from Telegrams of the Soul
She couldn’t take the poodle with her into the theater. So the poodle stayed with me in the café and we awaited the mistress.
He stationed himself so as to keep an eye on the entrance, and I found this very expedient, if a bit excessive, since, honestly, it was only half past seven in the evening and we had to wait till a quarter past eleven.
We sat there and waited.
Every carriage that rattled by awakened hope in him, and every time I said to him, “It’s not possible, it can’t be her yet, be reasonable, it’s just not possible!”
Sometimes I said to him: “Our beautiful, kind-hearted mistress--!”
He was positively sick with longing, twisted his head in my direction: “Is she coming or isn’t she?!”
At one point he abandoned his guard post, came close to me, lay his paw on my knee and I kissed him.
As if he’d said to me: “Go ahead, tell me the truth, I can take anything!”
So I said to him: “Listen pal, don’t you think I’m antsy? You’ve got to control yourself!”
But he didn’t put much stock in control and whined.
Then he started softly weeping.
“Is she coming or isn’t she?!”
“She’s coming, she’s coming--.”
Then he lay himself perfectly flat on the floor and I sat there rather stooped over in my chair.
He wasn’t whining any more, just stared at the entrance while I stared ahead of me.
It was a quarter to twelve.
She came at last. With her sweet, soft, sliding steps, she came quietly and collected, greeted us in her mild manner.
The poodle whined, sang out and leapt.
But I helped her off with her silken coat and hung it on a hook.
Then we sat down.
“Were you antsy?!” she asked.
As if one said: “How’s life, my friend?” or: “Yours truly, N.N.!”
Then she said, “Oh, it was just wonderful in the theater--!”
But I felt: Longing, longing that flows and flows and flows from the hearts of man and beast, where do you go?! Do you perhaps evaporate in the heavens like water in the clouds?! Just as the atmosphere is full of water vapor so must the world be full and heavy with longings that came and found no soul to take them in! What happens to you, dear emotion, the best and most delicate thing in life, if you don’t find willing souls greedy to soak you up and derive their own strength from yours?
Longing, longing, that flows from the hearts of man and beast, flooding, flooding the world, where do you go?