September 9, 2009

TREASURES FROM THE TRUNK: THE LEGGERS

In 1997, a very depressed writer sat in a café in Edinburgh. The name of that café was Nicholson's. Said writer had followed the love of his life to Scotland, had been dumped and was living in a flat on Cumberland Street, which was tiny, had furniture in it that smelled like a dead rat (don't ask) and came with a bedroom that never seemed to quite heat up enough to stop the writer shaking in the cold and wet Scottish autumn. And no, said writer wasn't J.K. Rowling, although looking back on it I find it somewhat ironic that she and I may have passed on the streets somewhere at that time, or may have even found ourselves in the same café. I had taken on a job I hated, working PR for the National Microelectronics Institute, I was alone, I was frustrated, and back home in Germany, my mother was diagnosed with a tumor, and despite having a job I had not enough money to fly back and support her and my father... by just being there, I guess.

As opposed to my co-workers I was convinced, even back then, that Tony Blair was....not quite human, and that the apocalypse of the British isles was just a song away, if it was the right one. Oasis was big. Blur was bigger. Noel and his brother were still on beating terms, and I looked at hollowed out faces, every day, mostly my own. And so I sat there, nursing a hot chocolate for hours and wrote this story about how it was none other than Sir Paul McCartney who brought forth the final days on Earth, and that it was music pirates, or Leggers, as they were once known – before Piratebay had everybody doing it – that unwittingly spread the disease around.

The story may feel a bit dated these days, and I'm glad it does. It was a different time. A different dream. A different man who wrote it. My apologies to Sir Paul.