Cognition (Part I)

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It was with mixed feelings that I boarded the RE 4364 from Gesundbrunnen towards Rostock that Friday evening. In protest against the whole situation I decided not to buy a ticket. The train was packed like a tin of sardines anyway, and I knew that the conductors were generally too overweight to voluntarily squeeze through such a crowd.

Besides, what did I have to lose?

Of course, when I got off at Fürstenberg, Robert wasn’t there. I took it on the chin. I often used to think back to the time when I first met my friend Robert. It was hard to believe that this hot-tempered, surly individual had transformed into “Little Ghandi” in the space of a few years. If you try to imagine George W. Bush as a joint-toking hippie dude, that’s kind of how it was.

Robert tore into the station carpark at breakneck speed. He had the window of his VW Camper rolled down and was gently swaying to the off-beat of a reggae track.

“Eyyy!” he called out as he came to a halt next to me.

“Hello my friend! How’s it going?” I answered and jumped in.

At that moment I felt a little wave of euphoria and anticipation at the weekend ahead. The 3000° Festival was happening just down the road from my village for the first time. But the best part was that Robert had a tepee on the festival site and had even managed to get Majo and me onto the line-up as a DJ duo! How awesome was this!!

The 3000° collective has something of a legendary status where I come from. It’s become a permanent part of the cultural landscape. From my earliest DJ days I had collected the releases on Acker Records, whose mysterious names were always connected to villages in the local area and made me dream of one day releasing my own Feldberg EP. So playing at this festival now was like being personally invited by Jürgen Klopp for a game of football in Dortmund’s home stadium!

By the time we passed the sign saying we’d entered Feldberg all the negative thoughts from recent months had subsided and been replaced with a familiar nervous excitement that focused all my thoughts on the upcoming gig.

“The thrill is not gone,” I thought.

Feldberg was hardly recognisable: the pavements were filled with a colourful troupe of festival-goers, lending the village an unlikely air of merriment. Apparently someone had sent an army of gummy bears here to throw a wild party!

All the conditions were just right. Our playtime was set for Saturday night into Sunday morning. That meant we had over 24 hours to soak up the festival spirit.

A festival in your own village is bound to turn out great. Almost the whole population turns up. Like a cool version of a village fête! Everyone was there: Fachmann – or, as I like to call him, Snoop Dogg in white –, Buko aka the Checker, my sister, Robert’s sister and even my mum. Everyone wanted to check out Feldberg’s greatest spectacle since the World Waterskiing Championships. It’s a unique and beautiful feeling to see OAPs from the village strolling over the festival site, hand-in-hand and bopping their heads  to the music. It has its own special romance. That’s exactly what I want to be like at that age!

I danced all Friday night – first giddy with joy, later from the alcohol too. I can’t even remember what happened in detail, but I recall exactly how I felt! As fast as I was concerned it could have gone on forever.

Have you ever felt that magical sense of trance when you and 3000 other people leave behind the banality of everyday life and just party until the sun comes up? That electric atmosphere when the party reaches its absolute peak? When every single person around you could be your best friend? That moment when you completely let go and lose all sense of yesterday, today or tomorrow? When you’re dancing on a knife-edge, close to losing control, walking the fine line between awareness and oblivion? For me, that’s the greatest thing on earth!

And yet… there’s one thing that could have topped it: if only Coco had been there!

I’d met Coco a couple of weeks earlier at “Herrlich Tanzen” festival through Susi, Robert’s younger sister. From that moment I’d been thinking of her all the time. She was just constantly on my mind. And of course, I couldn’t summon up the courage to tell her! I mean, I’d always been a bit of a big mouth… but when it comes to feelings….jeez…. I was a real amateur.

So you’ll be all the more astounded to hear what happened on Saturday morning.

I opened my eyes and it felt like I’d taken a punch to the face from Bud Spencer. My limbs didn’t have the slightest inclination to move. At the same moment I noticed I didn’t appear to be alone! To my right there was a head-shaped lump beneath the covers. And I was naked!

Damn it! What had happened?

I decided to close my eyes again and instructed my brain to reconstruct the previous night.

But before my synapses had anything to report, I felt an unidentified object move beneath the covers, then a pair of lips on my own, followed by a sweet whisper of “Good morning.”

Suddenly the penny dropped.

“Coco,” I whispered.

I was as happy as a dog with two tails. I spent the best part of the day holed up with Coco in the tent. We had a lot to say to one another, though words were few and far between. It was the evening by the time we left our hideaway and, still locked tight to one another, went to join the festival crowd. She didn’t leave my side until it was time for the gig.

Our “Kiebelka & Frost” performance really put the icing on the cake. On a high from everything that had happened, I’d never had so much fun playing records. When I left the stage I tried to find Coco, but she was nowhere to be seen. None of my friends had any idea where she could be.

I felt a twinge of sadness. I mean, I was happy as well, but I feared that my time with Coco might slip away like a sweet summer night’s dream. So I made a promise to myself to call her on Monday. I made sure to get her number from Susi.

After that wild night I spent Sunday afternoon helping Robert to take down his tepee. Then we took advantage of the last few hours of 3000˚ Festival in my home village, danced our socks off again. Coco on my mind…

On Monday afternoon I found myself in Robert’s holiday apartment. My mobile ring tone woke me from my slumber. “Coco,” I saw on the display. I took a quick breath and picked up.

“Heey! I was about to call you as well!” I said.

“You’ve got the rest of the week off as well, right? Feel like going on an adventure?” said the seductive voice on the other end of the line.

Are you kidding? Of course I felt like an adventure!

“Absolutely! What do you have in mind?” I asked.

“It’ll be a surprise!”

Not even half an hour later she was standing at Robert’s door.

“Did you pack your things?” she enquired.

“No, how come?”

“You’re going to need them,” she replied with an irresistible twinkle in her eye.

15 minutes later we got in her car and set off. I didn’t have the faintest idea where this journey would take me.

TO BE CONTINUED… 

Find out how the story continues…click here