The walls in the motley occupied Berlin dwellings are thin skinned. Perhaps it is the makeshift existence of their erection or maybe it is the history of the necessity to note the actions of each and every citizen. Next doors you can hear a cell phone vibrate, a man scratch his head, a baby sneeze, a new page of a book being turned, clocks ticking, cigarettes smoked, toilets flushed, a sip of wine being slurped, emails being written, paintings hung, water spilled, lights turned on or off, luggage zipped, counters wiped, bread broken, spit swallowed, envelopes licked, curtains closed, food chewed, hair combed, coffee stirred, laundry folded, clothes being removed, and every and all of anything in between. It is a disturbingly wonderful feat of voyeurism that captivates the curiosity, but when the noises mirror off the transparent walls, the reflection is opaque and peinlich.
Many worst of times and best of times I wanted to apologize – in German or English or French or Turkish or Spanish or Italian or Denglish – when my head was at its fullest and the seething things inside could either explode or implode in the most indecipherable language. I’ve wanted to tell my nachbaren I was sorry for the noise or perhaps they’ve wanted to thank me for the free theater. The loud and lusty disruptions at ten and then again when the heaven happened at eleven that turned sour coerced by the burdens of desire when all the walls came crashing down and time lost its place in the killed silence throughout the entire building.
If I knew the proper dialect, I would tell my neighbors, his neighbors, our neighbors, that I am sorry that they had to hear that age old adage of how I told him not to be like his father and he boasted a rebuttal with the insult of me being everything like my mother. That clichéd proverbial Freudian explanation for everything that went and continues to go wrong, with me, with him, with us, with everyone.
Those moments where the clock was a blurry mess of pale green LCD light and the candle puddles hinted at when the whole mess began. When slurred speeches resembled some sort of impatient dialog, the duet choir of atrocity. And the sweet and bitter scent of us permeated those paper thin walls – like semen and shit and sterilized tourniquet: this is how our essence smelled.
I wonder too if they are brewing with jealousy of our conspiracy, when they hear the sharp inhale of me taking him in, taking him in in that inaugural entry of his disabling fuck. When I give in and he gives in and our bodies are not ours anymore but the empty canvas for one another with which to paint and poke and masturbate. Do they cringe or care about the sex we make, much louder than any of our intrusions to their not-so-personal space? Is it envy or misery when the animals put an end to the mating calling cackling and start the uproarious roaring of the innate reason of our endless disasters?
The protest always comes in a gang of four bangs against those delicate walls. A cadence that could never stop the staccato rhythm of our loving and arguing, only distract it long enough to create the syncopation of our jazz making. The music of our complication (a compilation of copulation and culminations) goes on and on for a few days until the snoring slumber makes way into the early morning ending, one of us in bed, one of us not, both of us exhausted.
It starts and ends all over again, faster than the speed of sound, without ever a deus ex machina, only a crooked dénouement where nothing ever falls into place, only down the slippery landscape of rising falling action – into the chasm of oblivion.
I wonder sometimes if on the other side of the fence, if our neighbors, our audience, our unwanted guests, if they have already learned the script. If they could set their clocks by us, from the first moan of orgasm to the last fatigued tear, to the second hand that slaps, to the fourth wall that crumbles down… knowing full well grass does not grow inside, so it is not easy to tell which is greener. All I know is that we are lucky in our gambling in the matters of the heart, with a beautiful crimson mess spilled all over the heavy pounded floor, the macabre hue bearing our stained reflection.
Every time again it comes to this, the ongoing test of hypothesis – to see how deafening love can be, to the eyes, the hands, the nose, the tongue, the ears…The lights never go out, for all the neighbors to see, the blind insanity of him and me, thinly veiled through the barrier of our company.