So, how was your day today? Well, it was not exactly today- it was two or three weeks ago- but nothing I write here is entirely true, remember?
Not too early in the morning I wake up in a sunny Leipzig. I wave good-bye to Orso with very humid eyes: we’ll see each other again in two weeks. And we are only ten days into the European commute that we like to call a marriage.
In Plagwitz I pass by bike by the most beautiful care-home I have ever seen: I wonder whether they accept residents under 30… because I’d definitely love to live in one of the apartments with the view on the canal. I get to work (yes, it is funny and -forgive me for the word- cool, but I’m still making a job out of telling stories) crossing not one but two parks: I could definitely get used to it. But there is no time.
I get my lunch from a Syrian takeaway, hipster German style: a lot of vegetables and less fat. I’m still not used to it.
I smell the garlic sauce and the grilled chicken and I turn back two years in time: I am in Place Monge, Paris, and feel that loneliness that does not feel like being alone.
I also think about how uncomfortable I am with the past and what it is all about. Orso says that I always behave as if I was on my guard when I talk in the past tense. I should dig the reasons why but basically: I don’t feel at ease because it’s about another woman, most of the time a girl, I don’t particularly like now.
On my way to the train station I miss the right tram and I have to get on two others trying to make up for my errors: a lot of stress while dragging a too big pink suitcase.
I learnt how to force myself to sleep on transports so the train journey from Leipzig to Berlin passes quickly. Everytime the train goes through Lutherstadt Wittenberg I can’t help wondering whether Luther’s theses were 95 and everytime I reach home -wherever it is- I’ve already lost interest. Or maybe I don’t want to spoil the only passtime that does not make me sick on transports: having conversations with myself and digging my memory about useless information.
Off the train I jump on the bus to Berlin Tegel airport and hit all ankles I can find in the small corridor of the bus with my too big pink suitcase . I don’t do it on purpose and I am -even if I bit sleepy- pretty so I am forgiven rather easily. Yes, life is unfair.
I get to wait for my flight in the best lounge of the airport: and yes, it includes free food and tv. This is all thanks to Orso, who’s not a billionaire banker but he knows his way through airline promotions like no one.
My plane is the stereotype of a flight to London: loads of skinny ties and Blackberries. Anyway, finally I have a copy of the Independent on my lap and I hope that the flight is calm enough so that I can read instead of spending my time recalling all the names of dog breeds I used to know when I was nine.
At Heathrow airport there is a bus waiting for me, and I can finally eat my Leipzig-made sandwiches and think about how many German regions I can remember: coach trips really make me sick. Two hours and a definitely different landscape later I am back to the very unlikely place where exactly one year ago I decided to go to turn my life upside down (and therefore create another past version of myself I would feel uncomfortable with, I guess).
I walk home, I need some fresh air and the Southern coast of England is fresh on a late summer evening, even cold actually, but I put some extra layers on before the passport control at the airport: it’s not the first time I make this complicated trip. It is actually the last one, I think with relief and a point of regret.
Bike-tram-train-plane-coach and then… my own feet: it took so many different transports and now I am in bed with a fluffy raccoon (that’s really another whole story, that of the raccoon -a soft-toy, not a living animal).
In bed I read the French translation of a book on the life-changing trip to Italy of a famous German who lived in Leipzig as a young man: I drift into sleep thinking I am not doing anything new (well, except for the company of the fluffy raccoon).
I know, this post is very private, more private than you’d want it to be, more private than I -and certainly Orso- would like it to be. But my life had overtook my writing for a bit, so I thought that writing had to strike back and take whatever was there.
By the way, I forgot to ask, how was your day?