Tuesday, December 12, 2017

After seventeen years in Brooklyn, enough was enough. The city is a perpetual Peter Pan and I decided it was time to grow up. Of course I'm fine with having fun, but at some point we need to show a little responsibility. We don't need to buy a house, or get married, or have a kid, but we could at least buy a theater ticket, or go to the opera, or plan an Ikea run more than three minutes in advance.

I'd make suggestions to friends and get vague answers that, with a bit of thought, always translated to the same thing: "I will definitely go!" followed by "unless I meet a new guy or get drunk or just don't feel like getting out of bed."

Briana didn't recognize the tautology: she met so many pitiful, immature men that she'd try to forget them by going out and getting drunk, where she'd meet more pitiful, immature men. Charlotte gave up men in favor of friends and dogs. Emma got so sick of hipster-types that she started hanging around Mafia bars. I had to agree that these guys showed some maturity, even walking her home late at night, but when I inevitably put my foot in my mouth I don't want it stuffed there permanently.

It's the trademark of a Brooklyn party that somebody ends up crying in the bathroom. Always. The first time I noticed it I desperately wanted to help. "It'll work out!" I yelled through the door, followed by random stabs at advice. "We'll sign you up for community college! We'll find you a better roommate! We'll go to a bar on Wall Street and find you a man who's employed!"

Tiffany, my neighbor, walked up to me and shook her head. "Dude," she said, "women in Brooklyn don't need logic. We need sympathy."

After that I adjusted my behavior. Every time I saw or heard a woman crying, I'd ignore the impulse to identify the problem, concisely summarize it, and offer to facilitate. Instead I'd just sigh and loudly say, "Men are such bastards." Nobody got any better but people thought I was nice, which is pretty much what I'm aiming for.

I was single too, so of course I had to practice what I preached. I was just shocked when it actually seemed to work. I found a spectacular man, and, though I'd never say the words, I seemed to have done a "creative visualization." While I hadn't sat cross-legged on the carpet picturing myself living in Germany, I'd been thinking about moving there, and seemingly out of nowhere a man appeared who said, "Good idea. Can you pack up and leave right now?"

Maybe, I replied.

We had just two weeks before he had to return to Germany, so we spent every night together. I was mesmerized by the cultural differences. Here's what happens when you ask a Brooklynite out for cappuccino. "YES!" they'll text. "Maybe around 1?" Then at 3: "I fell asleep! Have to walk the dog now. Maybe around 4:30?" Then at 5: "My piercing got infected but maybe we could have a cappuccino while we walk to the clinic?"

I like cappuccinos. I don't like being known at the local coffeehouse as "The guy who gets his morning coffee after dark."

Ask a German man to join you for a cappuccino and you'll get this reply. "Yes," he'll say. "That sounds great. I will drive my car, and will stop in front of your apartment at 11:14. At 11:12 you will comb your hair and then wait by the front door."

The time flew by as I experienced exactly what I'd been looking for. Before Rolf left, I agreed to fly over and spend the next month in one of his friends' empty apartments in Berlin. There, I fell in love with the city, and discovered the inhabitants were ... adults. Rolf's friends had attributes that vanished from Brooklyn with the stegosaurus: they held down jobs, made plans for the future, and actually followed through on promises. One guy offered to take me on an architecture tour in his classic Alfa convertible. I happily accepted, but when the day came I was running behind. I got there two minutes late and found the guy on the phone asking Rolf whether or not I'd recently died.

I enjoyed the month so much I signed up for a three-month extension. Rolf and I became inseparable. There's an old saying that Germans will never tell you they like you, but you know they do because they are there.. Rolf never talked a lot about the future, but I knew he wanted to be there. One day he spent hours furiously typing at the computer, and late that night he gave me a printout. "This is your schedule," he announced.

It was a marvel, with odd color-coded hieroglyphics on every page meaning I'd meet a friend or go to a museum or drive with him up into the Alps. I felt a flush of admiration intermingling with those first twinges of love. It was perfect: as long as there's a competent leader, I'm happier following along and admiring the scenery than being in front and listening to the complaints.

Then I glanced at the top. "This is really, really wonderful," I said, "but shouldn't we get through 2018 first?"

