Sunday, January 15, 2012

"M" My ex

My Ex "M" has stolen my heart and has yet to give it loss has mandated my current direction in life. Sad I have him not in my life, sad I will never meet him again, and sad for all others who will never compare to him, but happy because, for it not him leaving me and stealing my heart, I would not be here in Berlin, I would not be as strong as I am now, and I would not be living my own life, free of any further heartbreak! For that, I thank him.

It was June 1st and I had been in Berlin this time around for two weeks. For those two weeks I had met up with friends I had met the previous summers traveling to this wonderful city. I was here once again to do an internship with hopes of getting hired and staying. So when I arrived in Berlin in mid-May, I was ready to go to all the fun places and spend all the time I could with my friends. We went out almost every night and partied constantly. One night we went to the old bar that I began to regular the previous summer, “Sonntags Club”, a friendly quaint gay, lesbian, transgendered not for profit bar in Prenzlauerberg.  That night in May I was sitting in a darkened corner kicking back some beers and laughs with my energetic friends, when I saw “him” walk in and go stand by the bar. When I saw him from across the room, it was the first time in many years that I saw a man so beautiful, that I could feel so intensely drawn to him.

He had perfectly manicured brown hair a bit longer on the top with short perfectly angled sideburns. He was very well fashioned with a nice red shirt and a black vest, and nice kempt jeans with a belt that barely crossed over the top of his behind. He had shy beautiful round brown eyes and a boyish smile. Because of the type of bar I was in and that he was quite androgynous looking, this mysteriously sexy guy could have been a gay man, a trans, or even a very well kept soft butch lesbian. He did not sit at the bar, but rather stood across the barkeep on the closer end of the bar and spoke with him for hours. His demeanor was mysterious, reserved, and quite appealing as I could see the silhouette of his perfect body. As the night went on, periodically I would catch him looking over at us or me, I was not sure. But I for some strange reason, I could not stop looking over at him. Finally the night came to an end and the crazy lot of us started to head to the train. As we started to leave, I found it quite interesting that he joined us for the walk and ride. As we stumbled loudly through the streets to the train station, I heard him speak…English?  His voice was quite reserved and with a British accent and especially compared to us drunkards, his voice was soft and quiet and although he seemed quite sheepishly amused by our behavior, he laughed at us and with us. As we entered the train station Schoenhauser Allee,  I had a moment where I could ask him his name, since we were never properly introduced. “Hello, I am Amber what is your name?”, I said. ““M”” he replied with a shy smile, barely making eye contact. We continued on the train and laughing until I had to get off to switch over to Lichtenberg and on to Ahrensfelde. “Goodnight”, he said, as I exited the train. “Tschuess alles”!
The next day, when I saw my friend Mary, I asked her about him, revealing how attractive he was. She said, yes he is with a scandalous smile and that it was not unusual for them to ride together back home since they live off the same exit. She went on to clarify that he was a Transman-(TS) female to male and that he was very interesting and that sometimes they go and drink in the cemetery together. I said to her, “hold up, he likes to hang out in cemeteries?”  She said, “yes, why is that strange to you?” I said, “absolutely not. I love to be in cemeteries, my favorite place back home in Atlanta was Oakland Cemetery”.  Revealingly, I let her know that, for me that made him all the more interesting to me. She smiled mischievously at me and said, “but you are a married woman!”  I said, “I know, but he sounds like someone I could get along with and I would like to meet more people that share the same interests.”  

