Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I have arrived. Evidently.
I'm sitting in a bar, constructed mostly of aluminum or its indistinguishable relative and illuminated in blue neon light, exclusively so if you discount the dim lights peeling off the cash register screens and some videographic abortion on Mtv playing in the corner. I am observing as a half-dozen young men I'd guess were from Poland or the Ukraine break up from their impromptu circle dance, which consists of the participants squatting with arms bent aloft, folding themselves into brief human H-shapes, and stamping their feet into the floor in something that even Helen Keller could tell isn't syncopated, and transition into new dance positions, presumably one intended to attract the attentions of the young women -- and I mean young with a capital Y, as in Y___ enough to be my daughter -- tipsily drowsing around the dance floor. Said mating ritual consists, for this approximate dozen Slavic tribal dancers, of the following: half drop to all fours, and the other half pantomine a jolly good ass-fucking, the latter doing so with with a bit more enthusiasm than, say, would be necessary to raise a Freudian eyebrow.
This is how the realization hits me: You've packed your entire life into an office-park storage unit in order to live in a hostel in Berlin. That's what you did.
About the aforementioned women I don't want to say anything. Actually, perhaps I should. It's not just an expression, that, to say a woman could have been one's daughter. It's a real, measurable, honest-to-God line drawn across the universe, and God help you if you wind up on that side of it, subtly demarcating that point in past time where, if you had been a kid just old enough and hellbent on screwing up not just your own life could have engendered, with the cooperation of a young, preternaturally fertile woman, an even younger woman, who by the magic of genetics stands a better than even chance being herself preternaturally fertile and on the lookout for the kind of kid just old enough and hellbent on screwing up not just his own life. That subtle dotted line passed further through the universe and through time, and if it's behind both you and the woman you're flirting with, then good for you. If it passes further, so that it falls between the two of you, you've entered a very dangerous place. And if it passes over the top of your head, too... well, like I said, God help you.
(Lest this be deemed a confession, I should clarify that this point has not, in fact, come for m. By the look of things, it won't come until next Tuesday.)
Oh, by the way? While I was telling you all that, the metaphysics of the universe and when the age of the woman on the barstool next to you means it's officially past your bedtime in this bar, one of the men I would have taken for Polish vomited into an ashtray. And vomited again. And blew what appears about a fluid ounce of mucus out of one nostril and onto the floor. And resumed dancing. And the thing is, he's now dancing noticeably better! as if the foamy ballast jettisoned from his bowels had been the impediment to his Saturday night fever, rather than the alcohol soaking through his stomach lining into his blood, muscles, and brain.
Oh, and he's taken his shirt off, too -- did I mention that? That was about the point when I decided I'd better leave the bar.
Life in the hostel -- living the dream. I'm meeting someone who needs a roommate tomorrow.