Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Short Stay in Berlin.


Outside, a whistle bounces across the yellow brick courtyard; like an unknown, wild bird, caught off course and calling for its mother. The small rain drops meet the glass panels between him and outside; gathering speed they drop, like a guillotine onto a neck. Before they land, they catch the last moments of sunlight and send it in shards, piercing through his vision and capturing his lonely thoughts. Thoughts that are still in 1941. The Jews, herded through the streets, cheekbones sharper than razorblades, cutting into his veins. Now it is the healthy that pass, the streets stained grey, like a shadow of the past. With an ear to the pavement, the sound of Hitler’s dolls marching can still be heard.

Now, the hours of endless awareness, of breathing in time with the world are catching up with him. His eyelids become sticky, watery; they seem to weigh the same as a led roof and balance as well as bricks on top of chopsticks.

The sun has gone now and the raindrops are no more than balls of water holding the last moments of the day’s events, dragging themselves down the window panes. The night floods in, it is all consuming.


Dawn has come through the gap in the window, reaching for his awareness, unquestionably he surrenders it. Now, the wall looms over, it isn’t physical monster it once was but its hostile attitude is enough to cast him into shadow. Once again, Jewish eyes surround him, coming at him through photo frames. But it is the monstrous grins and hyena laughter of those in uniform that take precedence. Beneath, the ruined offices where the fate of so many was decided; now they are no more than bullet holes in the ground.

There he sits on a faded green sofa, the wooden arms smoothed down after years of adoration. With one hand on the wooden arm, the other clasps a drink, waiting for his man-made ether to consume him. Soon the night shall take him again and he shall be dragged from the chaos of his own consumption and dropped, without care, onto a still white mattress.


On a window sill, he attempts chess, precariously placing his rook where the King once stood. Here, he is content; his lover takes his hand with her own and keeps it safe. He drags on a cigarette and straightens his newly bought cravat. The day continues to drape itself over him, to consume him and all around him. Following the shadows of Berlin until he reaches its summit. Standing on top of this city, memories are lost, literature, footsteps, sand castles, the hundreds of paintings that fill his heart, temporarily erased as he overlooks Germany. It’s roads sticking out like spiders legs and it’s streetlights like marbles scattered on a carpet.

Berlin has won his soul, there is no such thing as time anymore.