My friend Mary decided to throw a party and invite this beautiful man too, specifically to surprise me. After we watched a film, he and I started chatting. He proceeded to tell me, “you know British English is proper English!” and smiled. “Of course it is”, I said, “there is nothing proper that comes from the United States, especially the language!” I told him about how I love learning language because of words. I love words, where they come from, how they are pronounced and their differences and similarities. I said, “for instance, werden used to be the old English word for, to be”. I asked, “have you ever looked at old English texts”. He said, “sure in my studies a bit”. I said, “so you are of course aware of Beowolf, one of the oldest surviving pieces of literature that exhibit Old English rooted in German?”  and he pretty much finished my sentence. I had moved to the other side of the room again and sat across the coffee table from him. He carried on conversations with everyone and yet he still would look over at me as he did in the bar the first night I saw him. Suddenly, I am no longer hearing any clear conversations by anyone I am so drawn to him and want so much to say something to carry on more. Finally I seized the moment.  He mentioned something about Treptower Park, as I was so enamored by his lips, I have no idea what he was talking about, but I jutted out, “I actually wrote a research paper on the dialog of architecture between East and West Germany, using Treptower Park and Friedrich Wilhelm Gedenkneskirche”. He was so interested in that, he ended his conversation full stop, and asked, “how exactly did you do that?” But before I could answer, more conversation started to flail and he became suddenly somewhat distracted. His British persona would not allow him to be rude and ignore someone’s interruptions. He finished his statement with the others and turned back to me and said, “you were saying?” I could not believe that he was the slightest bit interested. But his attention was completely on me and my response. Sadly, I was a bit tipsy and struggling to find the right words so I do not sound completely incompetent. But in the end I assume I did ok, because he started to have regular conversation with me. Asking me what I like to do, what kind of food I like. I told him I like spicy food, but it was really hard to get spicy the way I like it here in Berlin and that I would really like to find an Ethiopian restaurant here and go sometime. He seemed very pleased with my answer because his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree as he proceeded to tell me he likes to cook and that he and his friends get together on occasion to have cooking parties and that his favorite was spicy as well. He then said, “we should get together sometime.” I was absolutely beside myself.

It was approaching 4 in the morning and even though the conversations were still strong, he said he must sadly leave. I jumped up without any restraint and made sure to exchange numbers with him,, he even gave me his email address, for sure he was interested and I was giddy as a school girl. After he left, I continued on with the evenings shenanigans’. I went on to tell Mary, that she was a devil for doing that, but that I really liked him and could not wait to see him again. She saw it in my eyes, and said, “you know that he is not comfortable with his body and lets no one touch him”. She went on to tell me how she had found him attractive as well and that one night in the cemetery they had talked intimately about this topic and even discussed how they could only ever be friends. I don’t know, maybe something in me felt like this would be an even more exciting challenge, to see if I could get close enough to him to touch him?  
I knew I was really eager to see him again and that I would not and could not wait to find the time to make it happen. Being fresh back in Berlin, I had a very hectic schedule laid out for me that week. But all that night and the next morning when I awoke with a bashing headache, I could not stop thinking about him and how amazingly smart and beautiful he was. Although my insecurities set in quick and I began to question whether he was really interested in me or if it was just me interested in him. So when I arrived home, I showered and debated in complete conversation with the water that poured over my body. “should I call?” “no, you will just get choked up and start saying really silly shit and ruin it, you know like not flushing the toilette every time you go pee, kind of crap…you know the stuff you knew would be ok to say to her, but not with him, he is too proper for that!”  “Then what if you just keep talking and never give him a chance?  Hmm no calling is definitely out of the question! Ok should I text him? What do I say, it seems so impersonal and gives him the opportunity to miss it or blow it off or just respond in a short answer. You want more than a yes or no right? And preferably a yes..short is not so bad… that would give us a chance to communicate back and forth” Hmmm Maybe an email would be better, I can say all I need to say…but Amber…don’t say too much for your first communication with him.” So I guess I will text him, yes it is a little more impersonal, but it will not make me out to be completely desperate even though I am contacting him the night after!” 

So I texted him….It was really nice to get to know you last night and hope to get to know you better. And in less than an hour later he responded. Oh my God, I was amazed and all of a sudden I had a flood of heat rush over my body. He responded, It was indeed nice to get to know you as well and would also like to get to know you better. How about brunch on Sunday morning?

June 2   Hello “M”,

I have not heard back from Jan about the details of our plans to go to the Tierpark on Sunday and this is what I am held up on. So I thought I would give you my tentative schedule and maybe we can figure something out! This is my last free week before I start work. As much as I like being spontaneous I tend to be a planner!

Tomorrow I must go and register at the Buergeramt very early in the morning, but I have nothing planned for the early afternoon and evening. Saturday I must also get up early and go to Spreewald with my roommate and his family for the day. We are planning on returning in the early evening, so I would also be free Saturday night. Sunday, of course, I must go to the Tierpark with Jank and his new girlfriend. Mary may be coming as well. Do you know Jan? Because I would say if I knew what time we all meet on Sunday, maybe you and I could meet up beforehand and then perhaps you could join us for a stroll through the park. If not, then I would be free in the early evening Sunday. Of course, a late night would not be possible, because I must get up early once again and go to Auslanderbehoerde and apply for my Visa, but then I am free in the early afternoon and evening. I will have a typical 9-5ish schedule, yuk! Then next weekend I may fly to Freiburg to see a friend visiting from the states.

