DECEMBER 1986: I watch an early evening documentary on TV showing how Scott was found frozen in the Antarctic. The sight of the dead body shocks me so much I can't sleep properly for weeks afterwards, only with the light on and the door open.
DECEMBER 1989: I get my first computer as a Christmas present: an Olivetti M 20. I do somersaults on the carpet for joy.
JULY 1995: A classmate has a garden party. My friend and I eventually lock ourselves in the house to go to sleep while the others are secretly smoking outside. We think it's terrible.
SEPTEMBER 1997: On a school trip to a country hostel: We sit outside late at night and I explain the stars in the sky. For the first time I am really taken seriously by the whole class. After that my relationship with my classmates changes completely.
OCTOBER 1998: I fall in love for the first time but don't know it yet. I can't say or do anything when he is around.
FEBRUARY 2004: I come out for the first time: to my best friend. We're sitting in a pub, the conversation goes in that direction, we both realise it, neither of us says anything, it gets later and they start clearing up around us. Finally he asks me. We end up talking for another two hours in the car outside his house.
MARCH 2004: It is Sunday evening. My mother is ironing, my father is smoking his pipe and watching TV, I am sitting at the computer. My mother says they are separating and she is moving out. Suddenly everything makes sense and everything is falling apart. I cry and slide off my chair onto the floor. My mother hugs me tight, my father is stunned.
JUNE 2004: My best friend Florian and a girl I know well are now a couple. Over the phone Nils blabs the news, before they can tell me in person. I am speechless. My dream that I might yet have Florian all to myself shatters. I cry for the first time about a guy.
SEPTEMBER 2004: I walk through the gate to go away for a year. My father cries, he's all alone now; my mother is strong, she lets me swim free.
DECEMBER 2007: A friend made me promise to finally come out to my parents in the year 2007. The year passes, it is Christmas and I still haven't managed to do it. On the 28th of December I have to go back to my mother's and I blurt it out. She had no idea. On 30th of December I make a special effort to go see my father. His first reaction is: "But then we'll die out!" and then: "It would be worse if you were seriously ill." Resolution completed.