Here is Excerpt 2. I decided to publish it as a text and not video. I can’t tell which would be more appreciated – video excerpts or texts!?
I hope you’ll enjoy reading this, please let me know :).
Sexy, AIDS and green
… … …
I was excited about getting new teachers. Mrs. Motte had been great and I felt I was going to miss her, but I still looked forward to some new people teaching me.
Also, I wondered about the subjects. I knew from my brother that there was English, for example – something very new.
And that there was biology – something that was going to include sex education.
… … …
Mrs. Krausel was our new tutor and gave our first proper lesson. It was German. Nothing too difficult but also nothing too exciting for my taste. I tried to listen and pay attention, however it proved a little difficult as I was continuously distracted by something that I couldn’t let go for most of the lesson when looking at Mrs. Krausel, while she was teaching: Her nipples. She seemed to have two smarties, sized XXL, inside her bra that were poking through her jumper.
Mom didn’t have those kinds of breasts. I didn’t have any first sign of any myself yet and I certainly didn’t want to get some that looked like Mrs. Krausel’s. I even hoped that I wouldn’t get any!
I had said to Susanne, one day, that I wished to cut them off if that was actually possible. She had laughed about it.
And I still didn’t think that they would suit me. I thought I was too boyish and not girly enough. Not that I wanted to be a boy, no. I just believed I appeared and behaved like one. Dad had always told me to be brave and tough. He hadn’t wanted me to cry in front of Mom, during the last skiing holiday, when I had hurt my arm after a little accident. He had pressured me to not even tell her, although I wanted to so badly. I had been told that I was too big to cry.
I had played so many rough boys’ games with my brother and his friends that had made me not feel like a girl. And my brother had never played with me and Sally.
After the German lesson, we had English. I was curious about it and knew, from my brother, that I was going to ‘get’ an English name from the teacher. My brother’s name had been ‘Timothy’ but I wanted to get a name without ‘th’ because I had heard that he and his friends thought that it was sexy when girls stuck their tongues out through their teeth.
I had watched him carefully when he was showing me with his tongue. I hadn’t even been sure if I was able to manage that without spitting.
“You’d better get used to it quickly. Otherwise you’ll start saying ‘ze’,” he had warned me.
I felt really embarrassed doing it and it reminded me of the adults I had seen on TV when they were kissing.
“He’s got his tongue wrapped around hers!” my brother used to say.
I was unlucky when my new English teacher read out the list of English names for everybody.
“Katherine,” she told me, “that is your English name.”
Damn! There was no way I wanted that name. I didn’t want to have to do anything with ‘th’ or ‘sexy’.
“Please, Miss, can I have a different name?” I asked.
“Well, do you have one in mind?” my teacher asked.
“Anne. Can I have ‘Anne’, please,” I said.
And so I got that ‘unsexy’ and spit-free name instead.
After that very first English lesson experience, we had a break of twenty minutes. Sonja and I went together into the schoolyard. It was big. Roughly the same size as the one we used to know from primary school.
I saw my brother with some friends of his and smiled at him. Unlike me, he quickly looked away once he had spotted me – his little sister. At primary school, in my first year, he had approached me in the schoolyard during my first break out there. He had come to ask me how things had gone and even to show me around. He was being my big brother at that time, when he was seven years old and I was six.
Now at high school, he was already close to being twelve.
What was the difference to four years earlier? Just age? Or was it something to do with me? Was he embarrassed about me?
“Are you disappointed?” Sonja asked me.
“A little bit,” I understated.
Four lessons later, school was out. We went home by bus and my brother was also on it. Again, I realized that he didn’t want me to approach him.
When we got off, he walked a few meters ahead of Sonja and me.
I told Mom about my first proper day at high school, that I was Anne and that I felt that her breasts looked better than Mrs. Krausel’s.
After lunch, I went into my bedroom to do my first secondary school homework.
I also practiced ‘th’!
I didn’t like it at all. But as my brother had told me that I would sound silly if I only used my teeth with no tongue, saying ‘ze’, I decided to make sure that I did it correctly. I didn’t want to sound sexy. But I didn’t want to sound silly either.
When it was evening and I had had supper with my family, it was almost time for bed. Almost!
I was a little bored and let my thoughts wander. As summer came to an end, it got dark already significantly earlier. The sun had set and clouds made it very dark outside. I went over to my brother’s bedroom to see if it was only at school that he wanted to avoid me.
His door wasn’t fully shut and I couldn’t see any light in his bedroom when I slowly opened the door. I saw him in the darkness where he sat on his little stool in front of the window watching outside. The shutter of his window was not closed yet. He had his elbows on the windowsill and was comfortably resting his face in his hands.
“What is out there?” I asked.
I went fully inside his room.
His window was at the gable end of our house and faced two windows of the gable of the neighboring house, which our step-grandmother lived in. Through his window, he looked at her kitchen window as well as at the one of her dining room. My brother was staring at the latter.
“There you go! Look, you can see it live now and not only on TV. He really must have his tongue wrapped around hers!” he said.
I stepped next to him and looked through the window.