I tell you all of this only because I am so intoxicated by knowing that there is someone here in Berlin that I can have an intelligent conversation with and who seems to share many of the same interests and ways of thinking. Sometimes it is so hard to express myself with my very poor German grammatics when I have so many thoughts, ideas, and correlations to things, I tend to feel stifled.

I really do enjoy my time with Anika, Mary, and little Chuaua, but it is mostly silliness and a lot of drinking. And lets face it, I am getting too old for this partying every night...I am very tired!!!!

I hope maybe we can find the time somewhere in there to get together!!

bis spaeter
There I did it….I made it so he could find the time. He seemed at this point interested enough and for some reason I felt comfortable to just throw all of that out there. But I did not hear from him for the rest of the day…actually not until the next day. He really knew how to play it cool. But that is good in a away I like being kept on pins and needles. In the meantime I would talk to my roommate Basti about all of this. His queen ass loved all the excitement, but he asked me about            , “what about her?”  I thought about it for a moment and said, “I am just really excited about finding someone I can relate to on a level I need. It will not go anywhere, I will not let it.                Is my wife and regardless as to what is wrong in our relationship, I made vows with her. But it is nice to have this liveliness inside me again.” So the next morning I got up early to go to the Buergeramt…………………

When I returned home after the long day I could not wait to check my email and OMG there was a message from him. I could not believe how excited I was to see message from him. It was definitely confirmed he was interested to get to know me and he did not get turned off by my forward nature. Of course not, he was German and this is how Germans are…forward!!!
Jun 3  Hiya

Sorry for not getting back earlier.

Today it doesn't look so good as I planned to meet up with my mum. Saturday eve I met up with a friend, where you could join. Usually we look for a nice restaurant and chat all night long - by the way I found an Ethiopian restaurant.

I like your Sunday idea. I know Jan and to wander around the Tierpark is always nice.  What would be a good time for you to meet up?

My "normal" weekly schedule has got some fixed times - I tend to work long on Mon, Tue and Fri and I'm quite free on Wed and Thu. Somehow it turned out that I'm very productive in my creative work in the early morning hours therefore I try to be at home latest at midnight during the week. Sometimes it doesn't quite work out, but still I'm trying. Next weekend I'll be in Erfurt. Some years ago I stopped there for 1 1/2 years, once in a while I have to visit this town with its beautiful medieval city centre.

bis denne
I was so surprised that he rolled right with my way. I loved his accent…even in his writing. “He had to meet with his mum!” That was quite endearing that he spends time with his parents. I do not have a close relationship with mine at all.

His inviting me to join him and his friend on Saturday sounded nice and showed his eagerness to see me as well. But I do not do well with meeting new people, especially meeting new people with new people. I am not sure how comfortable I would be there like that. Plus, I figured 1. If I hold off to Sunday, it would appear more neutral and a little, just a little less eager and 2. For his brutishness I though it would be smarter to keep it to a romantic stroll through the park 3. I wanted to have more time with him than just an evening. 4. I would feel more in control of the situation if we were at the park and he came to me. But, when he said he found an Ethiopian restaurant based on what we discussed at a party being drunk, it showed me how much he was really thinking of me and maybe as much as I was thinking of him. As he shared his typical schedule it was confirmed that we tend to really think in the same way, and gave me an inkling that maybe he wanted to try and see me more than on just Sunday and telling me that he was going to Erfurt and his description of the city, showed me that he enjoys the same romanticism of old worlds and architecture. I loved his somewhat reserved openness it was comfortable from the very beginning.
I went ahead and texted him and said..I heard back from Jan and we meet at Tierpark at 11:00am. So we should have time to meet ahead of time. He responded to me immediately is half 9 at Samaritastrasse too early? I was so amazed he already had it in his mind to respond so quickly and make plans so early in the morning, especially knowing he would be out late the night before with his friend.  But I had to clarify half 9…did he mean 8:30 or 9? He responded the English half 9 so 9:30! I look forward. I am glad he made that clear, because I would have been waiting for some time for him and I think that would have just made me too nervous. And when I say nervous, I mean nervous. I have stomach issues and when I get nervous or uncomfortable I get bad gas and or diarrhea and that would have been a disaster.
I spent the Saturday in Spreewald with my friends family. I teetered between how excited I was about seeing him again and how Melissa fit into all of this…

