Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On the U1, In the Ruts

The morning slog. Breakfast-shower-V. screaming and Adinah upset about something,anything. Out the door, run to catch the Strassenbahn, then switch to the U-bahn. The faces in the subway car: doughy white, artificially brown, a beautiful black man (Ethiopian?), a tired old fur coat on a businesswoman with fried blond hair. Everyone planning, anticipating, on their cel. phone, or staring out the window at the tunnel.

I'm in that phase of immigration where I've started to settle and regain my equilibrium (previous phases: excitement, disorientation, depression, intense yearnings for nachos.) Starting over has stopped: I'm a part of life here. Earning. Commuting. Integrated.



EuroTrippen said...

You realize that means it's time to move?

Anonymous said...

So, apropos of nothing, I will share with you My Sunday Afternoon With The Chimney Sweep.

My very gracious (and overworked, overextended mother of two) friend invited Graham and me over for a visit on Sunday afternoon.

These are very, very tidy people. I'm a pretty good housekeeper but their housekeeping puts me to shame.

So, my friend and I were chatting in their living room and the little boys were 1) quietly watching TV in a post-nap daze [hers] and 2) babbling like a chatterbox and "playing with toys" [mine].
My friend commented that the great thing about Graham is that you can always tell that he isn't choking because he never quits talking while playing. And then, we congratulated ourselves because we were having a conversation while they quietly played. Keep in mind that from our vantage point we could see her child and hear mine.

My friend went to the bathroom and I poked my head around the corner to see what my kid was doing. It took me about 3 minutes to process what I was seeing.
You see, Graham was completely white. And then I looked about the room -- the whole room (a brand new addition that they had just finished -- a gorgeous new den from a screened in porch) was completely white. And then I saw that the clean- out door from the fireplace was open. Graham had climbed into the clean-out space at the back of their fireplace and had thrown out all the ashes. Imagine 2 or even 3 50 LB bags of ashes spread about in a room. Over a keyboard, new wood floors, rugs, floor pillows, stereo, an easel, sofa, tables, window treatments (all new! all gorgeous!) with 2 or 3 inches of ash. Like Mt. St. Helens on a bad day. And Graham's commentary, "It snowing mommy". And, later, "I make a snow man at Owen's house",
Ashes to ashes, funk to funky, we know little Graham's a Grulke.
Oh, and the very night before, my mother was at my house recanting how my brothers and friends had gotten into a barrel of sulfur and gotten it all over everything. To which I commented, "You guys just didn't watch them very carefully, did you?"

Weren't we swimming in puke and poop the last time we checked in?

How do you do it with two?

But, it's worth it isn't it... How freakin' crazy is that?


Elizabeth said...

My thought exactly!

Ed Ward said...

She's right: I realized I had to go when my new landlord said "Your German's really good. All the Americans I deal with here speak very bad German, but you're not like them at all."

pat said...

ET, Ed and Elizabeth: People, people please! I cannot no way, uh-uh deal with moving again. No. Besides, where would we go? Or...wait a minute, we could go to so many cool places......
Kristen: Brilliant! But are you sure this wasn't just a dream you had about a Dennis the Menace episode that never existed?!