Accident no.28

2009

Eyes so brown they seem black. So dark that the cut-glass lights, the couple at the bar and my own white face are all reflected perfectly back at me. Their black, brown certainty confuses me – I say pointless half finished things. For once the luxurious darkness of an empty Berlin night eludes me. Faced with these calm mirrors I can no longer lose myself. I am too aware of my lips speaking things ill-prepared by my stumbling brain. Tonight even the Talisker won’t collude in self-delusion.

Cycling through the faintest shimmering of morning she tells me her theory about the Fernsehturm – the space age East-German TV tower that floats above the roofs of every Berlin street. How this beacon of communist future controls the mood of the city. How in bad weather the glitter-ball surface focuses the leaden sky and transmits despair into the chests of Berliners. And how, on a sharp morning like this, the eggshell sky is amplified and refracted through the roofs and walls of houses, and the Berliners wake up feeling inexplicably lighter. 

Perhaps I am looking for the tower or trying to think what to say. Or maybe I shouldn’t be cycling. I hit an unseen curb and roll across the pavement. We go our separate ways.