Goodbye, Meidling

22. Oktober 2017 at 17:24 (Blog) (, , , , , , , , )

This is not a short story. Actually, it’s the ending of quite a long story – a love story, of course. After more than four years, I have left the 12th district of Vienna, Meidling, for good. It was the first district of Vienna where I really felt at home. Sure, I enjoyed living at the students‘ hall for nearly five years, too – but it was always clear that this was only an in-between solution, a temporary home to my temporary life as a student.

Meidling was where the concept of eternity felt closer to me than ever. And Meidling was where I had to realise that sometimes, forever is not the best option – even if it feels tempting to choose what you know and love over what you don’t know and are slightly afraid of. But if happiness has forgotten your address, you have to go and look for it yourself.

I’m not going to be far away from my beloved Meidling and it will always stay close to my heart. But still, I’ve crossed a border, entered a new territory, a new life. Leaving Meidling constitutes the end of an era for me.

In the last few weeks, I’ve often stopped to take a picture – because beautiful moments pass so quickly and I want to appreciate them before they fade away. Life is beautiful after all, wherever it may lead you and whatever obstacles you have to overcome. Here’s a little photo story of what Meidling looked like to me. And it’s my goodbye to this beautiful district – goodbye, Meidling!



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Clara’s Christmas Wish: Part 14

14. Dezember 2015 at 06:06 (Clara's Christmas Wish) (, , , , , , , )

This story works like an Advent calendar – until the 24th of December, I will publish a part of this story each day. Please start your reading with Part 1.

One week before Christmas, Clara had completed phase one of attracting the attention of the young boy who tended to the animals’ needs. That phase had been the easy part, really – it consisted of utterly ignoring his existence. She had been introduced to everyone at the circus on her second day. She had shaken his hand and as their eyes met briefly, she could tell that she stood a chance to seduce him to, well, make her Christmas wish come true. Especially if she ignored him for a while.

Phase two was much trickier; also because Clara was secretly in love with somebody else. But for the sake of Marlene’s best Christmas ever she started to throw him looks when she left the circus tent, twirling a strand of hair around her finger.

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31. August 2015 at 10:10 (Posts in English) (, , , , , , , , , )

This is the third and final part of a story I started to write in May. Here you can find the first part (Bird of passage) and the second part (Dog days).


She leaned against the door frame, while the dog capered happily around her, trying to get her attention. But she couldn’t avert her eyes from the scene unfolding in front of her, without the two main characters noticing the silent (and the not-so-silent) spectator.
“Well done, little lady!” he exclaimed, patting her back comfortingly.
The baby burped again and grinned proudly at the white wall behind her new daddy’s back. Lily was fascinated by the many things she could already achieve in such an expert manner despite her young age.
“Is it time to change your nappy again, madam?” he let the baby girl hang over his shoulder and sniffed her diaper in a theatrical manner. The baby chuckled with glee. “Oh yeah, it’s definitely time!” He contorted his face so she would laugh again and held her as far away from his nose as he could. “Attention, stinky baby is being transported to the bathroom!”

It was only then that he noticed Lily waiting forlornly in the hallway. “Hi Lily, we didn’t see you standing there… Want to say hi to your mummy, little ladybird?” He held Elena close for a moment before passing her on to her mother.
She took her daughter into her arms and held her gingerly, her pulse racing. Would the baby start crying again? She felt guilt welling up inside of her. She had missed out on five whole days of feeding, playing, bathing, changing diapers and reading bedtime stories. This, instead, belonged to Jonathan’s daily routine for seven months now.

Lily only got to see her at the weekends. Lo and behold, she had taken up a job. She had found out that she was capable of typing at a fairly decent speed and orthographically quite correctly while she had been pregnant and so she had found a job as the secretary of a doctor. He would always speak the diagnoses on tape and she would type them into his computer in the evenings. The only problem was that she – what with the hormonal rollercoaster and all – had fallen in love with him. And so much so that she just didn’t have the guts to tell him that she had kept the baby. She used her parents, with whom she didn’t talk anymore, as a pretext to leave his fatherly care and good will for the weekends, when she went to pay Elena a visit.

She was clumsy in handling her and every time Jonathan tried to give her advice on how to hold the baby bottle so Elena didn’t suffocate or on how to change her clothes without ripping off Elena’s pinky, she shouted at him. And then her daughter started crying and she didn’t know how to make it stop and she would have to admit to herself that she hadn’t succeeded in being a good mother.

