The whole experience of the Berlin journey has been so precious to me, from the moment when it started. That is why I decided to write about it, to capture scenes and thoughts and save them from vanishing. First sentences started coming out in English – so be it. I know my English is not perfect, but who cares – it is good enough for this purpose.
What happened previously, read here: Episode 2: At Moe’s place.
BLACK CAT AND LOUISE
I entered the place to explore a bit, to see if I would feel like staying there or not. At the bar, there was a guy with a hat, so alike the actor William Mapother (from a movie Another Earth). OK, surreal enough for my taste, I took a beer and sat outside in the garden. I noticed a black girl sitting at another table alone, reading a book. After a while, I asked her to translate something from German. Soon after, we were sitting together, chatting, laughing and ordering another beer.
From time to time, I have encounters with women when the connection is created from the first moment and developed later into sincere friendship. This was one of these encounters. With guys is a bit more complicated. Nevertheless, it can reach the level of sincere friendship, too.
Louise is a young student of mathematics from Paris. She is in Berlin on an exchange program. Her father is of African origin and mother, comedian by occupation, is Italian. I never knew anybody whose parent is a comedian so I had already created naive and romantic fantasy of the little Louise and her family always laughing. In reality, it was not always so funny, of course.
Louise had been a person with whom I spent the most time while in Berlin. During this period, I managed to meet her better and I can say that she is a really wonderful person, pure at heart. Besides, she is smart, easy going, helpful, and spontaneous.
Where is a black cat in this story, you will ask? We will get to this.
Two days after I arrived in Berlin, I got an offer from old good Moe: If you need accommodation – you can stay at our friend Vera’s place. She will be on the journey next days and you can be in her apartment. She is only asking that you take care of her cat. I thought – why not.
So, there I was, heading to Wedding again with a smaller bag that Igor gave me. Vera’s place was also at Gerichtstrasse, just a bit further. It was raining. Moe brought me there, explained everything and left. I stayed alone in somebody else’s apartment and Chopin. Chopin was Vera’s black cat. I felt a bit strange. Did I tell you that I used to be afraid of cats?
The festival was supposed to be opened in a day after tomorrow – my workshop as well, but I still didn’t know in which place I will lead the workshop. In spite of Moe’s hospitality I couldn’t lead the workshop in his place. Besides Bitch Wedding, black walls and machine gun – which altogether I could even rearrange and handle, I found out that in the same time and in the same room, there will be a tattoo workshop. A psychological-creative workshop requires privacy. I had to get to Scott, organizer and initiator of the festival, as soon as possible. Since I had already been in the neighborhood, I went out to search for Scott. It was still raining and I was hungry as a wolf.
In the Baumhaus space, which is in Gerichstrasse as well – can you believe it?:), a group of volunteers was just finishing a meeting with Scott. I went inside, introduced myself to Scott and asked if we can speak in 20 minutes, just that I jump to eat something. He already had something planned so we had to talk at this moment.
I found that conversation extremely difficult to lead since I was barely standing with the hole in my stomach. I asked that we find some other space for my workshop. I suppose that he was not delighted since thousands of other things should be solved before the festival. Also, God knows how I looked and sounded with the lack of the fuel in my brain so he was observing me suspiciously. At last, I had this impression. He offered Baumhaus space.
I didn’t have many options so I accepted. Did I tell you that the space of Baumhaus was still under construction? It was a total mess there.
Who’s gonna clean up all the mess? Who’s gonna prepare the space for the workshop? It’s gonna be you, baby, it’s gonna be you, baby!
I was not so delighted. Hey, I wanted to have fun in Berlin, as anybody else! Almost parallel with this feeling, a question was present: How much effort are you ready to invest to make your story possible? A lot.
So, I’ve been back home at Vera’s place and guess who waited for me there? Chopin was looking at me from the distance. He must have been thinking: who the hell are you, woman? All tiny fears that would have preoccupied me in normal circumstances – because of sleeping alone in the apartment of the person I never met, in a foreign country; without any experiences with cats; because of the scary thought that cat will jump on my head and punish me of not being his mistress… All these embryos of fears had been washed away by the tiredness that overwhelmed me.
These several days that I stayed at Vera’s place – Chopin and I became closer. At the beginning, there was a bit of resistance from my side, then from his side. All that he wanted was my attention and at the end, we managed to harmonize. He never jumped on my head or scratched me, but he did have moments to jump on my bed in the middle of the night, to walk gently around my head or just to stare at my face from 2 inches away in the dark. However, I didn’t mind that. Silly cat, a thought would come… and go. I was surprised how quickly our fears can disappear when we establish basic confidence in each other. Laws of nature are everywhere the same.
When I was leaving the apartment I realized that I will miss him. For Chopin, that apartment was the whole world. And these days, my world has been extremely expanded, beyond usual routines and everyday experiences. Great joys come with this, but solitudes as well. This is where Chopin and I met.
EPISODE 4: REconnect
Read how everything began here.