Monday, February 06, 2017

First flat

Hölderlinplatz Stuttgart, where I first lived as a new bride and army wife. 
The only good thing about it was the bakery on the ground floor.

The screams came from next door. It was my first morning in Germany and my now ex husband had left for the base where he was in the 7th army band.

He had rented a room in an apartment. It had two single beds that doubled as couches, a table with four chairs and an armoire.

The kitchen was to be shared with the other occupants. Perhaps kitchen was an overstatement.

We would buy an electric coil and hotplate. The sink only had cold water. Our ledge would be our fridge.

There were no bathing facilities. I mastered heating water and washing as I would have done a century earlier.

The toilet, also shared, constantly was blocked because the landlord insisted we use newspaper and not toilet paper.

The man sounded more and more threatening. I had come from the States, where sheltered by my mother was an understatement.

I was desperately in love so I was up for everything, but would there be a murder next door? I was to start German classes the next week, but I wouldn't be able to talk to the police unless they spoke English.

The screaming stopped.

There was a knock on the door.

 I huddled in a chair.

Another knock.

Then a voice said something I didn't understand. It was gentle in comparison to the yelling.

Since my door wasn't locked I opened it to see a very large German couple, both over six feet.

I started to cry.

The man spoke softly, but I didn't understand.

Somehow he realised I was an anglophone and he switched to English.

He hadn't planned to murder his wife, he said. He was an actor and they were rehearsing for an audition.

Regina and Günther became friends. We went for walks together. They were as poor as we were so even an ice cream cone would be a treat.

Our move to a full apartment came a couple of months later. Rick 1 (I'm married to Rick 2) and I came home early. We decided to take a nap.

We woke when we heard someone in the room to see a flashlight's beam. Our landlord was going thru our armoire.

It took us a week to find another flat. I reveled in the locked doors, the tiny fridge, stove, and a bathtub and shower.


No comments: