Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Mohawks y Corazons pt.2


So a few days before leaving I hear almost nothing and when we do talk there are suddenly things that need to be said but that you promise will be ok and you'll say them when I arrive. And I begin to grow suspicious that there's more going on then just the sun and the moon. That the boyfriend you had before we met might be a boyfriend you still have. You assure me it ain't like that and I've got to pick a path, to the airport or defeat. I'm stuck with my imagination creating scenarios that feel like Chinese water torture.
I almost don't go.
I want it up front, I want to know if your playing me. Like Lou Reed said "I'm a New York city man, you just say go and I'll be gone." You convinced me to come and I boarded the plane, sensing the shadow of a falling shoe.
After changes and no sleep I touch down in Hamburg. I get into the country and go to the lobby. I don't see you at first, I stand around and watch everyone leave, I start to feel like I could give into panic. Like I'm on the edge of the dock, balancing on the balls of my feet and all I have to do is lean forward and fall in. That it's all a fucked up mistake and that I'm a fucking chump who just crossed the ocean to get played for a fool. I want to go back. The only brakes I have to stop this freak out train is music. I get a good song going in my cranium, usually something about "kicking ass and walking on" something that gets you on your feet and sticks your middle fingers up.
Then you come through.
Everything slows down when I see you. Four and half months of waiting and suddenly there you are, in the lobby right by the flight schedules. Your wearing a tiny black parka with fur trim, the heels on your boots are obscenely tall and thin, like on a dominatrix tip. Your hair is still bright red and your eyes are dark and ringed with mascara. Your skin is soft and tan, you stand out from all this skyway architecture. I'm almost out of my body, I almost lose track of the earth.
We embrace, but the intimacy that's existed through the wires is now a whimper in all the self consciousness and awkward fear of the face to face.
Ride through Hamburg in your friends car, thinking too much.
The first day there we go to your ex boyfriends house. This is very fucked up I'm thinking the whole time. You don't admit it's his apartment, but I can tell and I call you on it. You tell me that you'd broken up with him a few months earlier, but that you still get along. That it's hard to trust such a long distance relationship. It's sloppy dealing with distance and hearts. I can't act all self-righteous, I fooled around twice while we were apart. Still it's twisted and I go to sleep in his bed feeling slightly hollow.
I spent the next few days getting to know the streets of the Reeperbahn better. I started to become friends with the punk rocker chicks that worked at the coffee shop a few blocks over and even bought a skateboard for 10 euros at this flea market.
Your flat-mates were a weird bunch. One was this really cute French girl who always had her German boyfriend over and the only time they weren't laughing was when they were sleeping. Good folks. The other was this ball of stress in an intensive Law program at some university named Ben. Ben was scared of people with dreadlocks, Ben was paranoid about losing control over his world, Ben was 100 % focused on his career path, Ben and I did our best to pretend we didn't freak each other out. We actually got along some of the times. I made him a grilled cheese because he'd never had one and I tried to actively engage in conversations about his studies and his future since those seemed to be his main interests and you know, to each his own I'm not gonna hate on people that are doing what they want to do. He did turn out to have somewhat of a strong passive aggressive streak in him though most of it wasn't aimed at me but at you because of me and other things. Fuck it though.
The Reeperbahn is basically the debauchery district, filled with sex shops, peep shows, pissy hallways and prostitutes. I was surrounded by sex and barely getting any. It was like the hot and cold knobs of a facet, you'd pull me close and get intensely affectionate then you'd be 10,000 miles away staring right through me. There was no pleasing and whatever I did it was never enough. I couldn't save you from disasters that had already transpired, nor could I oversee their healing. All I could do was love you and offer my compassion and support. Not that I didn't try to fix it though, I drove myself nuts trying to crack you, trying to explain myself. Some nights I slept beside you blanketed in intimacy, others I curled up at the foot of your bed like a beaten hound, my nerves raw from emotional combat.
Some days I'd ride the train out to the university and read emails and lyrics while you worked or went to classes. One day I bought a bunch of beers and walked through the urban Forest to this deserted playground. It started to rain so I went into a crumbling dugout where I stayed for a few hours drinking and listening to the Clash on my walkmen while thumbing through a well read copy of Cometbus. I started to head back and caught the train into the Reeper.
The way the trains work in Germany is by buying a ticket and boarding. There's no turn-still and no conductor, just stings set up at certain stations at certain times, basically a bunch of metro cops standing at the exits checking each passenger for their ticket. If you don't have a ticket they fine you 40 euros. Obviously I never bought a ticket because the honor system to an American is just another opportunity to get by and take advantage of a some sucker's system. So that day on my way back I was leaving the train and climbing the stairs, when I saw everyone stopping up ahead and saw the boys in blue. I tried to turn and sneak back down but I heard a shout from up the stairs "Hey! Excuse me! Halt!" I took off running back down to the plat form hoping there'd be a train just about to pull out and I'd hop on just as the doors closed, like in the movies. No such luck both tracks were empty. I cut between the pillars and around the little stalls set up, but to no avail. Cops had been called down from the other exit and they had me surrounded. I stopped and smiled, throwing up my hands in defeat. I couldn't play dumb tourist cause I'd just tried to flee so they knew I knew the scoop. All I had on me was 20 euros so I gave it to em and was handed a ticket for the remaining 20. Seems like we Grays will always be in conflict with the Germans, from the days of the celts to W.W.2 to the great chase of the Hamburg metro.
Some days were fun, some sucked dick. I was drunk most every night regardless. I was drunk alot of the days too. After 3 days of a cold cold shoulder from you my darling, I went out with the punker coffee girls to a bar by the docks. I drank Jager and beer, I drained the bottles steadily. I walked off with this cutie, she was studying theater fashion and she liked the American punk rock hero (me). We wandered around the city streets till the early hours of the morning. We made out aggressively in a closed construction site, hanging from the scaffolding and rubbing parts both wet and hard.
I stumbled home and got in right before you returned from work. I felt good, I felt conflicted.
I told you the next morning and to my disappointment you didn't get angry or seem jealous but were actually supportive and said I should go out with her again. It hurt like hell and increased my suspicions that this love was becoming my undoing.
I went with her (fashion girl) to the punk Olympics the next day, which is basically a whole bunch of kids getting wasted and racing shopping carts, it was a blast. On the way back home I explained to her my situation with you and why, even though I was really attracted to her I couldn't start anything because I was still in purgatory at your 4th floor flat. In hindsight it was a real idiotic decision and if I could go back in time, I'd run off with the fashion student who really did like me and showed it through affection and attention, but who can say why we make the choices we make when we're suffering, when we're wanting. So I chose to crawl back to your floor and scream at your walls until my throat was raw in the hopes that they'd eventually fall.

"Both were so glad to watch me destroy what I had,
Pain sure brings out the best in people doesn't it ?"
-Bob Dylan