AN INTRODUCTION TO HERBAL MEDICINE ©David Winston, Herbalist, AHG HERBS - PANACEA'S OR POISONS? Certain herbs have become popular over the last twenty years, but herbal medicine is stillpoorly understood by the public, medical practitioners and the media. After a brief honeymoon whereherbs have been portrayed as "wonder drugs", we are now seeing article after article on the da
Laurisgundars.lvSOMEONE IS WHISTLING FROM THE OCEAN
Someone is whistling in the ocean Inside an airplane cabin. Monotonous roar of propellers. Carmen and Willis are sitting in a double seat, she on the window side. In Willis lap is a large, white stuffed bear smiling broadly. Willis and Carmen are watching a movie – their eyes turned to the screen, headphones on their heads. They seem react to the film in the same way – once in a while bursting into laughter – the film is obviously a comedy. Further away, in unison with them, the other passengers are also laughing. Carmen is enthusiastically following what is happening on the screen, while Willis interest is slowly waning. Finally only the slightest of smiles occasionally plays at the corners of his mouth. As the film ends, they both take off their headphones. Vulgar, obscene, stupid, don’t you agree? It’s a film that isn’t even worthy to be called a film. But sometimes it’s precisely what is needed. You watch these idiots and you forget your own problems. Don’t you find it so? Therapy. No, I couldn’t watch it always. But sometimes it’s just the thing. I don’t like it when some poor fool is being beaten, but these idiotic films sometimes can even be recommended… Perhaps, it’s over the top. But it’s better if people laugh, isn’t that so? … You know, lately everyone has learned that: they have to laugh. Or just smile. Even when there is no reason to do so. It has a boomerang effect. I have recommended it to my patients, They have every imaginable type of illness – I don’t even know where to start. I tell them: Laugh more! Force yourself to smile! Yes, even when you want to cry! And – believe it or not – two of them vanished - not once have they come again to complain to me! …(laughs) No, they’re not dead! They’re working, living fully! It’s true! … I myself didn’t believe in it before. We are, after all, a little bit smarter than those Yankees, aren’t we? To smile whether it is appropriate or not is the mark of an idiot. But there is, there is something to it! Are you listening? D’you hear? Well, smile – listen to the doctor! Well!… Willis finally smiles, but more as a concession. (laughing) Don’t make a face! Smile for real! … Wider! But you are an ear, nose and throat specialist! You yourself said that it was so strange to return. If a person is flying over the ocean for the first time – of course. Another world… Someone is whistling in the ocean Do you think your brother has no problems. It only looks like that from a distance – lovely: a factory, three hundred workers, good profits and besides that, eternal summer. I have no right to interfere in your private life! What can we do if we’ve never had the same opportunities? That’s how it is and to mope about it is ridiculous! We have our life, they have theirs. Believe me – I understand very well. You’re fifty and suddenly you notice how other people are living. But you unfortunately have already lived for fifty years. Not approaching fifty! At forty-two I’m not approaching fifty! I didn’t want to offend you! But believe me – you’re not the only one! That’s all I wanted to say. This is not a judgment, that’s simply how it is and that’s all. And it’s better to know the diagnosis, not to torment oneself and to growl at the whole world. Someone is whistling in the ocean I’m not really talking specifically about you. I’m talking generally. That’s how it is. Smile! Let’s smile! You so enthusiastically told me about your Karl. I already knew it all, when I flew to America. But we never can imagine how it is in reality, until we, ourselves have felt it. No, my case is totally different! I didn’t need anything from Karl. And I don’t need anything from my brother either! He marveled at what I had been able to do. He couldn’t even envisage it – a profit-making company in one year’s time! My suitcase, by the way, is not full of castaway clothes from my rich American relatives! (referring to the bear) And this is a gift. For my daughter. I can buy five like this at home. Ten of these. But this is a gift. Stupid. But a gift. Excuse me. Enough is enough. Let’s not continue. After all, we have nothing to divide! I simply saw that you …don’t smile. Were you thinking of something? You, on the other hand, smile much too much. Excuse me. Let’s make peace. Smile? Together. Willis does so stiffly. A moment of silence. Willis drinks a whisky from one of the small flight bottles. Carmen looks out the window. Only the ocean, just water … If you didn’t know that it was water, it would seem like a large silver bathtub – the sun is shining, so Someone is whistling in the ocean beautifully… Can you imagine that we are at a height of eleven kilometers? Look! … seems even to be turning away from the window. Listen, are you serious – about that life-vest? The shorter of the belts has to be pulled up between your legs, the long ones have to be tied up in front – it was already explained to us. Are you afraid of heights? How about you? You’re not? Will you put on that vest. Just be aware that it’s not a parachute. We are travelling on a boat? Does that not seem odd to you? They think we are idiots, excuse me! And we agree to it. One belt between the legs, two to be tied in front! And from a height of eleven kilometers! What’s so funny in that?! Then it’s fate! Stepping into this, we seem to have all agreed to this. And announce out loud: We’re crashing! That’s fate! And everyone will smile in unison: We have agreed to this, haven’t we? Yes? Is that how it will be? But what if we haven’t been shattered into molecules against the water surface, then we will with heart and soul resist our fate – with a belt between our legs! And with a whistle between our teeth! Someone is whistling in the ocean You were shown this, weren’t you – there is a whistle sewn to the vest! So you can whistle! When you swim in that “silver bathtub”. So that sharks will be afraid! No, not really – in order to indicate where we are! And to save us. What if we all whistled together, maybe… And what if you remain alone? That does happen – we may be scattered over all the great ocean. Well, imagine it! Now whistle! Louder! Look down there! See, there’s someone swimming there. And he’s whistling. Willis falls silent. And has another drink of his whisky. Also