Iris 1948

Wil (Zurich)
Warehouse Worker
Market Researcher
Magazine Salesperson
Technical Artist
Online Teacher
Course Director
Craft Teacher
Drawing Teacher
Corporate Design Manager

JULY 1951: My mother and I take the night train to Rimini. It is my first time by the sea. Although I cannot swim, my mother, swimming on her back, carries me a long way out to sea on her tummy. It is wonderful.

SEPTEMBER 1955: A peaceful, sunny autumn morning. I am on the way to school. Suddenly there is a crack and I don't know anything anymore. I regain consciousness briefly to see the flesh of my upper thigh sticking out of my leg and the bone behind it. The flesh is red and has the structure of an orange. I think: So those are cells …

APRIL 1963: I come home at 10pm and there is an ambulance outside. I go into the flat and two ambulance men carry the limp body of my grandfather into another room and put him on the sofa. They use a bandage to keep his jaw in place. They fold his hands over his stomach. My grandfather's skin is yellow, only his lips are blueish. On the table lie his watch, his glasses and his rings.

FEBRUARY 1966: I am on a skiing holiday with my stepfather. I wake up in the night because he begins to gently stroking my cheek. I run to the toilet and lock myself in there until the morning. The next day it is as if nothing had happened although something awful has happened to me.

APRIL 1968: I go to the South of France with my boyfriend. We drive all night and park the 2CV in the morning in the Rhône delta, on the sand right by the sea. We make love in the car while the sun rises and then we go to sleep wrapped around each other.

APRIL 1982: We achieve our dream and buy an old farmhouse. I love its smell of old wood, the big garden, the old pear tree.

AUGUST 1984: I am pregnant and so sick that sometimes I can't talk or walk any more and think I'm going to die. It is too much for me. My husband does not support me. I have the child aborted. The doctor sucks my child out of my womb with a hosepipe and into a transparent container. He flushes the bloody liquid down the drain in a sink next to the treatment chair. I am very sad and can't stop crying.

MAY 1989: I fall in love and tell my husband that I am going to leave him. We sit beside each other in the garden next to the compost heap and cry both.. I love my husband more than anything and yet I am leaving him.

NOVEMBER 2006: In a final meeting with the headmistress, the personnel manager, both lawyers and me, the headmistress lies quite blatantly and openly. While she does this, her eyes go bright yellow and her pupils dilate like a cartoon. I think she's about to lose her mind. I am told it is one person's word against another's and the headmistress's word carries more weight. I accept a premature termination of my contract. I leave the office. In the middle of street I feel so tired, I have to go into a department store to sit on one of the sofas.

JANUARY 2011: At 6.30 in the morning I receive a phone call that an ambulance is taking my almost 90 year-old mother to hospital. Freezing rain is falling all over Switzerland. We drive along icy roads to the hospital near where my mother lives. We wait for a long time in the waiting room, the door stands open. Suddenly in a great hurry a hospital bed is rolled past us, a woman is lying on it covered in tubes. I can hardly recognize my mother. I run after the bed and shout: "That's my mother!" but the nurses hold me back. My mother dies. Now I am all alone in the world.