I was exhausted by the end of the trip. It was hot and sunny, which would prove to be completely unusual for the summer as it was cold and wet most of the time. I was developing a cough even though I did not feel bad. But it did not keep me from being absolutely distracted.
Sunday finally came and I was so nervous with excitement. I was meeting him for coffee and then spending the day strolling through a park with him. This to me was romantically reminiscent of scenes from my favorite period piece films. What were we going to talk about? What will I learn about him? He is so intelligent and witty and I am not used to being around someone that long having to be….myself. OMG, I have forgotten who I am, how do I do this? What if I am not as smart as he and he sees that?
So I go off to the train and figure my way through a new train route to an area I have never been. I get off the train and he is standing there waiting for me. God, I just want to kiss him, I thought. Jesus, Amber you hardly know him I said to myself. Naturally, I answered myself…I know but something just feels right. He is not like most guys and he surely is not a woman, but I am so drawn to him, intellectually and sexually, I thought. I managed to hold my composure and you said he said first thing, “wow, your on time. That is quite unusual for Ameircans”. I laughed and said, “not this American. I hate waiting for people, so I never like to make people wait for me”.  This was a true statement, but it was really helped along with my excitement to be near him.
We walked along the street and down an alley way, all the while I was wondering where he was taking me. I looked around at the buildings and for the life of me, I cannot remember what we talked about the entire way. This happens to me when I am nervous or over excited. We sat down at a sidewalk table on a corner. We sat for ages before anyone came to us. But I really hadn’t noticed, not enough to be trifled by it. I asked him why he was in Berlin? He said, “well it isn’t really because I want to be here, but more that I needed to be here.” Confused, I asked, “oh?” He said, “ well I needed to come here for therapy. Therapy that I could not get in England.” I thought ok, he must be talking about the therapy for his transition. But I went ahead and asked him what he needed therapy for exactly? He explained that he needed therapy for his depression. I though oh God, please don’t tell me he has emotional problems! He said, “ that it was a good decision to be here with family and find the right therapist.”  He went on to tell me the process of elimination when it came to determining which therapist was the best, and he concluded that it was the one he disliked the most! I thought it was quite humorous and laughed. I asked him, because I could not help myself, “are you depressed now?” He replied, “no, not at the moment…just kidding! No I am not depressed, it is all helping get a hold of the problems and I am working through them. “ I went on to ask, “ so if it weren’t for therapy, you would still be in England?” He said, “ maybe, if not there, somewhere else. I really did not want to come back to Berlin.” For some reason this made me sad. I guess because I have such fondness for the city and I could not imagine myself anywhere else, at least not then or now. Finally coffee, not that I needed its stimulation, I was already wired with excitement just being in his presence. But we had to rush our coffee and head off to the Tierpark, as Jan had just called wondering where we were. Late was what we were. The time just flew right by us.
Again, I have no recollection of what was discussed on the train ride t all. I was so captivated by his sight and his smell. My God his was not cologne or deospray…it was him and it was already making me crazy. We finally arrive at the Tierpark and navigate our way through the park looking for Jan and his new girlfriend. We catch up with them at one of the eating holes and I want strawberries. So we all sit around and talk while I eat my delicious sweet find. We start walking through the park and looking at the animals. I admired the openness of the park and how the animals have so much space to wander about.  It was beautifully laid out with so many trees and plants. We stopped again for a drink while his girlfriend and her child went off to ply and mingle with the animals. Jan began to ask me about Melissa, and I answered short responses hinting at the fact things were not going great. He asked if she would be coming to Berlin to stay with me. I said, “its not looking possible at the moment.” I really did not want to discuss Melissa in front of him…as I knew I was attracted and wanted more than to just get to know him as a friend. We started talking about current events and his studies with biological engineering. Hmm science, I know something about science. Of course it would have sexual connotations, perfect to get a little flirt in where I can. I spoke about the biology of mating habits when it comes to smell for example. Scientist did  study on this very topic, I explained. They took the sweaty shirts of 5 men and put them in individual bags and sealed them. Then 5 different women would go through each and smell them. Most were disgusted, naturally, but some were drawn to the smell. Thus showing the innate nature of our being to be drawn to pheromones. This is something we really aren’t in tuned to because of all the sensory overload experienced in everyday life, with pollution, deodorants, and colognes and even over stimulation of other senses. “M” hardly said a word. This was making me very self conscious. I thought, ok I have blown it. But we went on walking. He walked alongside me, smiling nonstop. Now I was really confused. He told me about his time working as a light technician and his travels and the time he lived in England. He told me that he would be going back to England soon for a trip back to the countryside and maybe small stint in London.  He told me about some of his clubbing escapades while he was in this great city and I asked him what his favorite club was, and he replied, “Slimelight.” Holy shit, this little boy…haha 30 year old boy had been to the Slimelight? I was overcome with jealousy. He told me how it was laid out, the different styles of Goth music they played, and how at the end of the night when they played the ethereal music, the people danced and how they danced together. My heart skipped a beat. I could not believe he had not only been in this club, but he was familiar with the music I hold closest to my heart. I could not believe it.
As we walked on I said, “you have to take me there some time. Maybe while you are there, I could fly over for only a weekend and we could go together.”  He smiled, and said, “maybe.” We walked towards the giraffes and I asked him, “if you could be any animal, what animal would you be?” He quickly answered as if he had already thought this same question to himself, “a bird.” “Why a bird” I asked. He said, “a bird can just take off and go anywhere at any time. That is me. I never stay anywhere for long.” I could understand his wanting to be a bird for that reason…in a way I would love to be able to just take off too. But at this moment, I was where I wanted to be. I said, “well I know you spoke about not wanting to be in Berlin, re you planning on leaving anytime soon?” He said, “no, I must stay here for some time, until my therapy is over at least, but also, I might have another reason to stay,” as looked at me and smiled.

