Saturday, April 11, 2009

And He's Off...

With the usual heavy lifting attendant upon an international move (or in this case a partial move for most of the rest of the year), the Lively German is on his way to his Great Adventure. After spending Thursday and the first part of Friday helping with any and all last-minute moving, organizing and errands, I ended up at the Hauptbahnhof with 5 minutes to spare and him realizing that he had brought no water at all. He was on the top level of tracks, the stores are 2 or 3 levels down, and it isn't easy moving through the Hauptbahnhof, unfortunately -- the elevators are worthless and the escalators hopelessly truncated. There were no large bottles of water in sight (Germans seem to subsist on half a liter per day) so in desperation I grabbed several, blatantly cut in front of everyone waiting to pay with a thousand pardons, explaining my friend was leaving in 5 minutes. Then I ran as fast as I could, shouldering people aside in my best imitation of a Hollywood chase scene, down the main hall, up the escalator, around the turn, halfway back to the center of the hall, up the center escalator to the tracks and out of sheer luck (the Lively German is the luckiest man I know), he was hanging out the door of a car just ahead. I ran up, threw myself and the water at him as the door was sliding shut on us; the door backed off, of course (German safety engineering, don't you know), giving me time for a big dramatic kiss and hug before it slid shut again, with me blowing exaggerated kisses as the train drew away. I do SO like dramatic send-offs, and this one simply could not have been better!

Afterward, The Painter -- who had volunteered his car to schlep the 35 kilos of baggage, which the Lively German apparently intends to cycle over the Himalayas -- and I took a deep breath, then another, looked at each other and shook our heads. I said, in English, "I need a drink". We ended up at his house toasting the Lively German with a bottle of very, very nice Ukrainian vodka. The sun was shining fiercely as I walked up Bernauerstra├če, past the Mauer (Wall) memorial which they've expanded since the last time I was there. The cherry blossoms are out in force from Prenzlauer Allee to Mauerpark, there's not been a drop of rain for 12 or 14 days (I've lost count) and scarcely a cloud in the sky the whole time, all of which is forecast to continue until my departure. All's right in Berlin, schlampe in her Easter finery, and, once again, sexless.

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