Ibuprofen clouded my brain. Until that day I knew my TITAN “Field Marshal His Grace The 1st Duke of Wellington, Master of Thunderland, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Commander in Chief of the British Army, Defeater of Napoleon @ fucking Waterloo” only from the x-rays. But then I held my mate in my hands.
Please look … it’s a long and slim piece of metal with nearly no weight. Plus twelve long and cruel screws – one for each month the TITAN lived in my arm. The operation became necessary more or less over night. A call on the phone: “Please come, we must unscrew you”. A young doctor worked on a PowerPoint Presentation for a medical congress. Title: “Minimally invasive surgery to remove a TITAN plate from a humulusheadfracture/shoulder right”. He needed some pictures and a video. So his decision was to remove “Field Marshal His Grace The 1st Duke of Wellington, et fucking cetera” fast and dirty.
((SUPERMARIO CYCLE RACE – LEVEL „Thunderland“ is Part I of this story and to be found here: https://craumblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/supermario-cycle-race-level-thunderland/))
Unscrew His Grace, scratch my bones shiny, stitch the scar, paste the pics into the presentation, save, and mail it to the colleagues.Bones and Field Marshal became temporary celebrities on international conferences. I was sitting at home and googled to find a more worthy end of our friendship and a honourable burial site to lay the 1st Duke.
Around dinnertime Sickboy and I reached the Waterloo museum in the Polish town of Krobielowice.
It is situated in the former castle of Field Marshall Gerhard Leberecht von Blücher, Duke of Wahlstatt, winner of the battle of Waterloo, today a Golf resort with a castle’s restaurant and the cosy name of “Blücher’s Delightful Rest”. Two dark heads of wild boars watched me eating my goulash; wild boar’s goulash with Silesian dumplings. I changed tables. I had another beer; I waited for other guests to turn up. No one appeared.
I asked the waitress if there were any other guests in the hotel – “Nooooo,” and if there were other guests expected for the night – “Noooo,” and if that meant I was about to stay all alone for the night in Blücher’s Delightful Rest – “Yeeeeees alooone”. And next the fearful question, whether they had ghosts there in the hotel; or maybe a strange pale woman in a white nightgown who silently whispers or – even worse – cries. “Noooo,” she answered, but if I would love to meet one, Agatha at the reception was happy to call one.
“Call a ghost?“ I asked. I imagined an old Prussian esprit de corps. We would rest on Blücher’s terrace, discuss the battle, and the lost friends, and empty a bottle of Blücher’s Delightful Rest’s house wine, and finally do a small ceremony before we wrap His Grace the fucking Duke into Prussian oak leaves and wall him into the Waterloo’s museums.
“Ahm, I like to meet a ghostly Prussian hussar, I would prefer a Waterloo veteran please.”
She stammered and stared.
„G..g..ghost? I mean girl.”
Agatha would be more than happy to call Breslau – the next city close by – and order a girl to entertain me the lonely night in the empty resort.
“Ghost”, I answered uncertain. But there was no way out of this I was afraid.
Eleven came and I was the only living soul inside Blücher’s Delightful Rest. And some minutes later my funeral party parked her Polski Fiat on Blücher’s driveway next to Sickboy.
Wonderful couple I thought.
She was small and podgy with black hair and uneven teeth, and wide breasts and a green shirt, red nylons, white shirt and black ribbon. I invited her to sit on Blücher’s terrace as this was all ours that night. I offered her a cigarette and we looked down the golf course and counted the stars in the tiny lake. We chatted about Berlin, Breslau, and Blücher, and finished the first bottle of wine and a second. We had some Vodka shots and smoked heavy and fast.
I thought hard what to say in a situation like that – sitting with a stranger on the terrace of Germany’s greatest ever war hero. “We came together today, to remove his Grace the 1st fucking Duke of Wellington out of my life and put him into the soil. God gives, god takes.” This was so shitty I was ashamed only to think about.
I tried to be brilliant with some historic background about our national hero.
“I wonder if you did know, that field marshal Blücher was convinced Napoleon’s troops smuggled an elephant bull into his tent?”
“Oh. What would an elephant bull do in Blücher’s tent?” she asked.
“Not surprisingly the French ordered the elephant to rape the Prussian field marshal. Our great hero was convinced he was pregnant with a French elephant’s baby.”
“You can read it on Wikipedia.”
She played elephant and I played Blücher. We undressed; we danced on the field marshal’s terrace. We strolled over to hole number six and hole number nine. Back on the terrace she nudged on my scar and asked about the story.
I thanked the Prussian gods and she giggled “I show you mine.” Wow. Cool scar.
“Tattoo is shit” she explained. “Scars tell the real stories of life.”
I showed her the First Duke and told her about Thunderland and Super Mario and about the accident and a more or less ongoing life up there in the Ibuprofen clouds.
“Shush“ made I, “listen, can you hear? From far …”
… and we discussed how to bury the Commander in fucking Chief of the British Army. We checked the castle, playful and lusty. We searched for a cool place behind the walls and the stairs. We looked into rooms and cellars and into the museum and hotel’s office. In the end we decided to drive with her Polski Fiat over to Blücher’s tiny burial pyramid, given ages ago by the Prussian Kings to their favourite hero.
We found the marshal’s place in a small wood of over aged oaks, not only populated by liver eating Prussian eagles. I felt the presence of hundreds of thousands of Prussian ghosts guarding their Commander in Chief’s grave. We counted the twelve strikes of the castle tower’s clock. We were uncertain what ceremony to perform. So we searched our Smartphones for …
… and next we wrapped His Grace in Prussian oak leaves and laid the TITAN in his grave next to his field marshal mate’s pyramid.
As burial objects we donated vodka and wine and cigarettes and a generous filled Johnny … and we ended this shoulder thing with some Polish curses and closed his resting place.
She rattled away. I watched her Polski Fiat disappear. The left backlight was broken, the right was winking.
I strolled home. My way led me under old oaks through the starry night. I walked along Blücher’s whistling brook, back to his Delightful Rest, back to my room, and there I stood, holding a cigarette, looking down on the terrace with all the cigarette stubs and empty bottles and abandoned underwear.
… was gone. My head was empty.
There was Blüchersruh’s tower clock’s single strike.
I was free again.