The day went on and we interacted with the child and “M” spoke about his little sister and how he adored her and that one day he might want to have a family of his own. I thought it was very endearing to hear a man talk of not only children this way, but of his own little sister and with such care and sincerity. I kept finding myself more and more attracted to him and it became harder and harder to keep from showing my attraction in front of Jan, who really only knew me to be with my wife.
Our time at the park was closing, I was hungry, and I was for sure not ready to end my time with him. Perfect….I will invite him for dinner. So I asked him to spend the evening with me and he said yes. He was completely reserved in his response, but I could tell he was happy from the glistening in his eyes and through his sweet boyish smile. I could only think of one place to eat, but it would require us traveling clear across the city, Alli Baba Italian restaurant in Savigny Platz. He still said ok. We sat next to each other for the entire train ride, smiling and flirting with our eyes. I said to him flirtingly when we boarded at Alexanderplatz, “I will give you the chance to ask me a personal question this evening, but only one, so think long and hard.” Awkwardly and with an adolescent boyish sound he chuckled.
The memory of our first date
Today I decided to walk home from work. Instead of hanging  right to ride the U6 Naturkundemuseum, I banged a left and just continued to walk. The street turned into Friedrichstrasse. After walking for about ten minutes I came to the pub where we had our first kiss. I stood at the place on the sidewalk where you grabbed my hand and pulled me to you and kissed me with the most passionate kiss I had ever had and had been longing for.  I stood there that moment to take in the memory and tried my hardest not to cry. I managed to hold back all but a tear that slowly slid down my cheak. It was cold and windy and I had no interest in standing around….keep walking, it is the only way to stay warm. I just kept walking and before I knew it I was at the Nikoli Viertal. The location of the beginning of this magical first date. For some reason and without intent or thinking, I continued to walk the way we walked that breezy summer day. Through the cobblestone streets of the quarter, looking up at the beautiful church, and by the Knobluchhaus, the museum you took me into. You must have taken so much time to plan the evening with me. I am sure you chose to take me there because of my huge interest in architecture. The day was by no means hot, but in the house, without any flux of air, I remember sweating buckets. Every chance I got I would go to an open window to catch what fresh breeze I could. As we walked through, I could feel you examining me. I am sure this added to my over exertion. I remember after we left we walked along Leipzigerstrasse and you asked me how my foot was doing, remembering that I had developed a blister from walking in the Tierpark a few days prior.
I had no idea where you were taking me next, crossing the street and walking through the Neuejuedenstrasse then to the bank of the Spree.  The path was deserted with but a few empty cafĂ© tables and a lovely prospect of the small havel and the water itself. As we began walking the path you asked me a strange question. “What jobs have you had?”  I was not sure what the intention was for sking but, what the hell…I had a long list of jobs…however not so interesting to me. As we stood along the bank, I placed my jacket on the ledge to light a cigarette. Suddenly, a gust of wind swept my jacket over, thankfully not landing in the water. I remember I looked at you with puppy dog eyes and batting my eyelashes…and without hesitation you looked around for a way to get down. We found a gate, but it was of course locked....tbc

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