Wednesday, January 20, 2010
(A post I wrote a while back... but David Bowie was playing on my car stereo and i remembered... so here you go)
As I lay here, listening to some old tunes by David Bowie, I cannot help but fall into my own past due to his voice. Whenever I hear his voice, regardless where I am or what I am doing at the time, I am instantly transferred oh so many years back and relive in minutes, what took me months to live through at that time. And as I try to talk myself back out of my thoughts, I lose focus and stay right where I am… 1980’s it is.
In Germany, a movie was made, based on a true story. This movie is of harsh teenage realities when living in the midst of a city, that seems so disorganized and children roam without any supervision. Children without a purpose or reason longing for something in their meaningless lives. This movie was about a 14 year old girl who moved into a new area where she had to make new friends, after her mother faced a divorce. When children moved into those high rise complexes, those, that remind of the American Projects, but do not carry the same meaning, nothing good could come out of it, as they will have to find strength to not fall into temptation. It can, however, be a wonderful temptation. A ride so full of experiences and at the end of the ride, hopefully, you leave your wagon and never step back in, satisfied and scared off. My ride did not satisfy my curiosity, but surely scared me off... at least for that ride. This 14 year old girl named Christiane F. , a big David Bowie Fan, met the wrong people, went to the wrong places and ended up a heroin addict. A fascinating story, if you are able to take that ride without leaving the roller coaster cart for a closer look. You step out and you are left on your own; nobody to catch you or guide you back.
This movie took place in Berlin and I have been very familiar with all the places shown. She looked beautiful. Long hair, pretty eyes, she was smart, spoke with the Berlin slang (which I don’t really enjoy hearing as it is grammatically very wrong and is rather a contradiction to her intellect). A girl, full of dreams and hopes for her future. She meets a girl whom she instantly connects with and is easily enticed into going to a dance club, where she ends up meeting a few more people, all engaged in the drug scene. One of the guys becomes her boyfriend who is heavily addicted to heroin and in order to afford his elixir, he prostitutes himself out to men of homosexual nature. It did not take long for Christiane to create a huge curiosity for that white stuff and this new type of life style. Her friends were not strong enough to keep her away from the drugs, as Christiane took matters into her own hands and finds herself in a public bathroom, trying to use a syringe filled with the liquid demon. After that, we in the roller coaster wagon, become witness of a life falling apart that hasn’t even begun.
David Bowie lived around the corner from where I lived and at the time of filming, he had his concert in Berlin. The entire movie was underlined by his music, and his song “hero” was the main song as a scene shows him looking into Christiane’s eyes from the stage, while she is displaying her likings for him, forgetting for a moment, that her friends are a few rows behind her, swallowing the medicine that keeps them in their comfortable state. And we start witnessing how she is physically changing, mentally changing and on the way losing friends, not surviving the ordeal they have put their bodies through. We witness an attempt of becoming clean, which was rather gruesome to watch, but successful for only a few days. The movie does not end with a conclusion or a big bang. All we knew was, that Christiane was sent away to become clean and have a fresh start. When the movie ended, I was as curious as ever. And so I packed a small bag with a few things and set out to the subway to take a tour of the places and assess for myself how bad the situation was. Curiosity had such a strong hold over me, that I started to forget why I was there. Why was I there? I truly had no other reason than to just verify. And so my little adventure started. I had to see for myself… I couldn’t just take the word of a movie-maker.
Here I was, in the midst of it all, yet far enough removed to not be involved. The danger, however, was eminent. Temptation was my new companion and I didn’t miss to turn any rock on my path of knowledge, experience, and perhaps even stupidity. I have put myself into situations that are of serious consequences, yet, never got hit by any of it. I always came out of every venture with a bruise, but quite alright. I walked through dark alleys no tourist would ever lay an eye on. I smelled smells, I couldn’t identify and that’s probably for the best. I starred prostitution in the eye, yet, never engaged. I watched the needle go into the arm, but never was it my arm. I watched people “puke” all over the place, but never did I lose my stomach’s content. I have seen it and heard it, but never experienced the “high”. I have become a total slave to curiosity. I allowed others to show me and while I observed, I was satisfied with the pay off. I felt down, I felt torn, I felt in pain, I felt robbed of air much like they did, yet, I felt it all without the magic powder. Months later, after counting my emotional scars, it was time for me to follow another temptation and let go of that one. And whenever I hear David Bowie sing, my own movie is instantly on replay.
Today, I use this movie as a tool to show my girls, how easy it is to fall for temptation’s poisoned apple and how hard it can be to not take a bite. I wonder often how much of a contradiction I am, as Temptation to this day, has a way of persuasion with me. It pokes me in the side and I have to follow… I have to know… I need to experience…
How about you???
Posted by Liane at 7:20 PM