Friday, November 15, 2002

thanks to phil, who runs tütensuppe experience, my day improved by a few hundred percent this afternoon.
gracious person that he is, he provided me with an mp3 of "die waffe" by nationalgalerie, which has been running non stop on my winamp ever since the download was complete.

now let me explain why this leaves me all excited and emotional (which is not solely due to the alcohol consumed at the laundromat today).

i've been looking for this song for years, remembering it faintly, never being able to find it online, the cd long unavailable in the shops, the one person i was sure owned the cd not exactly the person i would ever approach to ask for a tape.

until this afternoon, i had only ever heard the song -at least consciously- once before, at a party in august 1994, totte's 19th birthday party, a week or so after our friend stephan's funeral, which had taken place at totte's actual birthday.

it was a strange party, that one. how can you party when someone you've spend your entire summer with had just been buried? how can you party when there are so many things that had been left unsaid?

we, our summer group of friends, tried, but we couldn't really, if i remember it correctly. i remember that totte had purchased the cheapest beer available for the party, partly to discourage party crasher turning up for free booze. it was indeed horrible beer ("oettinger"), yet it served the purpose: we got drunk, somewhow.

i also remember that hardly anyone danced that night, in the disco cellar of the youth center of our church, where i would have my "almost 18" goodbye party before leaving to new zealand roughly two years later, too.

i remember having to leave relatively early, that night, not that i remember why. so i went downstairs, to where totte and his friend volker had been playing their kind of music - to hardly anyone in the room all night, to say goodbye. almost everyone had sat upstairs, drinking, talking casually about nothing in particular, eating the fabulous vegetarian food totte had provided.
i had just wanted to say goodbye, but when i came into the dj booth to do just that, totte told me to just stay for one more song, and that's when he put on nationalgalerie's "die waffe".
i had listened to their album "indiana" for much of the summer, not getting "ruhe vor dem sturm" out of my head, so i instantly recognised niels frevert's voice, and we danced and jumped around, totte and me, just the two of us, quite wildly, too, him singing along to the song, that august night in the downstairs disco of the youth centre.

when the song was over, it was time for me to say goodbye, and i said goodbye, and we hugged, for the first time since the day we had found out about stephan's death, i think, holding on to each other for several minutes, him telling me to stay longer.
i can still remember what it felt like, that hug. so much had been upside down and inside out in the previous months and weeks and days, and the only thing i felt like was holding on to him and what i felt for him. i was still all head over heels in love with him, still thought it would all work out in the end, somehow. which it didn't. how good you rarely know these things in advance.
we rested, the two of us, in this hug, as we did every time we touched each other, which we didn't on a regular basis from a certain point on, always asking the other whether it was okay to hug, always my defences breaking down when we agreed, often attempting to kiss him, which we would't do again until the night of his accident a few weeks later.
looking back, knowing that he is sorry he backed out of this, it seems to me as if we were holding on to each other back then hoping to preserve the moment to change it. we weren't together, after all. if both hoping that we were.

and now i am listening to the song again, for the first time in more than 8 years.
i am well aware that part of my response to this song is due to the anticipation, to the searching out and tracking down and to my cyclic melancholic looking back on my first love ever.

it's good to have the song now. i can reclaim it as a part of my memories of that summer, i can enjoy it and listen to it, and dance and be sad and happy and let it go, once i feel like doing so.
meeting totte two years ago and talking about our relationship and hearing that he wished it had been different enabled me to make peace with the way things had been and not constantly ponder we could have been so good together anymore. once my anger about the things that migth have been had subsided, i could accept and let go of it a little more.

and now this awesome, energetic, passionate song is just one more way of remembering what was that night, that summer, and of course it's a way to remember what could have been, too. but it's just that, the trigger to some good memories and some bad memories, a damn good song. it's nothing that throws me off the rails into hours of sadness and wonder about how stupid and young i was at 16.

the song is too good to ruin it by attaching bad, sad memories to it. after all, the feeling i had that night at the party, despite stephan's death just days before, was too good, too. sure, i was terribly and utterly devastated, but this party was, in a way, our way to reclaim a sense of normalcy after the mourning and burying. and i was in love, head over heels, and for the first time for real, i felt safe with totte and i was hopeful and positive about what would develop. all in a way that's only possible the first time it ever happens.

and that's something i really don't want to forget. ever.

"die waffe"

hier nimm diese waffe von mir
ein geschenk von deinem bruder
soll auf ewig glück dir bringen
deine süsse liebe verteidigen

für nen mann im park
und die netten jungs von nebenan
für papa wenn er nachts in dein zimmer kommt
und mama nicht weiss was sie sagen soll

nimm diese waffe von mir
diesen ring
dieses lied
diese waffe von mir
nimm diese waffe von mir

es geht ständig klicker klick
und der alptraum meldet sich zurück
süsse liebe
so dunkel die nacht
schweissgebadet neben mir aufgewacht

ich weiss das tor ist verschlossen
aber lass eine tür für mich offen
ein schild auf dem steht
"achtung vorsicht! gut behandeln, inhalt zerbrechlich"

nimm diese waffe von mir
diesen ring
dieses lied
diese waffe von mir

nimm diese waffe von mir
diesen mit liebe geladenen revolver

für die die rücksicht nehmen
die sich allergrösste mühe geben
für den einen der da gerade neben dir liegt
und jede menge kluger ratschläge gibt

nimm diese waffe von mir
diesen ring
dieses lied
diese waffe von mir

nimm diese waffe von mir
diesen mit liebe geladenen revolver