The tube felt like an old abandoned hospital, that chilled and grey afternoon in Berlin, and me and my friend were vibrating with the promise of youth and the residue of unknown places, friendly faces and chemical elation. The little old woman in the bright pink raincoat stopped us dead in our tracks. She was crouched in a corner, her face barely visible beneath the few strands of scruffy grey hair and my breath caught at the surreal notes coming from a little battered up violin in her rusty hands. It overwhelmed me how something so unconcernedly and obnoxiously ugly could bring tears to my eyes and shakes to my chest. I looked around in that moment, at the people walking briskly by, busy and absorbed in their duties and endeavors, not a single eye blinking in our direction. It was our secret, the pink little lady’s and mine, and in that minute, I felt as if we were floating in some cosmic web of truth, which only we understood: all was perfect. An attractive, well-groomed man in his late twenties bumped into me then, a brief apologetic expression on his face and then back to his fast pace and his fast day. The bliss abruptly gave way to resentment and I pitied him, I pitied humanity, for being so incapable of distraction. Incapable of stumbling upon the beauty and the detail that filled my days with joy. The way the sunlight warms your face on a breezy spring afternoon, a friendly face on your daily commute, a complimentary glance, a sentence in a book that makes you feel less alien to the world. All these viscerally important things seemed so trivial to all the bodies rushing past. My hands tickled with excitement and I was catapulted back into their world: I was completely lost.
Berlin, July 2014
Photo by Maria Maida, my above mentioned friend 🙂