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I'm at the bus stop

Waiting for five after nine

For gym and best friend

(Sara's getting me to think in haikus.)


On Wednesday I visited Oma and Opa. Oma sang eenie meenie mink monk klink klanck ooza dooza buckadoo eier wier weck. Opa searched a while for something by his bed and I asked him what he was looking for and he said den gestrigen Tag and cracked a smile. His voice is getting frail, and the bed is starting to swallow him. Wednesday was maybe the first day this whole time I've thought to myself, he's not looking too good.


Last Saturday I went to tango. I love how the whole dance has this power dynamic, these pauses where you're just pressed against a stranger's chest, waiting for them to nudge. In bachata I've started anticipating too much. In tango there are steps too, ways you learn to move your feet and shift your weight, but in tango I'm still so new that all I really know how to do is listen, which is really the only thing dance requires. As the men shift and spin me around the floor, I'm almost always closing my eyes, listening to them breathe.


Last Saturday I got my nails done at Havelpark, a shopping center here that we used to go to a lot with Oma and Opa. When I saw Opa on Wednesday he physically recoiled from them, and I said what is it, you don't like my nails? They're the color of your shirt today, I informed him. Last Sunday for Mother's Day, Oma said my nails were blinding her. But at the club, under all the UV light, they glowed.


I biked to Oma's on Mothers Day; I waited in line to get her favorite bakery treats from Zimmerman and picked a small bundle of flowers-- so small that I tucked them in the yellow pouch of the kirsch eclairs. Oma acted like she'd been given a grand gift; she filled an empty pudding cup with water and placed the weeds on her window sill.

For lunch we walked to an Austrian farmer's restaurant down the road, but when we arrived, we found him in his black chef's outfit, weed-eating. Oma asked if we could eat lunch there today and he said theoretically and then just stared. Is that possible? Oma smiled big, and then he explained they don't open until noon, and it was only 11. Can we just sit here at the tables, Oma asked, and he was like, for a whole hour?! So we went to the Chinese restaurant, but they also were closed until noon. The things mothers have to deal with, Oma joked as we waited to cross the road. As we were killing time, we found an Italian restaurant instead, where we sat outside and ordered delicious tender chicken in a white pepper sauce with steamed broccoli and yellow boiled potatoes. The waiter looked personally insulted when I asked for butter for the bread, and I think he charged me a euro for it, but they wrapped up our leftovers nicely to-go and Oma bid a whole crew of them goodbye in Italian. She went on about how nice they all were and how it's a shame she and Opa had never eaten there together. All these years living here, she said, her brow wrinkled, and then said we could certainly tell Opa about our experience but shouldn't gloat, because maybe then he'd feel bad.


This week I skipped Wednesday dance to work ahead for today and this weekend; Brenna and I have daydreamed about this for more than a year, how I'll live in Germany and she'll come visit, and then I'll go visit her, and it was all just talk talk talk but now here we are, I'm doing some leg lifts in a Spandau gym, listening to the same techno track on repeat (please help me find molly) , and Brenna is texting from her plane: "Aircraft is moving!!!! Takeoff soon 😍 see you sooon 😁"

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