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Hills Like White Elephants
Eingestellt am 04. 01. 2011 21:51

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Im folgenden handelt es sich um eine Geschichte von Hemingway die ich interpretiert und umgeschrieben habe. Nur der Dialogue zwischen den Figuren ist Original Hemingway.

The sun burnt heavy on the brown sand - a place without trees and flowers. I stared at the long white hills in front of us. They looked like three white elephants on a run through the desert and I tried to deviate myself from my headache and from the proximity of what I was about to do. I imagined the three white elephants being a family. They were so close, it felt as if I could touch them if I just was trying hard enough. There was a little white baby elephant. It was no real elephant, of course. I knew it, but nevertheless this imagination gave me a short pain in my stomach. I looked him right in the eyes and was back in reality. We were sitting at a table outside of a bar next to a train station waiting for an express train to Madrid. I turned my head around and saw the old and shabby furniture of the bar through the open door and him sitting in front of that door. He just sat there and did nothing. I asked him what we should drink and his only reply was to complain about the heat. He didn’t like the weather, he wasn’t simply used to that. But he liked beer for that I was sure, so we ordered two and waited in complete silence. I saw him staring at the waitress as if she was some piece of raw flesh, the way he looked at me once, not very long ago. I didn’t like it, so I turned my head away and went on with my elephants.
“They look like white elephants,” I said trying to cheer him up.
“I’ve never seen one,” he mumbled in a cold voice and drank his beer.
“No, you wouldn’t have”, was my reply. I couldn’t think of white elephants in a place so ordinary as Washington State, where he came from.
“I might have. Just because you say I wouldn’t have doesn’t prove anything”, his voice not only cold now but somehow filled with stress.
Was it my imagination or did he get angry? He always liked it when I said funny things like that. But now he didn’t. I switched the topic, because I wasn’t in the mood of stupid arguments because of nothing. We ordered new drinks; at least new to me.
“It tastes like licorice,” I said and put my glass down on the shabby-looking table.
“That’s the way with everything.”
“Yes,” I said. ”Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you’ve waited so long for, like absinthe.”
He turned his head to me, so he could see my face. His expression showed me what he was about to say, before he was actually saying it. “Oh, cut it out.”
I felt like a silly child beside him and I got angry, because I didn’t want to feel like a child “You started it,” I said, my voice being higher and louder as I wanted it to be, “I was being amused. I was having a fine time.”
“Well, let’s try and have a fine time,” he replied and turned his head away again.
I tried hard to talk to him, to get his attention, but his replies were all cold and short. I couldn’t figure out what it meant. Was it worry? Did he worry about me or didn’t he love me anymore? I wanted to know. I looked once again at my white elephants running through the desert.
“They’re lovely hills,” I started a new conversation, “They don’t really look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees.”
“Should we have another drink?”
His answer proved that he didn’t care. He didn’t even notice that there were no trees on this side of the hills. I didn’t feel like talking any more at all. Somehow I was afraid now; feeling uncomfortable. “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig. It’s not really an operation at all”, he suddenly said and his voice became soft again. To me it seemed as if this was what he wanted to say all the time, but didn't have the heart to do it. I looked down.
“ I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in.”
Now I recognized what had made him so cold and sparing of words. He was afraid that I wouldn’t do it and I was actually not sure anymore. I said nothing. But his words seemed to pop out from him.
“I’ll go with you and I’ll stay with you all the time. They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural.”, his voice sounded almost persuasive now, but somehow in a soft way.
“Then what will we do afterward?” I wanted to know and I hold my breath in excitement of the answer.
“We’ll be fine afterward. Just like we were before.” I had hoped for this answer, but it didn’t satisfy me.
“What makes you think so?” I asked.
“That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy.”
It wasn’t us. It was making him unhappy. I hesitated in my thoughts. Could I be happy when he wasn’t?
“And you think then we’ll be all right and happy.”
He nodded. “I know we will. You don’t have to be afraid. I’ve known lots of people that have done it,” he said it in his most charming voice, but it didn’t affect me. I got angry again.
“So have I, “ I said, my voice filled with unmistakable irony. “ And afterward they were all so happy.”
My heart ached, but he didn’t stop talking, didn’t stop trying to persuade me to think that it was oh so simple. I couldn’t think anymore. I wanted him to love me and everything just being as it had been before.
“And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me?”
“I love you now. You know I love you.”
I wanted so much that his words were true.
“I know. But I if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?”, my voice was almost a whisper, so full of pain that it almost cracked away.
He reassured me right away. To me it sounded like a begging. He wanted me so much to do it; to let the air in and vanish the product of our nights.
I told him that I would do it. I didn’t care about me and I didn’t care what it would do to my body. I stood up and walked to the end of the station, feeling tipsy. I saw a Spanish advertisement, but I didn’t understand what it said. I looked on the other side, away from the station there were fields of grain and beyond the river were mountains. It looked like perfect beauty and harmony.
“And we could have all this,” I said. “And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.”
“We can have everything.”
This was the moment when I realized that if he wanted to let the air in now, he will want it for ever. I stopped seeing our future together. It was over.
He went on.
“Can’t we maybe stop talking?”, I said in a harsh tone and glanced at the hills
I felt his stare at my face and heard his voice again. I didn’t want to hear his voice.
He told me that he would perfectly fine if I didn’t do it, but at the same time he said that it would make things better. I got no choice and this made me feel bad. I felt a pain in my body. Every word of him made it worse.
“Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?” I wanted him to stop right now. A moment of silence and than his voice again. “I’ll scream,” I said through my teeth as a threatening.
The waitress came and said something I couldn’t understand. “What did she say?” I asked.
“That the train is coming in five minutes.”
The train would arrive and it would be over soon. I smiled at her thankfully.
My smile felt like a mask.
“I’d better take the bags over to the other side of the station,” he said. I gave him a glance at my mask, too.
He picked up the two heavy bags and carried them away.
I drank another beer and waited for him. My face was still deformed to a smile.
“Do you feel fine,” he asked.
I felt nothing at all anymore. It was a strange numb feeling inside of me.
“I feel fine,” I said. “There’s nothing wrong with me I feel fine.”
I didn’t know why I repeated it. Maybe to make sure that he understood. Maybe to convince myself.

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