Are you coming to the Feringa Lake?
Feringa Lake, what’s there?
Just a lake, with a beach, sun, nothing special.
Oh no, I think I’d rather stay here in the hotel. But have fun. …
Actually, he would have liked to go with the two young actresses. He especially liked one of them, the blonde one. She had something so profound and yet so light. Hard to describe. …
But what would he be doing at this quarry pond? Lying on a towel in the sand? He, at his age? It was much more comfortable here in the five-star hotel. And he also had a pool on the roof top terrace. He would probably sit down at a table up there, drink a glass of wine, or a cocktail, or whatever else the bartender suggested.
They were here in Munich for a few days to shoot a new episode of the crime series Chief Inspector Baumann and …, which had his name, his film name, in the title. Baumann, that was him, the main character. Basically, everything in the series revolved around him.
But it didn’t feel that way. On the contrary, he had the impression that the other participants were enjoying the whole filming process much more than he was. The two young female colleagues anyway, they were always the center of attention outside the set. Everyone (at least every male) turned his head towards them, wanted to see them, maybe even take a selfie with them. With him too, yes, but he was asked more by the slightly older ladies, and actually he found that quite annoying.
So he would spend the afternoon, and probably the evening, here at the hotel. Actually, not a bad life here on the roof terrace with a view over Munich. He could go to the swimming pool, but actually the water was too cold for him. And he really didn’t like to show himself in his swimming trunks. He still looked quite good, but in his late 50s, his body was no longer the same as in his early 20s. Although, strictly speaking, he hadn’t looked particularly athletic in his early 20s either.
In his case, it was probably more the “inner values” that had led to him making it in the film industry. Not internationally, no, not that, but here in Germany he was already what you could call a star. Popular, he was known and appreciated. Especially the older viewers could obviously identify well with him. They liked to see him in one leading role or another, especially as Chief Inspector Baumann. That’s why he was well booked. He was doing well.
But then again, he wasn’t. Now, on the eve of this shoot, for example. The others were out and about, at the Feringa Lake or whatever it was called. Or in the city. Meeting friends or colleagues from the old days, from drama school. Going shopping. Maybe they were also dating a secret lover, meeting some fans, or doing whatever. He would be able to track most of it later on their Instagram accounts, if it interested him. Which, amazingly, it did.
Of course, he could also go into town to shop. But what should he buy? Another suit, a casual shirt? New sneakers? He already had enough of all that stuff, after all. Besides, he was regularly recognized by fans in town, who then probably wondered why he was now walking around town so alone. No, that made him uncomfortable.
Meeting friends, acquaintances, a lover? Actually, he had no friends. He had acquaintances, even in Munich, but did he really want to meet them? One of his actor colleagues lived with his family out on Lake Starnberg. Should he go there now and visit him? It was nice to meet by chance and exchange a few words. But to go there now and visit him? That would have been rather strange. They didn’t really have anything to say to each other. Besides, the other was probably busy with his family or golfing or wherever.
He could also go to the hotel bar. There he would surely be recognized and approached by ladies his age. But did he really want that? More like no.
So he would have a good dinner. The restaurant here in the hotel wasn’t bad, and the film production was paying the expenses. It was amazing that this still played a certain role for him, although he had really earned enough money in his life.
Afterwards, perhaps a quick drink at the bar? A few words with one or the other fan who recognized him and of course wanted to know everything about the new film? When do you ever meet the leading actor in person?
Sometimes it felt good to be admired and “worshipped” like that. As if one were … – well, never mind. And then maybe a bit of television, watching the news. Maybe a short phone call with his wife and children at home. Oh no, the kids would already be in bed. Anyway, that’s how his day would probably go today.
Tomorrow then the shoot. He would be the center of attention again, he was the main character. He had earned this role through concentrated work over the past years and decades. That’s why he was successful.
But he had not found “happiness”. That seemed to be the others who were still at the beginning of their careers, or perhaps would never have a career, but were now simply along for the ride, playing supporting roles, being helpers on the set or whatever, and simply having fun.
He hadn’t found happiness. How stupid that sounded. Like in one of those tearjerkers that always ran on Sunday evenings on the station that also broadcast his Chief Inspector Baumann. Baumann and the search for happiness. Or: Baumann and the soldiers of fortune. … All this drivel is simply ridiculous. High time to get back to work tomorrow! …
Wolfgang Gottwald (06/2020)