A rather old story from my lifetime in Berlin. The original was written in Greek, but I decided to translate the text into English also.
At the river… somewhere on the banks of that river with the name Maybachufer…
stripes of water in every size: short, long, thick or thin … People with hanging legs. Bushes that proudly sprout everywhere on the banks, swell full of life. It’s their time because now, the ice age is gone. It is the season of sunbeam and light. The season of the dance of all reflections on the water. Yes, a fantastic dance of reflections, one next to each other.
Sometimes that thought of vanity manifests inside ones brain, saying that there is nothing out there. Nothing one could do alone or enjoy alone. That’s a lie. What people need to do is simply observe. How much observation was missing since always from this world. How much observation is still missing. Observation as a means of self-entertainment – “that little improvisation to entertain ourselves and the others!”. It is almost like when we were kids, holding something new inside our hands. Back then we used to spent a lot of time inside observation. It might have been for the most part unconscious, but still we would observe things in a very different way. It seems like when we grow up all the excitement of the act to observe is gradually vanishing. Nothing looks new. And if it does, people seem incapable of experiencing the excitement of the new. Every game comes out with a sigh and a strange discomfort. It’s like we already got to know everything. I wonder sometimes… why don’t we at least pretend to be naive? Just to reclaim a part of our childhood.
Everything passes by so fast, without taking pleasure out of the slow pace of the process of observation or realising how much value lies in the very last word of their interlocutor. That last word could be an invitation to life. An invitation to play.
I still remember the way I used to narrate stories inside my head back then. Maybe too detailed, maybe to naive, maybe a bit of everything. However I always enjoyed – and still do – that game of words and that freedom of insisting as long as I want on the various aspects of that story, which catches my attention. This is a story of a couple sitting at the river. I was there to witness it in my own ways.
So there at the river, I remember the way we were separated by that small bush. It was like this bush was separating us from a sort of revelation – from falling one on top of the other. But still one bush was in reality not enough to separate anything. It was pretty obvious that since I was already laying down on my little spot by the river and these women came after me, I would have to witness everything.
I could hear that two female voices now on the other side of the bush. It felt almost as if I was part of their conversation. From the moment I saw them descend the small dirt road to reach the stone bank of the river, I realised that they had met there to disagree – with the possible aim of finding a solution. Only the attempt to find a solution sometimes happens to pass through narrow tubes, where oxygen seems to decrease and the pressure is constantly increasing (heads that are hidden, in the air they break). And although I had this ability to feel what was to come and that would not be particularly pleasant, I decided to stay there – on the other side of the bush. Besides, I always fought big battles in order to find the best possible position on the bank by the river. And this time it was – until then at least – the best position I have ever had – in the light age looking for those places that bring together wonderful doses of light and shadow at the same time. Yes, it’s the time you want it all. Do you think that you can handle it all? Alone what is all this. So these positions are sought after. I know that too. So I noticed on my walk that small dirt road down the river and approached directly – like a hungry animal in search for food – wanting to suck every reflection, every smell, color or flying insect.
The small roots of a tree next to it were wired and reached the place where I was laying and I felt them knocking on the doors of my back, meaning on my bones. I knew I would probably not last that long in this position. So I moved down, all the way to the river, sitting down and hanging my legs above the river. Through the foliage, the sunbeams were kissing my face without asking for anything in return. They were just kissing me and I was almost crying from sweet happiness.
Just three steps next to, on the other side of the bush, another scene was now playing; you could almost tell that all the people who were passing in front of us with their inflatable boats were watching two different scenes at the same time. That bush was the only separator between them.
I tried to imagine what it would be like if this bush did not separate us discreetly. I probably started to feel something like being naked, filled up with shame. I guess not everyone enjoys becoming unwillingly part of an argument.
Despite that sense of nudity I felt back then, I decided not leave. But why? What I know is that I definitely decided to stay not because I wanted to know what the argument was about or to secretly enter other peoples lives. My curiosity was concerning another part; that part of the patterns repeating themselves. This means that I stayed just to confirm the idea I had about people arguing. In my opinion dialogues depending on the given situation many times repeat themselves in similar ways. This intrigues my curiosity when I think of the psychological aspect of these discussions in pattern, questioning myself what is it that brings people into conflict.
Before I even had the time to realise why exactly I kept staying there, the two women had already started their struggles; struggles of understanding each other or express whatever is bothering them.
I soon realise that the relationship between the two women is more than platonic and I mention that, because it is often insane what one can understand without seeing the people who are discussing. I soon created a scene out of what I was hearing and as my brain works like that (meaning working with details) I soon was able to understand the nature of the relationship of the two women.
Inside the various relationship categories, which are more than simple categories, I was able to realise from the dialogue that there was definitely physical contact and loads of emotion between the two women. Although I decide by categories – just to help myself create a sort of identity, I make sure to clean myself from every established idea, every known pattern and to perceive that story as if there has never been another like this one before. Funny that I stayed for the sake of patterns, but soon liberated myself from thinking in patterns. And this is what I was trying to underline further above; pretend to be naive. In order to explore.
Now I am sure that the two women have noticed me. I feel that they know I’m there on the other side of the bush. In fact, they can see parts of my existence through the small passages created by the foliage, like a bigger natural strainer. They can feel how I am laying down there, chasing the sunlight with my face.
End of part one
One thought on “Maybachufer (English translation)”
Thank you for this beautiful story, which came into being also thanks to your perseverance!:)
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