The Beggar's diary 09.07.2007.- As he walks into the city, Filch comes across a brain on wheels surrounded by students. He stops them in the middle of the street. They ask him to move aside and he asks what they are doing. “I asked first”, says a young man, and Filch likes him immediately. He steps aside and learns that the students are protesting against “paying the school attendance fee” of 275 euro per quarter. They are protesting because poor people can’t pay 275 euro per quarter/semester—it used to be free. The poor now have to ask the bank for a loan to be able to pay the fee. Filch does a quick calculation and sees that students must pay 825 euro every year. That’s a fortune; he knows now he’ll never be able to study. Perhaps the schools want to dissuade people from studying, he thinks. But why scare only poor people? Rich people are surely not easily scared when it comes to money. He leaves it at this. He just can't understand it.
Filch hangs his picture up in the streets, so people can recognise him as The Beggar. A group of Dutch people ask him what he’s doing. He explains and promises to put them on the website for 2 euro. After this he wonders: "Am I still a beggar, or a shark? Well, I am an honest merchant: I sell stuff: internet stuff, cyberspace stuff ". Yes indeed, he sells virtual reality ...
It is raining hard in the city and people are constantly opening and closing their umbrellas. His is now broken. As he is hanging another picture up on a wall, only a child notices his presence, looking at the sign and at him. This reminds him of a movie he once saw in which only the children could see the ghosts. Is he a ghost now? He looks at two young people and takes a chance: would they want to pose in front of the sign? Yes, they would. He realizes he has to be more explicit and asks them to look closely at the picture he just put up. Only then do they recognize him. "It’s you!". "Yes, it’s me". Filch says he is a good listener and perhaps they’d like to tell him a story. Or give him some money, maybe an object. The young man says he can’t tell a story. Just like that. Filch promises to help.
F(ilch) Is it about a man or a woman?
F What is she wearing?
M Training suit.
F Where is she?
M At home watching TV.
F How long has she been at it?
M 8 hours.
F Is she alone?
M No, she has two children. Two boys: they are loud and they’re always fighting.
F Is she married?
M Yes, but her husband left her.
M He’s an alcoholic and she said he should quit. That’s why he left.
F Where is he now?
M He’s a beggar.
M But not you.
F Does this story have a happy end?
M He finds a beggar wife. But the story is about the woman and I don’t know what will happen to her. She won’t find another husband until the children leave the house, only then, perhaps …
While they’re making up their story, a man watches them while drawing fiercely. He is drawing Filch! He is flattered, more than when he has his picture taken. The artist drawing him says he finally caught up with The Beggar. He has drawn every sculpture and no. 06 was his last. Filch even poses for him (vanity!), and the man promises to send him, in return, a book with all the drawings. Filch accepts, but then he thinks: "But to which address??" (The book is to be published by Monsestein und Vannerdat, a Muenster based publisher).
Filch is now ready to sell Draussen magazines, but does not understand why certain shops do not allow “Obdachlosen” to sell the magazine in front of their shops. He wants to understand.
He takes 25 magazines from the Metropolis Kino, where the Draussen people work during SPM07, and asks the people there to show him where the black-listed shops are. The first two (e.g. kaffee Sieben) hardly notice his presence. Then Filch goes to Petzold (a clothing shop), and starts to experiment. First he tries selling by crying in a loud voice: “DRAUSSEN!” But people don’t buy and even lower their eyes as they pass. The clerks do not notice him (or pretend not to). Then he decides to adopt a humbler stance: feet together, knees bent, low voice and shy eyes. He sells 4 magazines and people dare to look at him. Even one of the clerks comes closer and says to her colleague “dort sind die Leute wieder”. But they leave him alone. Filch thinks he is too nice looking to be chased away. Then he goes to the big shopping mall, Saturn. He is immediately chased from this spot. A man, however, does come to his rescue and asks for the security guard’s name, which baffles him. The security guard explains there is a line that cannot be crossed. Filch finds out this is not just an expression, but a real line. Private property. Filch wants to know: if the man were not a security guard, if he was off duty, a private person, would he chase him away? He replies: "Of course not, I would let you be". Filch asks why, then, he won’t let him stay. “This is private property and as security guard, it is my job to forbid you to sell magazines here. Company policy.” Filch proceeds to the fifth shop, the LIDL. As he stands outside, at the entrance, dark clouds gather in the sky. The guard comes outside, looks at Filch and shakes his head while making the noise “tss tss tss”. Filch feels caught and then the guard looks up at the clouds and goes back in without saying anything. Again Filch wants to know. The security guard says it is only because of the coming rain that he is not chasing him away. Filch is grateful for his generosity...
He goes back to the Metropolis after selling 8 magazines in 4 hours. He thinks he’s not trained enough, because he earned only 10 euro (70 cent/magazine + extra generosity). He decides to give the money to the Draussen people, and they offer him a beer. He’s happy and talks about his day.
Add new comment »