Though I had the Berlin apartment, I started spending more time at Rolf's place just outside the city. One night he said his niece would be over the next day from 2:15 to 3:45. Anyone who knows Germany knows this is how it works: visits have a start and end time, and it's rude to be even two minutes late. In Brooklyn if you have a party starting at 8, you can roll around your living room wearing dirty diapers until 9:25. In Germany, your doorbell will start ringing at 7:59, and by 8:03 somebody will be checking names off of a list.

I was excited at the idea of meeting Rolf's family, but the start and end times seemed odd. I pressed Rolf for details. "She is driving from Frankfurt to Hamburg," he said. "It is a long drive. She will be passing by on the autobahn, and she will be tired. She will stop by here to wash her face, use the toilet, and eat a snack before returning to the road."

Again I was struck by the difference between Germany and Brooklyn, though this time Germany came up short. This sounded less like a family visit than a NASCAR pit stop. Brooklyners would be, I don't know, maybe happy? At least nobody would say, "She must use the toilet and drink some coffee or she will fall asleep in her car and die."

His niece's plans changed so she didn't stop by, which disappointed me. Not that I wanted to meet her -- no, I wanted to witness her exiting the toilet so I could cross off another entry on the checklist. Then Rolf and I could walk her to her car and check her tire pressure before she drove off.

We went to a wedding last month along with a carload of his friends. I was staring out the window at the Bavarian countryside and thinking the random, stupid thoughts Americans think on their way to these joyous events. Isn't it romantic? Will the food be good? Will both of the grooms be hot? Then my attention returned to the conversation inside the car. "I hope they sign the paperwork to divide their assets in case one of them dies," Rolf said.

"That paperwork is vitally important," one friend replied.

"So many people neglect to complete it and they regret it later on," added another voice of wisdom.

This was definitely not the chatter you'd get from a carload of Brooklynites, and it struck me as sad. Suddenly I realized something: I'd found the logic I'd wanted, but it highlighted what was missing. Was there no romance in Germany? Was it possible that Germans were too cold?

I got my answer a few days later when Rolf proposed to me. He got down on one knee and with his eyes full of tears he told me how much I meant to him, how much he loved me, and how he wanted to be with me for the rest of his life. I didn't pause for even a second. I didn't need to analyze what an unbelievable turn my life had taken, in a new city, in a new country, with an unbelievable new man. Of course I answered yes.

I've always joked before that a millisecond after a gay man accepts his boyfriend's proposal, both partners scream, "I'M DESIGNING THE RINGS!" and sprint off to a jewelry store. In this case, we Googled "wedding rings" and found a design for a silver band with your partner's fingerprint etched in it. We had them made and kept them in a box that Rolf brought out to show visitors.

I was exiting the toilet during an Advent party when I was greeted by a jewelry admirer. "Those rings are amazing," he said. "Such a wonderful idea!"

"I know!" I gushed. "So personal. So romantic. Marriage is all about the connection, and the fingerprint is a sign that of a uniquely personal bond."

He shot me a confused look. "Oh," he said. "Okay. Rolf just said they'd make it easy to identify the bodies in case one of you died."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I have one weird item on my bucket list. I know everybody else has the usual clich├ęs: they want to jump out of airplanes, sing on TV, or have a shirtless Alec Baldwin knock on their door holding pizza. My dream is a little more unique, and as far as I can tell I'll be the first person in history to actually do it.

I want to kick the living shit out of a goose.

Now, I'm not a thoughtless asshole. I don't mean just ANY goose. I'm sure there are some really nice geese out there somewhere, though I'm having a hard time picturing them. I can't exactly picture a goose helping a disabled chicken across the road. I don't see them donating their bird seed to less fortunate creatures. And there's a reason you have to kill geese to get their down: they don't hold their wings back and say, "Here, you take it. I know you can't sleep without a pillow that completely collapses under your head."

If they exist, I don't want to beat up any of those geese.

No, the geese I'm talking about are the ones you see on TV's funny video programs. You know the videos: it's a beautiful spring day in the countryside, and somebody with, say, a basketful of leeks is skipping through a field when a big, angry goose comes out of nowhere with wings flailing and honking his head off. At first the person is puzzled: can this sweet, fluffy white thing really be coming after me? But then they realize it's moving like a missile with a pointy orange beak aimed directly at their crotch, and they run. As fast and as far as they can. They jump creeks and spring over fences, their leeks flying, millimeters away from the goose's angry choppers clamping down on their ass.

People laugh at these videos. Me, I don't think they're so funny.