“Wow! What are they doing?” I asked, even though I could clearly see it myself.
Bertha, our step-grandmother, sat on the lap of a man who was on one of the chairs around her dining table. His arms were placed tightly around her back and sides, and she had her arms around his neck and shoulders. The two had their faces close together and were kissing each other.
“Don’t be so stupid. They are kissing with tongues. And I bet they’re going to do some more stuff soon,” he said.
“So, they are having sex?” I asked.
“Not yet, but let’s wait a bit and we’ll see. Just get your chair over here and sit down if you want to watch,” he said.
I was more than happy to be allowed to join my brother. I pounced on his invitation and nipped to my bedroom to get my chair and came back to take a seat next to him and watch the show. We both leaned with our arms on the windowsill. His bedroom was still dark and we could see very well what was happening at the table in Bertha’s dining room.
My brother picked something up from the floor to his left. He held it in front of his eyes, looked through it, then gave it to me.
“Here, take this. You’ll see even better!” he said.
I took the binoculars out of his hands and had a look through them myself.
“Wow!” I said. “They are really kissing with tongues!”
“You see. I told you,” he said, almost sounding proud of having known and ‘taught’ me.
I gave him back the binoculars.
“And is this randy then?” I asked.
“Hmm, don’t know. I just know that I wouldn’t stick my tongue even a millimeter into the mouth of any girl in my class,” he said.
“Me neither. I mean, I wouldn’t kiss any of the boys in mine,” I agreed with him.
And even though we weren’t really interested in doing ourselves what the two in the house next door were, we were very interested in watching it.
My brother and I had seen our parents before when they gave each other a kiss on their lips. However, we had not seen them doing it with as much passion as our step-grandmother and that new lover that she seemed to have.
Bertha had a boyfriend that we used to know quite well. He, Bernd, came regularly twice a week to stay at her house; every Friday night until early Monday morning, when he left for work, and he was ‘allowed’ to come on Tuesday night to stay another night during the week and leave again Wednesday morning. ‘Allowed’, because he would have liked to live permanently with her but when they had planned doing that some time before and moved all his furniture into her house, she spontaneously changed her mind and asked Bernd to keep his apartment in the city. He had to take all his stuff with him again and stick with the accustomed four nights per week at hers.
“And who is that man?” I asked my brother.
“No idea, never seen him before,” he replied. “Maybe she fancies a bit more of her old job.”
“Her old job? Which old job? I thought she’d always worked in that supermarket?” I said.
I only knew Bertha wearing a white, short sleeved, hip-long, overall in a huge supermarket, using a little handset and sticking price labels onto loads of products and then putting them onto the shelves.
“Don’t you know? She’s been a hooker!” he said.
“A hooker?” I said. “I’ve never heard that word.”
“You can also call it prostitute if you want,” he gave me the option.
“Prostitute?” I repeated, while observing that Bertha changed her position.
She now didn’t face with her back towards us but with her front.
“Yes, prostitute. It’s a bit more formal than ‘hooker’ I think. But it’s the same thing,” my brother explained.
“But I still don’t know what her old job is,” I said.
“You really know nothing!” he said. “She had sex with men and then they had to give her money for it.”
“Really?” I said.
Although I was surprised I was not shocked. Bertha couldn’t really shock me. Not even with these things I was just seeing with my childish eyes. I didn’t love her and I didn’t even find her too nice. She was at times a cold and, to me, too simple person without much thoughtfulness. I knew that she had fled the GDR many, many years before and left her then toddler girl behind. I had understood, as a ten year old, that the GDR and its regime was something that the people who lived there didn’t like. And that they were all locked up in their country against their will.
I knew that people tried to flee and that some had even lost their lives while attempting it. I had understanding for Bertha wanting to live in West Germany but I always had it somewhere in the back of my mind, when I was with her, that she had been so unloving and left her little child behind, without knowing whether she would ever see her again.
“That’s what she did before working in the supermarket? She had lots of sex with men, like those women Mom says they have in that road in the city?” I asked.
“Yes. Exactly! Bertha used to live in the red light road,” my brother said. “I thought you’d known that. And it was Dad’s father who got her out of there after Dad’s mom had died. But don’t dare say anything about it to her. Mom says Bertha shouldn’t know that we know!”
“How did Dad’s father get her out of there?” I asked.
“He was a client of hers. To start with. Then he made her live with him, I think,” my brother explained.
I felt my blood surging through my veins. A myriad of question marks rushed through the neurons of my brain. It almost hurt.
I hadn’t known either of Dad’s parents but when I understood that my grandfather had been seeing one of those women to buy sex from, I had a different imagination about him all of a sudden. All I had known was that he had married Step-grandmother because my real grandma had died, and that was why Bertha was living next door.
The show slightly changed. The new man behind Step-grandmother’s window became more and more engaged in the act between him and her on his lap. He went all over her body with his fingers. And just when he attempted to get them underneath her top, she stood up from his lap, gave him a less intensive kiss on his forehead and left the table.
The man might not have known that Bertha used to be a professional as he found himself dropped like a hot potato.
“Ah, she’s gone?” I asked my brother.
