the art of the story
„After the Storm“
the story of
I was in the Navy from 1986 to ’90. Back then, we were the second-fastest unit on the Baltic Sea with four times 3200 horsepower. That was a hell of a ship. It was fun. I was a so-called “Signäler” (signalman), i.e. I operated the radiotelephony. I can still get most of the Morse code together, and I can still recognize most of the flags.
After my military service, I worked as a courier driver. One day I crashed a new Passat station wagon into a parked truck with a blood alcohol level of 2.1. The damage was 13,800 marks. I never actually drank alcohol when I was driving. But there were three of us at a concert in the Große Freiheit, and the driver had met a woman, shoved the key into my hand, and took off. And so I stupidly got behind the wheel. That was it with my driver’s license and my job as a courier driver. I then started an apprenticeship as an electrician but didn’t finish it.
At that time I was already smoking weed. Then I got in touch with people who did coke. And that was the beginning of my story about hard drugs. At some point I tried heroin and entered the classic career: with small possession offenses and fare evasion. In jail, out of jail, heroin again, homeless, and living under a bridge or somewhere with no wind.
In prison, I had the idea for a science fiction novel. Because I had trouble sleeping and was bored, I started to write down this idea. After my release, the manuscript, unfortunately, got lost. So I started again during my next stay in jail. Now it’s on my laptop and about a third of the way through. I’m at just under 80 pages. It’s a cool story. Let’s see if it will ever completely finish. But I’m getting there.
Anyway, when I got out of prison, I started selling Hinz&Kunzt out of necessity. But I was a drug addict. Which meant I couldn’t stand around and wait for customers to come. So I spent eight to 14 hours almost every day in restaurants and pubs in the Lange Reihe, financing my consumption and food and so on. Later I managed a supported rehab. And eventually, I found an apartment again.
Now my life includes a wife! Moni and I are married not by the state and the church, but by us. I met my Moni at bowling and through music. I used to go to her house on Sundays, sit at her laptop, and download music. Music-wise, I’m a child of the 1980s. Queen and Pink Floyd are great heroes – and I’m a die-hard Prince fan. Meanwhile, we were talking and became closer. Now we live together and are married. For us.
More about Richard:
Text: Sybille Arendt
Foto: Mauricio Bustamante