Let me tell you only two things from my youth. When I was five years old, my father told me a sci-fi story every night. The protagonist was a five-year-old boy whose parents had perished with everyone else on earth. I alone had been saved by an alien species, who called themselves “the golden men”. Even though they cared for me, I escaped every night to look for my real parents. One of my friends was an enormous ant who lived on the moon and had built a time machine which allowed me to go all over the place. I had many adventures this way though I also felt quite sad often. I wasn’t sure if I was entitled to be sad: after all I had been spared! This went on for several years. Much later when I was grown up, at least I’d begun to feel that way, my parents’ house was not the right place to fool around. I used to go to a park with my girl friends at night. It was a special park though since it belonged to an enormous open cemetery. We felt there could not possibly be any chance of discovery: a cemetery! (It wasn’t a creepy place at all, just empty and lush, the gravestones well hidden in the shrubbery.) I often had the impression we were being watched but I was never sure and in any case, we were beautifully busy. If there were voyeurs they were very discreet and cautious not to be seen. I suppose if there were voyeurs then we’d have a bunch of shared memories now. It’s fun to reminisce. It doesn’t hurt anyone to go back in time, perambulate the past, cull clover leaves.

Marcus Speh