November 29, 2009

I <3 Berlin

It all started when she handed me the ticket: “Happy Birthday, dear!” said my best friend. Then I looked closer to see that it was not a real ticket, it was a birthday card. “We are going to Berlin”, said she, and I started wondering. Why Berlin? Why now? I didn’t know what to expect, I was rather skeptic even. “There is nothing much interesting to see there”, my father replied. Nobody prepared me that it would be one of my best trips. Maybe that is what made everything even more exiting.
Once we started the trip it was clear what our aim was: to see it all. To feel Berlin, while walking on the streets, to meet Germans, to eat their typical food, to explore the museums, and most importantly: to go to the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Well, we did all of the above, however, we were not prepared for an event that broadened our horizon, and made us a part of Berlin’s underground life. What happened there, in the strange building, in the non prestigious neighborhood, was probably the most defining experience in my trip. It was the culmination.
Everything began as a joke. I and my friend printed those visas___ from the internet. I found about the event by a chance while I was researching the various attractions in Berlin.
After looking for the address for half an hour, we found the strangely decorated building. It looked ordinary on the outside, but it was certainly different on the inside. The interior was filled with strangely dressed people. They were all waiting in a line, filling in their “visas”, just waiting to be granted a permission to enter. After giving 4 Euros each, an “officer”, dressed in a pink pajama escorted us to the next room.
It was a small rectangular room, with plain white walls, and white doors. The only colorful objects were on the people, who were standing with their backs to the wall. And all those people were so diverse, so interesting, so intriguing. I met a Hawaiian girl, a Canadian boy, a famous New York singer, and few French people. This did not happen in the white room though, nor in the next, or the next. I found myself waiting in different lines, in different rooms, for about two hours.
I was in an empty pool, in a changing room; I found a roller coaster, and boats, in this strange place.
I entered a party, a “Dream Land Party”. And I even received a passport, “Welcome to the “Land of Dreams” “, it was written. However, it also stated, “you may have entered your Dream Land a long time ago”, and this was probably very correct for me.
I may have been in Dream Land in Berlin, but I believe that I haven’t left it, and that I never will. I have been to a place where people had no restrictions. They did not have to comply with the society expectations. They were free to choose who they want to be. They were free to live up their dream, to dress differently, to act differently, and to feel differently. This event gave everybody a chance to escape from the reality, and to enter a place where everything was possible. A place so individual, and personal, and still shared with the others. A Dream Land, I entered Bibi Land, and nobody would take that away from me. Even though, the only thing left from that night is a vivid memory, I believe that it is one that won’t be forgotten.

A Flashback

So sure are you of the endless drumming rhythm of your isolation
That you are painfully slow to adjust
If only because
Yours is not that genre of story
Still and again, life cannot muster the stuff of movies
No bullets shattering glass
Instead fear sits patiently
Fear almost smiles when you finally see him
Though you have kept him waiting for thirty-three years

Ani Difranco - Parameters

Thirty three years ago, Cinderella died. Was it right? No, she was not supposed to. Was she sick? No, she was killed.
Thirty three years go by and not once do you sense remorse. Not once do you regret it. Not once do you think of your poor sister. Of your “step” sister, who happened to have the needed shoe size.
Thirty three years go by, and you are still living in the castle. He is still right next to you, no longer desperate. The memory of Cinderella fades. Every year, a little by little, you wipe her out of his conscious. You support him; support him in his quest of forgetness.
You are a cold case lover, in a relationship based on nothing. In a fake, illusional relationship; while you are disillusioned. You no longer dream to be the princess. Not once do you regret the action; you are just not content with the result.
Thirty three years go by and he still does not love you, he even does not love her any more. Thirty three years, you killer. All this time, there was no punishment. The crime was secret, it was perfect. Every villain would use you as a teacher. And you? You became a lonely creature of the night. You thought there would be no consequences. You weren’t right, though, were you? What was the prize? The prize of a life lived in vain, of a life lived in darkness. So afraid of the suspicious eyes, you hid yourself in the castle.
What castle? It is no longer appealing. It is no longer welcoming, even though it is fabulous. A fabulous jail; a wonderful place to hide, to hide from the world. And still, you don’t regret it. Your hatred won over, but your heart was lost. Building carefully your dungeon, it is now your home. You welcome the night, and despise the sunlight. The sunlight is where you see her; her lightened face, her cheerful smile, her loving husband.
Thirty three years go by, and your mother is dead. Your father is away, and there is no one left. No one left to support you, to hug you.
Thirty three years of loneliness.
What now? You will switch on the light, and put your dress. You will put your shoe, yes the same one, which he put on your foot thirty three years ago. Because, you were there, in all the happy endings. While she, the real Cinderella, his true love, well she never existed, or at least not in any numbered list, or city counting. She was your sister, you sister of the night. Because she was you, before you entered the castle, and began indulging yourself in the fake parade of appearances, where you lost your sense.
Thirty three years go by, and she will never come back, she would never return. And you would never escape. You won’t, until you kill your two identities. For real, you and her, her and you, the powerful tandem, made up of ghost and a shadow. A shadow of a person, with the ghost of the past.