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By Dörte Hansen

Zwei Frauen, ein altes Haus und eine artwork von Familie

Das „Polackenkind“ ist die fünfjährige Vera auf dem Hof im Alten Land, wohin sie 1945 aus Ostpreußen mit ihrer Mutter geflohen ist. Ihr Leben lang fühlt sie sich fremd in dem großen, kalten Bauernhaus und kann trotzdem nicht davon lassen. Bis sechzig Jahre später plötzlich ihre Nichte Anne vor der Tür steht. Sie ist mit ihrem kleinen Sohn aus Hamburg-Ottensen geflüchtet, wo ehrgeizige Vollwert-Eltern ihre Kinder wie Preispokale durch die Straßen tragen – und wo Annes Mann eine Andere liebt. Vera und Anne sind einander fremd und haben doch viel mehr gemeinsam, als sie ahnen.

Mit scharfem Blick und trockenem Witz erzählt Dörte Hansen von zwei Einzelgängerinnen, die überraschend finden, was once sie nie gesucht haben: eine Familie.

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Dripping sweat. I thought about how tomorrow, I’d completely change my life. Tomorrow I’d do something new. Something as yet undone. Yes. Tomorrow will be the start. I’ll do something I’ve never done. I’ll go to the store and purchase a new videogame. The videogame will be a new release. I’ll say, “Which is the newest, best game” to an employee, then buy whatever suggested. I’ll take the videogame home, reading the instruction manual as I walk, because the anticipation to play the game will be so intense that I’ll need to read the manual before I even play.

There were stomping sounds and screaming. Then—while the game was showing a replay of my brother hitting someone into the opposing team’s bench area—I looked across the room, out the window. Across the courtyard—in another second story apartment—a slightly overweight woman showered. I could see her through the bathroom window. Every apartment in the building had a window in the shower. She looked good. Her chubby shoulders and back were wet. I want to fuck you so hard—I thought. ” But I didn’t answer.

Then he laughed like “heh ah” and put his hands in his pockets, sniffing. Paying for my food, I imagined myself accepting change from the cashier then floating sideways out of the sandwich place. Just, out the door and up into the sky. Not too fast, not too slow. With enough time to fully enjoy it. * 44 [RONTEL] When I got home, there was a note underneath the apartment door. The note was handwritten on lined stationary with flowers and birds on it. It read: “Hey could you please please please stop smoking.

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