Peppe goes crazy

Cornelia Koepsell
Peppe goes crazy
Peppe Halbmeier was a man about 50 years old. He had medium blond hair, was medium tall, medium slim and medium insightful. He was a person who did not stand out in any way. He was happy.

If Peppe had been a poet – a profession that naturally would never had been an option for him since word acrobatics stand out of the crowd, which is exactly what he would want to avoid – nevertheless if he had despite all improbability become a poet, he would have written an ode or a song or a ballad on mediocrity.

Because this never happened, Peppe Halbmeier was able to enjoy his comfortable life all by himself, a life where everything and anything had an orderly place, a life where each day puttered along with measure and destination, just like the indestructible motor of his ancient VW Beetle, which he loved deeply and dearly, just as he loved everything old and well used.

In the evening, he sat at the TV flipping through the channels or worked on puzzles in his two-room apartment, always listening to the same operatic arias and thanking his maker for the wonderful day which he had been given.

Shortly before his 51st birthday, a most irregular thought fell into his head and shook things up such that he was deeply shocked and nearly saw his own middle-averaged being taken away from him. Carefully, he quickly forgot that thought.

It happened on the following Tuesday evening. He had prepared his pyjama just as he always did so that the light blue fluffy fabric of the pyjama lay like a scarecrow against the pinkish blankets on the bed, so inviting and promising of another night between pillows that were nearly as old as he was. Indeed, his very own saintly mother had shaken them out for him.

Like always, at 9:30 pm on the dot he went to bed. Just as he was putting his right leg into the pyjama bottoms, that very same most irregular thought popped into his mind from the day before. What should he do?

More quickly than usual, he got into bed, interrupted his treasured ritual, did not smooth out the pillow one last time before sinking his honourably greyed head onto it. He could not wait any longer to say, lying there with hands together, his Peppe Halbmeier prayer – this time twice – in which he asked God the Almighty to let him keep his middle averageness for the next 30 to 40 years – if he should indeed live that long.

However, God – unpredictable and chaotic, characteristics that Peppe Halbmeier feared like the Devil fears holy water – God had something else planned.

In his encompassing goodness, God awarded Peppe Halbmeier a three-day long break. During this time, not one unknown thought crossed his agonized mind.

He allowed himself to hope that God had heard his prayer. After all, his request for continual middle-averageness was really quite humble, he thought, and Father God was certainly pleased with his humble servant Peppe Halbmeier.

This was not the case. On the following day, the All-Powerful sent him such a new, foreign, entirely unknown thought that Peppe actually peed in his pants from extreme shock.

“Oh my God, why have you forsaken me?” He called out in wild panic. “Have I not been your faithful, obedient servant?”

God did not listen to him. On the contrary, he sent him yet another unfamiliar thought that drilled into his head like shrapnel.
Peppe could not sleep any more. He did not want to think anything new. Not today, nor tomorrow. Did he not have a right to keep his old middle-average thought flow? Did God have the right to rip him out of his tranquillity?
With this last, truly heretical idea he grabbed his grey hair wildly. Now he had even doubted God, the Infallible.

Whomever leaves the middle path of averageness once does not have far to go to reach insanity. That is what Mama had always said. Naturally she was right – as always.
The next evening, Peppe Halbmeier sat in front of the TV and sewed up a ripped shirt with small, precise stitches. Sewing and knitting were deeply calming for him.

That was not the only reason why he had never married. No wife should enter this realm and botch up his work.

Today, everything was different. Each stitch sent a new thought into his head. He couldn't stop the fireworks. The strangest thing though was that Peppe Halbmeier did not fall on his knees begging God to give him his old life back.

The next stitch landed in his finger. He had forgotten to put on the old thimble from Mama's sewing box.

As a small drop of blood came out of the tip of his finger, Peppe Halbmeier stuck out his tongue and licked it clean. It tasted good. Then he continued sewing – without going to fetch the missing thimble.

“I'm sewing my way, Mama,” he said to the framed picture standing on the dresser. Now he had even spoken one of those new thoughts out loud. It sounded pretty manly, actually.
No lightening struck. The earth continued to turn.

On this night, after reaching for his pyjamas that he had prepared as always, he slipped them on backwards.

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