Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends at ad/ad – Project Space / Hannover

Some of my best jokes are friends

Ulrich Pester & Ralph Schuster

04/09/2020 — 20/09/2020

ad/ad – Project Space


Photo: Samuel Henne

sun presses. Like a hot, invisible film it settles on the body,
pushing every movement, each breath into the floor. Smoke stands
still before my mouth. It seems to dissolve without a single
movement. The floor is smooth, dry, dirty. It’d blacken my bare
feet if they happened to touch. Brown fields lie in the background,
mute and barren. They give the sky a vastness similar to the sea,
which sinks into darkness behind a house made of neon tubes. The
hostess looks like an agave. The prices are without pride, and the
innkeeper wears an ascetic sheen. I get goosebumps every time a
droplet falls from my chest to my bellybutton. I breathe and my
ribcage rises. This is my center, I think. With wonder, I register
the soothing sight of fogged glasses and the budding anticipation in
the patterns pearls of water leave behind on their surface. I paint a
line with my left little finger and feel for a moment the coolness at
its tip. The idea of snow on window panes or car hoods seems oddly
far. I put my finger in my mouth. This sea will soon dry out, I
think. It’ll get all wrinkled like the innkeeper trying to fight
with the stereo and losing. Laugh lines spread over my face and I
squint, remembering the dull pumping in the depths of my stomach,
remembering my body as an echo chamber. There was a girl once. She
was pretty, a bit older than me, strong, blond, and spoke with a
sympathetic accent. She asked how I was doing and offered a
cigarette. My mouth was a desert. I formulated a desire for a
lollipop. Yes, a lollipop. She took my hand and drew me along
decidedly. I was never the chewing-gum type. She worked at the
addiction center. I bite into the orange and throw the peel back in
the glass. I light up a new cigarette with my supporting arm. It
works right away. I smell gasoline and observe how the shadows
stretch into skinny giants. I try to remember school. I look at
myself tensely, like a player before the showdown. Maybe I’ll win
with a low hand. I’m old, I think, and feel lopsided. Hey, remember
the time? Amazing all the corners you pee in over the course of a
life. Always facing the street in order to escape your seat as
quickly as possible when necessary. I smile to myself, rummage
through my pocket for a pen, wipe the sand off, and successfully
smear half a letter on the back of my hand. The card has yellowed.
I’d looked for it with a fisherman’s patience. I wonder whether
there are as few fisherwomen as there are female pilots. Dear Ulli,
dear Ralph, the sun’s shining, the sea’s warm. Hope you’re
doing as well as I am. The outside is increasingly illuminated by
white light—as if the inner had been turned inside out. Best wishes
from the mainland’s southernmost tip. Luisa

some of my best jokes are friends