From time to time, especially in winter, I have to think about Miriam.

Miriam died when I was fifteen or sixteen, I am not sure. She was a girl in my ballet class. She always wore a dress of black velvet, and unlike most of us, without a skirt on top. Her hair was always very straight and shiny, she had healthy red round cheeks and pretty green eyes. She was neither one of the very ambitious students nor was she untalented. I never talked to her really, she was four years older than me at least.

One evening, my ballet teacher came into the room, sat down, went through the attendance list, coughed a bit her smoker's cough and said that Miriam died a week ago. She had run over the railways to catch a train to Ulm and did not realize a train was approaching. It had been her first year at university. For me she was an adult, a university student full of self-confidence and grace.

Always when I have to think of her I remember the only conversation we ever had. She asked me why I had taken a shower before class. It would make more sense to take a shower afterwards. My hair must have still been slightly wet. I think I shrugged and blushed. I don't think I even replied anything. And still: I remember the only and last conversation I ever had with Miriam. 


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