I remember this night with bright stars spread all over the sky. She and I were chatting on the terrace of Admiral Blücher’s castle. Admiral Blücher, our spooky host, Field Marshal, Commander in Chief of the Prussian Army, Defeater of Napoleon at Belle bloody Alliance – the place the British call “Waterloo”.
Naked we were, sharing wine and vodka and cigarettes and pills. Her hands scratched my scar and she asked what happened and where and when and I told her why I came here to Krobielowice. Infact I came to bury His Grace Lord Wellington and I gave a full report on sun and on rain on my way through England.
“Sickboy and I reached Hull on board of the Rotterdam ferry,” I told her. “When we left the carrier it started to rain. Heaviest rain falls in Yorkshire for the last 100 years, reports on TV stated.”
And from then on we cycled northward. Ignoring the rain. Passed Scarborough, Whitby. Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and now watch us racing the wide bow of a former railway viaduct down to Thunderland; down from the hills of the Northyorkshire Moor to the North Sea shores.
We left all the others behind. Super Mario had missed the ship in Rotterdam. Bowser and Toad fell in love on the Scarborough fair. A banana skin whiplashed King Buu Huu out of the race and with a fatal hit of one of my turtles I knocked Donkey Kong out.
Who was left?
We raced downhill. A sharp curve, next the motorway. Hard breaks. My soles slipped over the asphalt. From the right side a car… it passed us with hooting and lights flashing, another one and another one. And we stopped and I sweated and I knew I was back in the game.
I heard the tunes of
… and six days there was burning sunshine in between the rainstorms. On the shore rain started again. First only tiny drops, more fog than rain. But bigger and harder and finally we were traveling through hail.
Ouch, ouch … wet to the bones within seconds.
On our skin we felt the North Sea winds and in our face the spray of the cars and these motorways were not been build for cyclists. Cars jostled us to the left, hooting and roaring and cursing, we were closer and closer to the ditch.
And there, the road sign, “Cycle Path to Thunderland”. Clouds disappeared; we rode on a ray of light through a happy park. Rabbits and squirrel and small dogs crossed our way. They jumped in front of Sickboy, behind Sickboy, flew around him. He was everyone’s friend. They run behind thrown sticks, balls, baby carriage and insect.
Right – left … around two corners we raced. This time I watched. We were back on these motorways. On twelve lanes cars rolled into the small town. I found traffic lights and what I heard in my head was …
… and a group of Thunderland’s teenager absorbed us. They were dressed in their school uniforms short and tiny shirts, red stockings, and white blouse, and a black ribbon around the throat. Between twelve and eighteen, they were dressed in high heels or sandals, Doc Martens or Cowboy boots. Their hairs twisted in pigtails or curls, legs with red tights or fishnets or nylons or over knees or leggings and white socks with Super Mario prints. We lost time. We chatted. We smiled. We flirted.
„Fucking cool to travel on a cycle North, Mister.”
„When will you reach fucking Scotland, Mister?”
“Sickboy – is that’s your cycle’s name, Mister? I wonder what makes him fucking sick, Mister.”
“May I touch his breaks, Mister? Please Mister?”
“Go ahead, you are welcome.”
Green light and we were on our ways again. It felt like one of the others was watching me. “Princess Peaches,” I thought. “Maybe Luigi.”
We sprinted. A cycle path with numberless holes and again I broke hard. A flowerlorry from Holland unloaded millions of roses. Cycle way, bus lane, pavement were covered with roses and tulips and violets. And here I let my last banana skin slip out of my bag and imagined Princess Peaches plunge into a bed of roses.
When we were back to good speed the cycle way ended. Hard brake!
Close to a Thunderland church and an historic marketplace half of Sickboy hang over the step of breakneck stairs. 284 steps made of granite leading down. There we found an impressive monument. We cycled around it and laughed.
There stood his honorable “Field Marshal His Grace The 1st fucking Duke of Wellington, Master of Thunderland, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Commander in Chief of the British Army, Defeater of Napoleon @Waterloo.”
