Archive for June 2008

Super Craptastic   Leave a comment

I’m looking at a girl who looks like female version of Alan Rickman.

I’m in the subway station at the 2nd Ave stop, Lower East side New York. I’ve been traipsing around these points every other day for the last three weeks i’ve been here, and the stories are numerous. But i’m not feeling happy. Something is grinding at my insides–the little voids in this social vacuum we call our daily existence. For all intents and purposes I should feel good. But I’m not 100%.

This makes sense in an odd kind of way.

I got the emotional wind kicked out of me recently, and certain aspects of it re-entered my consciousness, just at the point when I didn’t need it. I was on the phone with my sister last night trying to work out the meaning of pointless communication.

“What’s the point of keeping in touch with people who aren’t interested in seeing you?” I said.

“Well, ” she responded. “I don’t know how to answer that.

“And why is it that when i’m far away from certain people they become so interested in what i’m up to… but if i’m in the area they are like ghosts in my life?”

“Well,” she said.” I don’t know how to answer that one either.”

I can’t answer it myself. Its become a tired routine, between myself and my significant others. I can be in their periphery, a stone’s throw away and I don’t hear anything. My cell phone becomes dead weight, and i wake up early on Saturday mornings feeling like a horny Grizzly bear in a land filled with male Shrews.

I can’t bother to try and rationalize the circumstances, the events, the back story or the whatevers. I’ve come to realize like most people, that most things don’t matter. What matters is what you want with your life, what you choose to take from it, and everything else is just… scenery.

Scenery like a long car ride from state to state. You look at it, occasionally something grabs your eye, sometimes you might stop for a while and get engaged with something, or you might stop for a long time before you get to your final stop. But its all fluff. Its all jibber jabber.

What matters is the end result. Sort of.

I haven’t felt like writing humorous anecdotes about the girls i’ve met in New York, and now there are too many to write about properly. This city is pretty fun–I’ve partied on a Monday–but at the same time it has the “vacuum” that all major cities have. That quiet divide in between what you have to do, and what you want to do. Everyone is busy, everyone is working, but sometimes in between the work and the train rides, the little conversations with the person standing in line to grab a Subway sandwidch, or helping the man across the street, everything stops. Then you remember you are painfully alone.

You can disguise this sensation in some ways. You can play loud music, read books, go running. Fool yourself into feeling a sense of company by sitting in the presence of others in Parks, or going to the movies.. but there are those days when you can’t fool yourself. This sadly, has been happening more often over the last several months than I like.

Its not a depressing feeling, because its a reality. If a guy doesn’t have a girl friend and maybe two people he speaks to every now and then its a little social conundrum. Especially for a guy who has no trouble meeting and interacting with people. Its like life’s antithesis to the “cool guy”.

But I’m rambling. ( I will never… EVER say “I digress”. I hate those two words. *brrrr*)

Do I want the flashing lights? Do I want the smiles of recognition from the masses? Do I want to be known?

I dunno. I’m a simple guy. Sometimes I just want to know that certain people close to me have a vested interested in me. That’s a start.

I’m afraid of become one of those super jaded people who roam through life always thinking a little devil is following them around and watching all their positive circumstances then they poke a broom in your back and shout out “YOU’RE FUCKED LITTLE MAN!”

Alas, I think i’m already there. Feeling jaded isn’t feeling depressed. Its reading the news and not feeling anything when people go missing. Not worrying about tomorrow even if people are going to start wailing on you with terrorist fist-jabs, and thinking every woman you meet will eventually screw you. (not in that way pervs!).

I should take notes from good old Shakes:

“… take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them?” Okay this barely relates to what i’m saying, but I love a good Shakes quote.

The only solace I can take from the burgeoning jadedness that is life, is to realize I have ample writing fodder. I don’t have to be the only one feeling empty and floating around “this mortal coil”, so can my characters! and I can make them screw (not in that way) the chicks too! Sweet eh? The pen can give sweet revenge… but that’s a nerdy fantasy that never helps anyone, especially if the chicks that screw you (we’ve been over this) don’t read your books. Lost cause dudes and babes. Lost cause.

But i’ll figure it out. I’ll reteach myself to twiddle my thumbs with glee if it means buying a huge f-ing box of chocolate and a teddy bear the size of my ex-girlfriend and loads of anime to take me back to my innocent teen years.

Till then, the humorous anecdotes will continue I guess… with a morose undertone.

Cheers to unexpected e-mails.

