24 June 2011

People from the Past - Pt. 2

Click here to read part 1.

You know, as much as I complain about this place, there's actually days when this town surprises me. The other day, about a week ago, I was roaming through the streets with Tobs and Jessi after an early dinner. On the corner of Neustraße and Berlinerstraße, right in front of the wooden elephant slide, we saw a street concert by two guys with acoustic guitars. One of them was singing and the other one was playing and smiling along. He was an old friend of ours. 

Toni, a name from the past, and he's somehow connected with each of us in a cobweb kind of way. As for me, we used to hang out and skate together a long time ago. It was a bunch of us kids. My brother K was one of them and names like Tristan and Dave also come to mind. It was a great time, skating all day, drinking cheap iced tea, a lot of good memories popped up while they were playing their songs. Afterwards we got a minute to talk and it was nice catching up.

He's married now and has two kids, a daughter and a son, both of them beautiful creatures. After losing sight of each other, Toni left town for studies and came back a school teacher for theology. Now he lives with his family in a place close to the city where I did my studies at. He connected with a group of similar-minded people and founded a church community in this town. That's why they were giving the concert, to do and give something good to this place.

Then yesterday, I was walking down from the train station, it was early in the evening, when I ran into old Sven. Another long forgotten name. First I only saw some guy holding a skateboard. And knowing that there's not too many riders in this town, I thought it might be one of the younger kids, a tall-grown skater of the new generation. But then his bearded visage looked strangely familiar. It's crazy how long I haven't seen this guy. Last time we met we were kids.

And there we were, standing between Backwerk and Bäckerei Merzenich, talking about what had happened. He was in town to help his sister move. He himself currently lived in Köln, teaching kids how to grow into society. Back in the days we were the ones who needed guidance, I thought. And then he told me about the minor drug problem he had, about losing his job, losing his girlfriend, losing perspective. And how he just came out of rehab. 

We exchanged numbers and promised to go push as soon as I get my board set up. I thought about how very different people's paths can develop. And hearing all these stories made me think about my own life. I once read about a writer who said something like, Don't bother writing a book if you don't have a story to tell. I don't remember who it was, but I thought about it on my way back home. I'm not planing to write a book, at least not any time soon, but it would be nice to have a story to tell.

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