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since June 19, 2001


A father doesn't give up : The story of a used man

More excerpts

A father doesn't give up : The story of a used man

by Karin Jäckel
(German, 2001, Rowohlt, 318 pp., pb., ISBN 3 499 60692 5; DM 19.90; German title: Ein Vater gibt nicht auf : Die Geschichte eines gebrauchten Mannes)

....continued from previous page

A friend with whom George spoke about that agreed with him.   Children who yearn excessively for a person, that is, too long and too painfully hoped for him in waiting, they protect their soul instinctively, by asserting that they don't really need the one for whom they in truth incessantly yearn.  They put on an act, for


others and for themselves.  They will not grow into real adults.  Uschi's mom was right when she praised her strong daughter and said that without a man in their lives they were a thousand times better off than before, that they could finally do what what they wanted and could therefore be much happier.
   Later, as an adolescent who had to critically examine her mother and her own life and come to terms with it all,  Uschi gained the conviction that the mother would never have become so pitifully dependent if she would not have had a man; yes, that even she herself would have been far more fortunate if right from the start she would not have had a father.
   A father that is never present will never disappoint.
   But way in the back in the most hidden corner of her soul there still remained the yearning for one, a father who protected and provided and brought an end to the worries and took over responsibility; someone who took the sad little girl that trembled still in the soul of the maturing girl growing into a woman consolingly into his arms and said: "Come on, let me do that.  I'm here.  There's no longer any need to be afraid."
   George came to the depressing realization that his mental sword would hardly be sufficient to part the Gordian knot in Uschi's personality.   The contradictions of her nature were revealed before him.  He comprehended that she wanted to exercize her right to self-determination and also to be independent from any man, but that at the same time she had the driving desire to be attended to by one.   He now also understood why she wanted a child as an alibi for her desire to end her toil at a job and career but wanted at the same time that he should always be there for the child, so that she would be able to fully enjoy her freedom as a mother; why she dreamed of a man and father who would give her the guaranty that he would be responsible 'round the clock,


never leave, never vanish and never abandon her and her child.
   Still, how was he to come to terms with that?
   Friends with whom he deliberated about that hedged their bets. "You still know each other too little.  Once she sees how you are and comes to understand that you'll never leave her, she'll come around and trust in you.   She is young.  Don't forget, George, you have a gigantic advantage over her as far as life experiences go.  She could be your daughter.  How far along were you, when you were her age?"
   He could do something with that question.  It was true.  At 30, he was a wild one with a thousand funny ideas in his head.  If one looked at it the right way, then Uschi's being a control-freak could well be something like her funny ideas.
   "Pull yourself together, guy!" he told himself and tried to manage a grin.  "Either you love her with her flaws, or you let her go.  Which do you want?"
   When every two days post cards or letters from her arrived, he knew it, exactly.  With each word with which she told him exactingly how her days were going and let him thereby participate, his yearning for her fell over George like a pack of wolves.
   The longer the separation, the stronger grew the wings of his hope that the separation would do them good and dissolve their  relationship crisis.   And his re-unification with Uschi proved him right.  She loved him.  He loved her.  In happy concord they went to the public registry, handed in the documents that had been demanded for the marriage, and asked that the banns be posted.


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Posted 2002 02 10
2002 02 14 (added link to next instalment of the story of George and Uschi)