While trying to decide on what to write about today, I thought it was time to go back to 1987 and continue my story of life in West Germany.  As I was reading, I started to notice a pattern of very strange dreams.  I love that I wrote them down, and some have lots of details.  At the time, though technically still married, my marriage was over.  Also, to protect the ‘innocent’ or at least not name names, I will use initials, and where people have the same initial, though not the same names, I will use letters and numbers.  I don’t know how else to do it without flat-out changing the names, and then I have to keep track of who is who, and that is just too much trouble.

12 November 1987

I had a horrible dream last night.  I dreamed that I was pregnant with D1’s baby.  D2 had a girlfriend, and he guessed that D1 was who I had been sleeping with.  I never did tell him that I was going to have a baby.  I’m not sure if D1 knew or not.  A lot more went on in the dream but I can’t explain it.  Anyway, I had a really tough time waking up from it this morning.  It was like I was trapped in theorem and couldn’t escape.  Kind of like my life right now.  Except that I am not pregnant.  I just remembered thinking while I was dreaming that even though it was awful timing to be pregnant, I knew that D1 would pay for the hospital and everything since it was his baby.

19 November 1987

I had the most horrible dream last night.  J died.  And I had to tell everyone.  It was awful.  I woke up dripping wet around my neck.  I had to change my nightgown, that’s how wet it was.  What a terrible dream.  Then I dreamed that she had cut all her hair off at D3’s last night.  She came home this morning with a haircut kind of like L’s and with her curls in her arms.  She is not home yet, so I hope neither of these dreams are true.  I’m so tempted to call her to make sure…Okay, I just called and she is fine, not dead, and she didn’t cut her hair.  What a relief!

25 November 1987

I had such a weird dream this morning.  In the beginning it was J and D3 and me and D1. I have no idea where we were.  I’m not sure what J and D3 were doing, but D1 and I were rolling around on the floor, kissing.  Then we were sitting, talking, with a glass partion between us.  It wasn’t solid though, and I kept sticking my feel under it and he was kissing them.  Then this woman came and told us we were too old to be there.  D1 tried to tell her that we were 12 and 14, but she didn’t believe him.  D1 went out the back side and disappeared.  I decided to go and find J and D3.  I went to the other side of the mall (it looked like Yorktown) to the restaurant I thought they were in.  K, D4, my mother, G, and B were there.  I asked K if she had seen J and D3.  No one knew where they were, though.  K was 5 months pregnant.  It was really weird though because the baby was on the outside.  K and D4 didn’t know if they really wanted this baby.  The baby had blonde hair and blue eyes and freckles.  It was so pretty.  It could also talk.  Anyway, K and D4 were crying because they didn’t know what to do.  I was crying because I wanted a baby.  Mother was crying because everyone else was.  I’m not sure why B was there or why he was crying.  Mother asked me what was wrong.  I told her that I wanted a baby really badly.  She told me that I didn’t have to cry because D2 and I could have one of our own.  I wanted to tell her that, no, we couldn’t because we were going to be having divorce soon, but I couldn’t say it.  Then I woke up because I was crying.


Okay, so back to the present.  The really ironic thing was while I kept dreaming about being pregnant, I actually was pregnant.  But I did not know it until I had a miscarriage.  I was on the Pill and I NEVER missed taking one.  I did tell D1 and he was bummed.  Over the years, when he would send me a postcard from some far-flung locale, he would always mention it, usually by saying something like, ‘I hope you’re taking good care of our son.’  Luckily, I had a mother who was very respectful of my privacy and would not even read a postcard if it wasn’t addressed to her.  Still, every time I’d read a comment like that, it would take me back to Hamburg and I’d wonder how things might have turned out differently had I not lost that baby.


The following comes from my journal on 3 October 1987:

“Jan and I were waiting around the apartment to call into the agency at 1p.  The phone rang about 12:15.  It was the agency.  Doris said, “you are going to Munich tomorrow until Wednesday afternoon.”  She said I had to come to the agency to pick up my ticket and that I had an appointment to get my hair cut t 4p.  Needless to say, I was astonished.

