One day he’s really here
Günter de Bruyn
Part 2 – Lines 58-140
My daughter overcomes this impression the fastest.
Impatient, she still listens along as I
tell of our last encounter, in ’44, the destroyed train station, [the] ban on leaving the train,
ten minute stop, he with many others in the door of the cattle car, crowded, the mothers in
front, a whistle, waving, crying, then she impatiently asks her uncle how he was capable
of leaving his mother and brother for twenty-two years without word, and I am afraid that
he will now himself question the reality of his homecoming through insecurity and
inexact memory, that he perhaps will even admit that he is not Karlheinz.
immediately begins to narrate, surely and exactly, and everything agrees with that which
we already know: Saint-Nazaire, at his back already the motor noise of the American
tanks, he says to his driver, we’ll strike a private peace, they get out, run up to the Allied
forces, a hedge suddenly separates them forever.
Yes, that’s true, we already knew that –
in ’47, the driver came back and visited us.
What happened then?
sitting around the kitchen table, he across from me, stuffing his pipe with fantastic
smelling tobacco, a special blend.
He doesn’t smoke any factory-made blends.