Friday, August 5, 2011

I am a jelly doughnut

Live however you like; Berlin just doesn't care. I've seen rain fall from a clear blue sky. Real rain, too, long teapot pours of it, like streamers, or very narrow waterfalls.

I don't dry my hair here, or care what clothes I'm wearing. I spend most of the morning writing, the afternoons drifting through museums. I eat four meals a day and one of them is cake.

One rides the U-bahn with an open beer. It is legal to relieve oneself in public, and to be accompanied by as big a dog as one can find. Bull mastiffs wait on leashes by their owners for the nightbus to arrive. This is a city with an infrastructure to put New York to shame. Empty bottles are left beside recycling bins for those who need the extra funds to take away. Unemployment is so high that, on a Tuesday afternoon, the parks are packed with people soaking up the unexpected sun. No one has any money, which makes it all the more civilized to sit on the sidewalk around six pm and have a pilsner. One could live on full-fat yogurt and 3e falafel here for weeks.

The city itself has character. Zones bleed into other zones by tree-lined streets or neon stretches of commercial thoroughfares. We live in ragtag Neukolln, but we danced beside a bridge, next to the Bode Museum, under colored lights on strings with birds alighting overhead. We danced in a restaurant, all wooden tables, wooden walls and floors, while patrons ate their sausages and struedel. And when we grilled in Görlitzer Park, the bleed from all the urban lights was not enough to hide the stars.

No one really rushes for the train.

We snuck into an abandoned East German amusement park, took pictures of the Ferris wheel all but overgrown with weeds, and threatening to sink into a swamp. We barbecued by the terminal at Tempelhof, having filled our backpacks up with beer. We ate at a charming little restaurant by the kirche at Bernauerstrasse, run by an eighty-four year old man who poured our wine with palsied hands, but served a tapas platter seamlessly. I had quarkspeise at the Turkish market and bought bronze earrings in the shape of forks. It's no wonder that I do not want to leave.

I feel grounded here in a way I haven't felt for months.

And Jack, oh Jack. Who still has yet to say he loves me. But who tells me I am glamourous, despite all contrary evidence. Like a Frenchwoman, he says. "You know, she rolls out of bed into a t-shirt and a pair of jeans and ties her hair back with a pencil. That's the kind of glamour you possess."


Bathwater said...

I still don't understand why he won't tell you he loves you.

Phoenix said...

I have not been grateful that I took five years of German classes in a long time, but getting the "Ich bin ein Berliner/I am a jelly doughnut" reference somehow makes that gratitude swell up again. Lord am I over-educated for being an actress.

I am glad you are having such a good time in Berlin - it's such a fantastic, beautiful city, isn't it?

And I'm also glad that at least if Jack won't tell you he loves you, at least he shows you that he does :)