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Pink Lotus

By Mitze, Manfred

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Book Id: WPLBN0003468487
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 1.40 MB.
Reproduction Date: 3/14/2013

Title: Pink Lotus  
Author: Mitze, Manfred
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Drama and Literature, Biography
Collections: Literature, Authors Community, Dentistry, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Industrial Technology, Marketing, Recreation, Military Science, Agriculture, Management, Biology, Sociology, Finance, Economy, Naval Science, Language, Law, History
Historic
Publication Date:
2013
Publisher: CreateSpace.com
Member Page: Manfred Mitze

Citation

APA MLA Chicago

Mitze, M. (2013). Pink Lotus. Retrieved from http://www.worldebookfair.com/


Description
A disaffected German comes of age and sets out on a lifelong journey to discover himself through sex, drugs and, ultimately, spirituality in Mitze’s novel. Walter Herzog was born in a small town outside of Frankfurt to an emotionally detached mother and a Nazi-sympathizing stepfather at the tail end of World War II. Teenage Walter and his pals come to school drunk and oversexed; eventually, they skip classes altogether to make out with girls and earn drinking money. Over the years, restless Walter finds himself loving numerous women. He gets drafted into the German military and relinquishes his service by claiming pacifism. Later, he discovers marijuana and finally settles with a beautiful girl, Hilde. But a stable relationship isn’t enough to stave off Walter’s mounting depression and intense desire to find meaning. When he and a friend visit the United States in the late 1960s, he falls in love with an unlikely place—Oklahoma City—where he encounters psychedelic drugs. He moves there with Hilde to open a restaurant, before returning to Frankfurt, addicted to psychedelics. One summer, while living with Hilde at his parents’ home in Germany, Walter has an epiphany: “People he knew or heard of had gone to the East…and seemed different when they returned.” So he and Hilde bus through Budapest, Athens, Turkey and the Middle East to India, where Walter marvels over “how people survived their daily struggle in apparent chaos under harsh conditions.” Later, on a depressive whim, he also visits the Far East, briefly living in a commune and practicing meditation to help him come to terms with his new life as a father and published author. The bulk of Walter’s life, roughly 50 years, is relayed largely through exposition, resulting in dry prose that rarely slows to capture the intense emotions of, for example, Walter’s first sexual encounter or his decision to visit India. Regardless, the book’s dozens of concise chapters, characters and exotic locales—not to mention Walter’s spontaneity—make for a profoundly engaging and unpredictable plot. In Walter, Mitze has created a counterculture-era Siddhartha, a nomadic soul who discovers unexpected meaning of home within himself. A picaresque tale of personal conviction and compassion.

