GUEST POST: Stefanie Vollmann

Here's introducing today's guest post from Stefanie Vollmann!

The Moment After Midnight


The moment after midnight is
when all that’s left are open eyes in dull-lit rooms
lines of thought filling them from one wall to the other.

The moment after midnight
is when the outside world is muted.

The moment after midnight
is the time to meet your demons.

First Chapter

I have known them since I was little.
We didn't see each other often. But we never lost sight.
Last week, I was reminded of the moment that they first trespassed.

I was eight, then; as usual, incapable of falling asleep.
I spent hours
turning my sheets, myself and my thoughts away.

But they were insistent.
Until they got me. 
Got me to understand the one thing that my eight-year-old mind wanted to resist.
Never that clear.
Never that distinct.


I wanted these letters to blur,
to fade away.
But once they had seeded
they spread through every fibre of me.
As in Hyper-Insomnia-Para-Condroid, the Sum 41 song: 
Transitory: the 10-letter-word.
It shrunk my whole little me. 
And nothing, really nothing, could get me away from this awareness.

I tried to lock this word,
this persistent thought,
out of my mind, heart and soul,
out of who I had instantly become
to get back to who I had been
just a glimpse

Back then, I pictured myself,
bravely grabbing this life-become thought
with both hands squeezing it into a small wooden chest,
tightening it with laces made of the emerging wish to forget.

Whatever I tried,
nothing lasted
but the 10-letter-word.

So I took a melody
of a song
that actually did not mean a lot to me.
I used it as a germicide,
something to soak the thought in.
Something to wrap it into.
To prevent an infection of the rest.
The leftovers of who I was before.

I swore to myself
Never to think of that word again.
That idea that
- no matter what you do -
nothing will stay the same.
That idea that
- no matter how hard you try -
you cannot keep things from vanishing,
people from changing,
time from aging.

I regretted to let go
of what I had not yet experienced.
I regretted
having started to regret.

Last Chapter

Last week, I was reminded of that night
The eight-year-old in the dull-lit room
By a melody on the radio.
The melody of that one
- once meaningless, later fatal - song.

The truth is: the melody never really worked as a germicide. 
Once infected, the awareness of transiency stayed with me.
In my heart, mind and soul.
And it changed who I was to who I am:

Someone incapable of falling asleep in the moment after midnight;
Someone never losing sight of her minute-after-midnight demons;
Someone unable to mute either her thoughts or feelings;
Someone - as Goethe said - in love with both:
Her roots and wings;
Someone appreciating the consistency of change


The truth is also:
When I heard the melody on the radio last week
it was the first time I actually listened
to the lyrics:

"You're so consumed with how much you get
You waste your time with hate and regret
You're broken
When your heart's not open."

Stefanie Vollmann is a freelance video-journalist from Dortmund, Germany. Alongside authoring her reportages, she also enjoys filming and editing the stories to ensure that all levels of narration weave together snuggly. Generally, she doesn't try to prearrange things for her story-issues; she prefers instead to arrange herself to meet the situations that she finds herself in. As a journalist and person, she loves to observe the tiny/huge details surrounding her in order to enrich the colours of the mosaic of her life a little bit, every day.