Herr Wendriner can’t get to sleep (Herr Wendriner kann nicht einschlafen)


“My God, why can’t that the woman keep still! Some women fall asleep in the position you lay them down, and then they sleep there! Will you keep still! You still won’t keep still if I switch the light off. But OK, I’ll switch it off.

… I can’t sleep. I don’t know what it is. It can’t be that glass of beer this evening, and I didn’t smoke today, either. I’ll have to speak to Friedmann about it. Sport, is what he always says! Get some exercise! We could play football with each other on the Kurfürstendamm… what a joke! I haven’t paid his last fees yet, either. Oh well, he can wait. Others have to wait, too. What was that joke he told me recently…? Oh, yes, ‚Say Aah!‘ Great joke, I’ll tell it to Welsch tomorrow, he pisses himself over a good joke… What‘s that light… the fire brigade? No, a car… There are good cars in Berlin these days. Just look around for cars like that in Paris, I always say. And London’s not much better. Why does it always itch there? Oh, God, I wanted to have a bath this evening, and I forgot… Oh, well, tomorrow. No, I’ve got no time tomorrow, either. Oh, well, tomorrow evening. It’s not as if I’m looking for a wife. 45.000 in two years, at 18%, makes… 18%! People are crazy… Now I know the word: amorphous. I couldn’t think of it all day. Amorphous, Lucie needed it for a crossword puzzle, and I was thinking about it all morning at work. It’s strange what goes through your head sometimes… Freutel was supposed to show me the balance sheet of Esmarch & Ehrmann, and he forgot again. I should have a notebook by my bed. I’ll get one tomorrow… My leg itches like mad. Is all that my belly? I’m getting fat. When I was with Greten, she used to tickle me in bed and say, ‚Hey, fatso?‘ Are you already asleep…? She sleeps all the time. Ah, well, we’re not children any more. Where is the water? I’ll have a drink of water. I nearly dropped the clock. What am I doing tomorrow evening? I’ve got to stay behind at work and clear up. Tuesday, Wednesday… the day after tomorrow we are going to Regierer‘s. Trude is coming with us. She wants to find out about that Persian rug – she’s going to get it cheap… Joe is a spoilt brat, I’ll tell his father when I see him. I don’t see why I should put up with it. On Friday, we’ve got tickets for the opera. Afterwards we’re in the Bristol. Saturday is the fashion show. She insisted that I go with her… I’m only going for the coffee… I ought to relax, but there’s no question of that, not before July… Maybe Bolzano. Everyone recommends Bolzano… My father always wanted to go there… He never made it… What’s that smell…? I told Hanni I don’t want that perfume here any more… Horrible perfume! If I didn’t feel sorry for Oskarn, I wouldn’t have bought anything off him. He’s never got anywhere in life anyway. You’ve got to get somewhere. I have… let me work it out: a hundred and thirty thousand in the business, four thousand here, then the twenty thousand from Benno, that’s as good as cash… Fritz says I should read the Magic Mountain. That’s easy for him to say. I don’t get time to read. I haven’t even read Wagner‘s memoirs, which I got for Christmas. I haven’t got time for anything. I think about death a lot recently. Nonsense! No, it’s true, I often think about death. I think it has something to do with my digestion. No, it has nothing to do with digestion. I’m getting older. How long have we been married…? Anyway, she has no material worries. I’ve seen to that at least, thank God. When I’m dead, they’ll realize what they’re missing. You don’t get any recognition when you’re alive, and afterwards it’s too late. They’ll cry later. Loads of people came to old Leppschitzer’s funeral. At least as many will come to mine… Now the maid-servant comes home! She could shut the door more quietly, as well… What does a girl like that do in the evening? Go to friends…? No, Emma has a boyfriend. She’s quite a pretty girl, really! It’s all in the right place… Keep still, will you? What do such people think about our sort? Do they moan about their employers when they get together in the evenings? When I was an apprentice there was none of that bolshevist stuff. We had to work… Ha, ha, ha. I remember how we stuck old Buchowetzki’s scissors to the bench… He pulled and pulled, and couldn’t pick them up. Ha, ha, ha! They’ll cry when I’m gone. Stresemann made a great speech recently at the economic conference, you can say what you like. The bromine doesn’t help any more, either. Perhaps I took it too early. What? Nothing. That was nothing. It was just a spring under the mattress…

It’s horrible when you can’t get to sleep. You are all on your own when you can’t get to sleep. I don’t like being on my own. I need people around me. Movement, family, work… When I’m on my own, there’s no one there. And then I’m really on my own. My back is itching. I recognize that. I’ll soon be off to sleep, now… Right then, good night.”

Author: Kurt Tucholsky

Published in:

TuchoWerkeRowo Tucholsky Works cropped-weltbc3bchne2.jpg Die Weltbühne Tucholsky Panter, Tiger & Co.  PantrTigerCo

TuchoWendriner2 Wendriner


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