Sunday, August 26, 2012

An old friend and life's surprises.

Let me introduce an old friend, let me call him Bert. He has a good mind, people expected him to do well. Yet his life turned out quite different than expected. One day, ages ago, I met him on main street and he told me proudly that he had joined the party. I innocently asked 'Which party?' He was astonished and answered 'The Communist Party of course!' He had a great heart, refused to do military service, went to work as a co-operant in an North African country, working as a teacher. Later he worked  in his home country for 'the' party. Being good at languages he was send to the motherland and worked for several years in Moscow. He didn't quite like the experience, nor the health service there which caused a lot of grief. When  his wife lost a baby during the fifth month of her pregnancy they returned. He went on teaching and writing for the communist publications and doing administrative work.  When his firm (I still mean the Communist Party) folded, he was out of a job and needed to provide for his family. Deemed too dangerous by most employers, he retrained as a truck driver and found a job. Being the smart one, they gave him the difficult jobs and one day discharging a volatile product the truck exploded. Having followed all procedures he survived the blast but still was badly hurt and suffered lasting consequences being quite crippled. Then the economic crises also hit the transport sector and being an older man, was laid off, now living on a small pension. This man listens to Bach, reads good literature and is lonely. He visits his mother in the nursing home once a week and that is quite a chore: walking to the tram, getting up on it and then off and to the nursing home and back. All that goes really slowly. In winter he once in a while takes a cab, since falling because of ice or snow would only complicate things since his legs don't work well at all. I never heard him complain, just that he doesn't have a girlfriend in his life...  All the best to you Bert, I hope you find what you're looking for.

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