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New York: sOmetiMesIJustWanNaRaNT   Leave a comment

SometimesIjustWannaRant

I just noticed something funny about Megatron.
In the recent hit movie “Transformers” there is a scene where Megatron says to Disney-uber star Shia LeBouff, “Run boy!”. I had issues with this. I think he should have said, “Run fleshy man-thing!” or he should have screeched in Deceptagarble, truly making those around him quake in fear.
Either way, I haven’t been writing much lately. This makes sense to me. For the last seven weeks I have been going non-stop. Trip to France, Berlin, and now the ultimate destination: New York.
As a writer, there are the inevitable conflicts which arise in these situations.
Do I (a) go out every night in the city that never sleeps, chasing tall, blonde women for pure sport? Or do I (b) get inundated in the daytime park scene that usually leads to meeting tall, blonde women? Or do I (c) become a true New York ‘artist’, and make a splash on the underground scene in such a way that it will eventually attract droves of tall, blonde women? As you can see, in New York, there is no escape from the TBW’s!

So far, that’s my main observation. There is tall EVERYBODY here. Tall Asian women, tall blonde women seemingly from the highlands of some Eastern-European formerly-soviet-something country, tall guys, tall buildings, tall cups of coffee. It is all here.
I like the buzz—that feeling of never sleeping and existing in a twilight state. I felt this way last night. My last memories are of talking to my cousin late at night about purpose in life, while trying to decide if I should go out or not as hot brunettes kept walking past. (they were Oh-Soooooo fashionable). But, when I woke up this morning, I felt like I was in a different place. I half expected a little garden gnome to be sitting on my bed, and then a voice from that other place would be like, “Let’s go Buddy.”

I’d say, “Wait, where are we going? I need to go to work.” The gnome would be like. “Fuck work, let’s partaaaay!”. Then the gnome and I would head to numerous strip clubs, go on a shopping spree, buy his and his g-strings for our debut at the “oldies night” in a shady part of the East Village and then end up on a boat to China, singing praises to the two Ukranian women who decided to tag along(they don’t’ speak any English of course) and I would play guitar all the way to….

Beijing, where angry protestors would think I was somehow connected to the torch runners and eviscerate me in some Chinese back alley and then issue an apology the next day because they thought my guitar was a torch…. Or a harp. I think harps are banned in China too.

I’m ranting. On purpose.

.
I’m still reeling from the fallout of a “sort of “ heartbreak-but-not-really situation. My creative insides are spinning all around as I think of relationships of the past and I look towards the future. New York may have millions of nubile women, (and those who really like messing around in public places) but sometimes, standing betwixt people on the train to work, or just walking through a massive crowd on a Friday at Union Square, I float away and then it’s just me… and her.

Who is she?

Maybe she’s that person I’ve always wanted. Or maybe it’s a version of myself that’s a woman, I dunno. But there she is, standing there, tall and regal, smiling at me. Her eyes tell me that she loves me, and her body responds with touches, kisses and dirty feels. She is mine and I am hers. Then the image ripples and fades, and the real world returns. I’m standing in the middle of a crowd that I don’t’ know. Faces of all hues and compositions walk past, and there, I am truly alone.
That’s when the Gnome appears again, and we raid a Borders book store and argue with women wearing tattoos about the “destruction of the female temple” or some junk.
At this point the gnome would say, “Let’s hit up a strip club.” Then I’d say “No, we have to end this relationship. Its not healthy.” The gnome would then say, “Wow. I really thought we had something here. All those moments shopping, stripping and us in the g-strings getting grabbed by those senile old women who think we were theie boyfriends from the 1930’s. Those moments meant something to me.”
The gnome would want to cry but he couldn’t, simply because he’s a figment of my imagination. I’d go back to reading my books about global warming and start worrying about having a family that will eventually burn—not in God’s hellfire—but man’s sunfire.

.
Then I wake up, and my rant is blissfully over. I go to the kitchen and make tasteless eggs and eat them with equally tasteless bread. I look to the sky when I walk outside and say, “today, will be a good day.”

Then I stub my toe on a hydrant and shout. “ Ooooohhh fuckkk!!!”

.
Happy Camping.

New York: Damn, they have doggy Gyms here   1 comment

Two doorstops away from me, is a doggy gym.

