THE WALKING TREES
BERLIN, February 2006
The sense of emptiness had become unbearable. I could not take it anymore, time had come to give up on my reputation and I had decided that something had to happen that night at “Kino International”. I had arranged to meet Ernesto at 11:30pm in front of the “Weltzeituhr” in Alexanderplatz. This tall, handsome and strong Spanish guy, who I had got to know in the British capital, happened to be my 6th ex-boyfriend. In September 2004 he had moved from London to Berlin and I would have followed him just six months later. Ernesto was a real good friend of mine but he was not the reason of my move to Berlin. In fact I was planning to move to the German capital even before he had mentioned his future intentions. Destiny had wanted that our lives would have crossed again under the sky of a different city.
I lighted up my second cigarette and I started getting nervous. He was late again. Snowflakes were whitening the square around me for the third time on that week and the Siberian wind was blowing strongly making the flakes dance harmoniously in the air. Erny, as I used to call him affectionately, arrived 20 minutes late. We walked at a rather fast pace and we arrived at the club just before midnight. We stood outside in the queue and 10 minutes later we managed to get inside. In the main room there was a large number of girls and I had the feeling that they were not gay. I lighted up another cigarette and I asked Ernesto to follow me to the bar. At the entrance they had given us a ticket for a free shot of tequila and I could not wait any longer to get some alcohol into my stomach. Ernesto had never liked tequila so he gave me his shot too and as soon as I had drunk them both, I bought myself a beer and we left the bar to go upstairs. The first floor was simply amazing. Kino International used to be a cinema and conference hall at the time of the GDR. The sparkling crystal lamps were absolutely stunning and the GDR-style flooring reminded of those lost time when being gay there was not an option. Through the large windows one could admire the Karl Marx Allee with its historical Café Moskau, former meeting point of socialist politicians. I was telling Ernesto about my latest relationship drama when suddenly someone touched my right shoulder. It was Karl, a Czech guy, whom I had dated a few months before. Karl told us that we had ended at the wrong party, in fact the gay one was held in the room next-door. I wanted to kill my ex-boyfriend but luckily we managed to get to the other side of the club without having to pay an extra ticket.
Ernesto’s friends Anishn and Deependra were there already. The two Indian guys did not feel like having their tequila shots either, so I made use of those two other free tickets to get some extra alcohol into my stomach. I needed to get to know someone new and drinking helped me to relax and take courage, so I drank those two shots and a couple of beers just one after another. As soon as I sat on the large sofa at the side of the dance-floor, an extremely bad looking guy started staring at me. I smiled at him, then I turned my face away and I ignored him. Suddenly I crossed the glance of a guy whom I actually liked. He smiled at me, he kept on dancing and he was constantly staring at me. I could read in his eyes that he wanted to get the clothes off me. He knew exactly how he had to flirt with me and how I needed to be handled. He had to play with smiles and crossing glances, then he had to ignore me a little to get me weak and to raise my attention towards him, finally he had to come over and talk to me. In a few words I needed to be conquered and this guy could read my mind. Jerome was from Lyon, no wonder he knew how to flirt, isn’t that in the French blood and part of their genes? “Je viens de Milan mais j’habite à Berlin” I told him where I was from and where I lived, he smiled again, he looked deeply into my eyes and he kissed me passionately. The night went on with the rhythm of the music and I had expected that at some point the French guy would have asked me to go to his place or would have wanted to come to mines. Unfortunately Jerome was there with a friend of his and they decided to leave just a couple of hours later. Before leaving he gave me his business card and he asked me to send him a text message. to arrange a date for that Sunday afternoon. Time was running out and I still had to find a guy to spend the night with. I was pretty drunk already, nevertheless I got myself another beer and I decided to look for my friends. I was walking around the dance-floor when an ugly and old German guy grabbed my ass and tried to kiss me. I had to fight my way out of that situation but eventually I managed to reach my friends, who had seen the scene and started making fun of me. Ernesto took my being drunk as a chance to get me to find someone to have a threesome with. We had a walk around, but there was no one we both liked, I started feeling tired and at 4:00am we decided to leave.
It was still snowing. We had just crossed the road and we were walking by Café Moskau when I spotted a guy I liked. He was on his mobile and as we were walking by him, I heard him saying: “yes babes, I love you too”. That sentence destroyed our hopes to get a threesome with him. Eventually, James, that was his name, walked faster, he reached us and he started flirting. He was from Boston and he had been living in Berlin for 5 years already. We introduced ourselves and I asked him a few more questions regarding his private life in Berlin. As I told him where I lived, James decided to come along as he said to live exactly in the same block-of-flats, only 13 floors below me. James was very straight forward, he asked me what the size of my bed was and as I told him it was 180cms by 200cms he replied: “well, there is space enough for three people!” My buddies left at 6:00am after a very hot winter night. I set the alarm for 1:00pm and I went to sleep. Nine hours later I met Jerome in front of the Rote Rathaus and he invited me for brunch to get to know me better. We talked about our lives, I told him about my future intentions and we discussed various topics, from medieval history to politics, from relationships to technologies. When I told him I could see Alexanderplatz from my flat, he took the chance to ask me if he could come over to see the view. Jerome was a perfect gentleman, he paid the bill, we walked together to my flat, he admired the view, he got slowly close to me and he kissed me softly on my lips. After all this tenderness I decided to show him a second view and I took him to my bedroom. At 8:00pm, after Jerome had left, I received a phone call from Enrico. We had not spoken in ages and it was great to talk about the past with him. Our memories went back to Rosas in 1999.