His eyes were bluer.
I thought that I had already seen the bluest eyes in Berlin before I saw these new ones. They were from the man, the other man, the other other man, who I had sought out help to help me with THE man, the man of all of most of my troubles one way or the other. That man, not THE man, the man with the once bluest eyes, now superseded by the bluer ones, the man that had given me that bittersweet cake in that office where there were men who ranged the gamut from apathy to sympathy.
These bluer eyes were not that dark-yet-bright welcoming hue of cobalt, but rather a blinding color of crystal blue, masked and augmented by the slim silver wire framed spectacles that sat upon his stoically curious visage – a face I will never forget.
He was the only one sitting, sitting in that room full of so many standing strangers, some with lab coats, some without, all peering into my cage as I tried my best to sit still in body and in mind, overcome by the atrocity of their presence – this unnecessary gaggle of vultures all in competition for the prize of know-it-all, but alas, all the information was mine to give and take.
I uttered the disclaimer about my sleep deprivation in order to describe why an unexpected visit from an army of doctors was not quite fitting for my situation. They came unannounced, like they always did, and before I had found the discomfort of my non-sleeping bed, I was shocked and horrified by the fact that I could not open the bathroom door due to the sheer quantity of them who came with clipboards and computers and machines to check on my close to dead roommate, the chain-smoking, breathing machine dependent bane of my stability.
I could only make the heavy door ajar, after again sighing to myself in the mirror wondering if peace, health or sleep would ever be afforded to me, and then I paid the price of the enveloping presence of all those heathens. They
asked me told me demanded that I leave, immediately.
One of the ones, the one with enough English to half assed ask questions, half assed asked if I would like to see the doctor today. To my chagrin and surprise, I agreed with this non-question question slash request and wallowed in the memory of sleep and the real reason why I ended up in this place that was making me crazier by the second.
I admit that I did scoff at this bluer eyed king of the court when I realized his presence – cross legged and over/under dressed for someone who proudly boasted his being the head of this distinguished department.
After some delay and mistaken allowance of my return (to which I protested wildly), they admitted me back to my room, my bed, the place where the ants felt more at home than I did and the constant sound of death coming from my neighbor reminded me that life was really worth living.
The bluer eyed chief introduced himself and proceeded with that unfortunate question I was prepared to not answer. After my disclaimer I explained that it would be better for him to tell me what he already knew about me as not to waste time and to allow me to fill in the gaps, rather than reliving the horror of why I was there in the first place (again). I went on to beseech that he reference the copious amounts of notes on my chart, most of which were penned eloquently by a Kollegen that was unfortunately not squeezed into the already overcrowded room like a 1940s Jew of Berlin on his/her way to Poland on a death night train. I realized immediately after some delay and some of his bluer eyed feeble yet cunning ways to reverse my psychology, that he knew nothing.
His eyes were so blue that they were almost transparent, just like him They were proud eyes that were overcompensating for something I don’t feel as though I should have to explain.
As the interrogation escalated to conversation, heated disagreement and then to full-on argument and furthermore to screaming cockfight, I duly noted the forlorn faces of all of the Kollegen in the room, as if they could not resist the urge to advise me never to insult someone of such a high caliber, but they had no choice but to say nothing.
My favorite part was when my phone started to vibrate and I looked at the number and giggled, to which the bluer eyed monster spat a rebuttal of, “This is no laughing matter,” and then added a retort of deviant snickering just moments later after I asked him a question about his education.
I hadn’t slept in days.
All the brute force of my frustration came out, and as I went over the details of what organization means to me and how the lack thereof in this place was affecting any opportunity for me to solve the problem that I came to address, the bluer eyes filled with a pool of red and as he went blue in the face, exhausted by the language and patience barrier between us, his most prized Kollegen interjected. After the third time she felt it necessary to answer questions posed towards the bluer eyed master, I coyly asked, “Is she a robot that answers your questions for you?”. The duel was over.
They recommended I find a place where I could speak my English, a place where they could figure out what was wrong with me, if anything at all, which the bluer eyed man doubted and firmly asserted after he refused to answer my question, “Have you studied much Freud?”.
It was not my place, but then again it was – for I will always be American in my temperament, and he could have been perhaps that quintessential German stereotype that is revered in this lazy albeit self-assured slut of a city. It was the paradigm of the constant plight of culture clash.
I just wanted to sleep.
I got my walking papers, and in them, a smartly worded note about my release proved once again that I was not German enough to withstand the ways of the latent content of the Germans that is not always so obvious in Berlin, an entity and world away from Germany itself.
I will never forget those eyes. Their shift from crystal blue to red watery blue was the symbol of victory in the power struggle (yet another one) that has titillated me so many times over here in Berlin. When he dismissed me, so unaccustomed to such insolence, he held out a hand to end this seemingly business transaction. I refused his sweaty, shaky hand, and it was the final stab of our jousting that declared me the victor of control. From then on, his eyes never looked into mine again, and me, the lab rat, had succeeded in becoming the top dog on the bottom of the food chain.