Stephan 1964

Apprentice Fitter for Baking Machines
House Sitter
Dog Sitter
Doctor's Receptionist

APRIL 1970: I am given a Steiff cuddly toy, a cocker spaniel. I take him with me everywhere, even the doctor’s. I hold him in my arm but hide his head with my jacket. His eyes don’t look real enough.

MAY 1976: I fly a helicopter. It’s in the yard of the school next door. Once a year my school has a sport competition against this school. I skip the long jump to go and fly the helicopter.

MAY 1982: I move into the first flat of my own. It costs 92.20 Marks and is in the basement at the back of the building. Two days later I invite Andreas round. He comes and says he’s tired. After violin class he'd also had tennis. I suggest he lies down and has a bit of a rest. Before he lies down, he undresses. I lie down next to him. Then nothing happens for a long time. My heart is beating against my vocal chords and I think he can hear it. Eventually I turn him on his stomach, hold his thighs tight and do what I saw a few days earlier in a magazine at a petrol station. I do it loudly, it is my own flat after all.

AUGUST 1986: It is 4 PM. A friend rings up and tells me she has just seen on the list that I have made it through the first round for drama school. I want to run straight to the school and read the list myself. But this morning I have already smoked three packets of filterless cigarettes. A journey which would normally take me fifteen minutes takes me thirty and I think it would be pretty stupid to go and die right now.

OCTOBER 1988: My first regular boyfriend is very presentable. He is polite and wealthy. I finally pluck up the courage to ring my mother and tell her I am gay. She tells me she has known that for ages.

JANUARY 1993: In one evening I shake hands with Harvey Keitel, Vanessa Redgrave, Roger Moore, Mutter Beimer, Horst Buchholz, Peter Ustinov, Bono and Kris Kristofferson. I have made it.

AUGUST 2001: I am in a psychiatric ward. After three days I am discharged. I have cured myself with nineteen litres of mineral water.

AUGUST 2010: After years of research I receive a letter from a residential records office, saying my birth mother is called x and lives at y. I write her a letter. Two days later she calls me and says she's missed me.

SEPTEMBER 2010: I see some people in the audience crying. No one is crying on stage. That’s how it should be.

OCTOBER 2011: My cat dies after more than eighteen years. While she is dying, she lies in my lap purring.