This is officially the life that I am living. I’m in the middle of Manhattan, where the median income is a bazillion dollars, and everyone has their own personal driver, Cartier dining set and of course, a talking Gorilla. Welcome to the land of the wealthy, or at least the area of the wealthy. If I wasn’t fortunate to be set up in my digs rent free, I’d be living much farther than a stones throw away from where I work. In fact, most of the people I speak to where I work don’t live in Manhattan. I guess that’s reserved for people with the title “Vice President of…” but even so, they might not have a talking Gorilla.
I’m approaching my fifth day in New York, and I’ve made a critical error…
I WENT SHOPPING!
“Oh the horror.” I said to myself, looking at my shiny, really cheap blazer. “I’ve done it, I’ve broken the deal.” I say this because I planned to be really conservative during my time here. No t-shirts, no new shoes, nothing I think I don’t need. I’ve become a frugal man over the years… my biggest expense in the last two years (other than spending thousands on a trip to Europe) was my Ipod Touch, which I really and truly thought was a way to have wireless e-mail on the go. Unfortunately, the wireless generation are all internet savvy. The first thing people seem to do as they setup their internet connections is to completely secure it. Sure, my Ipod will pickup the 30 or so networks around me, but none are EVER free. If they are, I kid you not, its slower than my old 14400 baud modem that used to screech like a banshee having sex whenever I tried to connect to the internet.
So yes, I bought something. It wasn’t something I really needed, nor something I really desired. What I actually need is a sweater. The office where I work gets cold, and with a vending machine full of 25 cent sodas (yes I said 25 cents ) I can drink all the Ginger Ale I want. Naturally this soda is chilly, so after two ( I haven’t passed two in a day yet) I start to feel quite bristling. I like the word ‘bristling’…. I’m going to try and popularize it.
So yes, I went shopping, but I didn’t go ape-crazy and start frothing at the mouth looking for good deals. I reasoned to myself the blazer is cheap, fits and is highly wearable. If someone left me to my own devices I would wear either a plain black, brown or dark blue shirt every day of the week, with some nice designer jeans. I’m not picky. Me dressing up is me wearing a black, brown, or dark blue shirt with artsy, glittery designs on the front. It’s a huge step up.
Back to the doggy gym. I actually haven’t look inside, and I didn’t let the words “Doggy Gym” register in my mind. I really took note when a man walking past me looked at the sign, then me, then back to the sign, then me again, then smiled, stopped and looked inside. Apparently, it’s a place where the elites leave their little poodles and shitzus to run around idly while they work on wall street. I doubt I’ll be checking it out.

I like the energy here so far. I think its starting to grow on me. I know on almost any given night, I can find something to catch my attention for a few hours. The weekends must be insane here. I can’t even imagine what the fourth of July is going to be like. Now if I could find a meal that’s under 7 dollars in this area, I might be in business.
Also, I feel pretty short in New York. Surprisingly I didn’t feel as short in Germany (for reasons I can’t explain, since most of the guys I met were taller than me ) but here I think it’s the buildings. They are so tightly packed beside one another and so high that maybe my perspective is skewed. Also there are many, many tall women here. In my shoes I’m supposed to be around 6’2 and many people I walk past are taller than me. I remember people saying that when people are your height they seem just a little taller than you. Am I then, a tall-seeming person? Who knows.
As I write this, I’m supposed to be preparing to head out to the lower East side, which apparently, is a good spot on Thursday nights. I also hear its artistic, a tad cheaper on the side of drinks, and as one friend described, “the girls free up”. That’s a Jamaican term ladies and gentlemen, which I’m sure you can figure out the mean ing based on context.
If I don’t head out, I might just sleep. Last night I had not desire to go anywhere, or even eat for that matter. After spending nearly 20 dollars on three cans of tuna, two packs of spaghetti and a jar of tomato sauce, I’d had enough of New York for that day. I went to sleep at 7 and woke up at 4:25 a.m. Then I slept again until 8:45. Thanks a lot New York prices!
I wrote a long, petulant blog the other night about a situation I recently experienced with an ex-girlfriend of mine, but I couldn’t bother to post it. Maybe one day, but not now. I can’t bother to project those feelings into the universe. Better to chat about my little shenanigans in New York than to dissect the platitudes of losing love.
So here’s to the First Thursday in New York! * feeble shout *

New York: Dude, I touched Stephen Colbert!   Leave a comment

I am a zombie.

 

 

Its 8:25, and I’m walking in a group of people all going the same pace. There are dozens of us; bleary eyed, tall and short, fat and skinny. We are all venturing to our respective jobs, lives and careers. We are the zombie nation.

I’m officially part of the New York collective. I’ve been living here for three days, which certainly hasn’t made me run to the rooftops and shout “I’m a New Yorker!” like so many do… but I’m starting to feel integrated. 

 

I think I’ll starve here if I don’t figure out a plan soon. First, I’m not sure what the popular supermarket is here. There are so many little corner stores (with sandwiches that sell for …oh …six bucks) that I’m started to get frightened. Gone are the days I could run down to the Giant and buy ten cans of tuna for ten dollars, and five packs of spaghetti for three dollars.

I went into a Chipotle yesterday and was shocked to see that a chicken burrito is $7.16. Even Mcdonald’s is marginally more expensive, with the usually combo deals a dollar to a dollar fifty over the prices I’m used to.

