May 31, 2002

Got up at about 7:40 am because Emily had gotten up. She had set her alarm for 7:30a but I don’t think it went off—I didn’t hear it. But I don’t know, maybe it did. I was dreaming all sorts of things. A Matt Morris—Dwan Prude—Isaac Suggs figure all squeezed into one, both pitching a great baseball game and also working at a nacho stand in the stadium. I congratulated him when he came off of the field and talked with him about pitching back in the nachos stand. I told him he had gotten through a tough last at-bat and he said, half-jokingly, yeah it was pretty bold, pretty bold, and we laughed. It was mostly Dwan who said this. I wanted to ask him—because he had spent so many pitches on the last batter—ten more pitches there, or a run? But I didn’t ask him because I figured it was a dumb question. I was working at the nachos place, or maybe I was just thinking about working there.
Also in different threads of my dream were my graduation. Fred Hotz, junior high teacher at Millstadt was the surprise guest, but Ray and Safina and Nick were there, too. Somehow I spent [8:16a] all of my time talking with my parents and with Mr. Hotz and neglected Ray and (from out of town) Safina, so later I had to patch things up with Ray, though he wasn’t too mad (just really annoyed). I was like, “So I guess the graduation was pretty boring for you?” And he cracked up into a not-too-very amused laugh, as if I had said the most obvious thing in the world.
Earlier in the dream, Ray and I were with other peers (Phil W., Nick A.?) staying at a hotel and getting drunk or planning to get drunk—I don’t have a very good handle on that thread.
Finally, somewhere tied into the graduation thread is a scene with me & Brook talking about intimate topics and me shushing her before my dad, who was within earshot suddenly, would hear what she said.

That’s it for the dream report. I’m sitting at the desk as the final hours of our stay at West End come to a close. Checkout at eleven but night train doesn’t leave until 10pm tonight, meaning we’ve got a whole afternoon and evening left here in Munich and I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do with ourselves in the meantime. It seems OK to leave our bags at the front desk. We’ll probably bum around at some cafés. Breakfast here. I’m going to use some of the time to read up on Berlin. I showered this morning when I got up. Brushed teeth. Allergy pill. Deodorant. Breakfast as soon as Em is ready—can’t hardly wait for that coffee.

Organize myself a little bit more. Change into what I’m wearing today: Levi’s jeans, gray t-shirt w/ green #15 on the back, saucony’s, olive green socks, later: grey v-neck long-sleeve t-shirt, and blue hoody. Also, bright blue boxers. Eat last two cookies that Brook gave me. Open her picture for today. It was a little German man w/ LEIDERHOSEN on. That was the word for today, LEIDERHOSEN, a pretty funny one and I had been anticipating the one with this little guy in it.
Trying to wrap up laundromat from last night. Had two cappuccinos. Those were .60€ each. Washing cost 4€ which is a lot, but you got free detergent with that. The cycle took about 35 min. and Em and I split a bit of fabric softener. We had to load both detergent and softener in compartments and the top of the machine. The man working there came over as soon as we were confused and helped with everything. When you paid for the washing token by putting your money in the machine and hitting the washing token button, detergent dispensed into these little cups in a different part of the machine. He pointed all fo this out and even poured the detergent into the appropriate compartments for us. About the only thing he didn’t really do was sort or handle our clothes. It didn’t seem like he spoke any English cause later when Em & I were loading our washed clothes into the spinning machines (spinning not performed by washing machines; .60 € for a spinning token) I asked him if there was a difference between the two machines, one larger than the other. So I said, is there any difference? And he said, “Gut, ja.” And went back to his post. There wasn’t any difference and the spinning machines were very effective in getting moisture out of the clothes. Mine needed about 30 min of drying after that, 10 min for one token, one token .60€. The whole thing went well & I really enjoyed it. Expensive, though, I guess. My one load was 4€ for wash, .60€ for spin, and 1.80€ for dry so that’s 6.40€ per load, which is more than it would be in U.S. In the washers in the bottom of my apartment, I can do a load for 2€. But whatever. To move clothes from one machine to another you raked them into these blue bucket basins glued onto a piece of square wood w/ wheels on the bottom. There were low to the ground so as you moved them along, unless you did so with your foot, you were all hunched over.
Various ethnicities in there. We spoke to a woman from California who was in there with her mother, her husband, & her daughter. She spoke perfect English but I wonder if maybe she wasn’t originally German because I could hear something else in her voice. Nice though. Told us all about the deal with the spinning machine. Asked us where we were from. We could have been more friendly but were a little bamboozled when she spoke to us. Her husband kept the kid occupied while she & grandma did the wash. I was sitting next to the kid & dad awhile, reading Independence Day. The little girl was pretty cute but really wanted some ice cream and wouldn’t let up. The mother came over at one point and said, “She needs to go to bed, she’s tired.” And the dad said, “I know.” He was bouncing the little girl on his knee and she was asking what kinds of flavors the ice cream store would have and the dad was naming all of these flavors that purposefully sounded horrible and said, “What else don’t you like?” And she said, “Hot cereal.” So he said they had mush flavor and she said, “What’s mush?” And he said, “Mud, with worms mixed in.” What else did he say they had? Maybe…

On train headed for Berlin. More tired than I should be. Snoozed off and on for a while. Our train left at 10:51 am. We scrapped the plan to take a night train. This means we ate our 40€ night train reservation, but no biggie. Before we left Munich Em booked us three nights at the Circus hostel in Berlin. Been reading otherwise. Took a leak. Em went to the dining car and got a sandwich that looked not very appetizing. So I’ll wait a bit for that. I need to hit American Express when we get there. Em needs to visit Thomas Cook. Sitting in the first class car. Em across aisle from me.


