The baby by Hans-Jürgen John, translated by Anthony Cataldo

First chapter

It was in the year 1960. That isn´t important but it is one of the facts of the now following story.

On an ordinary day in the aforementioned year in the morning at around half past eight when the snow lying on the ground seemed to linger in difference of the warmth of the coming day a child is born, maybe it is more truth to say thrown into this world.

Its mother is a worker on an assembly line, in a factory, in a university town, near Stuttgart, in Baden-Württemberg, in Middle Europe, and there in Germany and that is where the story begins. This baby drew its first breath in a large park; another half an hour, and it would have been born in the warmth and safety of the factory where its mother worked. Surrounded by new and older inventions of whole generations of engineers. Yes there surrounded by waves of noisy worklife it would get the right impression of the world it would like to reign some day. But no, thanks to the unthinking shamefulness of a young desperate mother a very different world presents itself to the child. The other world would be denied to it for a very long time. The air was full of the changing songs of an escaped parrot and other birds, come to witness this strange event, then fly away to their own lifes.

The young woman doesn´t cares anymore about the rotten cards life had dealt her. She calls her living conditions fate and suffers for her inability to change them. She is convinced that life doesn´t cares about her. But she really did her best to lessen the impact of lifes injustices, even though she couldn´t do anything to avoid them.

In the beginning she would fantasize about the life she could have had with the guy whose child she carried under her heart. His face and everything about him invoked feelings that were now fading. Even the feelings she had experienced when he was near her she is now losing, contaminated and overwhelmed by the experiences of her life now. Again and again she remembers these feelings when the tiny life the impulse that became flesh and blood moves inside her.

Again and again she felt abandoned longing for his rough, warm voice. Again and again she was alone with her thoughts, thoughts of suicide. The baby was the reason for these thoughts, she told nobody these feelings and nobody was aware of her condition. Her silent guilt grew, as the baby inside her grew. Nine months of judgement, without the possibility of defense. No evidence to hear, no book of law or final speech. The absence of the father left the baby without a voice and allowed the mother the role of judge, public prosecutor and jury.

© 2010 Hans-Jürgen John