With or without you September 6, 2008Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Darlings, I was in the shiatsu chair in my local shopping centre the other day – honestly, the best 2 euros you’ll ever spend (downstairs in the Arcaden on Schönhauser Allee, for the locals). You are mechanically fisted – no penetration – for ten minutes and while it’s a bit embarrassing whimpering from pain and pleasure in public, it’s well worth the humiliation – trying to avoid thinking about the Russian being in Russia for fifty years again and watching the world go by. “But what will I do if anything breaks while he’s away?” I pondered. “What if I have to use some device with more than one button? What if I forget my keys and am locked out for a month?” (The concierge has a spare set, he assured me, but I don’t believe him.)
Just as the mechanical fists were giving my lower back a right good going-over, my thoughts of abandonment were rudely interrupted by interesting-looking passers-by. A professional son with a very vacant look in his eyes, though there was intelligence behind the vacancy, supported his aged and disabled mother as they dawdled past me at record low speed. I doubted they’d spoken – to each other or anyone else – in a number of years. I imagined their life consisted largely of tea and dry cake in a flat decorated with the German equivalent of Hay Wain reproductions. Perhaps the mother might occasionally cry, “Me knees,” and the son would adjust her pouffe or blanket as the occasion demanded.
“There but for the grace of god,” I started to think to myself, but then nipped that cliché in the bud lest I instantly turn religious. “Still, even if my beloved does fuck off and abandon me for eleven months of every year, my fate is a lucky one. I am yet to be institutionalised into any caring, familial role. I live my life quite disgracefully selfishly.”
I was just working my way up to the top floor of the shopping centre to buy a self-help (or help-others) book on how to be good when who should I see on the escalator going in the other direction but the institutionalised son! Without his mother! There was no way he could have delivered his charge back to their flat and put a blanket over her knees in this time. Naturally I assumed he had flipped – those eyes had a hint of the murderous – and killed his poor mother, chopped her up and left her body to dissolve in sulphuric acid – or is it folic? Though isn’t that the one that stops you getting Alzheimer’s? A shame to waste it on murderous pursuits – in a bath. But, then, if he hadn’t had time to get her home, logically, I suppose he couldn’t have had time to commit the perfect crime either. All such a worry. But better safe than sorry.
“Murderer, murderer,” I screamed, pointing hysterically at the very likely cold-blooded killer. A few blonde-haired ladies interrupted their gossiping for a moment or two but chose not to get involved. The Turkish greengrocer continued announcing reductions in a holler. The freshly-orphaned very likely cold-blooded killer turned his head to face me very slowly, his expression unchanging, and turned away calmly, not even quickening his step to escape.
I was being as socially useless as ever. Not only wasn’t I helping a disabled relative have a more comfortable life, I couldn’t even help detain the most recent very likely cold-blooded killer of our times and region. I dashed for the street, hoping I’d find a trusty German bobby, recount the whole grisly tale – I’d stop off in an internet café first, I thought, my ideas racing, and check German for sulphuric on an online dictionary – before fainting helplessly into his arms.
I hurtled out into the autumn, barging bag-laden consumers aggressively and refusing to answer their facial indignation with so much as an apology. I saw a police car and rolled over its bonnet which brought me face-to-face with a pot-bellied Berliner whose disdain for me was growing by the nanosecond. I noticed that my attempts to detain a killer had, at long last, begun to cause a ripple of interest. I surveyed the scene and prepared to launch into my spiel. When I saw the son reappear on the scene laden down with shopping bags and walking towards his mother whom he’d seated at the outdoor café.
“Sorry. Falscher Alarm,” I whispered to the policeman and rolled off the other side of the bonnet and crawled along the road to the next junction.
“You kopink vizout me?” asked the Russian by text, presently.
“Yes, very well, darling. Very well.”