One year after the stroke, in the New Year’s Eve 1979, I was feeling like a newborn child.
My former life time had passed by and nothing new was built to replace it. I felt that I had an endless amount of blank paper before me, on which I could create my life just as I wanted it to be from my new starting point, and I had all the time I could have to do it.
This thought brought about an extremely light state of mind and I felt I had become younger for years. I had no burdens to carry any more. My head was filled with new thoughts and I had a burning desire to test their sustainability.
At that time I lived in a home for young people taken into custody.
People near me had a good sense of humor, but we were mostly strangers to each other. We had no connection that would have made us stick together. Or rather: we were unable to see such connections between us.
The people around me were strangers and emotionally unavailable for me. Anyway, I had a burning desire to find a friend with whom I could discuss my new insights. After chasing my thoughts some time I realized that I had such a friend.
Before the culture exploration in Germany two years earlier I spent one month in a German village to practise my language proficiency. At a party I met a young man, André, with whom I explored the local lifestyle.
He had just finished school and we celebrated his graduation. We made excursions in his home surroundings and – as I loved dancing – went to see a movie.
Nothing earthshaking happened between us. I only felt that he was sincere and didn’t try to play some kind of role. Accordingly I was able to be as I was when I was near him and he didn’t seem to expect anything else from me.
This relaxed connection between us rated in my mind an unpredictable value now. I recalled every single memory of André. I relived again and yet again the last night we spent together: that single night he took me to his home. We met his mother in the corridor and gave her a hasty greeting, but at that fleeting moment I sensed the warm connection in his home. I sat near André on the floor in his room, we drank beer and talked about matters of everyday life, and he made everything sound so important.
After I returned home we wrote letters to each other. Our correspondence had broken off for some time as I lied in hospital, but as soon as my legs could carry me a bit I got a wheelchair and a little communicator, which was like a mini sized typewriter. While typing it printed out paper ribbon with text on it.
I wrote a letter to André right away, told him about the reversal of my life and enclosed the ribbon in an envelope. I soon got an answer from him: He had been wondering why our connection broke off and was glad that we could write to each other again.
When I understood what kind of a friend I had in André I begun to write about everything with him. I read his old letters, and new memories were constantly awakened in my mind and I felt their refreshing spirit in my heart. I noticed that my feelings were spreading on a paper in a way that I had never experienced before.
My thoughts were rising directly from my heart and André replied them in his own way. For the first time in my life I felt that I had a real connection to another person. We wrote about all kind of things:
from sex relations to placebo effect or Einstein’s theory of relativity.
I didn’t imagine I would understand more about those things than before: my knowledge of German language already built a barrier. Only the feeling that we could handle all kind of issues was mind-blowing.
The feeling that I could create a closer relationship to a person, who was living thousand miles away from me than to any of my nearest neighbors built up my self confidence to a great extent.
Saturday Night Fever – John Travolta – Bee Gees