Excerpt
Walter Herzog was born in a small town near Marburg, in the state of Hessen, about fifty miles north of Frankfurt. Looking back at his life, one can only say that it was and is like a dream—a dream filled with the spectrum of all colors imaginable; a life full of love, drama, and fear, with inner richness but disenfranchised. It was a life and existence of courage on the verge of desperation, as if madness tried to find guidance through him. He experienced deep depression, loneliness, and indescribably awesome bliss. From when he was born in the forties of the last century until the year 2000 may not seem like a long time, but to remember standing at the crossroads of a small town in the middle of Western Germany when John F. Kennedy was assassinated seems like the brink of eternity. Walter had been locked up; had survived stabbing; was spit on, yelled at, and cursed; and had stuff thrown at him. One Sunday morning, however, he was fortunate enough to ask a true question at the proper moment. *** Tree leaves had already fallen to the ground after turning red and yellow. It was a melancholy season in Germany, with a certain smell ascending from the soil: putrid leaves on wet earth. A symbol for some that winter and death are close, the darkness in the Nordic hemisphere may cause sadness to rise in people and some to develop depression. On a gray day, a boy made his way through his mother's birth canal with a little help from a doctor and some midwives. No complication occurred during the delivery process except the unfavorable time and place into which Walter Herzog was born. Everybody was very quiet during postnatal care, and soon Lisa Herzog needed to go home and try to get food for the newborn baby and herself. Germany was defeated, crushed to the ground, bombed, and the Allies had dismantled all major industrial factory equipment and shipped it abroad for others' use. Germany's infrastructure had been destroyed by British and American bombing and by fighting on the ground. Twelve months after the end of the war in Europe, it still took seventy-two hours to travel by rail from Munich to Hamburg. Heavy war reparations had to be paid by the remaining Germans. The alleged father of the baby, Friedrich Herzog, had yet to return from a prison camp in Russia. When the Russians released him back to Germany in 1947, he could not work in his own bakery because of his membership in Hitler's National Socialistic Democratic Party, the Waffen SS, and the Sturm Abteilung. Of great significance in Walter's life was his unawareness of Friedrich not being his biological father. Walter did not think differently until much later, when he turned fifty, and that happened long after his parents' demise. The reality they made him believe was that they conceived him during one of Herzog's honor visits at home, when the Russians let him leave for a vacation to see his wife for a few days. Frau Herzog was not happy about any of it. Another child at that time presented only predicaments for her. She had no love left, being in pain from everything in her life. The death of her first child only four months earlier, the war, the end of the war, the grim and hopeless-looking future, and her husband in Russia were devastating conditions. Her own need to feel loved resulted in this pregnancy, and the prevalent emotion was guilt. Her wounds from the death of her firstborn had not healed. The death triggered mental impairments that would never mend; she remained broken until her sad ending. Walter's presence continually reminded her of her sexual indiscretion during her husband's absence. The never-ending efforts to feed and take care of the bastard overwhelmed her, and she unconsciously blamed the child for being a burden, even though the aberration happened only as a result of existential survival mechanisms. The fact that Walter developed into the sweetest boy one can imagine, with large blue eyes and fine features, made her even more ashamed when watching him. He reminded her of the hours spent with the good-looking foreign lover. Walter's first memories were of bakery aromas coming up the stairs into the modest Herzog apartment. Freshly baked loafs of rye bread coated with water by a wide brush emitted steam and particular fragrances that Walter relished. He also remembered how he placed sugar cubes outside on the windowsill; Walter badly wanted a brother or sister. He was told that sugar cubes would help bring about his wish. Although he tried a lot, brother and sister never arrived. His parents gave him a used tricycle with solid, hard rubber tires on metal rims. He made his way back and forth on the sidewalks and around the corner down Erbsenberg Hill, pushing the cycle up the hill and greeting the neighbor with a huge mustache. On one of those occasions, he saw his father, who had returned from Russia, leaning against the house next to the big pile of wood he had been splitting with an ax. He seemed to be in pain, and his left hand was all bloody and wrapped in a piece of cloth. Then Walter saw that Friedrich Herzog had just lost half of his left thumb. For a few moments, the boy froze in panic and became sick to his stomach. Somehow, he managed to race up the hill, around the corner, and up the stairs to the kitchen into his mother's apron. During his bike rides along the sidewalks of his immediate neighborhood, Walter encountered the presence of the victorious American forces. Army platoons went down Main Street, maneuvering troops and machinery through town. They created a lot of noise with their jeeps and large tanks. For the first time in Walter's life, he met black people face-to-face. The Americans tossed chocolate bars and chewing gum from their armored vehicles and waved back with smiling faces. Walter loved them immediately. Local authorities made sure that Walter's father could not run his own business for the next ten years because of his involvement with the Nazis. He got a job at a bakery where the son also became a frequent visitor because the bakery owners were caring, friendly people. Sitting at the long kitchen table with all the employees, everybody had lunch together, like an alternate family. Most of the