Sickle-shaped moon reflects on Berlin

By Oranienburger Straße, Berlin

By Oranienburger Straße, East Berlin

Our first night in Berlin for some much needed alone time as a couple after 90 days in the UK with our kids — needed it so bad, we considered Iceland — after a couple drinks in a burger bar reliving our days with mint juleps on the front porch recalling what we can, we stop at a Berliner Mexican cantina with candles in the windows and Bienvenidos signs, Aztec gods with fat tongues in headdress, think we can toggle from bourbon to tequila (look at us!) but choose beer and tap water instead, greeted in English and shown to a table in the dark, order in a mish-mash of German and English to our dark-skinned waiter we assume is Mexican but realize by his accent he’s Indian, they all are, the young men in black T-shirts and ponytails hovering in that formal Indian way nodding and smiling, hands behind their backs clasped — and it seems ridiculous, how they serve our plate of nachos with such panache, the jarred jalapeños, the clotted cheese — and behind Dawn, there’s a woman sitting alone listening and watching me talk about Catch-22, how they were fighting the Nazis in the air but the Nazi bit is downplayed and that’s probably deliberate because it could be any time or place like Vietnam, or now, some pushy man comes into power and prides himself on anti-intellectualism — and when I ask for the toilet I misunderstand the waiter and he has to repeat himself, ‘downstairs,’ and down I go into the dark of the Mexican music, the strings and horns and the marching troubadours, but there’s another figure coming right at me from the opposite direction and I collapse at the bottom of the stairs frightened by my own reflection in a wall-sized mirror, dropped at the foot of a door that says Herren, the center of a ceremony with Aztec gods glaring down at me cross-armed and frowning — and inside the loo, a series of infinity mirrors that fan out forever and dice my head in symmetrical blades make me think I’m not the man I used to be, who thinks he can mix beer and liquor and foreign languages and get away with it, who can get back up and do it again.

Back at the hotel Rezeption I’ve stopped caring how good my German is and blurt out <<Kann ich etwas eis für ein bottle Sekt in unsere Zimmer haben>>, which is fraught with all kinds of problems but I make hand gestures to pantomime a bottle of wine going inside a bucket of ice that looks like I’m stroking myself and he gets the picture, phones the restaurant next door — and because we’re in Berlin they have Wi-Fi so we spend some time in bed checking our respective feeds, realize after a time we’ve started disappearing from one another and shut down the devices, and it’s just been too long since the two of us have had uninterrupted time to talk and be together, which is really my favorite thing, and when the Sekt is ready we pop it, Dawn says she’s sorry for falling asleep and shudders when she dreams she’s tripped over the dog, and I say it’s OK and write, and finish most of it, go to the window looking for the last of the moon but it’s hard to see with the lights and the buildings in the city, and say goodnight, and get back up to do it again.

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About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
This entry was posted in musings, travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Sickle-shaped moon reflects on Berlin

  1. rossmurray1 says:

    So many chuckles — the knowing kind. You going down into that pit of hell. I don’t know what it is, but I like it when bathrooms are down stairs and around corners, the longer the maze, the better. Like a quest.
    Say a prayer for the pretender.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Ah, I’m glad for the knowing amid so little I really do know, and for friends like you, namely you. No end to the satire of me in the mirror. Life is good despite, better tonight! Enjoy your weekend buddy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tish Farrell says:

    “and inside the loo, a series of infinity mirrors that fan out forever and dice my head in symmetrical blades make me think I’m not the man I used to be, who thinks he can mix beer and liquor and foreign languages and get away with it,” Love it. Wishing you a great break. So much to see in Berlin too.

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    • pinklightsabre says:

      Thank you Tish — it’s marvellous here. So much art, good architecture, good weather even…loving it. And we can just walk and do as we like without, well, any distractions (read, kids). Thank you for visiting and glad you liked it. I had fun today pretending to be a photographer — wish I had you and your eye here to have a go at it. Great light, everything. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jm says:

    Stream of consciousness—LOVE. And funny! Nicely done.