Carmen stops laughing. A moment of silence. Is it worth it to get so excited. About yourself. All of us have to die sometime. Chin up! Willis suddenly gets up, and sits the large bear in his seat. Did I offend you again? I understand very well – there are people who are afraid of heights, but I… But Willis walks away down the aisle, not responding to After looking for a moment through the window, Carmen takes up an airline magazine, and, looking preoccupied, flips through it. Not having looked through it to the end, Carmen puts the magazine away again. A new movie has started – Carmen takes up the headphones again and after a moment is laughing again. Though less sincerely than before. Her attention to the screen is totally diverted by a young woman who has appeared in the aisle – she is wearing a white dress with black dots, her hair arranged in an effective, though severe bun, and her eyes have been made up specially, although not too excessively. As the women glance at each other, Carmen unintentionally smiles at the stranger – for politeness sake. Having gone past Carmen’s row of seats, the woman stops. Hesitating only for a moment, she leans against the edge of Willis’ seat and waits. Carmen has lost all interest in the film – glancing back at the stranger, she is surprised to see the woman right beside her. They both smile at each other again. But after a Someone is whistling in the ocean moment Carmen is already taking the bear in her lap, thus freeing up the chair next to her. Carmen does not realize that she is screaming – the headphones are still covering her ears. The stranger laughs. Sitzen bitte! Bitte sit! …Okay, okay! … And the stranger does sit down beside Carmen. CARMEN Toilet lamp …krik – krak! … Finally the stranger puts a finger to her lips and gestures at Carmen’s headphones. Now both laugh and Carmen takes off the head phones. …Deutch …Francais ?… I am… She twirls her finger at her temple. They both laugh. Sit, sit, sit! … Toilet lamp! … For a moment, both are silent. Then Carmen points at the stranger’s dress, and in complimenting it, makes a thumbs up gesture. Good, very good! I love! …Liebe ich! …Good, good! … Carmen with gestures attempts to explain herself, but she fails – they both laugh again. Me too …(stops short, laughs) Good, good sit bitte! …And you let me make a fool of myself! That’s right – you couldn’t have known! Also from America? Of course – you didn’t get on en route! We thought – we were the only two in the entire plane! Are you sitting up front? Yes, the light in the WC has burnt out – so you don’t know when it’s occupied: several people have already been waiting in line! Things also get broken for the Yankees! He is not my husband – simply we asked to change seats so we could sit beside each other: we’re from the same place. They seated us, of course, close to the toilet! (laughs, referring to the bear) No, this is not my husband! I really do look strange? A man is sitting beside me. He has gone to the WC probably. A very witty person. Have you ever imagined that on planes there are life vests – like on a Someone is whistling in the ocean boat! But on boats probably there are parachutes?! I also would never have thought that. Nobody would have thought it – I can bet! Do you know why I invited you to sit down? Your dress. Yes! Because of your dress …D’you hear me? For the briefest of moments Carmen suddenly pushes her face into the large, smiling bear’s head – her verbal outburst all of a sudden breaks off. However, shortly she is smiling again. Excuse me. I was a different person then … I had exactly the same dress once. Literally. Fashion returns. Already for the third time. That was my mother’s dress. Afterward it belonged to me. I don’t even know where it is. It suits you. May I touch it … No, no it isn’t sentimental! Simply odd – another time, another space and … you suddenly see yourself. Of course, it’s sentimental, of course it is. When you see your own again. For two months you have been surrounded (referring to the other passengers) only by these people. Strangers. I can’t get used to it, that’s all. Sure – learn the language – they say. But language is not the key, is it?! Let’s for a moment assume that I know the language. They’re different. Look at him, he’s smiling. Have you ever seen a normal person there? Even right here! Well one who you can see is capable of having a stomach ache, for example! Do you understand! Everything is fine with everyone! Absurd. No, I’m fine too, but should one always smile because of it? Fine, let them smile. But I know nothing about them. People of the supposedly free world! What is that? No, I understand, but what is it? Do you understand it? You were probably with your relatives, isn’t that so? I never did understand it! … I really wanted to! … I wanted to, honest … I knew this person long ago, when I was young. When I used to wear this dress. You have nice make-up… But now he is a “ man who is free” I am not convinced that what he will say next I’ll be able to understand. Well, do you understand. You have experienced this, haven’t you? I’ve heard it from many people. No, I am not saying that they are worse and that we are better. But something essential is missing in them, don’t you agree? Because, they have everything, nothing is off limits. That’s how I understand it. Man no longer has any need to think for himself. We, on the other hand, were forced to struggle every desperate moment. Had to think on our feet. Don’t you agree? He simply lives. This seemed to me so obvious. For two months I observed them… I did have to see it. Otherwise, there was no other great need… Someone is whistling in the ocean No, we did do a side trip now and then. Karl has a nice car. Green. I already said … The country was beautiful. You also were in Chicago? We couldn’t have met in a plane to New York – I already came three days ago. Saw that crazy city. The films show it as it is. (laughs) Are you questioning me? (referring to the dress) Did you sew it yourself? I inherited mine from my dear mother. I already said that, didn’t I. It’s a classical style – exactly the same collar. It was a favorite dress of mine. One likes that land of the free, another doesn’t. Well, excuse me. We all see things differently. I’m not so modern, and nothing can be done about it. I question everything, yes. And if I see things Someone is whistling in the ocean differently than you that does not mean that I haven’t been in America. (laughs) Excuse me, but we are flying from New York! I also haven’t boarded en route. The plane is flying from New York, of course. But you are saying it as if … (suddenly laughs) Forgive me, I