Monday, January 09, 2012


I spent a night down there, in the cold winter of 1982.

I had been to my first Rock concert, The Dead Kennedys playing in Saltlageret Copenhagen, December 20, 1982.

After a tumultuous but power filled gig (skinheads fighting, the DK giving encore after encore) I was full of energy and with a great lust, for adventure!
I had arrived in the company of a friend, and two of his friends, all of us travelling from my hometown, thirty kilometers from Copenhagen. Now I told them I was going out to locate another friend, from my High school class. I've met him at the gig, a really cool Punk rocker type! Maybe I'd check out some squatted houses, find a party - go crazy man!

They didn't quite agree. They wanted to go to the Central Railway Station where a dad would come and pick them up by car. As I mentioned, we all lived in a small town thirty Kilometers from Copenhagen. The last train going back had left a long time ago. Daddy's car was the only ticket home. I didn' find my cool, punk rocking friend...or directions for the nearest exciting after party in a squatted house. It fact, It seemed like everybody had just vanished after the gig...
Frustrated, I meekly walked over to the Central Railway Station to sheepishly join the three other guys and wait for that car. Unfortunately, I was informed that the car didn't have room for all of us. I also sensed that "us" didn't include me. Betraying the group had repercushions I now realised.

So I walked off. I had some relatives living in Copenhagen, but I didn't know how to reach them from where I was, and I didn't carry their phone numbers. Besides, it was now early Monday morning and I reasoned that the last thing these people wanted was some distant weirdo cousin waking them up. Instead, I walked a couple of kilometers along the frozen lakes of central Copenhagen, to the Danish State Hospital - Rigshospitalet, a place I knew well because I had been treated for Crohn's disease there. Along the way I needed to dump a nice load of blood-filled diarrhea under a bush in a nearby park - Fælledparken. My Crohn's disease was breaking out again, and I had caught me a pretty bad case (but that's another story)

I eventually reached the Hospital and placed myself in the completely deserted lobby. It was nice and warm and cosy there, but after a while a security guard told me to get up and leave if I had no business at the hospital. Two months ago, I was a patient there, cared for night and day by highly esteemed doctors and friendly nurses.
Now I was unwanted.

Back on the streets, I began circling the area outside the Hospital, found the staircase you see in the photo and went down. The door at the bottom was closed, but there was shelter from the icy wind. I stayed there until 5 am, when the trains started going and I could go home.

My parents were nice and sweet people but didn't own a car.

My cool punk rocking friend from high school dropped out a couple of months later and is today a writer of poetry. I ran into him a few years back. He didn't remember me.

My other friend, (the one who's dad had such a small car..) later picked up guitar playing, wind surfing, dating tall beautiful blondes and took a degree in economics.

I repeated my pattern of betraying friends to try and join up with cooler people several times after that. Each time with more disastrous results. I could have learned a lot that night, but needed to have it repeated I suppose...

The Dead Kennedys were an awesome band on record and when performing live, and unlike one of those guys from my home town (who got a nice ride home in a warm automobile) I didn't think Jello Biafra looked gay. I thought he looked cool.

Fun fact: Dan O'Bannon suffered from Crohn's disease..

He wrote the original story for Alien.

And I wrote this.

Panzer: Sdkfz 263 Fu (8 rad)
Another Sdkfz 263, this time most likely photographed during the invasion of France, 1940.
African soldiers serving with European colonial troops were often made to pose in photos when captured by the Germans. If this was rooted in racism, or just plain curiosity is not for me to decide. Note that the panzer men are all wearing the standard field grey German Army service cap, except for the last man in the Sdkfz 263 who has been issued the regulation black "panzer" version.


ste said...

quite a sad tale-i think most of us have been there at some point. mmm,crohn's disease in my family too,not pleasant. ste

Lennard Grahn said...

Thanks for your sentiments :-), a nasty one, Crohn's...