Thursday, January 15, 2004

life of buddy don, chaptur 94:
home in a box

tiz odd how yer hole way of thankin changes once ye have a place of yer own. befor we found that lil box of a place to live, frankfurt wuz a cold n awful place. the folks wuz greedy, grabby n rude as could be. ye couldnt hardly git thru a three hour stretch without sumthin happenin to make emily cry.

then we gut that lil apartment, the 10 foot by 10 foot cubickull 'mit kuhlschrank, bad und parkplatz,' witch that mint the place had its own bathroom n that kuhlschrank thang that i dun splained wuz a tiny fridgerater with two hot plates n a sank. ye mite could thank twuz no big thang to have a bathroom, but thay wuz plenty of places we herd bout whar ye had to go outside yer apartment to take a bath or even jes to pee or take a dump. as fer the 'parkplatz,' since we dint have no car, that dint make much sense to us tho twood cum in handy by n by.

innywho, once we gut the keys to the frunt door of the buildin n the frunt door of the lil box, we gut rite to cleanin it up. twuz infested with cockroaches, witch we wuznt never able to git em out cumpletely, but lucky fer us, they dint lack to be a round when we wuz n they purty much kep to thar hidin places ceptn at nite whenever we wuz out. ye could here em scramblin to hide whenever we cum home after dark. ever so often i wood try killin em all n we mite not see one fer a week or so, but they wood always cum back.

one sprize wuz how thay wuznt no closet in the place, so that meant we had to go buy us one, witch we found a cheep thang made of aluminum frame with a plastick cover that ye had to stretch round it. ye gut in n out of it usin a zipper. it give us a place to store sum of them soots mama bought me n to hang up emilys dress, witch she wuz smart a nuff to brang jes the one.

we also had to git sumthin to cook with n that led to a fuss n fite on a counta emily hated spendin money moren innythang. she went along with the closet, but when i sed we should git sum pots n pans n dishes n eatin utensils, ye wooda thought i wuz astin to spend our money on a rollex watch. i won thatn by calculatin whut twood cost to eat at the cheepest place we could fine, witch that wood be macdonalds. we could git out of thar with our bellies full fer dm8 - dm10, but ifn we et thar ever meal thar, we wood spend much more on food than on rent.

so she give in on it n we went to the local kaufhof, witch that means buy palace, n bought stuff: (1) a pan with a lid; (2) a pot that could use the same lid; (3) two dishes n two cups n two glasses n two soup bowls; (4) two forks, two knives n two spoons; (5) a spatula; (6) a big spoon sos ye could stir a stew; (7) a chefs knife witch that one cost a nuther fuss n fite; (8) sum dish washin detergent; (9) a sponge; n (10) a lil more food than ye could git into our lil fridgerator, witch twuz hard to bleeve they could call sumthin a fridgerator that wuz so small ye couldnt git a lil turkey to fit inside, not that we ever tried, but ye git the idee bout how tiny twuz.

once we had dun that, we went to the hauptbahnhof n gut the res of our stuff, witch that wuz the trunk of stuff i brought n her tv. once we gut home, we tuck to fitin bout how she wonted to plug in that tv. she had a lil adapter thang to make it possbull to plug it into thar outlet on a counta they had misshapen outlets in the wall whar ye couldnt git a reglar plug in. ye had to have a plug made of two lil round posts, witch she had bought this adapter thang in looseburg that ye could plug in yer reglar plug on one end n have them lil round posts on tuther. i tole her twood kill the tv ifn we plugged it in but she sed she had dun ast the fella that sold her the thang n he promissed twood do no harm. i pointed out how it sed rite on the piece of cardboard the rapped round the adapter how ye ought not use it fer pluggin in a tv, but she sed she had dun ast about that. i sed twuz her tv so she could do whutever she wonted.

our apartment wuz on the ground floor n lucky fer us, the window on it swung out lack a giant door sos ye could use it to git into the concrete yard they had out back. frum thar ye could git to the dumpster, witch i dun jes that whenever that tv gut fried n she agreed thay wuznt no hope of gittin it to wurk agin on a counta how sum parts had melted.