didn’t sleep well last night. This time zone change – everything’s a muddle. Excuse me … the WC has been freed up. I am holding you up! It was a pleasure to meet you! Why are you smiling? When Carmen leans forward to say something more, there is no one in the aisle of the plane. The same place. Willis is again sitting in his seat, but the big bear is still in Carmen’s lap. Willis is looking at a densely printed page. See, what did I tell you?! Look, here it is! I’ll translate it: (reads) The design is intended for a person who is to be saved to be no taller than a meter and forty centimeters…! Did you hear someone say that to anyone? No! Neither a child nor a teenager can use it. Not even a short woman. Only if someone lies on top of their life vest. And has the belt between their teeth. (laughs) But who will whistle in their place? And further along, it says here: (reads) In case of doubt, trial use of the equipment is recommended. Why didn’t she want to give me this piece of paper. In the beginning, she didn’t understand what it was that I wanted! No, didn’t understand, and that’s all! But I know what to ask – it’s my profession, after all! Finally she looked and looked! And then, with a broad smile, gave it to me – I’d like to strangle her! See, she’s still looking at me from the corner of her eye! Thinks this is an inspection! See? … You’re feeling sick? The bag? … Someone is whistling in the ocean He hurriedly takes away his bear from Carmen. bitte sitte, she, it turns out, understands. She also was visiting Did you tell her? Did she also not feel slightly ill – eleven kilometers above ground without a parachute! And with just a little whistle in the ocean! I have heard – all kinds of accidents happen in factories, on construction. No-one worries about them. I don’t work in industry. Also I don’t have anything to do with sports. Private individuals, only private individuals. Tell me, who wants to be hurt? Who doesn’t want to see tomorrow? Everyone wants to live. Also the one who screams: I want to hang myself! You know, that one, in fact, is the best client. He even is afraid to climb up on a footstool! My partner left when I recommended we manufacture slippers with sandpaper soles. Or some material similar to it. He didn’t say that I was an idiot. He said we should build houses instead. That people need them. He was vehement! With those slippers I bought my first house… You will never slip anywhere – I guarantee it. You have to look where you put your foot. I’ll bet you’ll buy them when you get home. Someone is whistling in the ocean The thought won’t give you peace! And after a week you’ll conclude – it’s much safer like that! Phone me – I’ll sell them to you at a discount. Right now our factory is working in two shifts. Safety belts, soft insoles, sun glass visors, nose guards. Only to private individuals, only for a normal, safe life. Of course – people aren’t … aren’t like that! They’re not. No, they’re not. You see, even eleven kilometers above ground we don’t notice that we don’t have parachutes. I’m going to start manufacturing them. A portable model Do you even know how many planes there are in this world! I have never yet manufactured anything for the international market. There’s enough to do at home. People are like that. As if they were dying of thirst. For safety. But they themselves pound on their chest and say they fear nothing. That’s life! They buy in secret. My brother also said: That can’t be! …And became preoccupied with it. I only told you, excuse me. You have to ask yourself. Someone is whistling in the ocean Excuse me. The change of time zones … Do you have something for that? Even Carmen sees that her joke has misfired. I have a request. Don’t tell anyone else about the parachutes. I mean, that there are none here. When we get home, I’ll compensate you, so to speak! Right now it is a business secret! … Where is that woman whom you told? Old. Approaching fifty. Small, over weight. In a blue dress. Glasses. Can’t pronounce r properly. He places the smiling bear in Carmen’s lap and walks down the aisle. Same place. The stranger in the polka dot dress is again sitting beside Carmen. …Imagine the situation – a man asks you to sit in a rocket and fly close to the stars or – to be more precise – God knows where, but another man has prepared a beautiful, romantic table for you with candles, wine and – what do you like very much? – let’s say, rum ice cream. Music is playing. In a situation like this, what do you do? And both of them are handsome and intelligent of course. Tell me, honestly. I am particularly interested in what your thoughts are. I’m already old, of course – I only see young people on the street. Should I approach them and ask? You already find the question odd, don’t you? What does that old woman want? (laughs) I myself don’t understand. Suddenly I think – But what are the young of like today? Those with whom we live together? That’s why I looked for you. I thought – I’ll arrive back home and I’ll not have used this opportunity. We still have five hours of flight. Tell me if I’m bothering you? Someone is whistling in the ocean Yes, yes, yes – I can see: you think the same as me! That I am an old woman! But age has no meaning. No, I mean – it does have meaning. And at the same time – no meaning. A person is the same inside…(laughs) Oh, I mixed it up! The little old woman got mixed up! Someone offered you a rocket? As I understood – conditionally. My boys are reaching that idiotic age. I have two old men - aged twelve and fifteen. An old mother, right? And then I simply think: I really don’t know what the young think! What will I answer, if they ask? That’s why I wanted to gossip a little. CARMEN (laughs) No, of course not! Yes, it’s true – I am a fool! How terrible! It’s clear, of course – it’s totally different for women than men! You see – age means something after all! I am blabbering like an old fool, like some sort of granny. When I was young I was totally different! I had just such a little dress. I also had a light blue bathing suit – it really suited me. Light blue would also suit you. Am I right? I don’t wish anyone to live to my age! If you were as old as I was you would certainly see why! Someone is whistling in the ocean CARMEN (laughs) My dear! Of course, it has! A young person can’t understand that! You’re not even thinking about age yet. When did you start? Thinking of it. That you are old. I don’t want to think of it. Or talk about it. Women can afford not to! No! I asked in theory – What do you think, you, young? People lived totally differently in our generation. Then no one could even offer such a rocket! He was crazy! Totally crazy! Once he jumped across the street – from roof to roof! The street wasn’t wide of course, but it was the fifth floor. He had to show me! I didn’t ask him, I even forbade him to do it! But no! Crazy, no?! Without a parachute from eleven kilometers above ground. No, one can judge from one person what an era is like, our era! And when you’re old youth always seems such a beautiful, rosy time! ‘Twill never come again! …That’s stupid. It certainly would be insane, if youth were to return! You have such a hard time, don’t you! When you become older, smarter, when you calm down, understand, then also … well, then you also become … then we become human finally… Why? What’s everything? I’ve never had to destroy anything! Nothing. And never. You, the young, have a totally erronous idea of who we are. You all are old! – and that’s all, you can say. Someone is whistling in the ocean But it’s not so! . No, it is, but … Why can’t we just talk normally? What is this?! I’m just blabbering and blabbering! I’m the one asking the questions and I myself am the one who is not letting you answer! Please! And time is running out, flying! Please! You have to choose the rocket. Karl not Mick. I haven’t said that! … That can’t even be said! … When? I haven’t told this to anyone. No-one. You don’t talk about such things You see?! See?! I’m going mad! Time zones?! Did I really tell you? Forget it! I must have been talking in my sleep. Stop it! What rocket? I don’t regret anything in life! Nothing! Forget it! I don’t want to change anything! And I don’t recommend it to you either. You still are too young! She puts the smiling bear in the stranger’s lap. Someone is whistling in the ocean To the dance hall! You told me about it! This is a two level airplane – with a dance hall and a restaurant. I have never in my life lost my joie de vivre! Will you join me? I heard it – they were playing music there! … The stranger gets up to go, but unexpectedly Carmen takes away the bear from the stranger and presses her face in its fur. She says something but it’s not decipherable. It is possible that she is screaming. After a while, Carmen falls silent, and seemingly falls asleep. After still standing for a while, the stranger departs. I really told you about Karl? Did I really?! … The same place. Willis has returned, and is drinking the last drops from the small whisky bottle. Carmen is staring out the window. Someone is whistling in the ocean There were five ladies wearing blue dresses there. I didn’t look at their glasses – a person can take them off. Small, overweight, you said. When a person is sitting, everyone seems overweight and small. About fiftyish – a very difficult descriptive. Especially for women. I walked back and forth, smiling stupidly, thinking: Which one of them mispronounces “r”? … Krrristine. I feel like a total idiot! I went up to the first one: Good day, Kristine! She gives me a smiles, even more idiotic than mine. Fine. Also a second, a third and a fourth. In addition, two also didn’t pronounce “r” properly! French women. The fifth one was sleeping …Then she excused herself. Also with a smile. But I understood. Her old man. Eyes bloodshot, but smiling. Jealous … Perhaps the real Krrristine has something wrong with her kidneys? Once more in the WC? Did she pass by here? Not answering, Carmen very forcefully puts the joyful bear in Willis lap. WILLIS (about the bear) Wet! … With what? Water? Were drinks brought Why should I have to nurse your monkey?! Kristine probably has jumped out. With the pilot’s parachute. And a life vest. Well, why doesn’t that surprise you? Ask me! Please! So she can the sooner and the better inform everyone about your idea, in order to steal it! Millions, billions of parachutes! That’s no laughing matter! Repulsive. What you do! You make money from people’s fear! From our insecurities. On ignorance. From …everything but everything. For you it’s only a source of profit! My business! Someone is whistling in the ocean Money, money, money! You swim in our fear! … Yes! And don’t hide your eyes! No one else has said this to you, have they? We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, we can slip – please, have some slippers! With caterpillar treads. Yes, we are afraid! … As quickly as she has begun, Carmen stops. She again stares out the window. A long silence. WILLIS (quietly) Ask me – how I thought of it. That it could be a business. How? Carmen doesn’t answer. It’s also not clear if she is even listening to Willis. It can’t be thought up otherwise … Do you understand? … I myself … You wouldn’t even think of parachutes. I thought of it … Why? … Am I a hero? … (pause). Not worthy to be a man, to say it as it is. A real man. I never have known … in all my forty years … And more, even more insane. Freedom… Carmen turns several times toward Willis, in order to say something, but doesn' t say it. They should bring the drinks again! They told me, that they bring them three times! I don’t even know what her name is. She isn’t Kristine. She isn’t even old. A young, beautiful girl. In a white dress with black polka dots. Excuse me …Do you have something to calm the nerves? I’ve used all of mine. (laughs) So I won’t be such a fool anymore! It’s the simplest bodily cause and effect – I’m a doctor: I should know. You anaesthetize what is irritated. And we again become bearable. I will go and ask for something myself. After all, they did have to bring them around again. I bought some over there, but for out organisms they are too weak. I can give them to you. Someone is whistling in the ocean Dance here. Above? I probably won’t be able to… If you meet her, ask her, how is she getting home after Helsinki. Perhaps we can go together. Kristine, the one who really isn’t Krrrristine. In the white dress with the polka dots – You’ll notice her right away. And afterwards, tell me, if she perhaps isn’t an actress or a beauty queen – I keep thinking that I have seen her somewhere. I won’t go any more. Of course, I exaggerated about those parachutes. If you meet her, tell her that I would gladly have a little chat with her again, won’t you? Willis goes away. The smile stays on Carmen’s face. She takes Willis’ bear and tenderly embraces it. Someone is whistling in the ocean The same place. The stranger in the white dress with polka dots is again sitting beside Carmen. He has spoiled me all my life – I’m to be envied. And I am envied. Can you imagine, he doesn’t even have a rotten character! He’s like an angel in company, but at home when we are alone, he is a stupid old man in dirty socks in front of the TV with a newspaper glued to his face. No! I myself