You remember our first dance? You there, me here: a mismatched pair. You held out your hand. I didn't know you, but you pulled me up, up, up… and I let go of everything and found myself in the arms of a strangely familiar stranger. We were high, floating on a wild November night. Hot breath, cold sweat, embracing an orgy of frenzy, noise, delight. We marveled at the night, argued about wrong and right. I drank your Coke, you smoked my F6.
Just like a commercial.
Three years later and we're making commercials, only this time it's Vita-Cola-Realpolitik and you keep saying baby, we're selling what sells. You and me and Ostalgie. Don't worry that the kid's crying; Mama and Papa are self-employed. Achtung, baby, you keep saying, like it means something. But you still haven't learned my language.
And now we don't fight about wrong and right but the bottom fucking line and the Turks living upstairs and the bicycles crowding the entryway of our apartment building. I need to get in and out, you say.
I'm sick of the Marlboro Man but I pull long and hard anyway and can't help but laugh when you come to bed wearing a stiff shit-green Vopo hat you call a relic, a find. Still, I feel a worry growing in my gut, wonder if our children will be more like me or you, and I realize what I really mean is whether they'll be more like us or them.
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Before and after. Ossie-Wessie fairy-tale, set during the wave of excitement and nostalgia that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.
I lived in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany in the 1980s and 1990s. I go there in my stories still.