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    • pinklightsabre says:

      Thanks JM, glad you liked it. Having fun losing my little mind looking in the stream, here in Berlin for the weekend. Glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for visiting. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gregg Johnson says:

    love this one….captured the moment ” > > we spend some time in bed checking our respective feeds, realize after a time we’ve started disappearing from one another and shut down the devices > ” that we all know so well but often miss until its too late and the opportunity has passed…. hope all is well.

    best,

    gregg

    gregg s johnson cell: 206.399.3066 email: gregg@greggsjohnson.com

    >

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      It’s just weird to me that it’s become so normal! Like reading the paper next to each other, and I guess it’s not much different, and shouldn’t be demonized, but I don’t know — we don’t like, talk to our papers do we? Or do we? Thanks Gregg, glad you liked it and yes, all is very well. Berlin is blowing our little minds, making us want to move here. Just found out tonight Stone Brewing is opening a brewery here, or has, and soon, a bar, or several.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As I clicked on this, the radio just finished “How Soon is Now” The Smiths. I love when shit like that happens.

    That’s how Bond was tricked into smashing his Austin Martin into a brick wall. Goldfinger put a big mirror up.

    Where are the kiddies? With Granny? Did you take that last pic? Is that an Andre the Giant OBEY decal I see? Nice work, chum.

    Like

  6. walt walker says:

    ‘Back at the hotel Rezeption I’ve stopped caring how good my German is and blurt out <>, which is fraught with all kinds of problems but I make hand gestures to pantomime a bottle of wine going inside a bucket of ice that looks like I’m stroking myself and he gets the picture, phones the restaurant next door…’

    At this moment (you should be with us, says Perry Farrell) this is the best writing you’ve done. And of course I’m wrong, and you’ve done better, or could do better, or will, or did, but that bit hit me. Hard. I’m laughing so hard I’m coughing as I type and probably waking up someone upstairs. Also, I just hurt my shoulders somehow, while cough-laughing. But that was a good one. And so was the post. I imagine you shouting in German. I imagine all communication in German involves shouting. I don’t know how anyone using German doesn’t use it while shouting. It’s just so good for it (German, for shouting). I’m probably upsetting some folk here. No offense, folk! Ah…

    There was some sadness in this one too, though.

    Would you believe that in the Mexican restaurants in Poland, they put cole slaw on their ‘burritos?’ And ‘fajitas?’ Cole slaw! It’s not bad, once you get used to it. It’s almost worth it, just to be able to talk about later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      We met our German friend tonight who lives in Berlin and learned he’s married to a Polish woman, and heard about their wedding in Poland, in which her mom ordered 100 bottles of Vodka for 60 guests, and his mom insisted on wine, because that’s what Germans do, and he insisted on beer, and wound up with all of the above. I’m glad you liked this and you’re right, could catch I put in a half a teaspoon of sadness, which seems to be stuck to all the pots I use.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yahooey says:

    My son worked in a Mexican restuarant in Amsterdam that is owned by a Sri-Lankan and I can’t think of a good reason why I shouldn’t start a new stereotype, so I suggest that your waiter was Sri-Lankan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I seem to recall that. This restaurant we visited was actually a Singapore restaurant, it said on the outside, but it was Indian. I don’t know, it sure was good. Actually now I’m confusing the two restaurants because one was truly Mexican but owned by Indians and it seems the other was “Singapore,” but also owned by Indians. The Dead Milkmen have a song called Sri-Lanka Sex Hotel that’s pretty good.

      Like

  8. ksbeth says:

    like finding your way through a fun house.

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  9. Ah travelling. A time of awful beds and misconstrued hand gestures. Iceland’s not such a shabby option by the way, they have frozen waterfalls there.

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    • pinklightsabre says:

      Oh I am sure Iceland would be wonderful, it’s all I’ve heard about it that it’s great and yes, who doesn’t enjoy a frozen waterfall? Heck, you can climb them — though I wouldn’t, too much hardware, too much noise. Thank you for visiting Angela, seems misconstrued hand gestures are rather common in every country. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  10. alesiablogs says:

    My mom was born in Berlin in you guessed it 1939! Her home was bombed by the Russians. It is quite the story. I hope to go back there soon myself. I have 4 cousins and my uncle and aunt still living there. Your story was pretty goofy , but oh so good.

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