Then transportation… but I won’t get into that. These things don’t bother me ( at least for the moment since I have food in my stomach and a place to live) but should the day come that I actually live here, I can see how a large portion of your disposable income could be sucked into this nodoz city.

Since I just came back from France and Berlin, being in New York feels like the third stop of a really long trip I’ve been taking. I’ve already indulged in chatting to random people, including a few hot school teachers, some friendly Greek women and an actress that goes to NYU (and has a boyfriend of course).

As luck would have it, I ventured out for an hour or so last night and went to the most DC-esque bar I could find. I feel sad about this. My social radar is so attuned to the bars in DC (i.e lots of wooden panels, beer taps and filled with ivy-leaguers). It was then I noticed one thing I didn’t really like about DC …at least where I normally went.

 

It was a little too Ivy-league. A little too college.

 

New York is supposed to be a treasure trove of artistic venues, filled with open-minded and artistic people with artistic places and stuff to do! ( can I say ‘artistic’ again?)

 

So we’ll see what happens. I’ll report on the upcoming weekend. I will venture forth into some artsy spots.

 

The Col-bird report

 

I’m working at Comedy Central for the summer, which gives me certain advantages.  Like possibly meeting really cool people, and maybe getting the hookup for certain things. The nature of my internship is really really cool, meaning I can’t say much about what I’m doing.

 

For example, “ Yesterday I was assigned to ___________ for ___________ which is a ne__ tha___ fo__ on ________ hubba hubba!”

 

In other words, I can’t really say anything. Maybe one day in a tell-all book. But for now, I am a lowly intern… with his own desk!

 

So yesterday I got access to the Colbert Report and it was pretty cool.  First you wait in an little area before the show starts, and then we were seated ( I was right up front) and we were entertained for a little while by a stand-up comedian. He did a good job of warming up the crowd. Naturally, (as the only black person there) as some point he referenced me as “the black guy” in a joke. It was actually funny, but the second time he called me “the black guy” I said, “I have a name.”

He asked for my name and then said I look like Djimon Honsou. “But he’s bald.” I said.

The comedian continued. “Doesn’t he look like the actor from Amistad?” he said to the crowd. Apparently no one had watched Amistad in  New York. However, I knew I didn’t look like Honsou at all, so I made a mas o menos hand gesture. Then the comedian gave a name of a black actor I’m not familiar with. I helped him out.

“Sometimes I get the 7up guy.” I said. “Whoa, “ he replied. “I know him, do you know his name?” Godfrey flashed into my mind. “His name is Godfrey.” The guy said.

“Fine fine.” The comedian continued. “I tell the guy he looks like a good-looking celebrity and I get static!”

I laughed. Later he would walk around telling people where they were from. He pegged a few Aussies very well, took a while to figure out where this Lithuanian man was from, pointed out two gay couples (including one guy wearing an 80’s style headband) and then said I was an actor.

This is half-true… “acting” is a new addition to my list of talents… so I said. “Well… I’ve done some acting, but I’m a writer.” The comedian points on me and says, “Artist! See I know. Give it to me. Give it to meeeeee.”

That was his answer whenever he was correct.

 

At this point Stephen Colbert came out. By then we were rearing to go.  Colbert looks more well built to me in person, and not as tall as I expected, but he is relatively tall, at least six feet. (He seemed to be around my height, and I’m 6’1). The show went without a hitch.

Its always cool to see people in 3d when you haven’t seen them in person. Colbert seemed larger than life. He was very high energy, and naturally witty. Like most people in the audience, I was pretty excited to be there. We were instructed to laugh as loud as possible for jokes, which was easy, because the show is very funny. 

I touched Colbert three times. 

The first time he ran out like a gazelle, high-fiving everyone (including moi) to a roar of applause. Then, we have a few minutes to ask him some questions. I said to him, “I’m from Jamaica! What do you have to say to Jamaica?”. For a moment his large, tv-start face furrowed. Then he replied, ” I dunno… Top o’ the morning!” in an Irish accent. The audience laughed.

“I don’t know what i– IRIE RASTAFARI!” he shouted, leaning back like a rockstar hitting the high note. It was HILARIOUS. At that point, he walked over to me and extended his hand. “Welcome.” he said. 

I shook Colbert’s hand! Thats’ touch number two. 

At the end of the show, he shook my hand once more, as cameras captured random footage. Afterwards I left and headed home. I groaned at more expensive delis around and ended up dining at taco bell for dinner. 

Its cool to be in New York. More later. The search for finding cool artsy chick ensues.

 

 

 

Posted June 11, 2008 by marcusbird in Uncategorized

Europe: The roundup. Reflections, nauseau, rejection   Leave a comment

I stumble into my room at about 5:30 a.m.

