2018, Mirror Image Edutainment, Alan John Mayer
On December 30th, my parents’ friends drove me to Altenkirchen to spend New Year’s Eve with Angelika and Michael in their old house, with the closed doors. My imagination was inspired. What lies behind the locked doors? I wondered. During my last of four visits that year, I was granted permission to explore the attic, a dream come true for an inquisitive young boy who wanted to know about the architecture of the ninety year-old house, more than its contents.
“Ellen” they called me.
“Ellen is a girl’s name” I said.
“Ellen ist ein Mädchen Name.
Call me by my middle name, John.”
I know they expected John (pronounced in German, Tschawn) might be a good catch as son-in-law. For me, a young boy unsure of myself or my sexuality, I was simply happy to make friends and learn from Michael what the word ‘erotica’ meant. Being accepted into the family of a beautiful girl, and having people understand who I was, was enough for me. I had never been away from adult supervision before, and that New Year’s Eve, in the party room with the winding wooden staircase,
I drank everything in the bar.
One could imagine, I got sick, so sick Angelika and Michael spent the evening at my side, leaning over the toilet, as church bells chimed in the new year. I have never felt closer, never felt more cared for by any human being than that evening in Altenkirchen, with Angelika and Michael at my side. Twice more, I visited Altenkirchen that year. Every time I visited, they satisfied my taste buds with my favorites; gekochten Schinken, shaved ham, und Eis, ice cream.
I never again got that drunk, so out of control of my own body. I was a wet noodle they propped up for photos, me with my perm, and the face of a lost boy, content to be loved, and cared for. That evening, I learned beer, vodka, and Sangria are not a good mix.
In 1976, Angelika flew to Denver to celebrate our Bicentennial. We watched fireworks at Del Mar Park, and drove three thousand miles together across country, camping for two weeks on our way to Vancouver, Canada. Over the years, I returned to Altenchirchen several times. I met Angelika’s husband, Dieter, and her daughter, Tanja. One day I imagine, when times are better, I will meet her granddaughter.
Today Angelika and I are Facebook friends, though it is difficult to span the vast ocean of thought with limiting words. I am still waiting for a “Friend request” from Michael Schneider.
So, to make a short story long, I look forward to my next reads, and regarding Angelika, can only say, she turned my world upside down, and I am still trying to get the picture right. Hold to your memories. One day they may hold you.
Thank you, dear reader. If you found any value in this post, please click “Like” and forward it. I know my world seems upside down, but I am impressed I managed to even get the picture on the computer.