I'm enlightened and it's not as bad as I thought.

A love story now anyway without intent.

I'm enlightened and it's not as bad as I thought. Really, nothing has changed, except everything. I can still smoke, drink and enjoy making buns, even nicer and faster than ever. I'm doing the same things as always. Washing, cooking, shopping, sleeping, taking a crap, talking on the phone and painting.

It hit me while taking a shower.
I keep avoiding it time and time again. Either I'm late getting to the bathroom in the morning and someone else is in there already, so I'll get dressed instead and make breakfast and that's it for the day. Or I'll make plans to shower in the afternoon when the balcony is bathed in sunlight, nice and hot, but something else will pop up. Taking a shower later on in the evening is also not on because my hair will end up in a tangled mess while sleeping. Meanwhile the scent is getting stronger and stronger, slowly entering the comfy stage. I don't shower very often. Maybe once a week. But now, one very early morning, sitting at my computer, almost shivering from all the coffee and fags, I did it.
Standing in the bath tub, I was feeling quite dizzy, also needing to go to the loo. After I managed to premix the water to a comfortable temperature I adjusted the shower head and stepped under it. I could feel the perfect shape of my head, the way it can only be felt when water is running through your hair. I massaged my cold arms from top to bottom with scrubbedy bath gloves, moved on to my tummy, my thighs and calves, feet and toes. The warm water was running and running and I was filled with gratitude for all this warm water and that I was allowed to use it. I was taking a shower and I was so very happy doing it.

In earlier days, before I was enlightened, I showered too.

Not that I didn't have good times before. Too often, I thought sometimes, and to clearly visible, and I felt a little silly because of it. Like someone who doesn't take the big world problems serious enough - how could I smile in the face of catastrophes and the reality of getting older and wrinklier every day, staring certain death in the eye.

And always this chitchat about the kids. What they're saying, what they're doing, how they look, how they sleep, how they eat. Who wanted to hear that.
I've been feeling odd for a long time. First up it's wrong for an artist to have 5 children. The planning is already off the charts. Planning was very difficult anyway. I tried. I took the pill - a very bad invention, totally beside the point. Your breasts grow in a way you never wished for, if you're unlucky you break out in pimples, you're desire for sex dwindles, your body believes you are pregnant and can't understand that nothing is coming out down under. Many cry a lot. With the spiral in my belly I bled for 6 weeks straight. It was very expensive and still had to go anyway.
At around 30yrs of age and with 3 kids already, I went to get sterilised. A small operation. The worst thing about it was the pain around the collarbone region, caused by air being pumped inside of me, to reach the delicate small parts snaking around the womb. They are inflated away from each other so to speak, to make it easier to separate them. I told the Doctor "If I really want another child, It'll work anyway." He didn't think that was funny.

Eight years later I was pregnant again for the first time.
We'd suddenly fallen in love again after being separated for a year. Pretty disturbing. Then, I did this test and threw it in the garbage with it's two pink stripes. It couldn't stay there either, the garbage grew suddenly so big, important and radiant.
It's a fascinating thing with these tests. You pee on it and then you have to wait, I believe 3 minutes. Well, - 3 minutes - 125 years. First you see a very small bit of pink, you can't be too sure, the display is tiny and next to it the control strip, pink as well, you think your eyes are playing tricks on you. Then at some point, around 80 years later, it's flimmering in front of your eyes and you don't know anything anymore.
Sometimes tears are blurring your vision. After a long time you take it into the daylight, afraid you might meet someone, since everyone recognises this thing. Either you'll realise that the spot next to the pink strip is definitely white, or it is not. Not that you'll believe what you're seeing. But you've made a step forward.
In this special case I took the phone and called him. "Hi, I'm pregnant" I said. He answered "We'll keep it". I could still cry when I think of it.

Now we knew nothing anymore. The world displayed different colours. The sun was shining so pleasantly, we couldn't explain it to the children and then it was gone again. The small, tiny child was not born. It was almost exactly six weeks old.
After that I didn't try planning again. I was told I could fall pregnant again naturally but it was only a 2% chance at my age. Ha Ha. Years later, I was staying in NYC for 6 months on my own at the time, he visited me and after he'd left I was positive, positive, positive to be pregnant again and used up 5 test kits. All of them stayed white at the crucial spot. I was still positive. One month later I had the pleasure of both pink strips again. So much for the planning. My forth child will be 14 in 11 days.

Translation: Uli Burns

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