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Diebsteich (Hamburg) Trance

I moved there on a dull Tuesday: most days were grey in that part of the country and it was January, that didn't help. A cat was living in the flat, that's what made me take the room. The view from the second floor was on a bit of green over the road and a pine tree. The small ads said close to shops; it was true but that's if you needed flowers or marble as the main attraction here was the cemetery; buses of pensioners made maneuvers around the cobblestone and woke me up on Sundays but the rest of the time, it was very quiet.

I wasn't allowed to let the cat out, ever. My flatmate was called Heinrich or Erik, a doctor, a student one. He was also the flat owner. He told me to sit on the toilet seat when I pissed and told me to sit on the washing machine when it spinned; he would check on it I suspect. I acted against orders but cleaned up afterwards. He was the first person I met who recycled tins & glass ; He told me "it's not going to work but I'm doing it to make a point". He had a girlfriend, I would hear them grunt now and again on night rumps.

I used to move my bed around the room for a change of scene in a dead poets society kind of way, that's how bored I was. My bed sheets were too small for German standards and I had to fight the mattress after each wash as the 4 corners tilted it upright like an unwanted erection.

There was no TV, no DVDs - it didn't exist. I listened to the radio in the evenings; one such eve I heard Bali Gamelan and my life changed forever...

Story by:

Emile Dumas

4 February 2014