I listened to the
… and here was the rain again. A “fuck off” to the stairs and a full “fuck off” to the Field Marshall and we reached top speed again. We raced through the Thunderland pedestrian area and Thunderland’s shopping malls. We shot over an 18 lane crossing and crossed river. It rained frogs and small dogs and cats and snakes and dolphins and whales. Below us the old wharf and a company stored yellow cranes there, and red heavy duty trucks, and orange cement lorries, and neon blue earthmover. We reached the other side – a sign pointed left to the Stadium of Light and I heard the
… and a road sign left to the pedestrian and cyclist tunnel to the other side of the road cross and to the Dame Dorothy Street. Dame Dorothy Street, the way back to the shores, the way out of Thunderland, out of the Thunderland race track level, only a view minutes.
9911245743549397 points for the winner.
Top speed. Into tunnel. Gray light. Water sprayed over my head. Dirt sprayed into my ears. Sickboy stopped, his wheels in the brown and stinky water. A gully cover’s edge was pointing out of the water. I could see a wild water ox’ mad eyes and here came the …
… and I waded back to the surface. Suddenly worried – had any one overtaken me? Had Luigi fouled the canalization? Could he have built this trap? Back on the road I chased Sickboy over the 99-lanes of the Stadium of Light Street cross over to Dame Dorothy Street.
“You will never get me.” I screamed.
Hurrying now. A brand new cycle way. The pavement at Saint Paul’s view softly lowered. Someone behind me? A wide and deep puddle waited for us at Dame Dorothy’s and Saint Paul’s. Sickboy crashed through. My feet’s wide up, I heard me laughing, shouting a “Wow!” up in the sky. And water sprayed high, water sprayed far, water was deep. Next a sudden stop. And I flew high up and far and I landed hard on Sickboy, my old and tender pack horse.
Roaring and blasting in my ears. Thousand dwarfs around me played
… and my eyes searched the turtle, Donkey Kong or Princess Peaches or Toad or maybe Luigi or one of the fuckers used to shoot us down. I lay there. My first thought came slowly. I recognized it as the word “ridiculous” and the words “hopefully no one watched.” Broken and saggy Sickboy’s lamp hung next to my nose.
I stayed on the ground. I waited for this small helicopter with the tiny man and his angel whose job it is to lift me up and set me back on the race track. He did not show up. “Arsehole”, I thought. “Where a’ you bugger?”
But a green Ford Mustang with a red roof and a white point on it stopped. There was a monotonous … Bummbummbummvummbumm
A scream: „Aye brother, you’re OK”?
I rose. Right hand, thumb up: “Fine”!
That’s what I thought.
But the place where my thumb should be was empty. Not even a hand was to be seen. I thought “Where is my god damned hand?” and turned around to check the puddle. No hand there, no hand on the street around. Then I found her, on the end of the arm. I ordered her to come up. “Come here, come up to me, my dear little hand.” But she did not obey.
And there was still the Mustang standing on Saint Paul’s: „Hey bro, you fucking fine”?
My left arm waved. „Fine“! I screamed. Left thumb up. And I screamed „Epic fail“! And we laughed and he thundered away.
I used Mr. Left Arm to collect my things, luggage, money, maps and cloth. I used old pal Left Arm to bend Sickboy’s handlebar and I used left hand to hold high right hand and let her fall. I had a certain suspicion. Very, very bad suspicion.
„You are all right, laddy?“
Next to me the friendly smile of an elderly gentleman.
„Yes, no. Not sure”.
„You will need a fine cup of tea and fruit bread with some cream, laddy”
„Oh no, I must go and see a doctor, Mister”.
„Aye laddy. Where are you from, boy? You speak like a Scotish lad”.
“Oh, I used to be in Germany, laddy. City of Lübbecke, Royal 4th Northyorkshire fucking Tankregiment, I am a cannoneer, I can shoot off an fucking T52 tank in ten fucking kilometers distance. Not that I ever fucking tried, laddy“.
It felt like I slide softly into a different game.
„Come to my place, let’s have a chat about ol’ times, have a nice cup of tea, laddy. That‘s better cure than any doctor can give.”
Mr. Left Hand lifted his right counterpart and let her fall.
„Thank you so much, but I must have a doctor’s opinion.”
„Doctor’s in the house over there, lady. You need to cross our Dame’s Dorothy Street only. “
The doctor watched my thoughtful.
Sixpack, biceps, calves made of steel. The whole buddy burned by the British sun and a steadily running nose from the rain. She touched a tiny, tiny blue point on my shoulder, but not a sign of a broken arm to be seen.
My left hand lifted my right and let her fall. Her right hand lifted my right and let her fall. And helplessly the doctor’s assistant’s right hand lifted my right hand and let her fall.
