The polka dots

The days shorter and the hair shorter and the chances shorter and the eye contacts shorter.

The voice of the anchor in the radio, the church bell, a sports car's engine, a door strike from someone coming back from work, a gabbing child -- the sounds of a neighborhood that keep my heart beat in rhythm but make me forget I have one from time to time.

Tanned and smiling faces in the office, chat about the end of summer holidays. I touch my pale and sleepy face in the mirror, I feel a bit like the children at school that went nowhere for holidays, but at least they went to the playing ground, painted with chalk on the street or got hugged by their grand parents.

My colleague suddenly walks into my office and asks me about my plans for life. She belongs to one of the biggest editor families in Germany, it is impossible to lie to her about the joy of useless and boring work. "Do you like it here?" she asks me and of course I lie, my boss sits just next door. "Most of the time", I say. She smiles at me and leaves.

The white polka dots on my black shirt start to dance and the cursor of my mouse disappears into a world of pixels and two-dimensional windows. The weather looks perfect outside and the Mercedes-star on the station tower reflects some sun rays while it is turning. I am left again with a window view as my anchor, an opening that connects me to the world of hopes, but not any kind of reality that would move me out of here.
"Don't get into a paddy", I tell myself again and again. The polka dots have moved to my hands where they turn into an itchy allergy. I start scratching, I close my eyes and wonder when I have seen a shooting star for the last time. My colleague T. who is anglophile and crazy about Scotland and loves to find little errors in texts is heating a sausage in the micro wave. He is giggling, joking with another guy from the office that is as stiff as the plastic jacket he wears with the zip closed up until the jaw. I am still trying to remove the polka dots but I give up and leave. On the train on my way home I hide my hands in my pockets and when I finally reach home, the polka dots have disappeared and I cry over the black shirt that is nothing else than merely black.


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