What am I actually doing here? I, Anne Stein, in the middle of my life, a pretty normal life, and now I am standing here, on a much too early morning that holds the airport tightly hugged in its icy dawn. This airport, Berlin Tegel, seeing its last winter just like this life meets its last morning. One of my lives. The old one. And somehow I fear in this second in which I join the row at check-in, that it could well be no more than a dull illusion, that I am going through with this just to recognize that I got on the wrong track, got lost in the frenzy of past weeks.
Ridiculously few luggage is at my feet. Only one trolley for a whole new life. All other things, wardrobe, books, pictures, old letters, disks, plainly all that life is about, that provides a form for it in which it is held, I left in the house for which I choose every tile, every fitting with great care. I left it there together with a twenty years old marriage and a teenage daughter. What am I actually doing here
I look at this ticket I hold in my hand, a hand that seems strange and numb now to me. As if it will fall off in a second, sink into the ground, all bloodless and inconspicuous.
While the people in the row move slowly forward I turn off my mobile phone. So that no one can stop me now? Who on earth should want to try? I turn it on again. It is six thirty four am the glowing numbers on the display tell me as if they were to announce a good message. Outside it starts to snow.
I hold on to looking down, avoid to watch the departure board that hangs above the counter. I know what is written there, which city is spelled in glowing LED. But knowing does not mean a thing without seeing as it allows all knowledge to remain in a certain unreality in which I can make myself cozy until I finally board that plane. Maybe even a bit longer – if I am lucky. What am I actually doing here?
I check the phone again. To make sure of what? Six thirty five am. Through a wall of sickness I see how the boarding area behind the check-in counters slowly fills with people. Still, I can turn back, can I? I tell myself I can just turn around, go back to Joachim and Leonie, live on in my old and normal life. Maybe it will feel a bit dead but secure and so blissfully known, and all that has happened in these past weeks will simply be buried alive.
- The DNA of Friendship