I heard this used to be where Barbara lived with her family. Husband and I think two kids. They had just moved to a new place. Probably the rent here wasn’t up yet, so it was still available to host a college event.
I think it’s an interesting place. I like the main door. It’s this tall and somewhat grand-looking wooden door. Like something you would see in Lord of the Rings. But it was covered in graffiti.
Everywhere in Berlin is covered in graffiti. Berlin is making me see graffiti differently. I used to associate it with chaos and slummy areas. Now I’m beginning to see it as art. I think. It’ll take a while.
I just got here. Pretty much everyone else was here like thirty minutes prior.
The girlfriend was hurrying me up in the morning.
It’s time to go, get dressed Oh my God we’re going to be late Mayowa what is wrong with you
At some point I told her to just go. That I would join them later.
There was already an Uber waiting. The Uber for the hurry hurry people. And she didn’t want to miss it.
Just go please. Go join your fellow serious classmates who are always prompt for every event and never miss a class. Just go, mwah.
I’m looking around the room. I see Jake. I’m happy to see Jake. We were roommates in the first year. We don’t seem to spend as much time together anymore.
Well first we’re no longer roommates. He and some fellow American, very frat-boy-ey classmates decided to share an apartment this semester.
I was annoyed.
Frat boys plotted in secret and stole my roommate. Ugh.
And he allowed himself to be stolen. He was willingly stolen. Ugh.
There was this time I came across he and Kah, on the way back to my apartment from the corner store with the Turkish guy who makes interesting pizza. The one who was asking for my thoughts on Trump. Jake and Kah were going for some hallmark Berlin event. Festival of Lights or something like that. They asked me if I wanted to come along.
At the time the girlfriend and I had already made some plans for the night. And so it was just my physical body they came across that evening. My thoughts were somewhere else entirely.
Jake recently suggested going snowboarding for the winter. Snowboarding sounds like a lot of fun. I have never done that before.
I just don’t know what my December is going to be like. I just don’t know.
I am looking around the room.
Skye is walking alongside two other women. They seem like relatives. Maybe one is her mother and the other is her aunt or something, I don’t know. They all seem very angry at each other. They’re walking side by side but they are all looking straight ahead. Skye has a particularly displeased look on her face. The look gives me the impression that she was displeased before she even walked into the room. I wonder what they’re angry at one another about.
Omer is calling me over. I head over. Omer is pretty cool. He’s one of the Israelis. They’re significantly older than the rest of the class because of the mandatory military service thing they have in their country.
I feel like if he was a number of years younger, there would be a higher likelihood of us enjoying each other’s company. At least more than is currently the case.
In San Francisco, he was usually in the common room. The one on the third floor. Always seated at that centre table and doing serious stuff. Like, always. He was always there.
There was this skateboard deck he brought into the common room. At some point someone filled an empty bottle of ginger ale up with water. I used to stand on the skateboard deck and see how long I could keep my balance with just the sideways ginger ale bottle under it. Swaying from side to side while the bottle rolled underneath the deck. Right next to the very soft and roomy and comfy chair where Esther liked to curl up and read.
I think I was the one who came up with the ginger ale bottle idea. I think.
Omer is always excited about the strangest things. One time it was one “Freakonomics” textbook. He kept talking about how cool it was. To me it just looked like a book about boring adult stuff.
India’s GDP increased by 2.5%.
What’s my business.
And Omer could be an annoying adult. Condescending. Every once in a while I would get to the common room to see a hostile poster on the door. Something like:
Go away. I am having an interview. I am an adult and I have a future and I do serious stuff. Do not disturb me you hormonal teenagers, go make out and just generally be hormonal teenagers somewhere else.
Fuck you Omer, fuck you and your important interviews and your serious adult stuff.
Omer is asking me what I think of some music he is playing on his computer. He passes me an earbud. I do not understand his excitement. It sounds like some ancient Middle Eastern music. Like something some Arabian king used to listen to, to lull himself to sleep.
I don’t understand why he is jamming his head. I don’t even see the rhythm to which a head can be jammed to. I don’t get it at all.
I keep walking around the room. I talk with Corey a bit. We talk about Professor Doyle.
I keep walking around. The girlfriend says she wants to take a few pictures. Says there’s a separate room up ahead.
To “take a few pictures”.
I abandon everything else and go with her. I wonder why she was so much in a hurry to leave the apartment earlier in the morning.
I am in the kitchen. Louis is helping out with some stuff. I think he’s cleaning something. Barbara is also here. I think I try to be useful at some point.
We’re back in the large main room.
I’m talking with Barbara. At some point the girlfriend’s flower-patterned scarf catches her attention. She says she used to have one just like that. I think there’s more. I think being very young is another thing she might also be thinking about at the same time. Another thing she used to have. I don’t know. It just feels like it.
I am in a different room. There are a number of different bottles of alcohol. I ask Jake to take a picture while I pose with some bottles.
Haha. This room is crazy. Why are there so many bottles of alcohol I don’t understand haha
The girlfriend says she’s leaving. Off to a cafe. To prepare for class and generally do serious stuff. She’s always hurrying somewhere. There’s always some very important thing she has to do, I don’t understand. Left to me we’d both probably still be in bed right now, wondering if going for the event with all the other college people was still a feasible possibility.
I reluctantly let go of her hand as she heads down the stairs.
Image: In the crazy room with all the alcohol bottles.