First, I'm not a fan of unwarranted anger. What do geese have to be mad about? You're close to their nest? Whoopee. They don't have Time Warner Cable. They don't have landlords. Their friends with emergency keys don't barge in when they're trying to take a shower or masturbate, thinking that because they didn't answer a text within eight minutes they're probably sprawled out on the floor, dead.

Hey, Emma.

Second, it upends the natural order. I don't like the precedent set by running away from something so far down the food chain. If we let geese intimidate us, what's next? Rabbits? Hamsters? I refuse to put up with backtalk from other species. If I give Mr. Papadopoulos half a can of Cheapo Chow I don't want him hacking up hairballs on my shoes and thinking, "Buddy, this is your life until I get fuckin' Meow Mix." Next rats will be waking us in our beds, squeaking, "I can't get this Rice Crispies box open, and you used the scissors to trim your pubes."

Oddly, I don't have that same visceral reaction to monkey crime. You see them stealing our stuff all the time in other funny videos: tourists on mountaintops observing the cantankerous monkeys when suddenly one grabs their reading glasses and scampers up a tree. Personally, I'm fine with that. Monkeys are pretty close to us evolutionarily-wise, so it's entirely possible they have recipes to peruse or filing to do. I wouldn't blame them for getting bored in the forest and grabbing somebody's binoculars or cigarettes or fanny pack: I always pull out my cellphone when my boyfriend starts talking and he has other things to say than, "Eek eek eek."

Still, I don't want to give the wrong impression. I'm not ordinarily a tough guy, but geese aren't exactly Colin McGregor. They don't have muscles or tattoos: that would change everything. If I was in a field and a goose with a tiny teardrop tattooed under one eye came running after me, I would also run like hell. There'd be leeks all over the place. If he had a spiderweb tattooed around an ankle, I'd be completely freaked out. I'd jam YOUR ass into his beak so he'd leave MINE alone.

I think it's a fair fight, because there's just as much danger to me as there is to them. I'm a much bigger target, and they've had a lot more practice. They're more purposeful, and driven: if somebody got too close to my nest I'd be like, "Eh. It was just, like, eight minutes collecting twigs." I haven't run up to a stranger clucking since Jaegermeister passed twelve bucks a bottle.

Plus, I've never actually punched anything, especially something whose head is on a two-foot stalk. They're so fluffy I don't think I could even bruise one, while they could inflict serious damage on me. We're talking an actual animal bite, which would be painful. Maybe not alligator painful, since alligators have teeth, but about as painful as something can be when it has like a nerf ball for lips.

So anyway, it's on the list. And with all the geese here in Germany it's a distinct possibility. All I have to do is buy a basket, buy some leeks, and head for the countryside. I'll wander through fields. I'll scamper, I'll meander, I'll skip ... all while keeping my eyes wide open for the vengeful little bastards.

Eventually I'll spot one, and instead of running I'll stand tall. Of course, he'll be startled. He'll stop, confounded by a human being who has no fear. I'll lower my gaze to his round, pale face as he waddles up and squawks, "You want a piece of me? You want a piece of me?"

I'll be picturing a new video in my head. In it, I'll put the leeks down, slick back my hair, take off my shirt, crack my knuckles and say, "Yeah, you fluffy son of a bitch. And I'll start with a leg and a breast."

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I've just been contemplating what a miracle the human body is. There are the eyes: complex sensors where 130 million cones and rods convert light into pictures that appear in your brain. And the ears: an intricate system of tubes and channels full of microscopic hairs and fluids that turn random air vibrations into sound.

Anyway, I'll see you later. I've got to wave my dangly thing over the toilet so I can pee.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Unbelievable. A friend of mine owns a business and he just got this letter from a customer.

______________________

U-Sav Law Form 271y-2015b



Official Notice of Refutation of Legal Culpability by Parent(s)
(Fill in blanks pertinent to specific incident)

Dear     Owner of Stoddard's Department Store    :

It has recently come to my attention that on     Thursday     you encountered some difficulties with my     daughter         Raddison    . Furthermore, I understand that you may wish to initiate legal action against    him   /  her.

Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that my     daughter     is a straight-     B-     student at the esteemed     Kids 'b' Here Day Care & TV Repair    , and recently received much acclaim for     hugging her maw-maw    . It is virtually unprecedented in this community that someone reaches such heights of accomplishment at the age of     she just turned six    .

