Having Doubts in Berlin
NOT THE PARIS I KNOW
Paris in August: hot, muggy, occasional downpours.
It is not the Paris I know and like. It is the overpriced Paris for the
tourist with big bucks. Henry Miller—if he could afford to get there—would be writing his smut on the streets. That other
manly fellow would be drubbing
it A Damned-Expensive Feast.
I'm waiting for check-in time at the Le Regent Hostel
Montmartre on Boulevard Rochechouart. But they haven't fooled me. It is not in Montmartre; it's in Pigalle
where the ladies hang out.
I used to live there and hangout with the ladies. And I am probably the only
Regent "guest" who can say "Rochechouart."
dude, what the fuck, Roche...che ...?"
There's no poetry here, just
the expletive-adjective monotony of bored and boring minds.
I'm tired of the international pub-crawler,
imitation-backpacker, inane conversations. I'm becoming a
I'm tired of traveling to nowhere on nothing
but a piece of bread and cheese and watching others eat.
I'm in a melancholy state of mind. I
hated living Puigcerda and the little popcorn tea parties but I had been
there too long washing the dishes and staying out of the way. That's a way
of life too.
So where now? Home? I have no home. Berlin? Why not. It's cheaper than Paris
and said to be "vibrant" and "on the rise," at least by it promoters. And maybe I can
resurrect my German. It's been a long time. "'zu mitnehmen', nicht 'zu mitgehen'"
("to take with me", not "to go" as in English). But do
I have the money for anything to go? Oh, well, I can still say it.
But right off I have some good luck: At Singstrasse 109 hostel two
German girls work on "the poem." Yes, it has become an obsession at this
point. But it is getting good. And good is still good, right? And up is
still up and down is still down? Well, maybe I had better not examine those statement
very carefully. "Good by whose standards?" you ask. "And what if you are
depressed? Is anything really 'up' then?" Get me out of here!
I have gone from Paradise to Nothing in
but a few days. I want to
end this hostel thing. They are nothing but high-priced dorms.
that Standard & Poor's has downgraded the United States credit rating,
thanks to the Republican Party and congressional millionaires Boehner &
O'Connell. We who were poor are even poorer now; those who are rich have
retained their tax breaks.
I buy a train ticket to Berlin and pack. I
had better get there while my money is still good; my mood has already gone