Eldon Reishus

In the last few years of my days on earth, I have begun to dislike the conceit that I dislike programming concert lighting effects, from the solo spotlight center-stage to the pyrotechnic gang-bang finish, that such gigs are thankless chores not paid half well enough.

I opened my eyes and waxed my Dalí mustache. Die Mitternacht-Basketball-Liga in Munich was made for diehard failed guitarists like me: divorced guys from the U.S. who snap towels and share insider locker-room info not limited to the coming bailout of München Re – in this warming, global economic climate, who needs that tip?

So it was a bit of a start to return late to Schellingstrasse and find lights flashing. Our Altbau door stood anchored wide, its dark breath smelling of woolen stockings, cinnamon apple wedges, and Spirol (Germany's weak, proprietary take on Pepto-Bismol). Paramedics rolled Frau Angemeier from the building's Hausmeister flat.

I hit the hallway lights; our eyes accustomed. Frau Angermeier's Mann died many years ago, well before yesterday's forty became today's fifty, and it's not like I hadn't seen this coming. She opened her hand; I gave her mine.

She said, »Ich beneide Sie um Ihren Glauben. Ich habe meinen verloren. Dieses letzte Weg ist ein schwerer Weg.« (I envy you your belief. I have lost mine. This last way is a difficult way.)

Many other names for it, we live in lyric times. (In the magic sense that ein Schwarzes Loch is neither black nor a hole.) I wanted dots on the walls, rapid-fire dots signaling the comic relief of motion. Red. Green. Orange. Orange. Green. Orange. Red. Green. Red. Orange. Orange. Green. Red. Red. Green. Orange. Green. Red.

I said, »Und ich beneide Sie um Ihren Unglauben.« (And I envy you your disbelief.)

Eldon (Craig) Reishus lives with a piano and last night three mice in a Celtic setting outside Munich beneath the Bavarian Alps (Landkreis Wolfratshausen – Bad Tölz). He is the German-English translator of numerous books and films, and an all-around print and web media pro. He originates from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Hire him (»Have Laptop, Will Travel«):