Somewhere in the heart of Europe

Sometime in 2005

I am still learning to stick to people, places, things, … and trees. (Is it good actually?) Nevertheless, there are few items I seem to carry with me through all turbulent phases, not urging, as with many others to grab them and throw into the dustbin. One of them is a seemingly indestructible elastin black pullover. Much newer pullovers get pills after a year or so of washing. This one resists getting old despite regularly tortured in my cheap washing machine. How I got this piece of clothes, I sometimes do not think about for months, though when I do, a smile comes upon my face.

After the painful breakup with my ex, I threw his ring down my mother’s toilet. Yes, not even my own toilet, as the break up broke me down to such an extent that I packed up my suitcases in the capital, before my career there could properly bloom. I returned to my mum’s place to lick my wounds. Well, rather say, to ignore them.

How do you treat your wounds?

I was hurt and not knowing to be sad, I was angry instead and partying around a bit (Don’t we all after painful break-ups?). I was ignoring the wounds until I thought enough; let us pretend I am fine and strong enough to build a career, while not being even sure whether I ever wanted the career (sorry, Siemens!).

Learning how to negotiate prices, contracts and my place in white men’s business world kept me being busy and helped me to paint those thick red lines behind my past (my ex). Nevertheless, a woman has a pragmatic sense, knowing, that some pieces of clothes are worth keeping.

My ex did not buy me the pullover, much better!

During the first university year, we were partying around a bit (yes, again). It was back then when no one gave a damn about the sustainability (personal or environmental), when Greta Thunberg was probably still wearing nappies (how unsustainable!) and we were old school having drinks in non-reusable plastic cups, not thinking about ocean levels or our gut flora.

It was an Erasmus party in a nearby dormitory of the University of Chemistry and Technology, where I met my ex. He was an exchange student. I saw him in big a crowd, through the alcohol mist, knowing: It is him! I circled him like cats do, to see whether they get attention or whether they get hushed away. Fast forward to around 8 am the next morning, we did stand in front of his dorm. He told me he would give me his number. I told him to type into my old Nokia phone his name and that I did not know how to spell it (I forgot it). 

He typed in the easiest name you can imagine.

During about the third time we met in his dorm room that was a pure mess with piles of clothes, used and clean all around (How I enjoyed it as a complete opposite to my mums slightly OCD flat!), I must have been searching for some piece of my clothes while finding that elastin black pullover.

Who’s that? I asked. 

It was a purely curious question as we were at that stage when not being a couple, just enjoying each other’s company, figuring out whether this matches or not.

One girl that came to visit me from back home left it here. Do you want it? he asked.

Why not! I said

It was back then when we were young and reckless enough to say Why not rather than Knowing what no to do. 

Which type are you right now, actually?