Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Little More "History" About "The German Boy"

About The Time I Tried To "Go Home Again"

In the words of Thomas Wolfe, "You can't go home again", and I'm the poster child for that. 
Way back in the 90's, I thought I could go home and live again in my native Germany and it turned out to be a dismal failure. It set me back not only financially, but mentally as well.

To be fair to myself, I had stars in my eyes and didn't think things through all the way. If I had, I'd never have moved, but you can't talk to someone who thinks he's finally fallen in love with the "right" woman. You can't make them see reason and you just have to go let them go ahead, make their mistake (s) and hope they can recover when things don't work out.

And so it was with me and here's the story as well as I remember it - sorry, but I don't know any exact dates - I just know it was in the early 90's.

In the late 80's, a few years before my Mother died, and while I was still employed by USAir, I decided to take her with me on vacation to Germany. We both rode free, it being one of the "perks" of my employment, and I was happy to have her along.

Ab out that time, I reestablished contact with a lady I had spent part of my childhood with, and decided that seeing her again would be one of our stops.I hadn't planned on falling in love, but I did. And she did.

So after Mom and I visited her family in East Germany, it was time to go home to Georgia, only this time I had a little extra "baggage" with me smuggled in my heart. Remember, I grew up with this lady, so the "getting to know you" stage, was, for the most part -  skipped. First mistake. I got those "stars in my eyes" the minute I laid eyes on her again and on the trip home, I felt like I didn't even need an airplane. I was flying just fine on my own.

Then it was her turn to visit me, and after a lot of writing back and forth (I'm not sure if we were e-mailing then) both of us realized that this was the real thing, so when she arrived at the Atlanta airport, I was standing there with a dozen roses.

When it came time for her to leave, I didn't want her to go, but she had commitments and responsibilities she couldn't let go, so I became USAir's most "frequent flier". Whenever I could, I used my free travel pass to fly to Germany to see her. This was mostly on weekends, and the jet lag was murder on my body, but I was in love, so just shut up, "Common Sense". It became a bit of a joke around the office, whenever I came to work already packed and ready for the weekend. "There's Bill," they'd say. "About to take flight on Cupid's 'Arrow of Love'." All kinds of alarm bells were ringing, but they sounded like wedding bells to me.

This is probably a good time to mention that my air travel consisted on flying "stand by", which means, yes, I can fly free, but only if there's a seat available. I first had to fly from Atlanta to North Carolina and then to Frankfurt, and in either city there was the chance I might not be able to get on.

Those were the times I needed a tranquilizer really badly. Luckily though, I always got a seat and she'd be waiting on me in Frankfurt. This went on for the better part of a year, until I decided that something had to change, and so ends Part I. I'll continue the story in the next blog entry.

Thanks as always, for helping me feed the animals by clicking on this icon. See you next time!

The Animal Rescue Site

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I Want To Tell You Something

This is being written in real time, right now, this minute. I thought about writing this a little while ago while watching an HBO documentary about Alzheimer's Disease. It had a title which I don't at this second in time remember. Maybe I will before I stop writing this, but I don't know for sure.

This documentary had as its focus a poet, a man named Edwin Honig and it followed him on film through all the stages, even the very last one before you die; Stage 7.

At the start the viewer is asked to remember three words in order and at this moment in time, I do remember them, but throughout the film, it was a struggle for me and I'll try to explain it so you can understand what was going on in my brain, because even though it seems important, I don't understand why it should be.

Okay, the words are "chair", "tree" and "bird". As I just now wrote this, I hesitated maybe a second between each word to make sure. Is this important to you, that I had to make sure?

When the words appeared on the screen, I said to myself , "Piece of cake, Bill. Just associate the words with each other. A chair is made of wood, the wood comes from a tree, and a bird lives in that tree." With me so far, right?

So here's why I had to struggle with remembering: That damn word table kept wanting to creep in and I had to fight to make it stay out, so I wasn't really paying attention to what I was seeing, because I was working so hard to remember those three words and fighting against the table.

Okay, say it. You know you want to, so say it, dammit! Okay, I'll say it for you since we can't see each other: "Oh, that happens to me all the time, Bill!" Right? Didn't you want to say that? I knew you did and I know why, too. It was to make me feel better, wasn't it? I don't hate you for that, I don't hate anyone for that, but it does get under my skin something fierce, because you can't feel the struggle with me. And it (oh boy! I started a sentence with a conjunction! Sue me!) doesn't happen just once or twice a day, but pretty much throughout.

I have written about this before, I know, but it bears repeating: it's a struggle for us - those of us who have problems with short term memory, and so that's what I wanted to tell you, even though several minutes have now passed since I began this blog entry.

The name of the documentary is "First Cousin", and yes, I remember the words, although I had to stop typing, close my eyes and think them out loud.

This is my journal and maybe some day, someone will read it to me, but I fervently hope I can read it for myself.

Short And Sweet!

Cautiously hopeful that all my symptoms have stabilized, but not altogether sure of it. I still have the short-term memory loss, and I know this won't improve, but it hasn't gotten worse, so I see that as a good sign. I'm almost 64 after all, so nothing reverses now anyway.

"From the minute we are born, we begin to die". Who said that? Damn if I know. I googled it, and although many people use the quote, no one attributes it to anyone. Nietzsche, Kafka, Crosby, Stills, Nash, Freud, Marx, Engels or Jung? Like I said, I don't know, but it's true. Our cells begin to die once we hit the open air. I can't remember it, but it musta been nice and warm in mother's womb. No wonder we get slapped on our butts when we exit: it's like a "welcome" of sorts to a world of pain and death - however they manifest themselves. In between we try to find a little happy-time, and some of us do.

I'm still keeping up and promoting my German friends ("my boys"), "Copper Smoke", and continually finding more and more out about Markus Rill, who, in my opinion is the best poet/singer since Dylan. If he reads this, it isn't mean to embarrass, but is a genuinely sincere observation. This guy, although yet to see 40, sings like he's lived forever. The song at the bottom of this entry is about Alzheimer's, and since we've become friends, he's used a bit of what I write as his inspiration. On behalf of all of us, Danke, Markus.

Dondra's developed some more lung problems. We don't know specifically what is wrong, but we've ruled out pneumonia or anything viral, so we're looking elsewhere. She asks that you please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Because we're both respiratory therapists we know what it could be, but neither of us are saying it out loud. She's had some lung testing this past week and we should know something soon about what's going on.

Autumn is settling in just fine here in Georgia, after a very mild Summer, and my bicycle is in the shop for a tune up. When I get it back, I'll be riding the trails to see the beautiful leaves changing their colors.

I hope you're doing well, wherever you are, and I appreciate your reading my drivel here. My writing has been sporadic of late, but it's just because I've had nothing to say - not because I'm dead or anything. Follow me on Facebook if you wish. Sometimes I write stuff there which doesn't appear here and my handle there is Wilhelm Trommler.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Markus Rill
Please don't forget to help feed our unwanted four-footed friends. Click on the icon, which will take you to the site. It's free. Thanks and see y'all next time! Bill The Animal Rescue Site