can sit in front of the TV as much as I want. He has been, it seems to me, even ready to breast feed in my place. And, you know, what else – a man like that you probably wouldn’t meet anywhere else in the world – take my word for it. He was upset that our second child was also a boy! No, he loves Junior as much as Cricket, of course, but he thinks that women are better than guys. Why don’t you say anything? You are surprised at this! I know it’s hard to believe! Tell me that I’m fantasizing, recounting fairy tales! I would say that, if Mick was not my own husband. When you will be my age you will remember what I told you today and you won’t believe it! Mark my words! This kind of fortune is a rare thing. Besides, I can spend all of my wages on myself – he pays for everything else. And for our wedding anniversaries we… (interrupts) You haven’t told this to anyone!? You wanted to tell me what you hadn’t ever told to anyone. In reality it means nothing. If one thinks about it. (laughs) I’m a little idiot, I guess. (after a pause) I dislike, very much dislike when children, when they talk to grown ups, forget that they are children. Excuse me, but after all I am conservative. Is it accepted in America? You yourself wanted to talk with me. To have a little chat. Someone is whistling in the ocean (laughs) You didn’t listen what I was telling you?! My dear girl! I need it? Me? I have everything but everything in life! Why then have you used up all your pills? (laughs) When you will be as old as I am, child… Once it seemed like that to me too. You’ll get over it! Do you want me to explain why after being happy all your life, being so happy it’s to be envied, you haven’t been able to forget Karl. Only when you’re a child everything seems explainable, my dear girl! And perhaps nothing needs to be explained, have you thought of that? Fine. That’s all. Thanks. It was a pleasure meeting you. Really! To remember my youth, perhaps. Which, in reality, is stupid. None of us can live either in a yesterday or in a tomorrow. There is only today. And for me it’s good, beautiful, lovely. To be envied. If you wish I can also be trite? Young people usually can’t stand us for it. I’ll say it. Because it is the truth. And every truth put in words sound trite. Please. I have not lived my life in vain! … Is your funeral planned for tomorrow? Is everything over? You are a lovely girl. I wouldn’t want to think badly of you. Go and sit in your own little place. Soon my neighbour will come back. A very pleasant young man. Someone is whistling in the ocean Enoughl. You’re excused. D’you hear? Be happy for me. Don’t envy me. But try to be like me. I wouldn’t want to. I would want to meet people whom I’m going to see, want to be unafraid, not to run away from …anything, I don’t want to be afraid even to think… (laughs) How much have you drunk? Also vodka? No you probably only drink whisky. Jim Beam… She gets up to go away, but Carmen at the last moment manages to grab the stranger’s hand. CARMEN (whispers) I couldn’t do it to Mick. He didn’t know how it was really, you do understand. He thinks that Karl is only an acquaintance. I would be a real pig … You saw when I changed my ticket, is that it? I didn’t see you, but… (interrupts) These men spoil our life, don’t they?! (laughs) Yes! They are … fragile beings. To be protected… You know very well that it doesn’t have anything to do with men! A moment of silence. Then Carmen lets go of the stranger’s hand. You have misunderstood everything. I was in America, my dear girl, I was. The stranger has left. In her place Willis has appeared in the aisle with a tray on which there are at least ten small bottles and two glasses with ice. Someone is whistling in the ocean CARMEN (in a loud voice) I was in America! I was! In America!!!… Willis is frozen to the spot by Carmen’s screaming. WILLIS (whispers) Of course, all of us …were in America, all… Then smile! (referring to the bear) Smile like this – a wide smile! The same place. Willis is again in his seat and the bear again is on his lap. Carmen has the tray with the vodka and the glasses. Many of the small bottles are already empty. … They took me by force. I couldn’t escape them. I didn’t want to. When three big men attack you, it’s all over. Also a fourth one helped. The smallest were the worst. Will you have some?… Not waiting for Willis’ response, Carmen empties her glass in one fast You take some too, otherwise it’ll make me sick! I’m not supposed to. Afterwards, a person becomes … stupid. Does what they don’t want to do… They forced me finally. Karl sent the ticket, Mick packed my bag. Cricket and Junior in unison said: Mom, you have to see the world! …If we had just looked around at the world where we live ourselves. After all we live in such a beautiful little country, isn’t that so? I’m not sentimental. That is an objective statement. It is something truly special. What more do we need, don’t you agree?… Carmen without realizing it also empties Willis’ glass, but he doesn’t object. We don’t love our country only because it’s ours, because we know it, don’t you agree? … Well, I left. Karl a long time ago left for America. When I was still very young. He was such a crazy guy, totally mad. He could have been shot. But he didn’t get shot, he was lucky. Really, he lacked nothing. And does he have something more now? As one can see from the photographs – the same sort of life as the rest of us. Someone is whistling in the ocean I did! Exactly where he was … I tell you, from the photographs you can tell that we don’t differ in any way. We even have a newer car. Also green. Don’t you agree? He takes advantage of the moment to reach for one of the little bottles in Carmen’s lap and drinks directly from the bottle. Karl also invited Mick to come, but who would have looked after the boys then. School, you know. Cricket swims, Junior dances. How old is your little girl? Tell me truthfully – could we give something like this? You, yourself? Lovely. And they didn’t have all their marbles? Simpletons. You see – that’s how a person changes when they have everything and are allowed everything. Evolution. Degenerative evolution. A society of smiling simpletons … No, forgive me: I’m not talking about your brother. I’m talking in general. You do understand? … They clink their small bottles – now both are drinking directly from the bottles. I’m not getting high at all! How about you? Absolutely not at all. Because we’re at such a high altitude. He manages to exchange the bear for the tray. Someone is whistling in the ocean I’ll also invite Kristine, who really isn’t Krrristine… There is no need any more … we had our little