As I understand it, the difficulty arose when my     daughter     decided it would not be deleterious to     spin around with her eyes closed and her arms out     for the reason that     everything disappears when you close your eyes    .

Though     Raddison     immediately understood the result of her actions and the fractional degree of culpability to which her parents would be exposed, it wasn't soon enough to avoid damage to     a bunch of shitty crystal    .

While     Raddison     sincerely regrets the incident, we are certain that upon further reflection you will understand that culpability lies just as much with     your shitty department store     as with us because     my husband is a LAWYER     and additionally     only a MORON would put merchandise out where CHILDREN can reach it!!!    .

It is our hope that you will discount the short-term profitability that might result from legal action and instead chalk up the incident to     YOUR IDIOTS!!!    . If you do, we are certain that the benefits you receive in future customer goodwill would far outweigh the     $40,000 in damages! UNBELIEVABLE! FOR A BUNCH OF UGLY CRYSTAL SWANS!!!     that you allegedly suffered from        BEING IDIOTS!!!     her    .

Sincerely,

    Mrs. Barbara Benelli    
(Write name here)

Friday, October 20, 2017

"Apartments in Berlin are incredibly cheap," a friend of a friend tells me. "It doesn't make sense. Europe has three main capital cities: London, Paris, and Berlin. And for some reason, real estate prices in the first two are five times the prices in the third."

I start looking at apartments online and discover he's absolutely right. In Berlin there are apartments in great neighborhoods, as big as my Brooklyn place, selling for $250,000. All of a sudden it makes that $2,500 monthly rent look awfully stupid. The place would pay for itself in 10 years, and then for the rest of my life there's just the maintenance fee of $250 a month.

I tell my German boyfriend I want to buy an apartment and he doesn't need convincing. In fact, he suggests sharing it. I'm wary: we are officially a couple, but we've only been together a year. Is it smart to buy real estate this early in the relationship? I agree to split the place, but not because of some starry-eyed optimism. No, because he works out of town, which means he'll only be there on weekends. It's hard for me to get sick of somebody when I only see them two days a week.

Plus there's that little voice in my head screaming: "If we share the place, it'll cost nothing at all."

Seemingly within minutes we find an apartment we love for an unbelievable price. What seemed like a silly daydream just a short time ago has become reality. I'm getting a home in Berlin.

I know I'll have bills to pay so I open a German bank account and link my American account to it. Right away I need $1,000 to reserve the apartment, so I go online to make the first transfer.

"Sorry," comes the error message, "that exceeds the maximum allowed."

Okay, I think. That's annoying. That's a pretty low maximum. But I'll call, I'll get it raised, and that will be that. I wait until American banking hours and telephone the bank.

I express a bit of minor irritation -- it's my money! It's not that much! Why does everything have to be so difficult? -- before a perfectly nice, reasonable clerk replies. "We're just trying to protect you, Mr. Hans. There are a lot of bad guys out there trying to do terrible things to older people."

Instantly I recognize this voice. It's the voice I use to say things like, "Grandma, I'm pretty sure Pierce Brosnan hasn't been looking at you through the kitchen window," and "That looks delicious. But you know you've baked an oven mitt into that pie?"

It hits me: this is how you talk to old people. They've checked my date of birth and decided I'm one of those clueless old people in need of help. Is this how I'm going to be treated every time I pull money out of the bank? "Now, Roman, you say you need some money to go to Spain. Are you planning on buying a plane ticket, or just walking there?"

My nieces and nephews will chime in next. "Remember, Uncle Roman -- you have to turn the water off every time you've turned it on." And "Promise me you'll never give money to a psychic, even if she breaks open an egg with a blood-red yolk."

Is this is how it's going to be for the rest of my life? Am I going to be saddled with people "helping" me?

I assure the clerk that I know what I'm doing and she makes a note allowing the transfer to go through. The next day the money moves across the ocean and I transfer the funds to the escrow account. I congratulate myself. That's one major milestone met.

But then bills come from the translator and the real estate agent, and I have to go online to move more cash. "Sorry," reads the error message again, "that exceeds the maximum allowed."

I know banking has simplified our lives incredibly since it's gone online, but it doesn't actually help if I have to call America every time I need cash. My heart is pounding in my chest but I try to stay calm as I call the bank again.