I see someone sleeping in boots in one the beds that was unoccupied for a few days. I squint, and realize those aren’t boots, those are feet. A giant is in the room. The individual begins to snore, and it sounds like a freight train with a nose. After I toss my clothes in a cigarette-smoke smelled heap in the corner, I try to go to sleep. The freight train keeps me awake. I’ve never heard someone snore that loud. It was the ultimate reflection of the big, bad, roommate. The guy was so big the sheets barely fit on him, and I swore the windows rattled a few times as he inhaled. I plugged fingers into my ears and somehow fell asleep that way.

I’ve been partying for almost fifteen hours straight, at this little gem I found near my hotel called Bar25. I found the place sort of by accident, as I was on my way to another spot called Yaam which is also close to where I was staying. I was snapping pictures on my bike while I was heading to Yaam, and I saw a lot of cute girls and oddly dressed guys going into what looked like a mechanics shop. It turned out to be a place where they had been having a party since Friday. The day I went there was Sunday afternoon.

For five euros, you could party for four days straight. I clocked a Sunday-Monday partying time block, but even when I came back (after sleeping for a few hours) I saw many of the same people at the venue, they hadn’t slept, bathed, or anything. Some were sleeping dangerously on a gangplank that was right beside a river, and other people jus kept dancing, dancing, dancing. Probably acid-tripping.

The kind of music playing was called minimalist , which is essentially dance music stripped down to beats and a few light ambient touches. Its not music you can dance very hard to, but you can definitely move to it for oh—five days or so. When I come into the place, I’m a little intimidated. Naturally, I assume everyone in there is German and speaks German, and I hadn’t gotten over my langugage barrier culture shock yet. My friend advised me that almost everyone in Berlin speaks English—later I would find out this is true—but I didn’t think it was true yet.

Girls had fantastic hairstyles. Many of them had short haircuts, mullets and assorments of dyed hairstyles. The fashion between the people varied, but there was definitely a style to the way many of the people dressed. It was interesting contrast to the Pub Crawl I went on a few days before. When I think of America, I think millions of people in non-descript t-shirts, khaki shorts and cheap, open-toe slippers. That’s the general idea anyways. This was confirmed to me while traveling. Every American I met was pretty much dressed the same way.

This is not to say that Germans don’t fit that mold, but the style of dress was different. Either way, I liked the vibe.

Many of the girls were tall and lithe. I’ve always liked tall women, and there were a few plodding about I wanted to say hello to. But alas, it seemed that many people knew each other and spoke German. As the night progressed, only a few random gay German men would say hello, and I would sit for most of the time people watching. I hung out with a few Irish girls who literally sat on a bench for about eight hours talking about nothing in particular. I met a few other people who lived in Berlin who all told me why it was an amazing city. These people were Italian, French, Canadian, English and Irish. After a few hours at the place, I noticed that many of the people who I thought were all German were actually from somewhere else! This hit home when a tall, semi-blonde guy with a barrel chest bounced into me as he passed me on the dance floor. “Sorry, mate.” He said in a thick Aussie accent.

This was an eye-opener. So I hadnt’ been talking to anyone because I thought they were all German, but pretty much everyone spoke English. When I realized this people were very drunk, and seem tripped out on something. With one day left, there wasn’t much I could do. A lady wearing a fake rose in her hair started following me around. She wasn’t my type, but she was very insistent, just hovering constantly. She told me about her young son, and how she had to leave in a few hours to take him to Kindergarten. She tried to give me information on where she lived, both of her phone numbers, and e-mail and even asked me if I had a map to show me where lived so I could find it. If I liked her, it would have been on. But there was something odd in her eyes. A darting, scary insecurity that bothered me. Also, I didn’t find her attractive.

At some point she followed me to by bike and as I was giving her a hug goodbye she tried to kiss me. I didn’t return the favor. As I rode home I remembered how bad I am at letting certain girls know I’m not interested in them.

