Berlin

August 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

A wasp is exploring the rim of my coffee cup. She dashes over to my fingers and face before returning to the same fascinating spot on the cup.

On the radio:

(How ’bout the way he acts?)
Oh no! That’s not the way!
You’re not listenin’ to all I’m sayin’!
If you wanna know
If he loves you so
It’s in his kiss!

The barista has huge brown eyes and bleached bangs. Every woman in Berlin has bangs, some sideswept, some shaggy.

Rob is under the table, plugging in his laptop. He’s listening in on a work call with headphones. He steps out to the street every few minutes – I assume to speak, when necessary.

I’m in the corner, leaning against a wall with my legs stretched out on a padded bench. My laptop, aptly, is on my lap. The coffee is making my heart beat faster. Outside, the wind is shaking chestnut trees and causing cyclists to frown in determination as they pedal on.

A funny looking white dog with brown spots just walked into the cafe on his own. The barista kneels and pets him all over, making cooing German sounds and smiling. The dog has a studded leather collar around his neck.  Now he is sniffing the floor under my table. Rob tries to pet him. The dog considers the offered hand, but turns to leave when he ascertains that the hand contains nothing edible.

Berlin looks and feels like an older version of Tel Aviv. They could be sisters. Both chain-smoke and party all night in yesterday’s clothes. Both are aggressive, emotional, full of life, argumentative and cynical. Both are ugly.

Most of the time I am alone. Rob was assigned a big project, and he works long hours. Sometimes he is still working at 9PM. I only work three hours a day, and I have lots of time for exploring. I’ve been walking a lot. I’m still astonished and charmed by how easy it is to walk for long hours. I look at the map, and I feel a desire to pick a direction and walk, and then just keep going forever. See how far it takes me. Sleep when I’m tired, eat when I’m hungry, like a happy big animal.

The sun is suddenly out and the chestnut trees are still.  Rob steps out again. My wasp is now interested in the mouth of a slender blond girl (sideswept bangs) in a funky striped shirt. The girl closes her eyes and waves the wasp away with a flitting pointy hand. Her blond friend (shaggy bangs) leans backwards and chatters and laughs in German. The wasp abandons her quarry.

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