So, how does a nomad settle down? It is quite strange to live in a house, even when it’s a beautiful place in the middle of Berlin, with some lovely colourful people as roommates. So it’s been a couple of months of really starting to appreciate Berlin, and some short hitchhiking trips to Holland, for a bit of work, meeting friends & family. The first time back in that country was quite surrealistic, after having been gone for more then a year. Despite my mind being so full of new impressions and new memories of different places and people, it’s still a place I know so very well. In a way, it’s like nothing has changed, and in another like everything has changed. It’s more a place where I grew up, then a place where I now belong.
But well, I’m back in Berlin, it’s an early Sunday morning, and I’m inside a church. Which is a place where you can find me even less often then in Holland. I’ve never considered myself a religious person – I do respect some of the Christian values, but it’s hardly a good reason for me to visit a church on an early Sunday morning. Today there are very good reasons though, some reasons which have little to do with the original message of Jesus or whatever interpretation modern religion might have of it.
The church is cold, even more so after many hours of lying down on a church bench. And that not in the most comfortable position either – I’m slightly sitting up, leaning in a weird angle against the side of the bench. I’ve seen myself in a mirror, and my face is pale enough to actually scare people. Much scarier and more dead then the three hours of sleep I got after the party last night account for. Near me there are about some fifteen people scattered on the benches who are, like me, all wrapped in gray blankets and there’s not one between them who looks like someone you’d invite to another party.
The short well-dressed Italian in his long black coat shows up again. The large guy, of whom I’ve no idea where he’s from, looks around over the fresh blood splattered on the back benches, and the people lying there. “That went really well”, the big guy says. He looks to me, and smiles sarcastically: “I want to shoot this guy with the beard right in the middle of his head.” Nathan, an Australian, comes to stand next to me. “Take him!”, the big guy says. “Like this?”, Nathan jokes, and bends down as to give me a French kiss. Then he straightens up again, pats me on the shoulder, and puts his black gun to my head. After the ‘comforting’, he gets totally focused again. Feeling the cold steel right against my head, and seeing the total concentration in Nathan’s eyes, it takes no effort at all to imagine this being real.
I get shot, my blood splatters on the floor behind me and it’s back to the waiting game. Some more blood, some more shots, and the director shouts: “Let’s get this place cleaned up! There’s a funeral at four, so we’ve to be finished by three!”
Yes, playing extra in a low-budget horror movie on a Sunday, being a spasmatic near-death victim of some kind of virus or the other, listening to a mad preacher given her sermons, and getting shot by the hero of it all, what better use could you have of a day otherwise spent in bed?
And so life goes on, with some crazy things here and there, meeting some beautiful people wherever I go (but especially in Berlin) and of course many more hours spent thumbing – now, with the freshness of winter in the air, with less lazying around, picknicking on gas stations or lying in the grass, but with hot-chocolate and ultra-fast hitchhiking times instead.