Happily I arrive in Berlin, Michelsberg or something, a small village on the southern ring, from where a hypothetical train could lead me to the centre. I sleep on a park bench for several hours, step on the train that has become real dead-tired and go to my friends’ place to surprise them. How warm a welcome they give me, I am very grateful for that. We have a lot to tell each other and we hug in admiration.
Now the first thing I do as an individual action is to walk around in Berlin, to see how it is. I go to a supermarket and buy a beer, clip open the bottle and pour the contents right down my throat. This is Berlin, ey Alter! De Olle Kamiel isch zurück. I enjoy it for a couple of seconds, and that’s that. I must tell you, as I walk out of that supermarket, the one I went to every single day during my down-phase, I am in a good mood. I see a smiling woman at the checkout counter and she obviously belongs to the beautiful dog that lies unleashed at the flower stall. The guard has begun explaining her that the dog should be leashed. And there am I, seeing the law-abiding German that reminds me of the strangeness I felt and the depressions I went through, there stand I, and say “It is a beautiful and calm dog”. A beautiful and calm dog won’t do anything, and come on, he can be sleeping without a leash in front of the sunflower vases, CAN’T HE? The guard looks at me and takes me on. Within thirty seconds he has thrown a battery of legislative arguments of why he should insist on the dog’s enleashment. If all dogs would be… and what if children get bitten… and it’s just a rule… and my boss… and I am here to keep… and my boss… So I engage, and with humour. You know what I tell him? So your boss is not as calm as that dog? Always address a German’s superior if you talk to him. Then I leave the supermarket, giving the guard an opportunity to criticize me buy attempting to but a cup of yoghurt in the pocket of my jeans. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” he says. On my way to my old apartment, where I want to pick up some post I do put the yoghurt in my pocket and it doesn’t tear open. Then I go to my friends’ place and when I try the key the yoghurt falls on the floor and splashes open leaving white stains on the mat. The guard has been right. So I guess the dog should be on a leash to. What have I to refer to? A yoghurt container that has splashed open on the floor. What does he have? Laws, epistles, paragraphs. This is me. And I won’t change too much.
As for that evening, it is very nice. We have good talks and I admire Sebastian when he kicks off one of his brilliant monologues about the essential steps toward the development of writing in greater Babylon, the brainlike nerves in hymenopters, Ciaocescu’s terror, the industrial history of Berlin and its housing, a foreign exchange rate wrapper, mildew, the banking crisis, scientific social websites, classification systems, and much more.
I work late on the computer, in a room freed from wasps by a skillful hand holding a folded magazine’s brute force.