chat. No. No need. She is a shallow human being. Youth. Another generation, a different life. Don’t you also feel sorry for them? Will you eat something? I’ll bring it. (laughs) It won’t hurt you! And you won’t have to kiss this old woman either! WILLIS (laughs) Fine, I promise. You’ll dance with me, won’t you? Here in the plane. But if you suddenly should find it! All right? You promise! Carmen pushes Willis’ bear in a corner of the seat – to serve as a pillow. She gets ready to sleep. The same place. The stranger has sat down again in Willis’ place. Carmen, however, is still sleeping. Someone is whistling in the ocean … You weren’t even able to manufacture minimally believable lies! No, it’s not possible, is it? When something so essential happens, it’s not possible to lie any more. Yes, yes, essential! To you, yourself! You yourself! And not to poor Mick! I know you’re not sleeping, you can hear me all right! … It does not appear, however, that Carmen can hear the stranger. Mick will have rushed to Helsinki to meet you – Karl will have phoned him of course, to say that you had not been with the arrivals at the airport. It was probably easy for him to find out that you are sitting here, flying back. You really think that you can disappear? You’d want to, I’m sure! … Without saying a word, you have admitted to Karl that he is the great love of your life! Carmen suddenly opens her eyes, and sits up. That’s not so! It’s absolute nonsense! You yourself said this discussion is not about men! Well then, decide what you want to talk about! I’m sleeping! And in fact Carmen again settles in with the bear and closes her eyes tightly. You want it, and really is your very last moment to choose. The last moment of your life, in your one and only life. Wake up! Do you want this! Then do it! You have only one life to live. Neither Karl nor Mick is living your life – they can’t answer for you. We are not talking about men or about anything else – we are talking about you. Only you can do this… (interrupts) Then fine! Then I will do it! Myself! Leave me alone!!! … Someone is whistling in the ocean Are you immortal? You’re living as if you were immortal! … You won’t be able to do it again. If not now …Fine. You don’t need to. Really, there is no need… In Helsinki Mick will be eagerly awaiting you. . You’ll be able to lie yourself out of it. More precisely, he – for the sake of peace – will pretend that he believes you. Those Americans are stupid! I’m giving you advice. What will be believed. And not only by him. It’s true – What is there to see?! But here, yes! Yes, tell it that way! You certainly can. You know everything that will happen five years ahead. Everything! To the last detail. Also departures from the normal, hopefully, will not surprise you. If Cricket will have a stupid wife, you’ll also be ready for such a scenario. It’s also quite clear, what will happen ten years, fifteen years from now. That’s to be envied! Mick will maybe have a stroke. But that’s how it is in life, isn’t it? He was already complaining two weeks ago… And then, death. Your death. What is the program that you will organize for that? Grandchildren crying at the foot of your bed? … Suddenly Carmen opens her eyes and sits up. She is unnaturally, even threateningly calm. Looking for a moment at the stranger, she suddenly embraces her. There is a long silence. The stranger caresses Carmen’s hair, as if she were consoling a small child. STRANGER (whispers) Fear, fear, fear – everyone is afraid … Are you afraid of happiness? Great happiness? No. And if it happens, beyond that boundary. Which you only need to cross. Of course it isn’t the American boundary, nor Karl’s limit. Of course. You yourself also know that. Just admit it to yourself. If you had gone with Karl - just think of it, where would you be today. Not in his old, green wreck of a car. Do you think someone will hit you behind some corner, some stranger? Why are you so convinced? And even if he does hit you? It’ll hurt. Well, what does that mean, dear doctor? Well, if you hurt. If you still hurt. You’re not dead. Of course. You’re still alive. You’re still living your one and only, mortal life, that of the smallest of bugs. Which no one else has been able to duplicate. Not better, not more insanely. Not with more variety, not more joyfully, not more intoxicating! … Live for today. Only for today. For now! … The stranger is preoccupied with her own thoughts, smiling, laughing. Carmen kisses her. Then gets up. She appears to have cried, but now again she is smiling. Where it’s crazier, more joyful, more gay, and much louder! … Someone is whistling in the ocean They both laugh. Carmen has gone into the aisle. Will you order the pilot to turn around? Threaten him with scissors! (about her face) Youth passes! (referring to the WC) It’s free… As soon as Carmen has left, Willis has arrived from the other end of the aisle. The stranger is sitting at the window together with the bear the same as Carmen was sitting before. Willis in confusion is standing a few steps away. The stranger is laughing. What has happened? Did we crash? Without parachutes from eleven kilometers above ground? … Do I really look so awful? Go on, you can say it! The dress? Are you feeling ill? The bag? … WILLIS (laughs) May I compliment you? STRANGER Don’t ever, ever judge a woman’s age! Please – a different dress makes a different woman! I have the feeling that you will say in a minute that you’re not you, that you’re Kristine, who really is not Krrristine. I swear to God! How old are you really? No, no, no, please forgive me – I didn’t ask that! That’s a beautiful dress. When did you change? It suits you. So bright … You know, it seems to me, even your eye-color has changed! Reflecting the color of the dress. (laughs) No, I think I’ve fallen in love with you! Let’s get married! Willis is embarrassed, and they both laugh because of it. Someone is whistling in the ocean Do something! Put on your caterpillar-tread slippers, put on knee and nose guards, eyeglass visors, and jump! Yes, before you do anything, you can also strap on a parachute! Only jump! A moment of silence. Embarrassment and confusion have robbed Willis of the ability to speak. The stranger’s loud laughter makes him even more miserable. You like me, don’t you – you said so yourself – you’ve fallen in love with me. Do what needs to be done with me! Well! So then – you don’t like me, you aren’t in love? The stranger suddenly kisses Willis herself. She has become serious. That’s it. The opportunity has been missed. Only moments, seconds … Nothing will change in your life, nothing. And if you had become involved with