Moving House
Most people didn’t like moving house but he loved it more than anything else. He was 14 when he had a terrible row with his father. He flatly told him he could go if he didn’t behave himself. He knew it was not easy to go and live alone. Where could he stay? Who with? He didn’t want to go to anybody he knew because they would start asking question and try to persuade him to go back. If he stayed, nobody would take him seriously. He had now finally turned homeless . People lived with their families but there was some strange feeling in him about his family. In his mental state he risked it and left.

First, he went to a place where nobody knew him. “This is the most comfortable for me” he thought. Darkness fell and there was nobody to give him shelter. He knew about homeless people, usually men but they were aggressive and vulgar. He was afraid he might never rest anywhere. Yes, he thought of dogs but not the dogs which had a master for they were aggressive. Only people with big gardens and houses kept dogs. The other dogs were stray dogs and he found some and went to them and slept there.

The voice of a woman called and shook him awake. He thought he was dreaming but when he opened his eyes the fat face of a young woman was bent very close over his face. My dear why are you sleeping with the dogs? You don’t have a home? He didn’t know what to say but then: You see my family died in an accident and I am left alone. He said. What a shame my young man you must be as old as me, not older than 25 but don’t despair you can come with me. You see I don’t have a dog or a cat but an eight-month-year-old son. You can be a loving father to him. He didn’t like to be a father to a son he had no hand in. His family would make fun of him if they found out. He followed her and thought he could hide her son from the eyes of those who knew him.

She took him to her old house with half-curtains. When they were inside she said: You must now promise me to do what I say like a well-behaved dog. You can look after my son when I am out. He promised. It was a nice place although it smelt terribly of urine. The next day she asked him what he wanted to have for she was going shopping after work. “Remember don’t leave the house until I come back. You can play with my son if you like.” She said.

In the evening when she came back and after taking her son to bed he was sitting in the kitchen smoking. Suddenly she burst in and pointed a gun at him, ordered him to get up and go upstairs. “You think I am an idiot. I think you are just using me to find shelter. Now I give you shelter but you can’t leave.” She locked him in a room upstairs.

In the mornings when she left and in the evenings when she came back she threw a lot of tinned food to him. He ate and ate until he was as fat as an old dog, completely cut from the outer world. By now he was so heavy that he couldn’t walk properly. He crept to the door and shouted to her to give him more food. Later she thought he wouldn’t be able to leave on his own and unlocked the door. He never dared to open the door but the idea of leaving again didn’t leave him. He was completely dependent on her although she was often out in the evenings at the weekends after putting her son to bed. He wanted to take advantage of her absence and leave but was too weak to do so. He stayed and was now twenty years older. She was sure he was so sluggish that he would even kick the bucket in his room. She couldn’t believe it when she came back home one evening.

He was not there. That evening when the bell rang her son was not at home either. He went down to open the door. A woman in her end thirties was at the door. She was a stranger there and was looking for accommodation in the area. She never thought it was her who had to accommodate him. She came back one evening and took him to her place. When her eldest sister heard the story she phoned and said: Look this is a man without shelter. He is a kept man looking for a nest.

But now he felt safe and was not going to move again. It was a place faraway from those he knew. However, something changed in him. He couldn’t bear people around him, became more and more sensitive. Any noise would drive him crazy. She wanted to change him and often complained: Look this house is like a prison for us. We haven’t been out for some time now. But where could he go to? No, he was too heavy to go anywhere. “I promised her not to move again and hope she didn’t move either.” He thought.

Bremen, 10 June 2006