“She’s probably just going into the kitchen again to get him another course. She’ll be back soon,” he said.
“So you’ve been watching this going on for a while?” I asked.
“Yes, for quite a while,” he said, grinning.
I asked him to give me the binoculars as I wanted to have a close look at the new lover who was by himself at the dining table. When I looked very closely at him, he was just about to have a drink. He sipped from a glass that had stood in front of him and then briefly looked into it while seemingly enjoying what he had in his mouth.
“I don’t like the way he looks,” I said. “He looks greasy.”
“Yes, but that doesn’t matter. As long as his cock is big. That’s the most important thing, they say,” my brother said, taking the binoculars out of my hands to have another closer look himself.
“Cock? That’s the penis, right?” I asked, making sure I got it right that time.
“Yes,” he answered.
“And who are ‘they’ who say that that is important?” I asked.
“At school. It’s talked about,” he said.
“Aha,” I said.
“Why has Bertha not put her shutters down,” I asked.
“She must think that her curtain is enough. She doesn’t understand that we can still look through it when it’s dark outside but bright in her dining room,” my brother said.
I knew that Bertha was not the smartest person in the World.
Then, Step-grandmother appeared again. She had a tray in her hands with some dishes on it.
“Looks like she’s getting the desserts now,” my brother said.
Step-grandmother placed one of the desserts in front of the man. He smiled but didn’t seem very interested in it. Instead, he reached out for her with his fingers. Bertha bent down to him as he was still sitting on his chair. She started kissing him on his mouth again.
“Come on, sit on his lap,” my brother said.
“When has Grandfather seen her? Was Grandma still alive?” I asked.
“Yes, she was. He cheated on her,” he said.
My blood felt as if it started to boil. I was actually in need of a comfort bubble, but my brother was right next to me. Would he have understood the state I was in? His blood seemed cool and calm.
“Come on now, Bertha. Sit on his lap!” My brother got impatient.
And right at that moment, the door to his bedroom opened as Mom came in.
“What are you guys doing there?” she asked.
“Mom, don’t switch on the light! You’re spoiling everything!” my brother shouted.
Mom came close.
“Oh my God, what’s going on over there? Have you been watching this for long?” she asked.
“For a while,” he said.
“Yeah, I can tell!” Mom said, seeing that we both had something to sit on.
Mom seemed amused about the whole thing with Step-grandmother and her two children watching.
“Here, look through the binoculars,” my brother said, holding them towards Mom.
“No, thanks, I can see enough without,” she said. “So she’s got herself a new lover. Poor Bernd!”
Mom must have wanted to make sure that we didn’t get to see even more intimate stuff. She made us move from our seats at the windowsill, putting an end to the show. We had to go to bed. She switched on the light of my brother’s bedroom and closed the shutter of the window. I took my chair back into my bedroom. I left my room one more time to search for Dad, who I found on the sofa in the living room where he was watching television. I gave him a hug and a kiss to say goodnight and then went back again to my bedroom and got into bed. I waited until Mom would come and sit on the edge of my bed to hug me and say goodnight.
After she had done so, I switched off the little light by the side of my bed and was lying in the darkness.
My eyes were wide open. I couldn’t sleep.
I was thinking about Step-grandmother and the new man. I couldn’t let go thinking of the fact that Grandfather had been her client. And that he had cheated on my real grandma. I hadn’t known real-Grandma but I still felt for her. I absolutely didn’t like what Grandpa had done.
A while later, he appeared in my mind. He seemed so real even though he was dead.
But my dreams had always been so very vivid; so very much linked to what I had experienced during the previous day.
I saw my grandfather walking down a road that was lined with lots of streetlights. They were all red. Women in short dresses and with smarties inside their bras came out from the houses around, to approach Grandpa and greet him. “What’s your name?” he asked each of them, and they all answered “Katherine”.
He smiled as they were putting their tongues out between their teeth.
I only observed the scene from a distance but when all those Katherines formed a circle around him to enclose my grandfather, I decided to go closer and ‘rescue’ him from what he was doing. Only then, his face actually became clear to me and I recognized who the prostitutes really had ensnared: Dad!
I started to run. I wanted to get to Dad as quickly as possible. I needed to save him! Only that I didn’t gain any ground as I was running, but only kept moving in the same spot. I seemed to be on a conveyer belt that moved in the opposite direction.
Even when I tried harder, I couldn’t get close enough to Dad to get him out of the danger.
“Take your green jacket off, throw it away and rub your sleeve against the wall while you run. That should create safety and rescue him!” Sonja shouted from somewhere.
“What do you mean? Use your techniques?” I asked.
There were a couple of nods, somewhere, and so I took of my jacket and threw it away. I rubbed my arm against a wall until the sleeve broke. My entire jumper unraveled and exposed my torso. The bunch of Katherines threw their gazes at my immature nipples and then disappeared into the darkness as the clinkers of the wall had just scraped my skin to bleeding point before I opened my eyes.
Oh my God! What the hell was going on?
I sat up in bed. I was breathing heavily. Soaked in sweat.
Did Dad go into that road as well?
… … …
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