ye mite could be thankin how emily wuznt tuff a nuff fer the thangs we wuz a'gone thru, but ye wood be rong. in my life long observayshun of folks i have noticed how the ones that cries n cumplains the mos is the ones that survives. when ye cunsidder all we wuz a'goin thru, she dint cumplain much, tho her tears wuz easy to flo. she carrd her own luggage. she add mitted twuz stupid to kill the tv. she never cumplained bout eatin the same thang ever nite, witch fer the longes twuz fried taters n bread n cheese or eethur a stew that i wood make n we wood keep eatin fer days. she give up marlboros n tuck to rollin her own cigarettes on a counta twuz about 1/4 the price. she gut a plan bout how she wuz a'gone git a job at a army base, witch she tried that but twuznt to be.

she had good reason fer wontin that job on a counta our money wuz verr low. by time we had bought all the stuff we needed to hang up our cloze n cook a meal, we wuz down to jes dm500 in the bank, witch dm360 of that wuz fer the nex rent. we had maybe dm80 in cash. nex time we wood git paid wuznt september furst lack i thought, but october furst.

whar had all our money gone? we had to spend mos of it on the house of youngns n eatin out befor we could cook but speshly on kautions or deposits. ye had yer staatwerk kaution fer gas n electrick. ye had to pay the po-leece, witch they call em polizei, dm60 each fer a aufenthaltserlaubnis or residence permit. mayhap thar wuz other fees that i dun fergot. innywho, we wuz near broke n had a munth n a half to go till our next pay.

but we had sum money we wuz hopin to cum back to us. whenever we wuz plannin the trip, we sined on fer sumthin they call das experiment, witch the idee wuz we wood git to live with a real german fambly. only problem wuz they woodnt let ye move in till the middle of october, witch that wuz too late. we had sent em dm700 befor they splained when we could git thar. they also dint splain how the closest place we could git a fambly to take us in wuz in mainz, witch twuz a train ride fer dm5,10 to git thar, so twernt sumthin we could use. we wuz also specktin dm200 frum the d-a-a-d, witch they had promissed us that money sos we could use it a'gittin started.

on top of that, we wuz bof sick. i hadnt had much asthma fer years, but frankfurt wuz so polluted that it seemed i wuz on the verge of a attack mos evertime i tuck a breath. she gut a sinus infeckshun n purty soon i had it too. we dint have our health insurance yet, but we did git us sum medicine fer asthma name of columba that dint take no perscriptshun n turnt out to be bettern whut i gut in amurka.

befor we found that, i had a bad attack one nite, bad a nuff to wake us bof up. thay wuznt much we could do, but emily membered how walkin hepped, so she gut rite up n made me git dressed n we insisted we take a walk. i add mitt i dint wont to on a counta how the asthma had dun made me tired. but she woodnt take no fer a anser, so went walkin in the middle of the nite.

we walked to the hauptbahnhof n then up to die englische brueke n then cross the city. we saw all the nite peeple out, sum of em in bars whar folk wuz wearin leather n a'carryin whips. near the hauptbahnhof, we walked past porn shops whar they had pitchers rite in the winder wurse than inny 'axe murder' pitcher oscar clowder ever cum up with. mos everthang ceptn them bars wuz clozed. twuz quite, almos spooky, but we wuz sprized at how safe everthang felt. ye wood thank twood be a lil dangers to be out a'walkin in a big city lack that, but we saw ole women walkin to the train a'carryin thar bags, or famblies cumin frum the train, children trailin behind. we wuz tole to be keerful, but we dint see nuthin that scared us.

twuz a verr long walk but i gut to whar i could breathe ok agin n we made our way home. we gut back as the dawn wuz brakin. we wuz bone tired. but we cum in to that tiny place, clozed n locked the door, n gut down on that foam rubber couch/bed n snuggled up. emily wuz snorin by time i wuz feelin cumfterbull. i could see the lite or mornin cumin round the edges of the winder. i felt warm n wuz breathin easy.

i member it well, even now, that feelin: twuz the feelin of home, of bein in our place, our lil home in a box.

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