A guy gives me the same speech about my "protection" but this time I'm not feeling it. "I'm sorry, but I do not appreciate your 'help,'" I say. "I need the money right away and I don't appreciate having a simple procedure take days. I can't keep calling America to move money so I can buy an apartment."

"You're buying an apartment?"

"Yes," I reply. "This is for some of the fees."

"Oh," he says. "Okay. Before I authorize this though, tell me: have you actually seen the apartment?"

I assure him that I have. I'm tempted to run off onto random tangents, you know, like old people do. Maybe mention it's got a chair lift so I don't have to climb those awful stairs, and that I've got a cuddly red Tickle Me Elmo to keep me company. "Hello?" I'll say. "HELLO? Oh. I get confused sometimes. I spent eight hours yesterday talking into the vacuum cleaner." Instead I just ask him if the problem is fixed, he says yes, and I hang up.

And then the big day arrives. My German boyfriend and I sign the contracts and make it official. We are now the proud, joint owners of a small apartment in Berlin. Now a big pile of money has to go into the escrow account, and I go back online.

"Sorry," reads the error message, "that exceeds the maximum allowed."

I know the number by heart. "WRITE THIS DOWN," I scream red-faced into the phone. "I AM NOT AN OLD PERSON. I CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF. I AM BUYING AN APARTMENT WITH MY BOYFRIEND AND I WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD LET ME TAKE MY GODDAMNED MONEY OUT OF MY GODDAMNED BANK ACCOUNT."

"I'm so sorry," comes a chastened voice out of the phone. "Believe me, no one here thinks you're an old person. We're just trying to help you hold on to your hard-earned cash. I'll see to this right away." She disappears for a minute, and then the voice comes back. "Just tell me one thing: have you actually met your boyfriend?"

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Americans know exactly one thing about Germany's autobahn: you can drive as fast as you want.

Naturally all the speed freaks are salivating, picturing eight or nine lanes of Mercedes, Volvos and Audis traveling at the speed of light through Blade Runner cityscapes. The fact is, though, the autobahn at its widest is three lanes across, and it mostly snakes through fields full of Swiss chard and wind turbines. The right lane is taken up by an endless line of trucks moving home furnishings, clothing and food to and from nearby countries like the Czech Republic and Poland. The left lane is shiny new cars moving unbelievably fast. And the middle lane is everybody who doesn't fit in those two groups, and that's what fucks everything up.

See, that middle lane holds all the dirty, banged-up cars that can't get up to eighty miles per hour, all the SUVs overloaded with kids watching DVDs, and all the old people who can barely see the road ahead of them. Now, I like going three hundred miles an hour, but when the lane next to me is barely shuddering along at sixty, I have second thoughts.

In America, half of everyone on the road is also on their cellphones, checking their email or talking to friends or posting photos of their drive on Facebook. This means half of the cars are bouncing around like bumper cars, slowing only when the driver looks up or smacks into something that corrects his course. If you are also doing sixty miles per hour, he will leave a dent. But if you are going three hundred miles per hour, the slightest imbalance in aerodynamics means your shiny Mercedes becomes airborne, flips eighteen times, flies off the freeway into a field of Swiss chard and comes to a rest against the base of a wind turbine.

But the German boyfriend speeds along obliviously as I quietly freak out in the passenger seat, jamming my foot onto nonexistent brake pedals every time we pass another car.

"What is going on with you?" he finally asks.

"Aren't you worried?" I ask. "What happens when one of these drivers gets distracted by his cellphone and veers into our lane, and we go flying off the autobahn into a field of Swiss chard?"

GBF looks off the highway. "First," he says in his schoolteacher tone, "it is October, so that's corn. And second, German drivers aren't on their cellphones, because that would be stupid."

And in an instant everything I know about the universe vanishes in a puff of smoke. People ... don't ... do ... something ... because ... it ... is ... STUPID? A parallel universe materializes in my head that doesn't include superhero movies or Kardashians. My entire concept of civilization changes in a flash, replaced by questions. Does this mean I have to stop watching Say Yes To The Dress and start reading books?

GBF has to travel a lot for work, so I tag along. Usually this means a night or two in Munich, Cologne, or Bonn, but on this particular weekend we're having dinner in a cafe in Oberkassel, a quaint little village on the Rhine. Food in Germany is also seasonal: for a few months every year there are massive celebrations for things like asparagus, strawberries, and mushrooms, and then the foods vanish completely until the next year. GBF gets ridiculously excited when these foods hit the market, which is why he orders a $170 plate of mushrooms. I don't want to burst his bubble but think about telling him New Yorkers get that shit from Peru year-round.

