Sunday 31st July 2016, 2:30pm
Getaway #18: Philip Matesic
Philip Matesic chose this Sunday’s getaway destination. He invited everyone to bring a towel and bathing suit. *)
– Philip loves accuracy. If the two of you have an appointment he is likely to call some days in advance, making sure that the appointment is still on your schedule, and you are still available and up to it (this causing actually a nice feeling, linked to a rather rare and detailed appreciation of time and commitment). Repetition does not have a tedious effect on him but rather seems to be energizing and strenghtening. He has become known for keeping long term projects running that everyone else would have given up long ago for very long terms. This is probably what you call a long breath. I feel it’s also a matter of what you call „Haltung“ in German. „Haltung“ means both body posture and attitude. It is per se straight. –
*) Mirjam Bayerdörfer invited Philip Matesic for the eighteenth Outside Sunday.
Frisch in Zürich
Philip was born in the USA in 1983. In 1984 Bruce Springsteen wrote his song.
When Philip arrived in Switzerland roughly ten years ago he was reading Max Frisch. Now he can tell it’s quite a poor translation, back then he couldn’t. So there is this story of Philip arriving at the Max Frisch Badi and being sent home again. Told to fetch his swim suit. He had only brought Max Frisch’s book and a notebook, convinced that he was going to a museum.
When we mastered our way around of the crowds of Bruce Springsteen fans flocking towards Letzigrund Stadion from all directions, it was already raining. Inside the Max Frisch Badi it was raining even harder. We were not equipped at all. We were not prepared to face a thunderstorm, like the boss’ fans apparently were.
We installed ourselves in the empty childrens’ pool. Holding up an umbrella, Philip started reading from the Max Frisch questionnaires. At this point there was water coming from all directions. Being in your swim suit this was an interesting sensation. Walking back, some hours later, in full clothing, the feeling wasn’t that stupefying anymore.
In the meantime we had jumped and dived. We had discussed if there existed friendship without competition. The guard had tried to introduce friendship between the two kids who had come separately. We had agreed we all had humorous thoughts when we’re alone.
We had not agreed if Frisch’s conception of women was machist. We had not listened to the questionnaire dealing with your home country, with birth, territory, and with being away, about belonging. Flipping through the questionnaires now while writing I found a note that Frisch was writing the „Heimat“ questionnaire during a stay in the USA, 1971. His number 10 question on that one is: Hätten Sie lieber einer anderen Nation (Kultur) angehört und welcher?
We topped the day off with three pieces of Schwedentorte at the Conditorei Bauer at Albisrieder Platz. It was all they had left. The howling crowds had swept through before us. Since they were well equipped they did not have to wait underneath a rooftop until the rain had gotten lighter.