~of gunshot-dappled garden walls~

September 6th, 2009

The past is never dead. It’s not even past. ~William Faulkner, 1951, Requiem for a Nun.


I woke to the sound of techno and clanging steel. Turns out once a year my street, Fuggerstrasse, hosts the eu’s largest bondage/fetish extravaganza, Folsom Europe!, which delights me to no end because:
a. that would be inescapable Folsom Street, San Francisco they are paying homage to, and
b. “Dresscode: Leather, Gummi, Fetish or Naked” and
c. Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Switzerland any more.
I swam through the testosterone river of leather-daddies (and a few mamas, not too many tho, biological or otherwise) to my U-Bahn station, smiling all the way.


Alfonso and I met Horst, Leonard and Laurens for a lovely Sunday brunch at Cafe Einstein. The kids had cake and the grown-ups admired, well that’s not the word, but discovered the incredible patterns left by WWII gunshot on the garden walls. Through one window, cake, through the other gunshot. It’s an easy Berlinish metaphor, but not inaccurate, all the same.


We carried on to the Siegessäule (victory column) of Tiergarten park, which we have been meaning to climb since we arrived. Even on the grayest of mornings it was a splendid adventure. Some things are just more fun with small people.


On the staircase I discovered what Noria hypothesized is a message intended for (English-speaking) me:


The oracular nature of the sentiment is as yet uncovered, however beneath our apartment the establishment CITY MEN SHOP & VIDEO & MOVIE & CRUISING & TOYS suggests perhaps English (even of dubious, if enthusiastic, grammar) may be the international language of porn. Either way it is certainly hard to argue with. Not “I ♥ Gay Porn,” just an unbiased statement of fact.


Also smiling this week because I am coming to a point of finally having a first draft of the book done. Which may explain the fact that I haven’t posted once since we arrived in Berlin eight weeks ago (I will back-post a bit, shortly). The difference between what I am up to and a proper residency (delivery of lunch baskets to doorstep aside) is simply boundaries. It is my job to limit time frittered away cooking, grocery shopping, facebooking, or anything else that provides only short-term and immediate gratification. Not a giant revelation, but one that takes determination to honor.

from this vantage point it is clear that all points both east and west lead to the golden gal.
the full panorama can be found here.

So: bicycling though the summer nights of new city, becoming tipsy with a new friend, scaling victory towers: allowed. A lady has to move about sometimes and anyway it’s good for the creative beast too. The rest? Eh. It has been interesting to disengage from the idea of “my” house and all my domestic activities, as we don’t currently have one (we live in a wonderful flat but it’s not ours, and thus is rather like bougie camping). After some adjustment, I find I am enjoying it very much.

Although it falls under the category of Things That Aren’t Book Writing That Glue My Butt To The Desk Chair™, I have also discovered that I miss blogging. Or the result of it to be precise. I like having a record to reflect upon, even one as imperfect and strangely selective (for respect of privacy, my own and others) as this. Something the other day led me to an old Neuchatel post and I must say, it feels like another lifetime. If the contract had not abruptly ended, we’d still be there. I am so glad to be gone, but also so glad to have been, and to have recorded some of my impressions as fodder for when at 75 years old each sentence begins “In former times…”

portal to the past (Fernsehturm from telescope).

When we returned home from Tiergarten, in searching for a cardigan, I manage to unpack all my boots and scarves and hats and wooly bits, which as the ground hog announcing Spring, trumpets in Autumn for me. It’s cold toes in bed and windswept hair days and I am giddy with it. I would walk all afternoon through Central Park if I could, watching the squirrels bury acorns and mulling the “past”: Folsom Street, Neuchatel, Brooklyn, wars, victories, all the autumns that have come before.

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