me? Only a little … Imagine! Play it out in your head! (laughs) It’s too crazy, isn’t it? Horrific! A catastrophe, isn’t it?! That’s why should never, ever joke like that – that you have fallen in love! Forget it! You are not a man. Not even a woman. You are… What are you? …The owner of a factory manufacturing nose guards… (being practical) A very worried man will be waiting at the passenger exit in Helsinki. He’s over fifty but he looks older. He will be waiting anxiously for someone who will not arrive. You should approach him – it’s Mick. Say that his wife will never return. This time for sure. Everything is fine with her health – she even looks younger than before. Deliver greetings for Cricket and Someone is whistling in the ocean Junior. Say that she has finally decided to live her own life, To be as true to herself as she can possibly be. Not put on the brakes at every step or debate. And not apologize after every word. Not be afraid to get drunk - so she won’t accidentally forget. Do you hear what I’m saying? Do you want me to write it down on a piece of paper? Will you remember just the same? Tell him this - word for word! She is not going to her previous lover but … No, say that she is going to meet her love. Otherwise he won’t understand. You can’t think of anything else, can you. To meet her lover, of course. And that’s all … Are you even listening to what I’m saying? (whispering) Well. Now, maybe just one kiss?… A smile frozen on his face, Willis has already gotten up and is backing away into the aisle. Tell him that his wife transferred en route to a rocket! Yes, tell him that. And Carmen is returning from the other end of the aisle – smiling calmly she sits down beside the stranger. Did you not find it easier to breathe? Didn’t you?! (about the passengers in the cabin) Look, just look! Nobody knows what is happening inside you. No one! A new world is being created here! Right here, in you. Someone will probably ask sometime: Why are you smiling so idiotically? …They suspect that you’re thinking something bad. About them. But why would you even be thinking about them? You are thinking about yourself. You have broken out of this constraining box. And you are the only one who knows that. They don’t see them: they’re blind. Because they never ever have had the opportunity to do so. They have waited all their life - for this opportunity. Bu you alone have taken it, taken it yourself! … Now, you yourself don’t know what to say, isn’t that right? Or if you should say anything at all. Yes, that’s how it happens. (laughs) And then your father always was convinced that I had again become involved with someone else. This is the only thing they understand. Scandals, snot and tears. A child! The child will have his own life! And do they even have to be conceived? Has it been the same for you? … They never, ever heard what I said. What I thought. They only heard what they Someone is whistling in the ocean wanted to hear - what had to be … No I don’t blame them. It’s the time. But … if I wasn’t alone … if … The stranger suddenly quickly brushes away an involuntary tear. She flashes a wide and bright smile at Carmen. STRANGER I have already figured out everything! You’ll phone Karl from the first telephone you can get to – you need to get his credit card number: then you’ll get a new ticket. Your visa is still valid: after all you didn’t leave the passport control area. You’re going to wrong Mick, if you explain anything. It has to hurt, hurt really badly, in order for them to understand what really is happening to you. And what if you also knock him out of his orbit? It would be a blessing for Mick. His only chance. I doubt it, though – he won’t want too any more. Don’t you think so? After all he already is enjoying, savoring the fact that things around him do not and will not change, isn’t that so? He is new age person isn’t he? But you can phone him later, of course. Cricket and Junior are expecting you only after two months. Mick quite certainly hasn’t said anything to them, I can bet! What could he say? Mother has become insane? … Are you listening? My little girl… Someone is whistling in the ocean Carmen continues to smile calmly, looking at the stranger. A moment of silence. Carmen takes the stranger’s hand, but she quickly draws back. Now, now, right now! All your life you have waited for this moment. A hundred, thousand times we have talked and dreamt about this! And now you’re going to hesitate?! When you have already decided! Well, say something! Talk! Have you not wanted to get away all your life? Haven’t you?! There are no buts! None!!! Excuse me, but you for the first time in your life are saying but! The first time! Have you finally drowned, is that it?! In the ocean of life! Do you hear how senseless it sounds?! Don’t smile! Stop smiling! … Nonetheless Carmen, touching the stranger again, even bursts into laughter, looking at the stranger’s excessive agitation. You don’t need to excuse yourself. There’s no need! It’s your life, not mine. You are going to live it … no, you won’t live. You will die a slow death till the very end! … The stranger interrupts Carmen, pressing her hand until it hurts. (whispering) Please close your eyes and count to ten. To a hundred, if need be. Please! You’ll understand. It’s only fear. Nothing else. Fear, a tiny moment of fear. Well, let’s close our eyes. Up to a hundred. The stranger closes her eyes while Carmen does not. After a while the stranger opens her eyes. A moment of silence. Suddenly the stranger takes Willis big, smiling bear. Look! Look, look here! Have you ever seen anything more idiotic?! Have you?! Anything so unreal! Such a cretin! Look!!! … And for this you have paid enormous money at the airport! To bring it to the children! See, is that how you want to see them! See, here are all your ideals! Look! The airport simpleton! Look! … Someone is whistling in the ocean But she is already pushing the bear under the seat, away from sight. You yourself didn’t give birth for fourteen years! No matter how much Mick hassled you. You waited. I waited, hoped – that soon, soon … Fine, then you gave in. But now? They have grown up. A mother’s heart can be at peace. Well! … You know … Thanks … I would not have understood, if… (interrupts) Now you’ll start to explain, to justify yourself?!! Be silent! Please be silent! You … you have betrayed me! … A moment of silence. Then Carmen embraces the stranger. I’m very tired … I really have no more strength, do you hear? … She caresses the stranger’s head, as if calming a child. The stranger’s back is trembling. It is possible that she is crying. But then the stranger abruptly pulls