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Saturday, January 24, 2009

The New Year's Story Part 6

Keep in mind Parts 3,4,5 and now 6 are pretty much all from the same damn day and, as our group split up, it was just barely sundown. Also it's winter in Germany, so the sun goes down ridiculously early. We had the whole evening ahead of us.

Frosty and I headed to towards the central train station in Cologne to pick up Christine and Courtney. After that, the four of us made our way to LF's apartment, who (see Part 1) had agreed to let the two girls stay with him.

In German, the term Rabenmutter ("a raven mother"?) is applied to women considered to be unfit/bad/uncaring mothers. Not that I'd consider myself to be a particularly fit mother, but I have somewhat severe "mother hen" tendencies and they've been present since my early childhood. It has less to do with maternal instinct and much more to do with the fact that I'm such a gigantic wuss. Yes, I want people to have fun, but I can't help but remind them that danger (stranger and otherwise) is constantly lurking behind every corner. So, let's keep the fun to a reasonable level, ok? My siblings tease me mercilessly for this and probably the one trait of mine that really (really, really, really) gets on Frosty's nerves. However, it's really hardwired into my personality.

With Christine and Courtney's arrival, I fully switched into mother hen mode. First of all, the two of them are adorable 18-year-olds from "America's Heartland". Christine had to give my name and phone number to her exchange program as a contact, which made me feel all the more responsible for their well-being. If anything were to happen to them, I'd be the person that they'd call. The story of their brutal murder/kidnapping/gangrape would play non-stop on CNN and even though they are technically adults, as one of the last people to see them alive...I would have a lot of 'splaining to do. Sure, it seems highly unlikely that any of that would happen, but this is how my mind works.

Additionally, I felt responsible for "keeping them in line", while they stayed at LF's apartment, since their behavior would reflect upon me and the next to last thing that I wanted (after a brutal murder, kidnapping or gangrape) was for LF to remind me of "that time you made those two crazy American chicks stay in my apartment" every time we saw each other for the rest of my life. Because seriously, that's what he'd do.

So, with this in mind, we made our way to the apartment, which is rechtsrheinisch (on the right hand side of the Rhine River). This is the Hamburg-equivalent of living south of the Elbe River (i.e. generally more industrial and fugly). Still, his apartment is probably the most kick-ass apartment that I've ever been in (not including my own). It's beautiful and spacious, has a huge bay window in the living room, a big open kitchen and a spectacular bathroom. LF lives there alone with a pudgy black cat named Bobby keeping him company.

The hour and a half we spent at LF's place drinking beer and conversating was the most pleasant and stress-free time that I'd had since arriving in Cologne. It's amazing how in such a short span of time I went from feeling like I was taking crazy pills to remembering the warm comfort of a normal conversation with normal people.

Alas, we couldn't stay much longer, because the girls were hungry and soon we were off in search of food.

Christine was dead set on visiting a Mexican restaurant that she had discovered on the internet. So that's where we went. Over dinner, I explained to them the trials and tribulations of the past few days and forewarned them of Atze's overwhelming douchiness, as the plan was to meet back up with the group at a cocktail bar after dinner.

We ate, had some beers and shared some laughs before making our way to the cocktail bar to meet back up with Conni, Atze and Lina. Introductions were made and drinks were ordered. The cocktail bar was called La Bamba and the drinks they served were delicious and inexpensive. Also, the bar had the longest happy hour that I've ever heard of, because it was like 11pm and drinks were still half price.

Atze sat at one end of the table, Lina at the other (next to me, to my left) and almost immediately began hitting on Christine who was sitting next to him. He would take sips of her drink without asking and locked her into a conversation explaining his life philosophy, which (according to Christine's later report) revolves around the Keanu Reeves remake of the sci-fi classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still".

Atze was trying his best to impress the Americans with his shitty English skills -- something that would have been more endearing, were he not such a complete douchebag. Later, Courtney confessed to me that even if I hadn't told her that Atze was a total dick beforehand they would have realized it as soon as he opened his mouth.

I was highly amused (and impressed) by Christine and Courtney's facial expressions. As they were listening to him spout his ridiculousness, they had big ol' fake American smiles on their faces. They would nod in understanding and then give their responses -- but their responses always included an insult, alternating between calling him a dick, bitch, douche, ass, etc. And it went way over his head every time.

Meanwhile on my end of the table, Lina was deep in conversation with a guy that I'll call Roberto da Gangsta...and all signs point to the highly likely possibility that he was Atze's drug dealer. Lina was upset by Atze's blatant flirting (which granted, I would have been too if I were her) -- however, she seemed to be more upset with Christine and Courtney, who really shouldn't have been the targets of her ire. Still, this seemed to be the general idea that Roberto was planting in Lina's head.

Eventually, we all decided to go to another bar for one last drink, before heading home for the night. The next day was New Year's Eve and the general consensus was that we should take it easy tonight so we could be ready to party the next night. Again, this was a near-unanimous decision, with Atze being the only hold out. He wanted to party all night, sleep in the entire next day...and then party again on New Year's Eve.

