The Letter H
In my life this letter H means many things: hurt, hostility, humans, humiliation – hope – happiness!
And also names.
Let’s begin with an H name: Heideli.
When conceived during a piano étude at her mother’s home on Himmelrich Strasse, Heideli had no clue of the passion and desire that brought her to life. Neither did she know that all this wasn’t about her; merely about a beautiful woman strutting with a state of the art white stroller and a fat baby in a park named Vögeligärtli.
As a teenager, she learned that her existence was an accidental byproduct, an unwanted and unexpected fluke of moments of desires and failed desperate attempts of the young beauty’s jumping from tables, taking mustard baths and what not to avoid the consequences. The soon to be little human Heideli stubbornly clung to life, not letting go of the warm womb she craved for most of her life thereafter.
Heideli was delivered to our world at the office of a general practitioner who was known for buzzing around town on a big black German bike, clad in a long black Nazi-style leather coat even during the midst of summer. After WWII the doctor’s wife disappeared—with the first “liberator” she met—to South America, leaving her four children behind. Twenty plus years later, the then adult Heideli rejected their oldest son as a prospective suitor. She had listened enough to the man’s constant babbling over a few boring dinner dates to confide to me, her trusted writing canine, some of the facts of that story.
By now, you got the drift, I’m sure. I’m barking about my Female.
Despite, or because of, her strong will, she turned out to be a skinny, lonely little girl. Her first year, she lived mostly with her Bernese grandparents. That is, until she was considered a spoiled brat by Big Godi. Not knowing any better (there were no child psychologist or family protection agencies at the time), Godi took little Heideli over his knees for the first of many times when she was barely one year old.
He was very proud of his parental skills, bragging for years and years how quickly he had put his offspring into place. No more crying or tantrums in public or at the table. Tears had to be reserved to the privacy of her room, preferably under the bed covers.
Thirty years later my Wolfman might have been one of the last to hear that story from his future father-in-law when he met him for the first time.
Anyway, at least on the outside the “child management procedure” seemed to have worked. Little Heideli turned out to be a lively but somewhat shy girl who spent most of her time unsupervised outdoors, because her time with her grandparents had been limited to no more than one visit a week.
So Heideli became the Great Explorer of her town. Her favorite sidekick was her former baby carriage, her constant companion. Actually it became her very first obsession with wheels. Kindergarten was beyond her reach, probably because of financial issues. Therefore, the then, maybe five year old, had plenty of time to roam the hills of her hometown with her Wisa Gloria. She crossed the city, sometimes visiting friends of her parents; walked up the hills surrounding the town and then joyfully seating herself in the rattly old carriage, flying downhill, her legs draped widespread over the sides of the push bar, like she had learned maneuvering a sled in the snow.
One of the adults who witnessed the girl happily zipping down the steep narrow streets in her baby carriage probably informed mother Heidi about her daughter’s shenanigans. That was the end of those four wheeled escapades. The stroller had disappeared unannounced. From then on it was walking; not bad, just not as exhilarating … until the roller blades!
But that’s another story. — TBC
The Wisa Gloria, however, reappeared in her fathers drawings in the early fifties.
These are drawings of one of Godi’s unsuccessful inventions. He envisioned a baby carriage as a platform for numerous ingenious contraptions. The Female found it among the many drawings, manuscripts, and photographs her parents left behind when they moved to Tenerife.