detach
themselves from the floor again, to rise, at first very gently and then blended into a
fine glitter, a fabric of light and crystals. Any hold the blanket of snow uniting them
once had was now lost — they prised themselves away from each other and floated
silently in the sky. It was quiet, even solemn, my surroundings became emptier and
far above me I saw the little spirits vanish into nothing.
The rift along the horizon had become gigantic, a divide was no longer recognisable
and everything seemed to turn into a great solitude. The movement between the
leaves of the sky and the earth had grown into a faraway melody, absorbing
everything into itself, it swelled and subsided, felt its way into new territories with a
soft, quiet whispering, like little floral tentacles, only to melt into them a little later.
A smile filled me up, warm contentment glided into every region of my body and full
of expectant stillness I readied myself for the arrival of the all absorbing, heavenly
dream, I felt betrothed to everything that is to come, that already is, and that will be,
to be one with no divisions, but in total completeness.”