Satzwende: Stephan Lohse

Eine Hand ist in Frischhaltefolie eingepackt und kratzt an der Wand.
© Rike Oehlerking

Meet the neet

The day has twenty-seven hours. Or eighteen. That fluctuates. My shutters don't close properly. Light seeps through the vents between the slats. Today will be one of those short days. Dust particles swirl through the color spectrum in the streaks of light. They will settle in my hair. On the collar of my T-shirt. In the folds of my trousers. I will breathe them in, right into the remotest alveoli. Particles smaller than 100 nanometers will overcome the cell barrier and get into my blood, into my lymph vessels. Who will I be then? Me plus dirt? I'll get asthma or lung cancer. My circulation will break down (arteriosclerosis) or my metabolism (diabetes) or my nervous system (dementia). If it doesn't clear up first, I'll die from it. Hahaha. I want to take a shower, but I can't get out. My mother is on the late shift and is vacuuming the stairs. She can't get in here. Your kingdom, she says. Your child's kingdom. She thinks I'm autistic and the most sensitive being imaginable. Because I always eat the same kind of canned fish in the morning. That's ridiculous. Canned fish is a cheap and durable food. If there is no other food left, I am prepared. Are you? Do I like my mother? Liking is a matter of opinion. She thinks I'll take my own life if she kicks me out. Hahaha. My skin is as white as a light source. I'm an albino newt, smooth and hairless. I have shed my fur. I live underwater, but I'm about to go ashore. My main hobby is the internet. I'm continuing my education. Hahaha. I've encrypted the hard disk. Password: "fagg0t". Joking. It sucked, it blinked like the Enterprise. I hate Star Trek with a passion you can't imagine. A gay space empire. They're traveling the universe and they're giving you their communism. You expect me to play first person shooters? I play RTS games, Age of Empires II, League of Legends, Command & Conquer. The dust settles on the keyboard. I take off my T-shirt and throw it in the dirty laundry. I do sit-ups and push-ups on the carpet. I'm currently at 64 kilograms. Maybe I'll reach 67 by the end of the cycle. I've never been fitter in my life. An increase in strength of up to 30 percent will prove valuable. The cells under my skin are thickening into hardness. Looksmaxxing. Improve your physical appearance. Maximize yourself. I like that. The aim is to get at least a seven on a scale of one to ten. At eighteen or nineteen, I was close to that. I was in a pub with someone. She told me that she had +4.2 diopters on the left and +4.6 on the right. But she took her glasses off for me. We went to her place and I spent the night in her room on an inflatable mattress. In a shared flat under the roof. In a tick nest. Suboptimal. Even though I'm actually an animal lover. Hahaha. Nothing happened, I messed it up. I definitely wanted to, but I failed quite badly. She looked at me like I was an alien. My skin turned even whiter. And then it started to leak somehow. As if it was bursting open in several places. Neatly placed cuts without bleeding. It seemed as if the woman could penetrate me instead of me penetrating her, as it was supposed to. As if she could use everything she had to dig into my organs (liver, kidneys, intestines), which were surrounded by a cold, milky white substance. Fortunately, my skin closed up again. The next day, I went back to my child’s room. My mother said, it doesn't matter, it's over now. She's a positive person. Am I unpopular? Yes. And you? Are you popular? Do you really think so? At most 30 percent of men are wolves. They have power over 100 percent of women. 70 percent of men are newts and come away empty-handed in the game. I am 1 single man. Hahaha. 28, 29, 30. I rather do push-ups than sit-ups. Sweat dries on my skin. Salt crystals arrange themselves into crusts of tetrahedrons, octahedrons, dodecahedrons. I am radiant. The light refracts off me in all the colors of the world. My mother calls for me. She wants me to help with the ironing before she goes to work. I'm on the right track. Lay down and rot or fight and flight. I am ready. The newt leaves the water. The herd gathers. How long I've been waiting for this.


Note: The abbreviation "neet" stands for "not in education, employment or training" and refers to a person who neither attends school nor is in employment or vocational training.

On October 9, 2019, at around 12:00 pm, a 27-year-old man, whose name will not be mentioned here, carried out an attack on the synagogue of the Jewish community in Halle. It was Yom Kippur. The perpetrator intended to kill as many people as possible. After realizing that the wooden gate to the synagogue courtyard was locked, he threw a homemade explosive device over the wall to hit people who were presumed to be there and provoke them to flee through the gate. The explosive device did not detonate. Forty-year-old Jana Lange was on her way home when she encountered the perpetrator. She complained about the noise. The perpetrator fired four shots at her from a homemade gun and another eleven when she was already lying on the ground. Jana Lange died on the spot as a result of her injuries. A second explosive device, which the perpetrator placed at the gate, detonated but had no effect. The perpetrator then shot at the gate, but it withstood the fire. Two uninvolved passers-by only survived because the perpetrator's weapons jammed.

The perpetrator then drove in his car to a nearby kebab shop, the Kiez-Döner. He arrived there at 12:09. He first threw an explosive device filled with nails at the shop in order to cause as much damage as possible. He then entered the store and fired two shots at Kevin Schwarze, a customer he mistakenly thought was a Muslim. Kevin Schwarze was a construction assistant on a nearby building site and spent his lunch break in the Kiez-Döner. The perpetrator initially missed his victim. Kevin Schwarze managed to escape into a booth. The perpetrator cornered him there a short time later. Several attempts to shoot failed. Finally, the perpetrator shot Kevin Schwarze with another weapon that he had previously retrieved from his car. Kevin Schwarze died on the spot. The other customers of the Kiez-Döner were able to escape to safety.

During the trial, at the end of which the offender was sentenced to life imprisonment and, if found to be particularly serious, subsequent preventive detention, his inadequate laughter was noticed several times. The psychiatric expert came to the conclusion that this pointed to difficulties in adapting his own behavior to social contexts. 


“My skin is as white as a light source. I'm an albino newt, smooth and hairless. I have shed my fur. I live underwater, but I'm about to go ashore.“


The authors Tuija Wigard, Linus Pook, Grischa Stanjek, Christina Brinkmann and Duška Roth recorded the trial. The Halle Trial: Transcripts was published by Spector Books, Leipzig. The transcripts inspired the text above.

In Dialectic of Enlightenment, Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer write about the "resounding laughter" that has "at all times denounced civilization": "What lies below attracts the attack: To inflict humiliation gives the greatest pleasure where misfortune has already struck. The less danger for the one above, the more undisturbed the pleasure in the torment that is now at his service: Only in the inescapable despair of the victim does domination become fun and prevails in the revocation of its own principle, discipline. The fear that no longer threatens you explodes in hearty laughter, the expression of the hardening of the individual in itself, who only really lives itself out in the collective."

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