Were thrilled to publish an original story from Joy Castro this month. Heres how she describes this storys origin: A couple of years ago. It was my pleasure to view the 1966 short film Ein Haus am Meer (A House by the Sea) privately at the film archive in Oberhausen, Germany with Marco Abel, a noted scholar of German cinema. Unavailable to the public, this nine-minute black-and-white film was an early creation of director Klaus Lemke, an enfant terrible of contemporary German cinema and a key filmmaker in the New Munich Group, a movement that peaked in the 1960s and early 70s. Although its unlikely that many readers will have seen the film, the storys pacing, mood, and questioning achieve the aim of great ekphrasis: to capture transitory, elusive beauty and communicate its vital energy. Like the film that inspired it, this story moves swiftly from light to dark abyss. Castro would like to dedicate this story to the filmmaker Klaus Lemke.
Eusebia pushed the laundry cart out of the building. It was so heavy she had to use the strength of her entire body as she got it through to the sidewalk. The noise from the construction started at exactly 7 A.M., as she crossed the street into Nothar Park. It was deafening. There was hammering and yelling, and huge machines that amplified all the noise. The dust that covered the cars, sidewalk, swings, trees, made its way to her eyes, her nose. She inhaled it. It scraped her nostrils, then her throat when she swallowed. The dust was a force that tried to slow her down, attacked her body particle by particle. She sped up, cutting through the dirt and avoiding the paved concrete path. The grass was yellow and dry, but the volunteers had planted various beautiful tulips, already in bloom, with pastel colors like ice cream. Peach on the outside, pineapple up top, inside. She wanted to peel off a petal, eat it.