The last day made me regret leaving Germany. During my stay at the Singer109 hotel, I met two lovely sisters from Brazil who I spoke to the most on my trip. One sister gave me the run-down on places to go, the other gave me a little tour of the place called Yaam, and incidentally shared a bike ride with me to get there. On the last night of my stay (I had hours to go before I headed to the airport) they were having a party in the lobby. I had a few drinks with the sister, learned how to sing happy birthday in German (both sisters celebrate their birthday on the same day) and played fooze ball with the older sister, who used to be a fitness instructor. That night I felt ver comfortable. More comfortable than I had for a long time while I was traveling. At that point I had a sense of at least five square miles. I knew how to find places, eat cheaply and take the train. I meet a few interesting Berliners and we share a few huge bottles of beer, Beck’s. I’m enjoying myself. We snap pictures and talk about nothing in particular. Everyone tells me to return and contact them when I plan to do that. A sinking feeling hits me; I was just starting to get a taste of Berlin when—

I’m on the plane heading back into D.C and my stomach feels like someone has twisted it into three knots. The last leg of long trips always seems to get me, and I’m not sure why. I was fine no the 8 ½ hour leg into New York, fine for the first 58 minutes of the 1 hr, 18 minute flight to D.C, but as the plane started to descend I felt nausea slapping me in the ass. I close my eyes for a few moments and then—

I’m back in my room. It smells musty. The windows have been closed for a few weeks and the room looks exactly like how I left it. Half clean, half dirty. I was in a rush and many bottles of lotion and hair products were all over the place. Guess I’ll bring those next time. I flop onto my bed and groan. I feel nauseous, but there is not food anywhere in the house. I get up and—

Rain hits me in fat drops as I walk down the street. Long streaks of lighting pepper the sky and I hope I don’t get hit by a stray bolt and make the evening news. I’m listening to some DJ Tiesto while I walk, which shares a nice relationship with the madness of a thunderstorm. I walk into a train station and fish a few quarters out of my pocket and slip them into the provided slots. A guy with both hands in his pockets with a “I’ve got no money on me” expression on his face does the usual walk around, feeling, feeling, feeling for money that isn’t there. I practice completely ignoring him and not making eye contact. I head to the train and now I know.

I’m back.

Posted June 5, 2008 by marcusbird in Uncategorized

Germany day 4: The Czech Republics, beaches and underground clubs   Leave a comment

 

Its Sunday afternoon. I just woke up with my head in my hands. I’m fully dressed, in my outfit from the night before. I hear room door open, and my roommate walks in and starts using his computer.

 

I vaguely remember a moment a few hours before.  I—

Burst into the room, obviously drunk and I struggle to take  off my shoes. My roommate, a Japanese dude named Yoshi, asks the obvious question: “Are you allright?” he says. “I’m fine.” I reply, then I flop into bed. A few seconds after hopping into bed, I feel like my head is spinning and I run to the bathroom. Yes, Berlin was that good.

This blog is in two parts: Day and Night.

DAY

For me, the day was somewhat introspective. A friend of mine was in Berlin for a few hours and I hung out with her. We shared a meal at a Vietnamese place near Weinmeisterstralle and chit-chatted about life. We traveled on the train a bit, took some pictures and talked about humanity and monogamy. She explained to me that her brother had been recently cheated on by his girlfriend of three years, and he was a mess. I said “damn,” to myself when I hear that, but that’s life. Who can really trust anyone?

Either way, after I said my goodbyes to her I hung out in Alexanderplatz for a little while. The best way to describe the place:

The area is the size of a stadium with no stadium. For a stretch of roughly half a mile, is nothing but pavement. Two massive buildings are on this concrete tundra, and people look like ants as they walk to and fro. It is almost like staring at infinity, or God’s empty paddling pool, its that big.

 

Yeah… so I was sitting there for a while just thinking about my life. Here I am in Berlin, sitting by myself. I’ve achieved a great goal by coming here, and I feel happy to be here, but my mind runs on many other things.  Occasionally, I think about my ex-girlfriend and wonder what she’s doing. I wonder if she’s sleeping alone, or with someone,  or taking a shower in the middle of a summer morning. I want to talk to her, but I’ve been afraid to call her lately. I don’t like feeling needy. I need to disconnect a bit. A statement I came up with for a book I’m working on has become a theme for me of late, especially since I’ve been traveling. This was supposed to be a statement in  a movie or something…. But basically two people are talking, and one person says. “You don’t know what love is like.” And one says,” Love can eat you, and love can sting you, but you’ll never know how small the world is until you are in love.”

This statement hit me profoundly (even though I came up with it). You can travel thousands of miles away from someone, but all you need is a thought to put them right beside you.

I didn’t mention it in my blogs when I was in France, but one night was really bad for me. A few years ago one of my best friends died, and  it has  affected me to this day. When I was in France, one on night in particular, I remember a conversation we had. “We are going to Japan.” He said, “We’ll travel, we’ll do it.” We had made plans to go to Europe as well, traveling, having fun sight seeing and living it up. That will never happen. I don’t know why that night in France that realization hi me so hard. In the middle of everything I was doing I started to feel like I was losing it—I wanted to network, to get into parties and have fun, but all I could think about was my friend.

Now I’m in Berlin, one of the places we might have traveled to. I don’t feel bad today, (not in the way I did in France) but sitting in this massive, expansive place can make a person think about things.