Anyway, we went to the agency and my book was back but Jan’s wasn’t.  I got all the info for my trip.  We wet to the travel agent to pick up the ticket.  (I’m flying first class there and business class back.)  We then went to get our bus passes for the next week and to do other errands.  I got my hair cut and we decided to go back to the apartment and decide what to do about dinner.  Jan thought she should call the agency in case her book was back and we could stop on our way home.  The book wasn’t back but she has the booking for the topless ad on Sunday.  That cheered her up considerably.  After she hung up with the agency, we were walking through the terminal when all of a sudden I said, “My book!”  I had left it in the phone booth.  We ran all the way back (we hadn’t been gone even 5 minutes) to the phone and it was gone.  We looked and looked.  We went to the police and everywhere else we were told to go.  No one had turned it in and I doubt they will.  I left it where I shouldn’t have but someone stole it.  The thing that pisses me off so much is it’s no good to anyone but me.  And every last picture, slide and transparency I had was in it.  There were also 2 new prints of Jan’s that we had picked up earlier.  The slides of those pictures were also in there.  I’m royally screwed.  All I can hope is that someone turns it in.  I’m not holding my breath, though.  We finally gave up looking and went home.  I tried calling D but he was at lunch.  Jan and I had pizza for dinner, then I called agin.  He was there and I briefly told him what had happened and to call me back.  He did, and I gave the names of the photographers and exactly which prints I need replaced.  I told him to call Mary and have her get a hold of them ASAP>  I sure hope Mary comes through.  She is so cheap, though.  She told D to have me call her in 45 minutes or call her at home after 9p Chicago time.  No way was I calling her,  Anyway, if everyone (photographers) gets their butts in gear and does whatever it takes to replace my lost shots, then Jan thinks I’ll only lose a week or so.  At least I’ll be out-of-town working for most of next week.  When all the stuff is collected, it’s going to have to be Federal Expressed or whatever to get it here pronto.  I am so mad that it happened.  That dumb book was always connected to my arm and I can’t believe I didn’t realize I did not have it immediately.  Oh well, as Lance would say, I was being a fucking blonde.  I tried calling him to tell him about my good news (Munich) and ask advice for my bad, but his phone is messed up.  I also figured he’d laugh, though it’s not funny at all.

I am sitting in the Frankfort airport right now, waiting to board for Munich.  First Class is all right!  We were served breakfast on actual dishes.  It was even good.  I could learn to like this.

I’m a little nervous about this booking.  I guess I’ll know in a little while what to expect.  I sure hope I do well.  I know I will.

9:15p  I should be going to sleep now instead of writing, but I don’t want to get behind.  I got into Munich about 11:45a.  I got my luggage and found a taxi.  He took me to the Hilton.  I went to room 702 and they had never heard of Frau Hagen.  I had to lug everything back down to the lobby.  Doris made a mistake.  It was room 709, not 702.  I finally got there and was put immediately to work.  I’m not doing runway at all.  I’m basically doing showroom modeling.  When I first saw the line, I though — oh no, how ugly.  But the more I see of it, the more I like it.  In fact, there are several pieces I’m dying to have.  It’s too expensive though.   It’s all couture, so even at cost, I can’t afford it.It gives me ideas though.  I sure wish Jan were here.  I’m sure she would really like the line.  I found out the only reason I am here is the regular girl is sick and in the hospital.  Another job by default.  Who cares as long as they keep coming?  Anyway there were no clients to show anything to today.  Tomorrow should be a different story.  The designer’s name is Inke Von Hagen.  It should be kind of fun, but I know that by the time Wednesday afternoon comes around I’m going to be exhausted.  I’ll be working from 9-6 or sometimes later.  I sure hope they plan on feeding me.  I also hope I get to pick what I want to eat, not just nibble on what they get.

I’m staying at a friend of Katharina’s.  She has a little dog just like Charlotte except she is light brown.  Her name is Chipsey.  She’s so cute.  There is also a big boy dog whose name I forget.  And she has a baby boy named Adrian.  He’s 12 weeks old.  Tomorrow Katharina’s picking me up at 8:30a.  I guess I’ll take a cab each night back to the house.

I need to sleep, so I’ll stop here.  I’m afraid I’m getting sick and I sure don’t need that.  Staying up practically all night on Thursday was not so smart.  I’m paying for it now.  Oh well.  It was fun!”


Okay, clearly I used to write tons and even though this saga is not complete, I am choosing to save it for next week.



