by Annette Schwindt
The giant stands beside my bed and smiles. He is a goodhearted, thoughtful giant, who protects me. When I start to wonder if this is just fantasy, he gets angry and shakes his head energetically: No! I’m here!
He has already been with me when he wasn’t gone yet. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine.
For the others I am supposed to care, he says. For those who cannot deal with the fact that the giant gets smaller and smaller every day. That doesn’t fit. It doesn’t fit at all that this guy who has just been carrying the mattress of a double-bed like a feather through the stairways all alone is shrinking down and disappears.
And he knows it. He has known it for a long time already and speaks about it directly.
“Damned shit”, is all the others can say about it. And then they drown back in silence or in the next beer.
He comes to see us again several times. And the bear is with him. And they are talking about the old times and the adventures they have been going through together. About the journeys and the things the giant has still planned to finish. The house has to be finished. There is still so much to do. But meanwhile the giant is already too weak sometimes and that makes him mad. Even though the bear is there and can do it for him. And sometimes the giant loses patience because he has no time left. Then the others are not fast enough. Those who have still so much time left without recognizing how lucky they are.
Meanwhile the giant is looking at things closely. He is thinking carefully about whom to spend his little time left with. And it’s not many people. It’s only those who listen. Because they are near to him or because they have had similar experiences. To them he can say what he thinks. How it feels to have no time left.
Then he is coming to see us for the last time. Alone, without the bear. And we know he wants to say goodbye. So we listen, we share the silence for the last time and we are laughing together for the last time, we share a meal and then he is leaving. I follow him to the door as I always do and he stops there and looks at me once again and then we hug. I try to send him strength and he understands. Then he’s gone…
I’m not gone!, the giant says and grins. The bear is still working at the house and the giant watches what he does there. That doesn’t fit! ‘That fits!’, the bear says joyfully and goes on working. He can feel the giant even if he doesn’t know it.
And I can feel him, too. Take a look at the people you spend your time with!, he says and then I know that I’m lucky. Because I am still here and can use this time. And because the giant is there and protects me.
This story was written in the night of May 26, 2006,
and is dedicated to the bear, to Thomas and all those who listen.
By the Giant and Nette