Nyap, that is the nearest equivalent that I can make up to the German word „jein“, which means yes and no bundled together. Like when one of my workmates, a confirmed misogynist in his way, asked me the other day how I liked living without a woman in my life. Nyap, I said. It’s a quick way of saying: there are pros and cons.
A definite con is that I feel lonely as hell. A pro is that I don’t have to worry about seeming to be an insensitive asshole. I am not an insensitive asshole, but women seem to mistake me for one again and again. How that comes to be I can not fathom. I have met real insensitive assholes and I can say, with absolute certainty, that I am not one. Sometimes it makes me wonder if women do not just simply enjoy accusing their men of being insensitive assholes, regardless.
In any case, the word nyap, which does, in fact, not exist in the English language, might have many wonderful applications. Most people would say „maybe“ or „I’m not sure“, but „nyap“ would be so much more succinct and to the point. It expresses the feeling of ambivalence wonderfully. And it sounds so cool.
So, my suggestion is, dear reader, that you embrace the word „nyap“ and propagate it to the best of your ability. If you do so consistently enough it might even be said you have helped a new word in to being. No one will know it was you that did it if it truly does spread enough to become a part of the language, but you know, and that should be enough.
Of course, I’ll be there, in the background, thinking haha, nyap was my idea. My readers are all just henchmen, pawns in my game to change the English language single-handedly… muahaha. Delusions of grandeur? Nyap.
God, how I hate it when I spill peanuts on the carpet, drunken fool that I am. Alone, you growl at such things, in a way you would never allow yourself in the presence of civilized human companionship (not to speak of civilized human female companionship). Terrible.
Thank God my wine-consumption is limited by available money.
And, with some luck, I’ll soon have some sort of woman again. That will curtail the growling, and the wine as well. Or will I, God forbid, get hold of a woman who doesn’t give a damn how much I drink, how many peanuts I spill on the floor? A woman who will accept me as I am, growl and all? Heaven forbid.
Although I speak two languages really, really fluently, I still envy people who speak French. I don’t, although I love the sound of it. To me, it’s the most beautiful sounding language in the world. I do understand one word or another, so much that, years ago, as I was visiting friends of my parents-in-law in France, they thought I understood everything. I made an appreciative, affirmative noise here and there, and replied at least halfway appropriately in English or German, and suddenly they started talking to me in rapid-fire French, assuming I had it down, at which point I was totally lost. Oh, well.
Speak French. It is a beautiful language, it deserves to be perpetuated.
And listen to Zaz.
EDIT: And (thank you, Marissa, for reminding me) read French poetry from Verlaine and Rimbaud. Read the translation you understand, if you don’t know French, and then read the original, just to get a feeling for it.
There is nothing like it. I love bread. I was a baker, once, yes… once a baker (if anyone understands this nod and wink I’ll be surprised out of my wits).
In any case, I really like good bread. Real bread. Not that shit you get in the supermarket, full of emulsifiers and preservatives… real bread, from a fucking baker.
Before I worked as a baker, when I was still in school, there was a fellow pupil who worked at an Italian bakery. On one or two mornings each week he would bring a beautiful round loaf of whole wheat italian bread with him, two pounds, still warm from the oven, for Christ’s sake, and he’d tear it to pieces, literally, and give them to us. Heavenly.
You know, the French have their baguettes, the Russians have their black bread… I am sure there are many more typical breads… but I have not yet encountered a country with more wonderful kinds of bread than Germany. And the greatest thing is, in every damned village is a real bakery that makes it’s own fucking bread.
It just happens –what a coincidence!– that I live in the village which makes the most wonderful Graubrot, which is German for grey bread, in the known universe. It is in fact grey. If you saw it lying on the shelf in the supermarket you wouldn’t find it particularly appetizing, but the fact is that this the most wonderful bread on earth. It is best when baked to the point of a slightly charred crust. Of course they make other kinds of bread, they make a great „Italian Landbread“ (a wonderful crumbly sort of white bread), and some wonderful dark breads, sweet with malt and whole grains. Their cakes are so-so, but, my God, the breads!
I know the bakery does it all per hand, no crap in the bread, just real, basic, ingredients, the way it should be. That is the life! I am telling you! Good food, real food! No supermarket crap!
I used to say, when people asked how I could ever have even considered moving from NYC to the German province: I did it for love. And now, if you asked me: why do you stay? It’s the food. The bread, the meat, the cheese… alright, my children probably have something to do with it too.
But there is one kind of bread I miss from America: buttermilk biscuits. Homemade buttermilk biscuits… to die for. Of course, they are not, strictly speaking, bread at all, but let us not quibble over semantics here.