Sometimes I want to just forget everything I left behind. My past, my old apartment in DC, my past thoughts and memories. I didn’t’ really want to travel thousands of miles to sit and think about things I can’t change. I guess this is the real spice of life, sitting in a foreign country thinking about all things Marcus.

I also think about my family. I wonder what they are doing, how things are in Jamaica, and if they have any idea what I’m doing in Germany. I think of the future, a possible family of my own… and the next step for in my life. I think on these things for a while, then, I realize I need a drink. Fast.

 

NIGHT

I’m at the beach, in the middle of Berlin.

I’m near Freidrickstralle, an area that reminds me of bad b-movies with great art direction. I’m meeting up with the English girl I met the day before, and some of her friends.  On my way to meet them, I waited at the wrong street for a while. I saw a Pub Crawl taking place. Seeing all those tourists walking to a bar was like watching a 2008 American pilgrimage.  I’m sitting on my bike sipping a beer—I still havent’ realized I’m in the wrong place yet—and I talk to a few fellow standing by the road. When they hear I’m from Jamaica, they seem to be in shock. “Dude, why are you in Berlin?” they say. I try to answer this question when another guy comes up and he also asks me the same question. Why are you in Berlin?

Eventually, I meet up with the guys. They suggest we go to this place called “The Beach”.

This place is like a dream, I’m serious. A huge shadowy building is in front, and almost all of its surface is covered in graffiti, in the shadwos and in the lights, are people, walking through sand, yes, sand and sitting on benches, under tents, drinking and laughing.

What’s dream like about the place is that (a) we have this huge old German building creating the perfect spooky grunge backdrop. (b) we have sand in the middle of a big city, plus trees and beach chairs (c) graffiti makes the area seem dangerous, but its all very chill.

I half expect to see a six foot seven German man in a leather jacket covered with trinkets point to me and then I get tossed out by a few smaller but equally swarthy cronies on the street. I would lay on the ground for a moment gathering my senses when a huge boot would kick me in the ribs and someone would shout in a BAD accent, “Go back to zer Amerika!”

Of course that didn’t happen.  At this point I’m starting to feel a good buzz since I was pre-gaming (alone…sad I know) earlier. Liquid confidence gives me the balls to approach random German people, which I’ve found isn’t a pleasant experience. Germans seem friendly during the day, but at night it’s a whole different story. I see two Slovak looking ladies sitting down and I say my one liner:

“Halo, vie geht es inen?” (Hi, how are you?)

The give me a look that makes me feel like a wisp of grass that accidentally landed on the table. I say “whatever” and find my group. Vanessa is with her long time high school friend Rich and they seem to be getting very chummy. I get a few signals that I’m not supposed to be there when she keeps asking me which girls I want to talk to.

I’m not worried… this is Germany baby! I head over to a small bar where there is  a large group of VERY blonde women. I BS and get a drink and initiate some conversation with two of them. They are from the Czech republic! They speak perfect English. It turns out they are on a class trip to Berlin and they will be here until Monday. I met a Monica, Martina, Elle and someone else. They were all tall, pale and almost platinum blonde. “We are from Prague.” Martina said.  I want to go to Prague now.

I joke around with the ladies for a little while and get a few nasty looks from some of the Czech fellows sitting nearby. I dub the ladies, “The Czech Republics”.

After I chat with the ladies for a while I go back to Vanessa and crew. Massive, the Italian with an Aussie accent is part of the group now. He recommends buying drinks at a corner shop outside to save cash. I agree and follow him. A bottle of Beck’s twice the size of the one I bought in the company of the Czech girls for 3 euros is 1.50 at the stand. I talk to Massive for a few moments about German girls. He too agrees they are kind of hard to meet, but once you get in, oh boy!

At this point I’m probably drunk. I can’t tell for certain, but I started doing some crazy things. I get annoyed with Vanessa for a reason I can’t remember and spend the next hour in the company of the Czech Republics. Unfortunately, I met the teacher of the students (Monica) and breaking in to that group seems like a very shady exercise. The girls were 18 and 19 respectively. Plus massive German guys swarmed around, full of that “I am very tall and very strong” swagger.

I give up on the Czech Republics and head outside for another beer. This time I’m walking alone. The street is buzzing with life. I get a different beer, this one is a Berliner. The lady working the stand looks like a seasoned participant in life. She is in her late forties to early fifties, heavy set with red patches from overexposure to the sun and a hard face. She cracks it open. “Danke.” I say.