Next they called a taxi. They told the driver to take me to Bunny Hill Medical Center and I was back in my Nintendo Consol. Please be quiet for a second and listen …
… and “Royal 4th Northyorkshire Tankregiment,“ the driver introduced himself. “stationed in Herford, I drove Schwerlasttransporte. You know, tanks on trucks up and down your Autobahnen“.
The doctors at Buny Hill dressed in high heels and fishnet stocking and strict glasses. They x-rayed Mrs. Right Arm, questioned her, next they offered her master a tea and a diagnosis: „I am so terrible sorry me darling, she is broken“.
That’s why they sent me in a Royal 4th Northyorkshire Tankregiment tankdriver’s taxi on to the die Orthopedic and Fracture Division of Royal Thunderland Hospital and there were more of the …
… and a doctor in a silk suite and a golden pen and shoes made of crocoleather advised me friendly: “If you have a change to do the operation in Germany, I asked you to do it there”.
… and at the shore in the Anchor Lodge I settled and waited for my passage back to Europe. I sat in the breakfast room and stared out to the Thunderland lighthouse and one thought was spinning in my head.
„Whatwentwrong whatwentwrong whatwentwrong whatwentfuckingwrong?”
Friday noon a former tank pioneer who served for the Royal 4th fucking Northyorkshire Tankregiment in the town of Too Bad fucking Oeynhausen loaded Sikboy in his taxi and took us to the Ship of Fools. They took a traveling party crowd over to the coffee shops and whore houses of Amsterdam. We were pissed, we smoked joints and drank beers and shots and Red Bull and I shared my Royal Hospital Thunderland’s painkillers with some new mates from Edinburgh.
I told them to listen to the
… and we sung the SUPERMARIO tunes and rolled over and played dead.
The Saturday late night brought me back to my hometown. I slept a night in my very own bed. And short after breakfast I laid in the emergency department of Berlin’s Virchow hospital.
From now on I was fatal sick.
Doctors gave me numberless injections and I signed some hundreds of forms. Yes, please return my body to my family for burial, I wrote. And be welcome to keep my spare parts for to save other man’s life. Bury me poor heart in a Saint Virchow hospital’s fridge.
A cloud of Ibuprofen captured me and made me feel airy. And smiley. And crocky. And stoney and brain dead.
I continued to sign forms and forms and insurance documents and applications for cost of the treatment and what so not. By this time this path of my mind took me far from the ability to read or think or laugh or write and I was still scribbling crosses and fingerprints and curves under documents and forms.
Otherwise they told me, they would send me back to UK. And I was completely drugged and I lusted for more and I giggled and sigh. More infusion, more pills, more injections – please!!! And felt the panic. The panic they might throw me out of paradise. I heard the …
… and next I saw the others.
No one had made the Thunderland Race Track level. Luigi was close behind me. But… he rushed over the edge of the First Duke’s square and fell 289 stairs deep. Donky Kong failed in the Stadium of Light’s underpass, where he fell in the open gully, got eaten by a wild water ox with mad eyes.
Princess Peaches shoot straight into the roses from Holland and Bowser crossed the Saint Paul’s View and reached the North Sea promenade. Unfortunately he crashed into the glass of the bus house, a super amusing Nintendo coder had built opposite side of the Anchor Lodge onto Dame Dorothy’s cycle way.
Super Mario himself disappeared into a Nintendo Consol anomaly and continued playing in the World of Tanks.
Here came the …
… and in a long row we walked down into the cellar. Professor Immanuel Gidd waited with his spare parts made of TITAN. He called one of his TITAN’s ‚Prometheus‘, his mate ‚Herkules‘ and another on ‘Neptun’. He addressed my TITAN respectfully as “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 fucking Napoleon @Waterloo”.
For the next year clouds and fog made of Ibuprofen ruled ma days. My closest friends were a TITAN called “Field Marshal His fucking Grace The 1st Duke of Wellington, Master of Thunderland, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Commander in Chief of the British Army, Defeater of fucking Napoleon @Waterloo” and the well known SUPERMARIO tunes.
I felt the strong need to meet Admiral Blücher, Commander in Chief of the Prussian Army, Defeater of fucking Napoleon at Belle bloody Alliance. I started to make planes to visit him…
Can you hear the
… as it fates away …