It sounds somehow ridiculous to say it but David is a man in full. Although he is still young he looks at the world with a mature man’s eyes. He has the best bullshit detector that I know of and because he inspires confidence it is a privilege to have him as a friend. When I met him he impressed me with his being fluent in Japanese. Than he impressed me with his precise and elegant manners. He has the fitness of a military man and the mind of a philosopher; if you are looking for someone to cry with in front of Bellinis “Ecstasy of St. Francis” at the Frick on one day and go to war with on another he is the perfect man.
Before the internet killed my TV, I used to watch a sports show called “Schwab uf Tour” (or was it Freestyle?) on the Swiss channel Star TV, in which host Marco Schwab was practicing and commenting on any kind of extreme sports. Besides the talking, which was complete nonsense, Schwab impressed me with one particular quality. Wherever he could, he did reverse somersaults into any kind of water. He jumped from cranes (10 meters), from power stations (14 meters), bridges (very high). A reverse somersault is a flip where you jump forwards and move backyards at the same time (the perfect image for our times?). The English word originates, at least according to Wikipedia, from the obsolete French word sombresault, Provencal sobresaut; and Latin – supra, over, and saltus, jump (done with copying). In German you call it, way more beautiful, an “Auerbach”. The Brockhaus encyclopaedia (read the related article in the Süddeutsche) tells us (or told us) that the name Auerbach originates from the German gym and sports teacher Wilhelm Auerbach, which I didn’t find more information on (sorry). 15 years ago, when I started doing my first attempts (clearly to impress girls, which worked – and works – quite well) almost nobody knew what an Auerbach was. It came out of nowhere, it hurt (usually). These days, Auerbach has become the norm, not the exception (you walk to the Bellevue in Zurich, and they guys there will give you some evidence). Yet, it has kept some of its romantic. One and a half year ago I went to see an exhibition of Lucien Freud in the National Portrait Gallery in London where they exhibited an incredible painting by Freud of Frank Auerbach, an English painter born in Berlin. Maybe he was a relative of Wilhelm Auerbach, the sports professor. I don’t know. Summer’s gone, the Auerbach will rest.