2014, 2018 Mirror Image Edutainment, Alan John Mayer
Thank you, Mummy Dearest.
I have been watching Heimat, a German television trilogy, in thirteen one hour episodes, set in the early 1960’s, the same years I lived, and attended elementary school, in Germany. It is the story of two young musicians studying at a music academy in Munich. One is a pianist/guitarist from a small farm in Bavaria. The other is a poly-syllabic Chilean who is fluent in eleven languages, speaks German as translated from Latin, plays the flute and xylophone. Against the backdrop of Germany’s ‘Wonder Years’, (1950 to 1970) the two form a friendship
Watching Heimat (Home), makes me think of the friendship I formed with Martin Becker*, in 1971, when I found myself in a foster home in the heart of Europe’s coal mining country, Essen, Germany.
Martin and I met in the smoking room at Essen Holsterhausen High School. His father owned a block in the center of town. He, his brother two years younger, lived in one apartment on the twelfth floor, and his parents lived in the mirror image apartment across the stairwell, connected by a cut out wall. Herr Becker drove a late model American Chrysler, steel blue. That summer, he and his wife Herta invited me to join them on tour in Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece. There I met my east German friends
The fear I was raised in, (my mother’s religion) “klingt zu mir,” as Peter said in Heimat. Translated: “The passion and fear clings to us, to be read by all whom we meet. Worse, we pass it along to others.
“My mind is going wild with possibilities, if I can only get through this experience with the Terrorists next door. Every time I open the door, I am vulnerable to attack, whether the neighbors, or the local street merchants (disturbers of the peace). Only twice in the eleven months in Van Nuys, has the sidewalk and street in front of the property been free of racing cars, pedestrians, service vehicles, barking, blaring, blasting, honking, scratchy-music-playing street vendors, and loiterers.
Living in the Valley — millions of lives, dozens of stories.
Only once since living in Van Nuys have I been privileged to see God walking down the street. See my blog entry The Naked Man.
Normal is: the dog across the way barks incessantly at high pitch, setting off the landlord’s poodle upstairs, the mutt across to the west, and Pokey.
The curr barks.
All day these rude immigrants with six children impose the barking game, until I go out, as yesterday, when Pokey and I drove to Tarzana. A little bit of peace — out on the road. It really is beautiful to the west. It’s the people who make a village. What can I do but keep my mouth shut, and pray. And read. Must I wait until I can think, before I can live again?
Evidently so. Never is one left in peace. Reality is the state of everything falling apart, and the unending attempt to keep the illusion together — the attachment from which I strive to free myself.
My auto insurance is due again. There was a time Mother Dearest paid it out of Dad’s large inheritance, out of guilt and fear of the consequences, but she seems to have recovered, always with the obligatory “Thank you Mummy Dearest, Yes I love you”.
Mummy once said to me “You have cost me thousands” Zero dollars of it to my university education).
I answered with alacrity “And you have cost me millions”.
My dream is to have enough money to be able to repay Mother Dearest for every diaper, every can of strained peas and carrots she ever invested in me. Then I shall be free. But must I wait? No. 2018, she had her family lawyer send me to jail and stole my Relocation Fund of 20,000.00 dollars cash.
My friend Martin came to visit Lori and me in Southern California, and in good American Indian hospitality, took my girlfriend to bed, while I was napping in the other room. It was an easy mistake to make, easily forgiven. Life moves on.
God, grant me serenity to accept the people and things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.