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05.06.2019 Feature Article

The Underground Man - Part 7

The Underground Man - Part 7
LISTEN JUN 5, 2019

“There are many problems in this world,” started Anna to explain,” wars, famine, modern day slavery, economic unbalance, fairness in trade, migration and many more. So, I wonder…,” was she disturbed by Irena`s incoming call. Her sister wanted to let her know in the evening to tell her mother she would sleep over at a friend`s house and come back late Saturday afternoon. Irena laughed at Anna hearing she would fight for a better life while facing the difficulty possibly to get punished for her absence from school by the School Authority. “I mean,” turned Anna again her attention to Fred and Louisa that looked at her with doubting face, “from all our problems, which one is the most important one? I mean, is it not better to focus time, energy and creativity on the most important issues before tackling the second most important problem…and so on?”

Louisa looked at Fred, smiled, felt the voice of hundreds of pupils behind them shouting their demands towards the politicians in power and answered:”What could possibly be more important for us than to stop climate change?”


“What do you mean by that?” was Fred wondering.

“Africa will be overpopulated easily in our generation. This will also have serious consequences for our climate more than we can imagine now. Civil wars, famine, fighting between Blacks and Whites, developed world against underdeveloped world and so on…all that is not in the focus of our generation, yet I can see this must be our number one problem and priority of action and thinking to find a solution for. The process to stop it is difficult, so we must manage it well to hope the effects will not be too bad on all of us.”

Fred and Louisa looked at each other being pushed by a crowd of aggressive students passing by to head for the stage Greta was supposed to address the protesters at any minute.

“I only want to understand, why people not take to the streets and demand measures to fight overpopulation, at least demand effective steps from governments to manage the upcoming disaster before the problem hits them; before the problem is here to stay,” asked Anna with a crystal clear voice.

Fred laughed at her: “How do you want these many people here around us to understand what you are talking about?”

Louisa added half way looking towards the stage: “Do you think we have the nerves to fight for something that we cannot change? Climate change….there we can make an impact, a mark. But when in Africa the people have too much sex and refuse to use condoms….” was she lifting up her shoulders before smiling with wide open eyes, “after all they have to produce a lot of children as their pillar of their social system and security in their olden days.”

Anna was left alone. The crowd had run to Greta to listen to a young girl with no life experiences. Saddened looked Anna up to the Town Hall tower and further to the skies.

“Will they ever learn?” were the bells of the nearby Katharinen Church ringing in her mind.

It was a hot summer morning, few people attended church on German society. Anna had been baptized as a small child by her mother´s will. She herself never had contact with God relaying on her intellectual capacity rationalizing life to make sense of the obvious, of what she was aware off by her very own eyes. Being much of her time secluded all by herself avoiding intentionally to collect friendship. Anna wanted to see what the outside world was doing and how it resonated in her inner self. What her age mate took for granted, she questioned it down to the relevant bottom of the matter.

Passing Hartzloh Saint Gabriel Church, she walked slowly towards Barmbek Hospital enclosed by a long, high red brick wall. Three days a week the small road leading to Stadtpark was closed off for an open market offering fresh fruits, vegetables and her favorite cake, as sand cake with double layers of pastry and a heavy white cream as center. They called it Bärentatzen looking like bear paws, a delight coated in sugar.

Looking left and right very carefully, Anna crossed the busy road leading to her right to City North. The Open Air Festival area hosting up to 3000 people was located to her left. She directed her way straight towards the small pond with water lilies, plants and water birds.

Next to a small cabin built to give shelter in times of rain, used also as a meeting point for nature lovers, was an old wooden bench for her to rest and enjoy a quiet time. She watched love couples passing by enjoying each other`s company, old folks having a good time after a harsh winter. Children annoyed their parents, dogs were chasing wild ducks and faced fierce fights with impressive swans. The lawn around was cut the day before perfuming the air with fresh smell of good, easy living.

She was not aware of him approaching the bench. Out of the blue he was standing right before her and asked for permission to share the place with her. Anna moved to the side to give him space. He introduced himself as Walter Enden. A tall man with black glasses, long, sharp nose, one blue eye having a light brown spot, the only physical inheritance of his short mother that had black hair, was constantly overweight, had a round face unlike is oval shaped one that gave him a good looks in his matured life. His voice was of a friendly, quiet manner that certainly had gone through a lot in life sharpening his mind.

Anna felt is heavy, burdened heart beating next to her. He looked around wanting to destruct his mind. Unexpectedly did he turn to Anna describing life as a difficult challenge filled with harm done and unfairness prevailing.

“As you are still a young lady”, said Walter Enden with a smiling face, his eyes wide open. “make sure only to deliver your own children with a man you honestly love and not want to use him for your own selfish agenda. No man and no child deserves to be put into a situation of pain, tears, disorientation, shame and disgrace.”

Anna was puzzled not understanding a single word the man in his late forties was sharing with her. She looked at him asking for a deeper explanation of his statement.

Walter Enden took a deep breath and continued: “In this world globally interest groups fight nationally or internationally a cross-border for ending AIDS, famine, for gay rights, the environment, diabetes, autism, the right to be disconnected from life supporting machines in our dark times, abortion rights and what have you not.”

Anna turned herself to him. In his eyes tears were about to leave and run out.

“But one issue effecting directly and indirectly more than thirty Million Germans during their life-time of a cuckoo child, is still a hidden private matter! Shame on all societies!”

Anna mentioned: “I do not quite understand!”

….to be continued

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