She had thought that giving birth to a creature that had inhabited her body for eight and a half months, patting her organs from inside and hearing her heartbeat louder than anyone else, would establish a special bond between the two of them that would last forever. And now it hurt to see Jonathan as the father in sparkling armour, not only fulfilling his duties, but raising Elena with so much love and enthusiasm that she couldn’t but envy him.

Of course, she would rack her brain for excuses as to why she hadn’t been able to fix the magical bond that had been cut through the day Elena was born. She blamed her parents and the doctor, Jonathan and the dog, but in the end, she only cried herself to sleep beside the blissfully snoring doctor, without knowing what to change to make herself feel better.

She couldn’t leave the doctor, he was really the first man for whom she fostered genuine feelings and he had taken her in at a moment of need, pregnant and desperate, without asking her questions. And she couldn’t really be angry at Jonathan, because he was the best father for Elena she could wish for. But all the same, it was heart-breaking to see that her baby was turning into such an excellent little lady without her help. The only thing that could appease her feelings was the knowledge that without the money she sent Jonathan at the end of each month, they wouldn’t be able to survive.

When Elena’s wakeful eyes finally closed for the night and a happy dream left its marks across her face, Jonathan cautiously pulled the door to her room shut and sat down beside his sister. She muted the TV and looked at him. Her brain worked hard to decide if she should feel relief that Elena was sleeping soundly now or envy that the little girl – despite not being able to utter a single coherent word – had demanded Jonathan to put her to bed. But that was life. You get some, you lose some. She couldn’t even imagine how it would have felt to give her daughter away for adoption, to people she didn’t know, didn’t trust and perhaps didn’t even want to cross paths with.

The baby monitor sprang to life, the smallest cough crackled through the receiver and before she could realise what the next step Jonathan had taught her to follow in this case was, Jonathan was already up on his feet and in the adjoining room, looking after their baby.

The dog did some stretching on the carpet, laying out his front paws, head close to the ground, bottom up in the air, and made a whimpering noise. When he was done with his gymnastics, he walked over to Lily and put his muzzle on her lap. She stroked and caressed him while he was lovingly watching her out of his big, trusting eyes. At least there was one soul left in the world who would always love her just the way she was.

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7. Oktober 2014 at 20:50 (Posts in English) (, , , , , , )

We were not at all like two planets, peacefully circling around each other in a state of constant gravitational attraction. We rather resembled two meteors that had violently collided on their way down to Earth, coming from different directions and homes. Instead of being a bright shooting star, peacefully lighting the night sky, I had become involved in an explosion where not only my own hopes and dreams had been shattered, but also the hopes and dreams of somebody else.

When we first met in the coffee shop, I was certain that I hated him – even before he had opened his mouth to utter the very words we would later heartily laugh about: “I’m sorry to bother you, but there is chewing gum sticking to your backside.” While I tried to assess the damage done to my beautiful black trousers, he kept talking. I was hardly listening while he went on and on about how he hoped that I didn’t have an important meeting today, because it would be horrible if I had to present myself to someone parading this disgustingly pink gum stain.

I interrupted him rather rudely: “It’s okay, thanks for telling me. I think I have to get going, though.” I grabbed my coffee cup and headed to the doors.
“Wait!”, he cried and threw himself in my way, making me spill some of my coffee (thankfully right on the floor, without a detour over the rest of my clothes). “I put the gum there. I didn’t know how to get your attention, so I tried something stupid.” He shrugged his shoulders apologetically.

I would have liked to throw the rest of my deliciously hot coffee in his face, but that would have been a disgrace to the nicely ground and tenderly brewed coffee beans themselves. I looked him straight in the eye and hissed: “Well done. I’ll give you my business card, so you can call me when you want to pay for the cleaning of my pants.”
He accepted it and I stormed out before he could say anything else, hoping he would leave me alone.

However, life is cruel. And after weeks of flowers being delivered to my office and dinner invitations voiced over the phone, I caved in and said yes. He whisked me away to the most beautiful restaurants in the city, candle-lit and with a perfect view of the illuminated skyline. Who could resist the peculiar charm of a man, willing to do anything to make you happy and being consistent enough to never give up, even when you push him away?

Five months later, we were a couple. Three months after that, we lived together. And another month later, he proposed to me by handing me a packet of gum with a ring nestled between the silver foils. We were preparing to collide at the speed of light.

I saw him last week, walking his dog in the park where we once had a picnic, the dreadfully drooling Great Dane marking its territory right where we had sat then. A friend has told me that he works at a dry cleaner’s now, after he has lost his job because he was too depressed to show up regularly. He is in a bad shape and I wish I could help him. But ever since our divorce, I haven’t been feeling too well myself. The only thing that makes me smile, nowadays, is secretly sticking old gum to people’s trouser seats.

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