Let’s keep it simple. This story ends with the death of the legendary disk jocky Hurricane Willem on christmas eve in the year of our lord 1990. A final chord that leaves little to the imagination of the reader. Death is a simple and crystal clear concept. Logic dictates that it can also be used as a starting point. A mighty opening chord.
The proof is in the pudding. So let us start with the death of my father, somewhere at the crack of dawn on a beautiful autumn day. And little before that the passing away of Mommy Drudge, my mother, my twin brother Arthur, and my sister, Silke. Fifteen minutes of utter lunacy, resulting in one hundred thirteen knife stabs -order unknown- and a cracked open skull somewhere in the garage.
I was allowed to live. Although that wasn’t the plan, and pretty hard to do at first in a torso with nine stabbing wounds. One for each year of my life.
This could be the moment where you, as a reader, begin to feel to feel pity for yours truly. Don’t! The eradication of a family is an event that is only painful when looked at it from the outside. Smack in the middle of it one hardly notices. You go to sleep in the fall of 1979, mother nature erases your autobiographical memory, and you wake up somewhat drowsy in the spring of 1980. Some late birth.
Next to your bed sits a graying lady. She explains that she’s a social worker from juvenile court. And there is that sinking feeling for a moment. Thinking that maybe you’ve done something wrong, but you are afraid to ask. So you play mute. And you have a good pretext to do so, because talking is hard to do after months of artificial respiration. The incoming light hurts your eyes. You fall asleep, and you wake up again. The graying lady is still there. She smiles and takes your hand. “We will do our best for you!’
You fall asleep again, and you wake up for longer periods of time. And one teaches you who you were. Journalists stop by to take a picture. The doctor insists they do so without flashes. He is in the picture as well. He is a hero. Against all odds he has kept you alive. The doctor, the social worker and myself are getting applause from the staff on the day I leave the hospital. The social worker and a nurse are taking turns pushing my wheelchair. In the long corridors on the way out people come to a halt and applaud. Some try to touch me and stroke my humming head.
I get in a golden colored and purple fumes spitting Opel Kadett. People keep waving and applauding. The graying social worker lights a cigarette and drives away. She says that she has found a good orphanage, with a lovely staff that will take good care of me.
The headmistress explains to me the rules of living in an orphanage. And the social worker says goodbye with a hug. In my ear she whispers that I have to do my best to like it here. ‘You’re a sweetie, but already ten, and you come with expenses, so no-one will get you out of here. You’re here to stay.”
“Unless he doesn’t obey the rules then there is no place for him in here,’ the headmistress ads.
I ask if I can go to sleep, because I’m feeling tired, and I’m still having difficulty with gravity. With a waving away gesture she makes it clear to me that I’m allowed to crawl under the covers.
for part 2 press here: Hurricane Willem (2) english version