Judith 1989

Madison (Wisconsin)
Bike Market Assistant
Tropical Institute Snail Breeder
Customer Advisor

MARCH 1991: Sitting on a concrete window sill I eat several different coloured ice-lollies. My mum is in the delivery room. My baby brother is born.

OCTOBER 1995: Because the baby is crying my brother Marc and I go to kindergarten by ourselves for the first time. Now we are three, even though Marc doesn’t want him.

SEPTEMBER 1999: Buying candy has become somewhat of a code word this summer: it means that they are gonna fight again. But this time it’s different: dad moves out. I cry and dig my fingernails into my cheeks so I won’t feel the pain inside me.

JANUARY 2002: I'm lying on the sofa in the living room. My mum is cooking dinner. Suddenly I know which high school I want to go to and what major I want to choose. Aha – this is what it feels like to make decisions for yourself.

SEPTEMBER 2003: Marianna, the cool and tough girl from my new school calls me in the evening: «Do you wanna have dinner with me?» I'm flattered and sit with her while she's eating her fish burger in McDonalds.

DECEMBER 2006: I’m so incredibly happy to be home. Even though I had begged my father until the last minute to let me stay for another year.

JULY 2008: We meet close to school and sit around, wait, kill time; soon the school is going to release our final grades. It’s a hot day, I am wearing shorts and a pink t-shirt. I feel good, pretty, free: one of the teachers had told me not to worry – I passed, my biggest nightmare is out of the way.

JULY 2009: Susanna and I sit next to the Victoria Peak path and stare at the sea of lights and the ships moving in and out of the harbour. We smoke cigarettes and drink beer, and finally I feel like I’ve arrived.

DECEMBER 2010: This time it's for good. «My family» ceases to exist.

DECEMBER 2013: The Welsh mountains envelope me. I fall behind and stare at the green, yellow and reddish coloured hills and the grey sky. Who am I, here, without others?