workers came from Eastern European countries, decimated by the dramatic events of the recent war. The Herzogs moved into a small apartment with kitchen, tiny living room, and one bedroom on top of an electric-appliances store. All three rooms, as well as the lavatory, were separated by a long, large hallway. With no bathroom, the family used a large zinc bucket instead and had to clean themselves in the kitchen. At night in bed, Walter would hold a blanket in his hands and slowly pull the edge of the blanket through his mouth from one side to the other and then back again, while chewing on his right or left thumb at the same time. A special scent from the starched saliva developed on the blanket rim. It had a soothing effect on the boy. Both of his thumbs developed somewhat larger right in the middle of the lower joint, and after some time a callus layer built up due to the constant rubbing of teeth on skin. Next door was a little public park with sandpit, large trees, and grassy area. Walter became friends with other children by playing in the sandpit. They invited him to their homes for some sweet stuff or fresh juice. Everything was nearby in the small town. He could visit his father in the bakery and also walk to neighbors' homes. Behind the apartment and electric-appliances store, a very large, uncultivated garden stretched for a quarter of a mile, with berry bushes, fruit trees, and all kinds of unexpected things to discover. At some point, the owner must have owned a construction business. A mysterious shed was off limits for the boy, and all kinds of slowly rusting equipment had been dumped on the property. It presented daily adventures for Walter, roaming around the bushes, trees, and equipment on the estate. At the same time, it was a challenge to avoid the owner, who did not want anybody to pick apples, quinces, cherries, or berries from his trees or bushes. The apples, gooseberries, red currants, and cherries tasted very delicious when ripe. Beyond the fence surrounding the property flourished many weeping willows, and a river with greenish water ran through it. In winter in Germany, it could become very cold, with lots of snow. Small ponds and frozen river backwater gave the kids space to enjoy the cold season. Every day after homework, it was time to go outdoors in snow and ice. Walter's parents gave him used, old-fashioned ice skates that he had to screw onto his boots. Much more fun was riding on the sleigh. It was very thrilling and sometimes dangerous to rush down a hill covered with trees and make it through them. All the neighborhood kids did it endlessly until it became dark. Summers were hot and whenever possible were spent in the public swimming facility, the Ohm River, which ran around the town. Walter went there with his parents; Frau Mueller, his mother's best friend; and Frau Mueller's daughter, Kaethe, with her various boyfriends. It was great fun to spend a little time with his father, who would go with him into the river. Walter could not swim yet; the water was deep, cold, and had a current. Friedrich let him sit on his shoulders or kept him close between his arms, and they played games for some time. He would let go of him and catch him, teasing the shrieking Walter. Walter loved the world. In summertime there were always many Maybeetles flying around or climbing in trees. The brown, fat, shiny beetles would eat leaves, and the kids were allowed to shake the trees and collect them. It was much fun to keep them in shoeboxes with small holes punched in them, then feed the beetles until they really stunk and Mother or Father would throw them out. By then, most of the beetle collection had already died. Very few incidents disturbed those peaceful, joyful first six years of Walter's life. One of these incidents occurred when he noticed other children with small leather bags loosely dangling around their necks. He became fascinated by them and wanted one for himself. Naturally, he also was curious to find out where the children went with satchels around their necks. His mother told him they were going to kindergarten. So Walter wanted to go to kindergarten and wanted a bag like the others. He paid a visit to the neighborhood leather-goods store and convinced the owner that it would be OK to give him one; his parents surely would pay for it later. Of course, the sales clerk gave it to him smilingly, and his mother returned the purse immediately. Then Frau Mueller took Walter by the hand and walked with him to the kindergarten to test him on the subject of attending. At the point when they entered the building and Walter heard children shouting through the closed door, a great panic overcame him, and he would not go inside. Walter just froze on the spot, and nobody could convince him to enter that room. The same panic returned three years later, on his first day of school. But then he was not allowed to go back home. The year 1954 was an important one for the Germans when the national soccer team won the World Cup by coming back from two goals down to defeat Hungary. Walter remembered how extremely exciting it was to sit around the radio and listen to the moderator. When it was over, he yelled out of the window with joy.

Table of Contents
C O N T E N T S Acknowledgment Eternal Hula Directory of Individuals Pink Lotus Lisa Herzog and "Father" First Changes Challenges Life at Home First Love Madeleine Summer Holidays Military Important Decision Andreas, Ombudsman Hilde and Frankfurt Following Sardinia USA No. 1 More Changes Darkness USA Encore Homecoming A New Chapter Arrangements The East Greece Turkey Mehmed Persia Afghanistan India Going North Roof of The World Journey through the interior of India Dravida Approaching Territory Transition Alternative Course New Life Perception Internal Affairs The Becoming of an Author Cyclic Devastation The Road to Dead End Resurrection Margaretha Part Two Life Goes On Homeland Far East and back The Beloved Repeat Red Zone Chandra Getting Acquainted Contemplation Mêlée Small, Red Family Celebrations Chicago Another Community in Hamburg Poona Life without Center Curtain Call Edmonton, Alberta


 

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