I’m walking back to The Beach and I see a tall attractive girl eating some pizza. I make conversation and she tells me about a club she’s going to.  “You should come.” She says.  A fellow pops up, a shorter guy (shorter than me, meaning VERY short by German standards) and this is Benny. At some point I whisper to the girl (who’s name is Marie) and ask her if Benny is her boyfriend. She laughs, a cute, twinkling German laugh. “He is too little!” she says, pointing at him. Benny hears the statement and smirks. Another guy comes along, also shorter than me. He is Yohan. Yohan gives me some vodka to sip on.

The adventure begins.

We take a turn off the main road, Oranienburgerstralle and go up a dark, quiet street. I’m definitely drunk now, and just going along for the ride. I learn that Marie spent one year in London, which explains her good English. She said she just finished school… high school! She’s 19. The group stops at gate that looks like it was stolen from the Bram Stoker’s Dracula prop set.  Two men in black jackets speak in hushed tones to Yohan and Benny. They check their IDs and wave us in. I’m looking for my ID, but I realize I left it back at the hotel. The bouncer waves me in. I follow the group through a very dark parking lot and we enter what looks like an apartment building. After walking up a small flight of stairs, I can hear the music pounding through the walls. House music!

I ask Marie how much is the entrance fee. “Its about six euros.” She says. I nod after she says this, and I turn to the bouncer. “Halo my friend!” I say with a big smile. He is short, but very muscular. “Mi name ist Marcus, from Jamaica, first time in Berlin!” I say. “Thomas.” He says, shaking my hand. “I am happy to be here!” I say with more energy. Then I turn back to the group. The guys paid, and I look at Thomas and he waves me in. Free entrance baby!

 

Two things happen at this point. First, I feel amazed. I’m in a real German club now. There were no tourists in this place. The interior of this building resembled a mini cathedral. There were several dance floors all packed with people. The air was hot and wet.

 

The second thing that happens is I lose the group. I was following Marie around for a few minutes, then she disappeared. After that, I was on my own. I think, and I emphasize, think  I bought another drink at this point but I can’t be sure. I vaguely remember having a conversation with a German guy who happily proclaimed he was 197 cm tall (probably like 6’6). The music was good, but I couldn’t really dance. I was people watching. I was inside, but I felt exposed. I’m this drunk Jamaican guy running around with a polo shirt with a tie on! This is where the night gets blurry.

So I lost the group and listened to some underground music for a while. I don’t think I attempted to talk to anyone seriously. I said hello to a few girls, but I needed some air. All the beer and Vodka was getting to me now.

I’m directed to an exit that puts me on a street I don’t know. The sky is a purplish-blue. Damn, its almost daybreak. I’m not walking straight and I’m lost in the middle of Berlin! I curse a little and stop almost everyone that walks past me:

“Ver is der Frederickstrasse?” I say. (Where is Frederick street?)

People point me in the right direction, but I walk around in a daze for a good twenty minute before I find “The beach” again. I go inside but everyone is gone. No Czech Republics, no English crew. I unlock my bike from the entrance of the beach and start riding home. I don’t know why, but I’m hit with an overwhelming desire to call my ex-girlfriend. For that moment, her voice was the only thing I wanted to hear. I think that desire saved me.

I could barely ride the bike straight and I had about a three mile stretch from where I was to my hotel. This mind you, is through winding roads and streets, between underpasses, ten lane roads, and over routes where these large (and deathly quiet) tram cars drive. Dangerous.

I fuel myself with thoughts of my ex, and this keeps me semi-sober for a while. Twice, I crash the bike. The first time, I almost rode into a wall and a did a poor braking exercise. The second time I had a full wipeout about two hundred feet from my hotel. Even though the sun is starting to rise, it’s still very dark. To get to my hotel I had to navigate through a narrow path filled with lots of trees and hedges. I was doing a good job. “yes, I’m almost there!” I said gleefully. In moments I would be inside my room, on Skype talking to the one person whose voice I wanted to hear. Then, I lost my equilibrium.

My front tire hit a hedge and the bike shifted into the hedge. I braked up, but badly and I fell to the ground. Now I’m on my back and the world is spinning. I try to get up but I can’t, I’m too wasted. I laugh.

“I’m in Germany!” I say to myself with a weak chuckle. I lay there for a minute or so, catching my breath. I think of calling my ex again, and I find a second wind. I get up and finish the ride to the hotel. I lock the bike outside and walk to my room. All I want to do is sleep, but somehow I take my laptop from its case and open it up. (The next morning I would see the laptop on the kitchen table and wonder how it got there). I call my ex but I’m not successful. She doesn’t answer the phone.

At this point the blog begins.

I flop into bed fully dressed hoping to sleep. The Berliner and Becks I drank don’t want to stay inside me, so I run to the bathroom. I go into the room and fall asleep immediately.

Wicked night.

 

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