Most of us were ignoring him by this point. We just got up to pay and started to leave, everyone else followed.

It was quite cold outside and Atze, being the gentleman that he is, asked Christine if he could borrow her gloves. I was so close to clocking him at that moment.

We ended up at a karaoke bar and by that time, we were all just wiped out from the events of the day. Frosty, Conni and I remained firm in our intention of going back to the apartment and going to bed. Atze suggested that Christine and Courtney also come back to the apartment and they could crash on the floor. I jumped in with my mother hen powers and told Atze that the two were taking a taxi back to LF's apartment (the trains had just stopped running) and that the rest of us were going to bed.

And that's what we did -- except Atze and Lina chose to stay at the bar, giving us the key to the apartment.

We had settled into a deep slumber back at the apartment, perhaps too deep -- since it took awhile for us to hear the doorbell ringing to let Atze, Lina and (strangely enough Roberto da Gangsta) in. It's still up for debate as to exactly how long they were waiting outside. Atze insisted it was three hours, during which he tried to reach Conni's cell at least 50 times. Additionally, they claimed that at some point they had even made it into the building and were pounding and kicking on the door to the apartment. And since that didn't work...apparently, they went BACK outside to wait in the cold for 2 hours.

There's parts of the story that seem believable and parts of the story that are much less so. HOWEVER, once back inside the apartment (this was around 6am). Atze decided to give us a lecture about opening the door when it rings.

By this time, I was wide awake, lying next to Frosty on a fold-out sofa bed, staring him in the face. Frosty told Atze to just shut the fuck up and go to bed, then he placed his hand over my ear and told me to just ignore him and try to get some sleep, which was much easier said than done.

Atze and Roberto proceeded to play video games and listen to shitty house music while taking bong hit after bong hit after bong hit... FOR THE NEXT FOUR HOURS!!

The level of stupidity in their conversation during this period of time reached massively unbearable levels, culminating into one bit that led me to my breaking point. It was around 9:45 when Roberto made the following comment about the mother of his child:

"I've got to say, though. Today wasn't all so bad. I got to fuck a pussy, then the pussy cooked me lunch, then the pussy did the laundry. I can't really complain" *bonggurglegurglegurglebong* "So, man, what's the plan for tonight? Want me to bring some coke?"

And Atze's reply?

"Maybe, I'll let you know."

When Frosty got up to go to the bathroom (and puked from the bong fumes), I wrote him a text message stating that I couldn't stay in this apartment, that I didn't want to ring in the new year with this asshole and that I would ask LF if we could crash at his place. I wrote that if that didn't work out, then I was taking a train back to Hamburg this afternoon.

I left the apartment and went downstairs to call LF. He said it wouldn't be a problem for us to stay there, I told him we'd be there around noon.

I went back upstairs, Frosty had fallen back asleep in the meantime. Atze was in the bathroom taking a bubble bath. I tapped Frosty on the shoulder and said, "C'mon, pack your stuff. We're outta here."

While I was packing my stuff, I thought of a fancy word that I'd learned years ago:

ab·scond (āb-skŏnd') verb - to depart in a sudden and secret manner.

We absconded the fuck away from there.

Or at least we tried.

By chance, I happened to have a pro-familia (German planned parenthood) brochure in my suitcase that I found while I was repacking my stuff. I typically don't carry around abortion literature everywhere I go, it's just that my cleaning style basically amounts to putting things in places where they're just not lying out in the open. Lina was calmly sitting on the bed, watching us pack. Once I had everything, I took the brochure and gave it to Lina and told her she could find some good help and resources in there. I apologized for having to leave like this, but explained that I couldn't stand to stay in this apartment any longer.

The commotion caused by us getting our belongings out of the apartment alerted Atze. From the bathtub, he shouted, "What are you guys doing out there?!"

"We're leaving."

"What?!" *splishsplash*

Frosty and I were at the front door to the apartment, which was right next to the bathroom door. The bathroom door swung open and Atze stood there in a towel.

"What do you mean, you're leaving?! Are we still gonna party tonight?"

And once again, Frosty broke it down for him: his behavior over the past few days had led him to the conclusion that there was no way that the two of them could be friends anymore. And no, he didn't want to party with him tonight.

This time, the words seemed to sink in...

We stood there with the door open to the apartment, Atze standing, dripping wet with a towel around his waist in the middle of the entryway looking utterly shocked.

Then, he started to cry.

Frosty simply sighed and shut the door to the apartment. He turned to me and said, "Let's go."

While we were on the train to LF's apartment, I realized that I left not only my deodorant and our toothbrushes in the bathroom, but also my prized sturdy wide-tooth comb to combat nappy morning hair.

That comb was dead to me now. It was a small price to pay for peace of mind.

We got to LF's place, probably looking bedraggled at hell -- since neither of us had gotten any sleep. We explained the situation in a bit more detail, as LF looked at us in half-sympathy/half-amusement.

Frosty and I then took a three or four hour nap.

It was the most delicious sleep that I can recall in recent memory.


EEJ said...


the conni-lude himself said...

and the little conni said: what the f**k did happen here, where are our our buddys???
and than it began