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Living with Ghosts
(and other reflections)

Wake Up, America! Preface to Blind Love*


Heinrich with sutured eyes | Blind Love During the Madness | © 2017 Jacqueline Stuart
Heinrich with sutured eyes | Blind Love During the Madness | © 2017 Jacqueline Stuart

SNL | Weekend Update | Tina Fey on Protesting After Charlottesville (plus, “Sheet-caking is a grass-roots movement”) | August 2017



The story that’s presented here, along with my rage, and twisted World War 2 obsession didn’t develop overnight. But it all came to a head on Election Day.

This book has been years in the making, taking dozens of twists and turns that have mirrored the most defining moments in my current and past lives. The characters’ names have changed as many times as the plot. Over the years, I have seen my written and artistic style evolve into what it is today. I’ve also learned a great deal of World War II history.

The story that’s presented here, along with my rage, and twisted World War 2 obsession didn’t develop overnight. But it all came to a head on Election Day. The political tide had shifted for the worse. It was a “Fuck You” day of celebration.

Many of us cried.

Then, in spite of hours of prayer and ritual to alter destiny, inauguration day arrived. Many of us commiserated. We were grieve-stricken, in shock. Following Election Day, I consumed cannabis on a regular basis, secretly “sheet-caking” multiple times a week. Then it dawned on me one evening, nearly blitzed: This incompetent leader could destroy humanity.

I'm on the wrong side of history again, in an eerily similar fashion. Thankfully this time, it’s not by choice.

I slip into apocalyptic visions and this frightening moment is suddenly over-shadowed by my own past.



The All-Consuming, Dark Obsession


Like many Germans of that time, I drank in German pride as liberally as Jägermeister, swallowing more indoctrination than my daily intake of Pervitin.

My past life experience Germany is never far from my thoughts. It’s an all-consuming, dark obsession. Prozac has only given structure to my obsession, not quelled it like it was supposed to. Science reduces my obsession to either a pathological or neurological disorder, or both: a misfiring in the brain, schizotypal disposition, tirelessly labeling the unexplainable away.


Down the rabbit hole I go, devouring one history book after another, watching hours of documentaries, and buying original photographs of that time period.[1] I embed myself into the shadow trenches of a terrible history, wanting to understand how a country that had it so right could get it so wrong.

For me, Nazi Germany remains part riddle, part nightmare—so many lessons gathered from that time, some acquired in the blink of an eye. There were good people trapped on the wrong side of history.

I wasn't one of them. Like many Germans of that time, I drank in German pride as liberally as Jägermeister[2], swallowing more indoctrination than my daily housewifery intake of Pervitin.

I was a civilian female in her late 40s to early 50s—a National Socialist who believed I was right. I resided in a German city, I don't know which. Hans, too, keeps these details hidden from me. At times, he can be as indecipherable as an Enigma machine—not to hurt me, but to keep me safe. Ignorance is bliss, but, eventually, all is revealed.

What I do know is that Hamburg causes a visceral reaction. I’ve had visions and dreams of living there as well. Similarly, I’ve had strong feelings for Dresden, although not as loaded—I mourn for the city itself. Once upon a time, Dresden had been mythically beautiful.


PTSD from Another Dimension

This event unleashed something catastrophic within me. Suddenly, planes flying overhead became missiles, aiming straight at me.

Pan Am Flight 103 was flying at an altitude of 31,000 feet over Lockerbie, Scotland, when a terrorist bomb exploded on board. The plane’s wings, along with tanks carrying 100 tons of jet fuel, crashed into the Sherwood Crescent neighborhood, creating an inferno and a crater more than 150 feet deep. Eleven residents were killed instantly. (AP photo)
Pan Am Flight 103 was flying at an altitude of 31,000 feet over Lockerbie, Scotland, when a terrorist bomb exploded on board. The plane’s wings, along with tanks carrying 100 tons of jet fuel, crashed into the Sherwood Crescent neighborhood, creating an inferno and a crater more than 150 feet deep. Eleven residents were killed instantly. (AP photo)

On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland raining down engines parts and chunks of fuselage on the unsuspecting town. This event unleashed something catastrophic within me. Suddenly, planes flying overhead became missiles, aiming straight at me.

I saw a psychiatrist a few times.