Monachopsis

“The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place”

 

 

I wish I had taken his picture; the black leather jacket—burst at the seams—him looking over his shoulder, his monumental back bathed in the diffused light of a gray winter day.


He had come to my wedding the year before, and now I was buying his art. After graduation, he had disappeared for a while, rumors of drug use and hospital trips had reached me. A bad break-up they said.


When we talked, I was aware of dealing with two people. One I used to know and one I was getting to know. Two people held together by thin, fraying strings pulled tight over an abyss of time and experiences. The same was true for us as well.


I hope he still has this jacket.

 

 

She watched over me during my childhood and my adolescence. She was part of the family, and it never came to my mind to question her presence. 


When I pretended to be sick and my mother went off to work after having informed my school, she would watch me watch tv. Laying on the couch, I appreciated my loneliness, and she remained silent, never judging. 


Only much later when I learned to ask questions did I learn of her origins. She was left behind after the war, in a house that my father’s father looked after for the East German state. The same house my parents met at for the first time, the same place that made the thought of my brother and I a possibility. 


Somehow she made it over the wall and into west Germany with the rest my father’s family. She probably looked onto this commotion with the same wistful gaze from under the blond curly hair as she does today, hanging above the TV, leaning on her heavy golden frame, while we fret our daily lives around her.

 

 

To be continued...

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