As I said, it only took me a week to adjust to living in Hamburg.  That first week, though, was pretty tough for me.  I had always thought I would like to be on a desert island, alone.  Ha!  It felt like I was on a desert island that because I felt completely isolated.  Although most Germans spoke English, they didn’t go around speaking it automatically, and since I was frequently mistakenly identified as being German (tall and blonde), I couldn’t understand what was being said to me.  And, of course, all the signs and such were in German.  Luckily, I did retain enough German vocabulary that I was able to work out what most signs, etc. said/meant.  And all I had to say was, “I don’t speak German” for them to switch to English. Still, I felt really isolated.

Going on castings was a whole other challenge.  I had to learn the city and the train and bus schedule, something I had never done much of in the USA.  Well, that’s not quite true…living in Chicago, without a car, had taught me how to use public transportation.  Of course, it was all in English and I wasn’t a foreign visitor to the city.  I found, to my delight, that in Germany the trains and buses all run on time.  I mean exactly on time.  And they were exceptionally clean.  There was one particular connection that I literally had to run to catch because it was never even one second late.  I got used to it, though, and really came to love the freedom that public transportation gave me.  I know it sounds kind of odd, but it was so easy to use.  All you needed was a bus/train pass and you were all set.

Soon after I arrived, my booker asked for my passport.  I thought, oh crap, hopefully she won’t notice the year I was born.  I had, after all, lied to them about my age.  Here I was 27 and they thought I was 21.  Well, they did notice.  I was called into meet with the owner of the agency, the man who had come to Chicago and who had picked me to go to Hamburg in the first place.  Let’s just say he was not happy.  He wanted to send me home.  This pissed me off because, really, if you thought I was 21, then why should it matter that I am really 27.  He said it wasn’t so much that I was 27, as it was that I was 27 and just starting modeling.  He said that most 27 year olds, if they were even still in the business, had been modeling at least 10 years.  As far as he was concerned, I was completely inexperienced.  This wasn’t true as I had been working in Chicago for the last 9 months or so.  Again, I found it so ridiculous that a number could be such a big deal.  I somehow convinced him to allow me to stay, though now I can’t remember how I did it.

So, I continued to go to castings.  One in particular was a commercial for chocolate.  Those of you who actually know me know that I do NOT like chocolate.  I did not want to tell the casting director this because I thought I could do it anyway.  As it turned out, not only did I have to speak in German, I also had to eat the stupid chocolate at the end.  After the first take, she said to me, “Your German is excellent, but you look like you don’t like chocolate.”  I tried again, 2 more times, but I could never take a bite of the chocolate bar without making a face.  Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.

I did have various small jobs here and there, mostly catalog or commercials (where I didn’t have to eat chocolate.)  My booker called me one day to ask if I could do a split.  I said I used to be able to, but it had been years since I’d done one, that if I had time to practice, I probably could do it.  Turned out the casting was the next day.  So much for time to practice.  Luckily, when I did the casting, I had to do a split between 2 ottomans, so even though I really couldn’t do one, it looked like I could because of gravity.  The job was for a photographer who was known for thinking up concepts that no one could possibly do, and then finding models to do it.  I was one of those models.  This concept was about writing music on a computer.



What you’ve got to remember here is, this was LONG before Photoshop even existed.   I am actually doing this, I am suspended between the two computers.  Getting me up there was quite tricky, though.  First they had to teach me how to hold the violin properly.  Luckily, I was allowed to keep my eyes closed for the picture.  I’m not sure I could have done it otherwise without grimacing.  Physically, I would say this was the hardest job I ever did.   Anyway, I would put my front leg up on the computer, get the violin situated properly, then my back leg would be put on the other computer with two people holding me up until the photographer was ready.  He would then say something to me like strength and I would tighten all my muscles, the holders would step out of the frame and the shot would be taken.  I would then throw the violin to the person whose job it was to catch it, and the holders would rush in to get me off the computers.  I would start to go ‘inside out’ because of gravity.  There was no way I could hold that position because of where my legs were on the computers.  Perhaps if they were a little closer together it would have been possible, but the distance was just too great to hold longer than about 2 seconds.  In all we did about 24 shots.  Afterwards, I had to take the train back to my apartment, with hair and makeup still on, but wearing regular clothes.  I wished it was closer to Halloween so I wouldn’t stand out so much.

To be continued…