Not enough time to do everything I want to do. I need time to do the unimportant things I will do anyway… luxury before necessity, I always say. So, I have the feeling there won’t be enough time left to do the important things after I’m done with the bullshit, done with dithering away my time. How, I ask, can you even understand the important things if you haven’t had time to fuck around and waste time? I need time to be repetitive, I need time to repeat my mistakes, I need time to be bored… when I’m done I’ll, sort of, get, maybe, some important things done? I need time to say I haven’t got enough time, to say fuck off, you dick-head, you have no idea of my tight schedule. Time to be a christian, a buddhist, a hindu, a moslem, a coptic, a sikh, a sufi, a fucking zen mechanic, whatever. No time for religion, because in my opinion it’s a waste of time… but I’d liked to have had the time to try it out anyway. Time to fuck up badly, for years on end. Oh, wait…
It’s one of those days where no wayward bus relieves me of the dubious pleasure of being. I’m not gone, damn it all. I keep going on, no matter what I will do to make it short. I guess it’s all half-assed. In the end, I want to live. In spite of all the suffering, the loneliness, the stupid misunderstandings… I want more. If it wasn’t all like something out of a fucking dime-novel, I could, perhaps, reconcile myself with it. But no.
Murder me. Save me the trouble of killing myself slowly with toil and trouble, please. The murder of Mr. Hellstrøm, in one act, a two minute play (shouldn’t take much longer than that to bleed to death, if you do it properly). Unfortunately, it is not to be; the play must be long, interminably long, and for the most part boring as hell, full of clichés and silly misunderstandings. Even the highlights are not convincing. Bad acting. Mosquito bites. Burnt fingers, cuts from shaving, too much rum. Slow mutilation as age takes its toll and nothing remains but stale farts and the wish for more of the same. Garlic doesn’t stink, but this stinks like garlic. And then, at long last, the funeral, young people feeling out of place… and they are. Horseshoes and Handgranades from Green Day.
One of the basic inconsistencies of democracy is that only people who want power (or money, as a means to power) will become candidates. There are exceptions. There are people in politics who are truly altruistic. But they are so few and far between that one can practically discount them in the statistical sense. Many people who’s goals seem altruistic, or at least „good“, are still power-people. They want to rule you, and God help you if their goals aren’t congruent with yours.
If you must be ruled, it is better not to be ruled by people who want power. A person who wants power is simply interested in exercising and furthering that power, not in serving the people, which is what elected political officials should supposedly be doing in a democracy.
Like all big political systems run by human society, democracies tend to become corrupt over time. Because humans are the crazy little aggressive curious apes that they are, they will exploit any system for their own individual benefit. And how do you expect a system they created themselves to resist that? I don’t see any way out of this contradiction. It’s a basic and inherent flaw in all human political endeavors.
It makes me think we really shouldn’t be living together in such large numbers, since there seems to be no really effective way we can govern the human need for acing the other fellow out, to control the human penchant for outwitting the immediate environment. Since we no longer live in a natural environment, since we have made/become our own separate environment to some extent, in which often the only opponents are other humans, this survival skill is exercised on other humans. Not exactly conducive to systems that truly have the interests of society as a whole in mind, or to protecting the rights of the individuals and minorities against the majorities in said society, is it now? It’s almost as if humans simply weren’t built for that.
I don’t think you can actually find a truly honest candidates for high office. There is nobody who hasn’t made deals on the way up, it’s a given, they wouldn’t be where they were if they weren’t hand in glove with corruption. They are where the money is, and have been there for some time, before ever being seriously considered as candidates. If they were at some time honest, you can be sure they have long since been brought to fall by then.
D’you ever wade in to the mire? You ever feel like your life is a fucking swamp, and you’re waist deep…? and maybe you’re sinking. You’re not sure… is it quicksand, or just plain too bloody deep? Shit, don’t…! Oh fuck, I can see it in your eyes, you’re going to go on. Soon it will be up to your neck. You know: you’ve got to go on. Wade in deeper. And you will not beg, or pray, dammit, you’ll wade in and go down or go on, as fate will have it. Gut it out. Stubborn. Curiosity got the cat they say, but what gets the human? Mulishness.
At least here I have a view. Dirt. Piles of dirt, piles of gravel, more piles of dirt. Logs, lampposts and power lines. And buildings, half finished, surrounded by trucks and bulldozers. It’s better than nothing. Better than nothing better than nothing better than nothing better than nothing. My mantra for the day. The expensive machinery clatters and kerchunks impressively in the next room, doing my work for me. God, it’s all so exciting. The dirt outside is wet. It’s raining. The machinery calls me. After a time I can no longer ignore it’s insistent quavering beeps. Even machines need help sometimes. I watch the rain some more. Clatter. Kerchunk. The phone doesn’t ring. A truck comes and dumps a pile of dirt next to the others. More excitement. Better than nothing, I remind myself. Better than nothing better than nothing better than nothing. I take the sandwich out and eat it.
Did you ever, just for the hell of it, give people what they want? Did you, just to see what happens, say, yes! let’s do that! Yes, fuck me, though it’s crazy! for example? Go ahead, strip and jump in to the river in the middle of the night, why not? Yes, touch that wire in order to find out if the voltage is high enough to kill you, haha! Here, have another drink! Are you giving, or are you daring them to take what they want?
Who takes a dare sucks eggs, we used to say. Well, I suck eggs every damned Easter, so…?