Sunday, August 28, 2011


I just got back from ten days in Berlin, where I met my pen pal of nine years, Noa (who is the greenest bean in the bunch). My first night there I went to bed at nine at night, woke up at five in the morning, when it was still dark and Mitte was still sleeping it off. I put on a kimono from the 1920s over my pajamas (what else does one wear in Berlin at 5:00 AM?) and stepped outside my hostel for a cigarette. Within thirty seconds a tall man came up to me and asked me in English if he could speak to me. We ended up going for a coffee across the street at a bakery which wasn't sure whether it were open or not. He talked to me of his childhood in Zambia, how he would make soccer balls out of bits of trash and inflate them with a tied-off water hose, how he saved some baby guinea fowls whose mother had been killed by dogs, about banana trees and his sister's suicide. He turned out to be a classical pianist in town for a concert performance. His name was Kampambo, and we talked til the sun rose, he with a sheath of battered sheet-music under his arm, I in an old tattered kimono-robe and bare legs, in the middle of one of the coolest cities on the planet. When we parted ways, he asked if he could kiss me, and I turned away. He kissed me inside the tattoo on my shoulder shaped like a square instead, something Thomas always used to do. I told him I wished he could have met Thomas. He said, "I just did. I met you, and so I met him." An auspicious beginning to one of the best trips of my life. 

 street art
more street art
excellent 1960s and 70's tvs and computers for a pittance!
penpal noa on the train with a chinese lantern plant i bought her
noa on a donut night, sporting a bag i sent her years ago which an ex-boyfriend gave me...
berliners are fond of decorative dashboards.
elections are coming up and nearly every candidate is sucking dick
accidentally beautiful colors and shapes on a chipping wall
graffiti detail on wall

a dashboard shrine to nature, one assumes
jesus is alive and well with his co., you know, living in noa's dad's apartment building in berlin
objets d'art, including a good-luck bracelet bought at a flea market made of camel bone and lapis, brought back from a trip to india in the 1970s by the woman who sold it to me
o 50 kg sweet nectar

19teens japanese pants at the coolest shop ever in berlin, which i am going to purchase from afar
something else i will now buy from home, a bird-claw-holding-a-stone talisman. the kind of thing i would have bought/stolen for thomas.
yourz truly making a shrine for tom in a monk's cemetery in mitte, which developed every day. note the coil of sandalwood incense... 
a note telling our story, placed in the heart-shaped tree stump shrine
very sweet note.
Every person adored me in Berlin, why? I don't have an answer, but that seems to be the way it goes when i travel. I bought the coolest objects, wait til you see them, you'll plotz. How am i going to do a whole year in a commune now? Now all i want to do is move to Paris and open a shop...

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