My little brother had just started first grade, when I was called up to babysit his classmate and her younger sister. An eleven-year-old looking after a six- and five-year old. Whatever. I received a generous allowance, which I invested in my dollhouse.
I had begun playing with puppets. Together with my brothers. We had Barbie and Ken kidnapped by aliens where they were forced to intercourse. As an experiment, that goes without saying.
On another Thursday I was not available to babysit. We had a school trip into the thermae. From this trip I should come directly to the two girls so that their mother could leave for her late shift.
On the bus towards the thermea I was sitting on my own. The guest worker’s daughter and the Polish girl hadn’t come with us. Already on the way there I chew down my bread and butter. It is still like this today: Whenever I sit a few minutes on the bus or on the train I have to devour my provisions.
In the spa there were several differently tempered pools, whirlpools and water slides. I particularly liked the whirlpools. Sprightly the blue water sputtered brightly light in a luscious blue. There had to be lamps at the floor. Some time I stared fascinated into the blue bubbles. Then I decided to go to the bottom of the source of the light. I dived towards the bottom of the pool with opened eyes. On the ground there were three spotlights. I once again surfaced the water in order to gasp for air. Then I took a deep breath and dived down again. The air in my chest exasperatingly procured a natural draft and I head to release air from my lungs, until I sank flatly to the ground. Now I tried to cover the lamps with my limbs and chest so that it became all dark all around. I was happy when I managed to achieve this.
Meditatively I held out on the bottom of the whirlpool. Whether it was possible to place one’s mouth on the bubble sprays? I tried. However, the stream was that strong that I wasn’t able to bring my face to the sprays.
Although I began to run out of breath, I didn’t want to emerge on the surface. It was nice down there. Quiet and alone. I only heard the whooshing of the water and felt the bubbles on my body. Everything was calm down there.
Then I registered a touch to the back of my head – fierce – and my chin violently pitched the ground.
Immediately, a starteled foot withdrew from my head and I darted out of the water like a rocket. On the rim an obese classmate was standing and was staring at me cream-faced. “Were you hurt?”
I didn’t answer but climbed swiftly out of the pool, holding my chin, ran to the toilet. There I inspected the mess. Blood was sputtering and couldn’t get staunched. I locked me up in a cabin and spent half a roll of toilet paper for containing the blood stream. I could under no circumstances step onto the others like this!
“Shit”, I thought, “why are you so stupid?”
When we were called for leave, I grabbed another load of paper towels and somehow managed to change among the other girls. Then the first curious questions came up: “What’s up with you?” “You are bleeding!” “What happened?”
I just waived them aside ill-temperedly. My chin hurt but I felt this predicament was my own fault. Why ever was I so stupid? Why hadn’t I considered that nobody would see me at the bottom of the pool when all lights went out?
Finally I was sitting inside the bus. And held my chin.
„What’s up with you?“, the teacher enquired.
“Nothing”, I replied doggishly.
“Let me have a look!”
A classmate barged in: „The fatty jumped onto her head!“
I was horribly embarrassed. After all, my diving adventure had practically invited such an accident.
The teacher kept on trying to get through to me, but I refused to show my injuries. Finally she gave up and left me alone. After all, I was not crying.
When we arrived in town I ran from school, where the bus had dropped us, to the girls in the west end. This represented a march of approximately 20 minutes. My chin was pulsating.
The mother of my babysitting girls eventually persuaded me to show ther the lesion. It seemed to be worse than I thought because she immediately called at work to tell she could not come due to an emergency. She brought me to hospital.
The huge laceration couldn’t be sutured anymore; too much time had passed. I was equipped with closure strips on my chin and had to wear them for one whole week.
The doctor was annoyed with me: “Why didn’t you come earlier”. This haunted me over the day. All the time I seemed to have my fingers in some mysterious cookie jars. All I did, was wrong. While mother frequently constituted: “I loathe crying people!”
Nobody ever mentioned the incident, but in school I felt – as so often – like a laughing stock. With my huge plaster in the face. The scar, which can be clearly seen even today, was not a war wound acquired in honour.