away from Carmen. No! It’s not all over! Nothing is over! It’s still 45 minutes until we reach Helsinki. You have time. There’s still time! If you want to – please, do otherwise! But you have 45 minutes left. After 45 minutes you’ll begin living! Finally you’ll begin… or you’ll die …No. You won’t die. I will be right beside you! I’ll help! Don’t be afraid. You won’t die! … Kissing Carmen, the stranger gets up and goes away. STRANGER (laughs) I won’t let you go! In the same place. Carmen is alone. She is looking out of the window. Willis appears in the aisle, looking uncertain. Carmen, however, does not see him, but Willis, hesitating for a moment, sits down in his place somewhat uncertainly – as if he doesn’t see or know Carmen. He buckles up his safety belt. He regulates it for a moment, testing the tension of the belt. Someone is whistling in the ocean For a good while both sit without speaking. Willis obviously is unsuccessfully battling with his excitement. When Carmen suddenly turns her head and addresses him, Willis, startled, jumps so violently, that his safety belt comes undone. Are we landing? Do we have to put on our safety belts? Even though Carmen is smiling, Willis is looking at her as if she were a ghost. Also Carmen buckles up her safety belt. You’re as pale as a sheet. We really can’t do anything about it. Do you not trust the pilots? …But the parachutes could certainly be useful – there I agree with you. You certainly have to take that on. You will surely be successful at it. (she laughs) And those little whistles! That is such despair – I agree. Alone in the world with a little whistle. Perhaps something can be done about it? A siren? Everyone with a siren strapped to their back?! … I am not making fun! Why are you looking like that? I don’t wish to insult you, I swear to God …Has something happened? (laughs) Are we crashing? … Forgive me, a stupid joke! Are you listening to me? What has happened? The bear … my bear … the gift for my daughter … Also Carmen only senses where the bear is after a moment – she laughs and pulls it out from under the seat. Forgive me! … Here … a simple mishap. A woman sat down, and … You already thought that he had jumped out? Or gone to the dance hall?! Is there or isn’t there a dance hall here? Willis does not respond. He takes the bear from Carmen and cleans off the dust himself. Forgive me! Please, please! How could I make it up to you? Please! … Perhaps, when we get home, we can meet somewhere? Willis, however, evades even looking at Carmen. He keeps silent. I will give you my phone number …Listen, what is your name? We haven’t even introduced ourselves! What is your name? …Are you feeling ill? Please don’t stay mad, Willis, d’you hear?! I am guilty. Will you forgive me? Forgive me? Someone is whistling in the ocean My name is Carmen. (laughs) Yes, yes – Carmen. My name is Carmen. Passionate, fiery Carmen. Really. All my life I have been excusing myself that I am Carmen. My mother named me. She needed a Carmen, and that was all! She needed everything to be colorful and striking! . What’s happening to you? Forget about being afraid! Well! He takes Willis hand, but he pulls away. I don’t want to get divorced. I don’t want to get married with you, not even kiss! Forgive me. I haven’t fallen in love! Not with you, nor your beautiful dress, Krristine! A moment of silence. Then Carmen starts to laugh loudly. Willis instinctively hides behind his large bear. You saw the woman in the white dress with the polka dots, am I right? Here? She was here, wasn’t she? I haven’t lost my mind yet! Yes! I wasn’t seeing things! And please, please leave me in peace! I want to sleep! I’m sleeping! Excuse me! That wasn’t me … No, it was me … No, it wasn’t… Forgive me, of course. But incarnation doesn’t exist. At least that’s what I have believed all my life. Genes – please, incarnation – nonsense! Someone is whistling in the ocean The genes are inherited by the next generations. No! Nonsense! More precisely – we could assume external incarnation. For example, you probably resemble your mother, isn’t that so? Well, what was she like? You said –everything had to be colorful and striking for her. She did everything opposite to how it had to be done. She had to break the rules simply because they existed… You see. But in appearance you are alike! Maybe. She died before I could distinguish faces. Genes are only technical data, so to speak. Beauty, for example, can be transferred to the next generation. You already said that I looked like her. In that dress. Visually almost the same. I don’t see very well, but exactly like her. However, she was a different woman! You … you catch on words! I wanted to say, I … don’t want to say anything! It has nothing to do with me! For a moment, both sit silently. Carmen glances out the window. Someone is whistling in the ocean Willis is sitting with his bear in his lap, with his eyes tight shut, not answering. I wanted to ask a favor of you … No, I don’t want to dance any more … When we land in Helsinki, my husband will be there to meet me … but he will only be where they permit people to wait. We still have to walk to there … Only, please, don’t refuse …When we’ll get off the plane, take me by the hand …No don’t imagine anything stupid. My husband, my real husband, is expecting me. I simply … I could … in other words, hold on tight to my hand and lead me outside … Don’t let go even for a moment. I understand that it’s odd. Don’t ask. Just do it. Promise. Even if I beg you, don’t let go of me. Not to phone, nor to go to the WC , nowhere … Don’t ask. Just do it. Don’t let me go anywhere, I don’t want to … It’s … it’s very important, very …All right? Promise me? … They found her on the street. A heart exploded. She had already been missing for a week. Perhaps she was afraid to come home. Twice she had already been put in the hospital. When she escaped. Once to the mountains. The second time she was learning to fly … with a glider plane. He never married again. He himself became … strange. You did promise me! Will you hold on fast to me? Afterwards, we’ll all three drive home. Mick is a very good person. Very good. You’ll like him …(Glances out the window) We’re landing! … Someone is whistling in the ocean After all nothing more can happen! Land.
AllianceBernstein— Global Equity Blend Portfolio Market Overview during the month. The US economy detractors. Société Générale was In a highly volatile August, equity continued to falter as manufacturing also hit by speculation that France markets worldwide fell sharply, as was slower than expected and could be downgraded, after S&P’s mounting global economic woes personal