Monday, July 19, 2004

Life and other disasters

Wanted to go to my brother’s to access the internet, but Jeanette isn’t home, so I planted myself into a cafe, got meself an ice coffee and started typing away to kill time until they are back. I can’t wait to see my little niece. Doesn’t that sound awesome? My niece!
It has gotten really hot in Berlin, and humid. Last night we had a fantastic thunderstorm, with dramatic clouds and all. It’s really cool, now that I got here, the weather has changed. It was freezing cold here just before I got here… see what you get if you just complain enough? People tend to hate humidity, but I love humid heat. Free sauna, dude! I like dozing and feeling utterly relaxed and at peace, too dazed to think of anything. My mind, which races and chatters constantly, quiets down. I’m the only customer, because it is Monday noon, and the lovely waiter gave me a free strawberry milkshake! Berlin’s service industry has really really picked up on the kindness factor in the past decade. Berliners used to be so grouchy… I am amazed how friendly everyone has become. I suppose, with an unemployment rate of 20%, no one can afford to be grouchy… but you can always tell whether it comes from the heart or the job requirement.
God, that milkshake is an orgasm in my mouth. Hehe.
Anyways, I feel I sound way too cheerful. Micha has been on tranquilizers a lot, so that helps him to be not pulled down fully, but he goes through ups and downs. He slips into bouts of sadness and grief within minutes, and his face reflects the pain so clearly, and it tears my heart out. He talks much about it, which is good. Dad, who has been through this 4 years ago, is a great help to him, and his mom is just fantastic. My mom never was that empathic and supportive.
I admire Micha’s strength. He is devastated, and in his place I would be paralysed, but he is more concerned about everyone else. He had the balls to go visit people, to face Nadine’s grannie, to desperately want to go see her father, and he visited his mate’s mom. The sad but understandable thing is the irrational fury that runs through Nadine’s family right now. The one “responsible” for their daughter’s death is dead, and they can’t reach him. Instead, they attack Micha who really can’t be blamed. They just need a scapegoat. I am amazed how well Micha bears this, and how much understanding he shows.
Yesterday, there was a big picture of the car in the paper. It was a tabloid, so one can’t expect much quality and decency, but I am furious nonetheless, and the fuckers will hear from me.
It is the second time for my family that misinformation was placed in the paper, causing harm.
Back then, after my dad’s car accident, the paper claimed that one passenger’s legs had to be amputated. The thing is, some people got the first information from the paper and actually freaked out at this. The thing is, there never was an amputation. Do they not realise what panic they cause? Hell, they didn’t even get the names right! I am pissed off that the vultures that call themselves journalists were there quicker than the ambulance and still managed not to get their facts right, and just selectively picked what would sell better. Not dramatic enough? Amputate some legs on paper.
This time it is even worse. They actually had the nerve of publishing a pic of Nadine on the operation table. Micha saw it and broke down again. How can they be so cruel?
Even more, whoever the bastard was who collected the material didn’t really make the slightest effort and just packed it full of clichés. The way the story got across was that another set of stupid kids finished their wild disco-night with a drunken race.
They hadn’t been at a disco. They were at the beach, singing, playing guitar. Fair enough, the driver had had two beers, but he was a big lad, and those two wouldn’t have affected him much. Fair enough, he may have been driving recklessly, and I don’t excuse that, but it was on a road that he knew extremely well. And normally he was a safe driver, otherwise none of them would have gotten in the car with him. In fact, they chose the safer driver of the two they had available. What the driver didn’t know that just recently they did some construction work there and changed the road a little. It got them by surprise.
It was a collection of unfortunate circumstances, which need to be explained and understood. It could have happened to anyone, anytime. What this story did was defame the people involved, placing blame on literally everyone, and Micha is presented with the fruits of that right now. He has gotten attacked by a few people now, who accuse him and his friends of being stupid, of not having worn seatbelts,  and whatnot – but the thing is, they were strapped in. (And if you had seen the car… it was so squished that seatbelts wouldn’t have made a difference anyway.) Also, by the time they noticed the car was going too fast it was too late. It was nothing like a combination of unfortunate circumstances, and it could have happened any night. But people read the information in the paper first, and they will believe it, and no explanation on his part will change that now. It has done a lot of damage, and I am furious at the irresponsibility of the papers.
I feel helpless. I feel with Micha so much, and would love to help him, but I don’t know him well enough to deserve his trust, and I can’t expect him to confide in me. I would love to do something for him to make this easier, but I know I can’t.
I can just pray. I feel so guilty. After Micha woke me up on Saturday night, and I woke his mom, and she then told me the details, of Nadine being so badly hurt and her chances being pretty much zero, I knew I should pray. I wanted to contact my soapbox friends, because their united well-wishing, mojo-ing and praying has helped so much, has done so many miracles already, but I couldn’t access the internet. I wanted to pray, but I felt so terrified, so weak in faith… I prayed, but it felt like it didn’t go past the ceiling. It makes me feel guilty… I can get God to save my exams, but I can’t get him to save Nadine’s life. I will never forget those screams of utter devastation, from this boy who has always been so happy, so kind, so positive.
God, help Micha now and fix what you can fix, give the comfort you can give.

No comments: