Sunday, April 8, 2012

Around the World: Dusseldorf Blues

April 8, 1992

Instead of a shower, I had a character building experience this morning.  The shower is operated by pushing a button.  There's no way to turn it off once it's activated.  When I turned the shower on, the water was freezing cold.  Unimpressed with the prospect of starting the day with hypothermia, I decided to skip it and get dressed.  Then, the water started warming up, so I quickly undressed and hopped in. Just as I was ready to rinse all the soap off me, the water cut out all together.

Soapy and half blind, I turned on the shower again and was doused with an unwelcome spray of freezing cold water.  When it finally warmed up again, I hurried to rinse off the soap and stood under the warm water to recover from the cold spray.  Challenge completed, I'm now ready to take on the world, or at least a short train trip to Dusseldorf.

Browsing the postcards in a shop, I am not finding much that I want to do or see in Dusseldorf.  A grocery store provides me with all the fixings for a picnic.  A nearby park has all the comforts required to spend a quiet day watching people.  I'm in an odd mood, a consuming and uninspired, melancholy frame of mind, possibly homesickness.  Calculating the time difference, I figure it's late morning in Toronto, and likely that someone is home.  Maybe a familiar voice will break the gloomy cloud that hangs over my head.

The phone rings and rings.  No one answers.  Odd.

Back to people watching, the constant flow of people rushing off to someplace else, a few people are hurriedly walking dogs in the park.  It's easy to take things, and especially people for granted.  I really miss my family, my friends and the little day to day things that seem so monotonously routine.  I miss having a permanent place to keep my toothbrush.  I miss sleeping in my own bed, listening to familiar music, talking to my grandparents.  My grandparents are pretty cool people, being old only in years.  My grandma is the most empathetic person I've ever met, she has a special gift for understanding people.  My grandad always has a funny story and loves to laugh. It's too bad they didn't answer the phone.  I know they would have been thrilled to hear my voice and talking to them always brightens my day.

Family and friends, cheers from Dusseldorf.  I miss you all terribly and send you my love.  How I wish..., how I wish you were here.

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In loving memory
Patrick Gerald O'Grady
May 21, 1913 - April 8, 1992