My dear friend Rosemary began a photo series called Primary New York: Manhattan in reds, yellows, and blues. Here's my effort from across the pond. (Try it, wherever you are! You'll start seeing your entire world in three satisfying shades.)
Berlin = one big love-jungle dumpster
Corner of Brunnen & Bernauer Strassen
Best shorts in Berlin, Schoenhauser Allee Ubahn platform
Back of his motorcycle, two in the a.m., hold tight! and
FLY. Berlin barren, alight: Reichstag Brandenburger Tiergarten:
our very own. And Wannsee! air tinged by earth tree lake, sky
starred dark. A deer sprints. And. Hope leaps.
Let's be clear: No one is proposing to me. No one is even thinking about it. These days I'm happy if I get a "(maybe) I'll call you (one of these days) and we'll go out for coffee (if I don't forget you the minute I walk away) so what's your number (and by the way, even if I do call, I won't be paying for your coffee, since this is Germany where chivalry got trampled to death by feminism thirty years past)."
Dude. What happened to post-feminism?
A friend of a friend of mine is taking his girlfriend to New York City in December. It's their first time. And he wants to propose while there. My friend asked me for proposal spots and hotels.
Being entirely devoid of ideas, I polled my New York Facebook friends, and came up with this list (categorization, commentary, and linkage befitting a non-New Yorker). It will surely prompt you to think of spots far more funky, mouth-watering, stunning... Comment fields await your brilliance below.
Proposals With a View
I sort of kind of pretty much had a nervous breakdown while writing the first article. Hmm. Wonder why?
Parents everywhere dazed and disillusioned by the news. However, publisher WeTV.com refuses to back down, issuing the following statement: "This Berliner chick knows whereof she speaks."
Controversial articles include:
There's plenty to say. A Madonna reading in Munich. A hankering for Dirndls. A plan for Paris.
And yet. Mum's the word here in Prenzl' Berg.
Besides, I'm trying to earn some money. Editing. Journalism-ing. That kind of thing.
Blog's gotta wait.
Also I'm thinking, shouldn't someone be PAYING me for all the hours I spend painstakingly coaxing words into submission for each day's post?
Ain't going to happen. Thus a personal boycott of this non-compensatory activity.
Very quiet blogger.
Living through stuff that doesn't get to be blogged.
But the sky is blue. And the sushi is exquisite. And my new MacBook is the best thing that ever happened to me. Black as gunpowder. Masculine as Brut cologne. And so-damn-sexy.
Which is good. Because for now, my fingers on this keyboard is all the lovin' I'll be gettin'.
The fuzzier he grows. A figment of my imagination. A dream I once had. Or a dream once had by a girl who used to be me.
Maybe that's for the best.
Or maybe it makes those moments when I'm told of him (he talks! he breathes! he rides in cars with boys!) all the more jarring. His very existence an affront.
Maybe I don't want him fuzzy. Maybe there's (strange) comfort in blood-raw pain. As if what we had did matter.
And that's the urge to see him.
Then again, I'm not so very brave. That I'd walk straight into flame.
Nor so foolhardy.
Today is two months. At this very hour.
Monday night he came to me, in my sleep. His pale face, his Nike jacket midnight blue. He was beside me, he was with me. He had returned.
I looked at him. His somber eyes. "But..." I shook my head. "I don't want to be with you."
Not angry. Just rooted.
I woke, surprised. Because I rarely lie. And never in my dreams.
And there I was frittering away the hours with a blog about the Caucuses. Where are my priorities?
Last night, a string of videos: The whip of her body, lavender lycra. Jeans riding low, American flag. Her duet with Justin Timberlake, beige rouched bodice.
Say what you will: She is an empty vessel, a half-talented chameleon of pop ephemera, more materlialist than feminist. But: I was enchanted.
Besides, I owe the Divine Miss M a lot. And I will be honoring her with a reading of my very own prose in (god help me don't let me garble the umlauts or the rolling r's) German on Friday night.
Completely unrelated: Happy Birthday tomorrow to the other formidable Leo in my life. You know who you are.
When you see the footage of Georgians on your TV Saturday.
Tough to hold the channel steady for: refugee camps, Russian tanks, child corpses in charred autos.
When you could be watching: Sea of Love. Late-night talk show. A Jamaican in green and yellow run as if immortal.
But you do. Sit through. Until you are sick inside. And grateful.
Still. You wake into your own life. Pissy. Insomnia-addled. The chills roll in, first time in a week. The news from San Francisco weighs heavy. An (insane) urge (MUST see the Ex!) accompanies you all over. Mean as a migraine.
Georgia? Very far away.
Afternoon, window table, Sowohlalsauch, the waiter with the astounding brows. You haven't seen him for a while now.
You nurse your cappuccino. He brings you the check. He leans in, shy, respectful. I was wondering, he says, German spiced with an accent you can't unpuzzle, May I take a photo some day, you sitting at this table, black and white, that is what I do, my art, I want to capture images, of people here not German...
You smile. Try to hide your titillation. An honor, you say. And then: Can I ask you where you're from? (Spain, you've decided. The homeland so often attributed to you of late. Go figure.)
Georgia, he says, and No! you say, Your family!? Are they okay?
Yes, he says. His eyes are torn with fear and question. His eyebrows knotted, restive.
I wanted to go to them, he says, My father told me no, my friends told me stay. Oh, but I am ripped up inside. I couldn't come to work all week.
I am so sorry, you say. It must be awful.
I haven't watched the news since Friday, he says. I had to turn it off.
That is good, you say. That is better.
He lays down a Euro change. You slide it toward him. Oh, he says, thanks. 'Cause one's a lot on a four-Euro bill.
Still. You both know: a Euro means nothing. Not now, on this day when the sun laces in and out of Berlin cloud.
In Georgia a woman keens. That was her child in the auto.
Unsteady earth, indeed.
Yesterday someone told me of an encounter with him. What he said. How he said it.
Her report was a red-hot branding iron, pressed against my sternum.
I wept, off and on. For hours.
How can I possibly see him. Without bursting into flame?
Today. At 9:40 a.m. Exactly.
Now is your chance (while you're here, putting off work you know needs doing) to:
Wow, so many days, so many words. To think they almost didn't let me into the country.