Me, I order the pizza because I've already tried German food. On one wall I spot a plaque engraved with the number 2017 and a lot of German words that make no sense to me accompanied by one that does:

KEGEL.

Now, I'm a big fan of Kegel exercises. Conventional wisdom points people to the pecs and biceps as the primary things to exercise, but these are equally important muscles deserving of equal time. Even if they're not ravaged by childbirth, they're slackened by age or disuse. I do the exercises as a sort of sexual empowerment, blindly hoping they'll improve my performance without plastic surgery. The practice is a bit more confusing for men, but I tighten up the back and I tighten up the front and cross my fingers it'll eventually show up in bed.

"What's that sign on the wall?" I ask the GBF.

"Kegel," he confirms. "They do Kegel here."

"Kegel," I repeat. "The exercise?"

He nods. "It seems they won the championship this year."

I probably shouldn't be surprised, since sex stores here put dildos in the windows. "You can win an award for it?" I'm vaguely interested, just out of curiosity, but I'm not ready for the championships yet.

He shrugs his shoulders. "It is a very popular sport. Many restaurants and bars have teams."

"So, once a week they all get together and practice? Doing Kegels?"

He's a little annoyed by all the questions but he understands this is what you get when I talk. "There must be an alley nearby."

"An alley?" I ask. "That sounds a little dirty. Why not just do it here, in the restaurant?"

He looks at me like I'm crazy while swallowing another forty dollars worth of mushrooms. "They don't have the equipment. It takes a lot of space. And then there is the noise."

I'm often impressed by Germany but here my admiration hits an all-new high. I'm picturing crowds of chubby middle-aged men in lederhosen and pale women in dirndls, all holding enormous steins of beer and squinting while they tighten up downstairs. "Okay, folks," somebody named Manfred shouts, "now two more sets of fifteen. Squeeze, and release. Everyone, repeat after me: 'NO, NO, NO. STOP THAT URINE FLOW!'"

I take another bite of bad pizza while trying to make sense of GBF's words: they need equipment? And space? And I know I've exerted myself doing Kegels but I've never made the neighbors complain. Still, I'd be surprised with all those potato-powered thighs if Germans didn't make a lot of noise. I can't begin to think of what a championship would be like, and picture arm-wrestling in my head. Could the Kegel-offs be similar? Do hyped-up competitors high-five each other while shouting stuff like, "I got the womb that's gonna take down the room!"? I don't even want to picture the movie Sylvester Stallone would make about this, but I know it would include headbands.

"Do you do Kegel?" I ask.

He shakes his head. "I tried it but didn't like it."

I feel like saying nobody likes it, but the alternative is having to tell people that you ejaculated once you hit 55. "I guess somebody must like it but I'm a little surprised there are teams."

He nods. "In America there are not?"

I shake my head. "It's a solitary thing. And I think it's mostly woman, but a few guys do it too."

He shoots me an interested look. "You do it?"

I stop and think for a second but decide there's no shame in the truth. "Yup," I say. "In fact, I'm doing it right now."

He looks puzzled. He scans my top half above the table, then he pushes the tablecloth to one side and checks out the bottom half. "You are doing Kegel right now?"

"Yup," I say. "Sometimes I do it on the subway if I'm bored and it's a long train ride."

"Kegel," he repeats.

"Yup."

"Where you have a ball, and you roll it down a long -- "

He stops because he can't find the word. I know what he's talking about but I can't find the word either. Then it comes to me. "Lane," I say.

"Lane," he says. "And you knock over pins and keep score."

I smile for a minute before finally saying, "American Kegel is a little different."

"It is an exercise you do with your clothes on? Is this something I will see when we are naked?"

I pick up the last piece of pizza. "Maybe," I say, still on the fence. "But you might want to close your eyes, just to protect yourself."

On our drive back to the hotel I explain the whole thing to him. With the language barrier I guess I shouldn't be surprised we have these disconnects. Even worse was the time I found pickle cream in the skincare section of a drug store. I asked GBF what it was and he shrugged and said you put it on pickles. I was pretty sure there was more to the story, but if you've ever tried German food you'd understand why I had my doubts.




Sunday, October 15, 2017

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." -- Theodore Parker

"Say what?" -- Anne Frank

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