It’s time for the ugly questions.
Who is Baruch Caan?
Obviously, I’m a fictional persona, created for this here column. Do you know where I live? Have you any clue as to what friends I’m hanging out with? Whether I brush my teeth before going to sleep? Whether I’m wearing underwear? What I do with my nights when I’m not writing? Am I even writing this here now? For all you know, someone could have prepared a good hundred pages years ago and all you are reading are the warmed-up microwave tidbits of rambling that have no connection to this present anymore at all.
To be perfectly honest with you, I have no idea either. Certainly, “someone” has conceived this text. But most likely, you yourself have never seen me. You have no proof that I exist, or what I look like. No proof that there even is a person out there with this name. But let’s pretend that a guy called Baruch Caan is existing, walking the streets of the ‘Burrough, the backyards of The Den, maybe. He has an ugly shorthaired head, is wearing pretentious-looking shades during the day, is trying hard to make something out of his days in the Boheme he likes seeing himself in. A person like that, or close to that, at least. I’ll give you that: I believe it myself; that he exists. However, about this “I” that’s fighting his way through mashed-up sentences here: I’m not so sure. Do you think Baruch Caan talks like I am writing here? Do you think he can hold “my” snotty attitude amongst kindred spirits? Obviously, “I” am the mode that kicks in if there is need for a narration, for reflection, for a distance. I am not someone, but rather the place where something happens, I am the projection screen.
Only, sometimes, there is a kind of foreboding that it might just be the other way round. That I am the construction, gritting my teeth into the borderline of wordstorms, before Baruch Caan drags me back down into a fictional universe. You are living there, too, my brothers and sisters and creatures of this shiny world.
There’s so little left that has any relevance. There are those 5 percent of us, of Baruch, of me, whoever, that we dare to share with others. And all the 95 leftovers of our soul are waiting in the fridge. I am a fucking lost planet at some outer rim of the social universe. The plane of immanence has long disappeared below the wardrobe corners of your rooms. Never look directly under a wardrobe or a bookshelf located in a corner of your room: The shaitan might look back. Only, if you are stuck there yourself, in this place never to be cleaned, have a good time with the devil – he likes rough stuff, they say.
You might be tempted to infer that you learned something now, about a real person living somewhere, who should clean his room more often. But of course, the red herrings are the first weapons readied when it comes to character-building.
Now, I want to give you something of the leftovers. I don’t care if it’s a fictional character with fake shades, some writers-voice in a notebook, or even a real guy with fake shades. Somewhere, this meant something. It has to be something so trivial that it can reach the sublime. Something that can be lifted from under layers of frustration and cynicism and self-reflectations. But listen to me: You won’t understand it (not in my way), you won’t be able to channel and filter it, you won’t be able to make any claim on me out of it. But it’s the best that I got, and I think Baruch Caan would agree on that.
So here’s the word:
Make of that what you will.
Baruch Caan must not be fiction