The Beggar's Diary, 26.08.2007.- The president of Germany, Horst Köhler, is coming to see the SP07 on Wednesday. But why wasn’t Filch The Beggar told before? How is he supposed to know how to behave in front of a president? Unless the president has no intention of meeting No. 06? Well, thinks Filch, if the mountain doesn’t come to Moses, Moses must go to the mountain.
On his way to the FYAL, a little boy who’s standing holding a ball in his hands sees Filch. He throws Filch the ball, as if to say: "Play with me." Nobody else except his mother and Filch are around. They play. The boy’s name is Errol (named after Errol Flynn, yes!), and he is Turkish. As he enters the FYAL he expects to see the cameraman there, but the bar is empty. He drinks his coffee and leaves for the Spiekerhof. Still nobody on the streets. And then the cameraman suddenly shows up on a bicycle: breathless, he apologizes for not having been at the FYAL, as they had agreed, but his sound engineer, he explains, fell down the stairs into the basement last night at his daughter’s birthday party (who turned 25), and he had to be rushed to the hospital where he got 12 stitches on his foot. Serious wound.
Oh dear, says Filch.
Filch prepares his commercial display: 6 CDs and some maps and pins. As nobody is around, he starts to think about the enigmatic message someone left him yesterday in his mailbox. Here’s the riddle:
SPM 07 klingt wie S.P.Q.R.
Was ist der Unterschied
oder das Gemeinsame?
Filch broods over it but cannot think of an answer. Rome and Muenster?
He had also found a letter addressed to him. It was a little poem attributed to Michelangelo. A note attached to it explained that it was to be recited on 30 September. The poem goes like this:
Ich bin nicht tot,
ich wechsel nur die Räume,
ich leb'in Euch und
geh'durch Eure Träume.
But he is really not dead …yet. Now what he has to do is sell the CDs for 5 Euro each and, fortunately for him, he has a large audience today. He cannot take the time to answer all their questions, some of which are, in fact, quite indiscreet. One person, for instance, asks him about his relationship with Dora Garcia. He flatly denies having a relationship with her, nipping the evil in the bud. Why, Filch hardly ever sees her!
A woman comes to him and, exuding authority, says: "Are you number 6? What are you doing here? You should be there!” and she points to a spot on the street across from the Spiekerhof. "I am sorry, madam, I have no time now for you," Filch replies. And he is, indeed, much too busy to deal with this legalist (http://beta.thebeggarsopera.org/node/94). A man comes up and asks as he surveys the CDs and the trolley: "So, is this the sculpture?" "No, I am," says Filch. "But you're not, hum,” he consults the little guide for a second, “Dora Garcia, are you?" "No, I'm Charles Filch."
The number of visitors doesn't give him the time to elaborate on his answer. When things calm down, a man called Günther walks up to him and buys the first CD. And then three Greek girls buy 2 CDs and 1 pin. When the crowd has finally thinned out, Filch thinks of the words he read yesterday on the pavement next to a street artist who draws with chalk. They said:
Karl Valentin erkannte:
"Kunst ist schön –
macht aber viel Arbeit."
He believes he deserves a good coffee now, and a break. And he is sitting at the terrace of a bar on the Aegidiistrasse when a girl walks by and shouts, her voice full of recognition: "Ah, it’s you!" Filch is a bit confused. Does he know her? She explains she saw his photo at the infopoint (http://beta.thebeggarsopera.org/files/images/DSC00392_1.jpg). He invites her to sit with him. Her name is Corina. She tells him she has a bit of a hangover because yesterday she was celebrating her acceptance to the Music and Art School in Osnabrück. She’s a jazz singer, she says. They talk about theatre schools and the duration of theatre studies. (Filch has not forgotten about his acting skills and the letter to the Stadttheater!)
Corina tells him she has this idea, which is to cut people’s hair in public space. "I am also a hairdresser," she explains.
Now, this is interesting, like being inside Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.
With Witold the guard’s complicity, Filch has his hair cut for free at Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s sculpture. As she cuts, Corina sings: "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)." Yeah!
Filch just cannot stop singing that song. He walks up the Aegidiistraße singing it, and people smile at him.
At 6pm he has dinner with Alina. She takes him by car to her house, and they talk all evening long. After dinner, Alina wants to show him where she found The Thread, but when they get there, they discover that The Thread has not yet been re-installed! Filch is so disappointed! He now believes that only a final act can save The Thread. At night, he thinks of a plan …
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