Been wanting to write this down for a while but haven’t one reason or another: guy next to me on plane ride out here had a sneeze like a DUCK CALL, or a KAZOO. What made me think of that was something in Independence Day, where Paul is saying one thing unique to you that no one will ever ask you to change is the way you sneeze. To quote, “If you sneeze in some stupid-fuck way, or in a loud way that pisses people off in movies, they just have to go along with it. Nobody can say, ‘Sneeze a different way, asshole.’” (p. 268)
Though my dad will sneeze—I believe—harder than he has to—for what reason? attention? pleasure? because he can?—and I’ll say, “Geez! You don’t have to sneeze that loud. God!”


Went & got something to eat and it was the debacle I feared it would be. I said, “Ich hette gairn ein sandwich and she was saying kase, or cheese—see, I can’t even remember!—and then I said “schlinken” (for ham) and although it’s really “schinken” she knew what I meant but then I could not say decidedly which one I wanted so she got them both down out of the case, a little annoyed, kind of like, “God, I don’t believe I have to do this,” and I pointed to the one I wanted—pathetic! Also got a coffee which I have really since enjoyed. Paying went awry when it was funf (5) and change and I had no change and gave her a twenty. She asked someone else if they had the change, they didn’t. Exasperated she gave me 15€ back.
Walking back I was discontented with just about everything & the sandwich wasn’t any good anyway. But coffee was good and I’m happy sitting here reading Independence Day & coming across that nice little sneeze tidbit.
Thinking back: me sitting here at 2:29 picking at my lip with a fingernail thinking about howbadly I’d like to have bought something to eat: a banana, some chips. And thinking about how I didn’t want to go to the restaurant car because I feared language barrier disaster. Then Em out of the corner back of my audio field says, “Are you going to get something to eat? It’s 2:30.” And I just glare at her out of the corner of my eye. Went to sleep, snoozed, & daydreamed of food, so got something to eat.
Also on this ride I read through the section in Em’s book on Berlin & it looks like there are plenty of things for us to do. (obviously)
Went to the bathroom early on. Soaped up my hands and there wasn’t any water. Said twenty cuss words, toweled them off, and left. Someone was waiting to use it after me but I didn’t warn them (as if I knew how). And it occurred to me that the guy who used it right before me probably said something about it, I mean he said something to me but I don’t know what the hell what. So I just ignored him basically, maybe said Ja. He wore a gray uniform. When I was going back to my seat, I looked at a table near the WC & water was dripping onto it from the ceiling; just then the guy in the gray uniform passed me in the aisle. There seemed to be a moment of recognition between us that the dripping water had something to do with the lack of running water in the WC, which had something to do with what he said to me before I took my leak.

Been reading I Day for awhile. Had one interesting experience when at our last stop a young man about my age came up and said something to me in German, then when I said sorry, he showed me a little printed card he had and informed me in perfect English that he had a reservation for the seat I was in. I looked up at the little LCD screen where such reservations (I thought) were supposed to be listed and said, “It doesn’t have to say it…there?” And he said, “Not necessarily.” I was impressed and got out of his way feeling ignorant and sheepish. A bit dazed, I moved a few seats back, hoping I didn’t come off as belligerent, which I don’t think I did. Chose not to move across the aisle & join Em in her seat.
I think there is someone with Tourette’s sitting somewhere behind me. Earlier someone kept going, “Hallo!” as people went by. Then someone yelled out, “Bwah!” about five minutes ago, as if they were waking from a night terror. And just now, after a conductor concluded info about the impending stop in Berlin, this person said, “Ciao! Ciao!” Now they’re saying I have no idea what in German. The guy who kicked me out of a seat is now working on a laptop in what looks like MS Word. Work or play, I wonder? He has business dress on & I wish I could have been more amiable to him, because he interests me. Such language capability, and I wish to develop something like it.
Stopped at a Berlin station that is not the Hauptbonhof. Em wanted me to relocate to her seat to make ticket checking easier. But I refused. And worried about the inconvenience it would cause the conductor when he/she came by. It went OK. It went OK. I just said “ein moment” and waited until he came up to Em’s seat. Later I ordered coffee from him & that went OK. He came back & was collecting pay for it—2.55€! I thought it was free maybe. [5:17]
He dropped a coin but it landed in my office & we agreed it was “OK.” We’re chums now.
The Berlin Hbf is coming up pretty soon here. And I can see Em getting ready.
[5:18 p]

[9:30 p]
Have gotten from train in Berlin to hostel in eastern part of the city. Room of five. Met Oskar, from Guadalajara, and had dinner w/ him & Em across the street at Liberta, where our waitress was a goddess. Now in Goldman’s Bar, basement of the hostel. Not the place to feel comfortable writing a lot; Em & Oskar at the table. Music but no dancing.
[9:33 p]

Julio Cortázar—El perse guidor, ~ The Hunter. About Johnny Parker, Charlie Parker. Alianza Cien. His masterpiece, RAYUELA, a game you play when you draw line on ground & throw rocks at it, whoever is closest wins. Was living in Paris.
Charles Baudelaire—The Flowers of Evil.
Oscar is 24.

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