Peter Diamond: Secession from the real

As if a giant had put down his golden ball. Although not really a monumental building, the Secession was a landmark and this way suitable as venue. But as Una approached to the building across the Friedrich Street, she hesitated for a moment and doubted the meaningfulness of her suggestion. There, where she had believed to find the stairs to the Secession building with perhaps a few visitors, she saw an enormous crowd that surrounded the whole building. How should she find Mono in this chaos? She already wanted to grab her phone in order to call him and to suggest another place, since she was somewhat earlier in time. Early enough to change their plan. But while she was thinking, she walked on and approached closer to the complex and the crowd. What presented itself step by step to her glances was quite unexpected.

Not only did the crowd circle dynamically around the building just like a procession – thereunder were absolutely idiosyncratic clothed creatures – hats were borne, gowns and tailcoats. Her curiosity awakened and Una approached more. At first glance it could have been a wedding party, but with closer look the figures seemed as ripped out of the period and their grotesque parade did not make any sense. Beards, tailcoats, top hats and evening dresses – a strange round dance. The closer Una came, the more the density of the impressions imprisoned her. A murmur, the clicking of hundreds of heels on the pavement, calls, laughter, a whirring and buzzing. Una was spellbound and moved somnambulisticly towards the crowd.

His heart almost hurtled and he was not sure what speeded up the hurtling more – his restless running between all this idiosyncratic jumping and dancing creatures, or the incredible pictures which condensed more and more from moment to moment. While Mono at first amusedly believed to join a historic costume society, he caught his breath in the face of some unsettling apparitions. Figures which seemed only too well-known from his reading about the famous frieze of the Secession. But where was Una? This was definitively the wrong place to meet. Out, away from here! But this round dance did not at all develop centrifugal forces despite of his dynamic rotation, on the contrary, an escape seemed quite impossible.

Whenever he turned away from one figure, another one linked arms and drew him to the centre. As dervishes they danced around him, with him or he with them? Mono was no longer able to think clearly. Incomprehensible it was, but not frightening. It had something completely incredible, but seemed at the same moment completely natural. Involved in the strange hustle, himself part of the circle of that fabulous creatures, it hardly was a wonder to see also the sculptures and pictures of the house vividly enqueued into the parade. He lurched, jumped and ran further and further and disappeared finally in the surging crowd.

Silence. For the first time silence. And standstill. Finally – since complete indefinite time. Like the waking up from a dream – now all was right. How they had found each other, and why they stood together between the greenery and blossoms was completely unimportant. It was calm, the air mild and the light soft. In their heads yet a slight hissing like simply after a celebration with loud music. An echo of the fantastic which would elude itself from telling. Too incredible it had been, and even the own memory could not be trusted. Whatever it was – the visit of this famous building had become to the Secession from the real.