"It was in London. A bench stood in a beautiful park. There was a broad path with plenty of passers-by between this bench and the houses on the other side of the path. The houses were empty, partly bombed, and the bandstand on the grass behind the bench was empty, too. Hundreds of chairs stood around the bandstand, and twenty in it.
I took a seat on the bench and looked all round me. I was not hungry, because I had been given three pieces of bread in the shop of an art dealer I know. Three pieces of bread, with white cheese. It was raining, a thunderstorm. So I interrupted my business of visiting one shop after another and trying to get commissions for portrait painting. There must be people who would like to have a good portrait of their nice head done by me, but I cannot find them. There was a thunderstorm, so I sat down on this bench, protected by an immense plane tree. Behind me there was lots of barbed wire, because there was a war on. I felt sad about the hopelessness of my situation, and this bench looked quite as hopeless as I was.
Life is sad. Why did the director of the National Gallery not even want to see me? He does not know that I belong to the avant-garde in art. That is my tragedy. Why did Mr A. tell me that not even the really famous painter, Lieutenant F., could get portrait commissions, and so I should be quite satisfied? Why did people tell me I should wait till after the war? I have already been waiting seven months for work, and cannot wait without eating."
--Kurt Schwitters: from a notebook, in Kurt Schwitters in England (1940-1948)