I’ve been trying to figure it all out. I know that’s not how life works, that you don’t magically get all the answers you’re looking for. In fact, most of the time, you don’t get any answers at all. Still, I sat down to think, I sat down to cry, I sat down to listen and to talk. Nothing worked. Some people get stuck in routines, in jobs, in relationships. But I got stuck in myself.
Imagining that tomorrow will be a new day and then wake up and realize that, yes, it is a new day, but shit, it’s still the old you can be dispiriting. So when I went back to Berlin, I didn’t really want to go. Because last year, I was running away from my life, but this year, I was running away from myself. And I knew that Berlin wasn’t far enough to leave myself behind.
I wonder what Berlin has over me. It’s not the city, I realized. The first person I saw when coming out of the U-Bahn, was an elderly lady screaming that she was possessed by the devil. Berlin is alive, vibrant, and exhilarating. But it’s not a pretty, nor is it a clean city.
Somehow, though, the atmosphere in Berlin seems to attract the people I’m looking for. Last year, I needed someone to take care of me. This year, I needed someone to help me let go. Because I was tired of looking for answers and I had given up on finding them. So I could just as well enjoy a little bit.
I have met so many travelers, who were all interesting in their own ways. A Belgian girl who hadn’t been home in two years, an Irish guy looking for a new life in Germany, a teacher from London who had sex with an American on the dorm bed next to mine. I didn’t mind, though. I was almost asleep anyway.
I changed hostels once because one of them was highly recommended to me by a friend. My high expectations were exceeded when I met the Dutch and the Australian girls who were going to be my roommates.
I noticed that the tourists in Berlin aren’t ever really tourists. Or at least not the ones I meet. They always push me into their small world of dreaming, dancing, and not caring. And it’s so easy to catch on. They even got me to go to the Kit Kat Club, where a 40-year-old German invited me to come back on Tuesday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are latex nights.
On my last night, I was very upset. Because I had to go home, because I couldn’t run anymore, and because although I thought I had left my problems behind, I was still going over them in my mind. At Sunflower, my hostel, they kept the happy hour going for five more minutes, to let me buy enough cocktails to get me through the night. After a couple of hours, I asked them for their guitar, and after a couple of hours more, I found myself at Suicide Circus. When I found myself at the airport, I realized I had only slept for one hour and I felt like shit.
But upon returning, I didn’t regret not sleeping. Because every second spent awake with the people I had met there was worth it. They taught me that I wasn’t stuck in myself. They taught me that I was just hanging out with myself. One of them even called me cool. That’s why I’m alright being stuck now. No use running, anyway.