RHNK Berlin | Ä°stanbul | Barcelona
Ayşe Zeynep Özbay
Paper Street Co.
OTTO OSCAR HERNANDEZ RUIZ
I left Berlin in the beginning of January and have been to five places in less than a month before I stopped here in Istanbul. My first stop was Barcelona. That city is a dream. I saw madness everywhere: within me, without me, and up in the sky. It was fascinating, and sometimes nasty, but it was a real dream.
After a week, I took off for Palautordera, a town by the mountains only an hour away from central Barcelona. I was going to Dhamma Neru, a Buddhist meditation center which teaches a technique called Vipassana to anyone who wants to learn for free. In return, one can either donate money or go to any of the foundations’ centers around the world and volunteer, if they want to give back. This was going to be my second time serving Dhamma. I was excited to be going there, even though it is against the whole concept. I should have been “calm and equanimous” at all times like Vipassana had taught me to be a year ago, but Barcelona was so beautiful, so new that I just wanted to stay there. For the first time, I did not want to go inside the center, but I went because it was what I had decided to do long before I met Barcelona. I had committed to staying there for ten days and volunteering for Dhamma, Vipassana, the foundation, or whatever you want to call it. Some people tell me it sounds like a cult, and I agree. But if I have to label it, I would rather call it a club. Vipassana centers are shelters for the disoriented - and come
on, who knows what they should really be orienting around to have a peaceful mind? If you choose your freedom, you feel unbearably light, if you choose commitment, you secretly regret it every day at least once. If you choose your career, you dream of babies before you turn off your light, and if you have babies, I guess then you are really stuck. When you go to one of these centers for the first time, they welcome you with their cheerful Buddhist smiles and kindly ask you to leave all of your personal belongings behind. They show you your bed and pillow, ask you to promise you won’t even look at anyone else for ten days and just do what they tell you, observe your breath, observe yourself. In the evenings, you listen to the discourses of the teacher where he calls you a Vipassana meditator and tells you how wonderful what you are doing is. “You are bound to be successful,” he says. “You are bound to be successful.” When you look around, you see at least one hundred other people doing exactly what you are doing. Vipassana centers are shelters where you orient yourself to yourself, what you experience then and there, and you feel right
there, you belong there, because at least one hundred others are confirming what you do, thousands of others did so before you, and thousands of others will do the same after you leave. It is just like any other club really, only a pretty strict one when it comes to rules and regulations, and the first rule is to not see Vipassana as a club. You are supposed to get away from the order of the outside world, break the routines of your mind, and “see things as they really are.” The center’s course manager picked me up from the train station and drove me to the center. Palautordera was a lot colder than Barcelona. I could not see the sun when I first got off the train, and as if I always see the sun in Berlin I felt uneasy without it. I dropped my bags trying to put them on the back seat of the car, and a condom and my cigarette pack fell out, exposing themselves to the sight of this long-term celibate and pure server of Dhamma. She did not make any comments on what she saw, but instead talked the whole way about how busy she was, how she doesn’t even have the time to eat sometimes. When we arrived, I left my valuable belongings in the locker in the office. I thought
that since we were volunteering, I could keep my phone and talk to my family. The manager said no, she did not do it that way, like the other centers might be doing. She allowed me to come back and use it once or twice in ten days if I had really important matters to talk about with my family. I was almost going to hide the book I had been reading, but I let it go. It was poison, full of scenes completely against the rules and regulations of Vipassana. I kept my notebook and took a seat in the garden before it all began. It was that time of the day when pink, purple and yellow join the blue and white of the Spanish sky. It was a bit chilly outside but in a cool way because those colors are enough to warm one up. I wrote overly excited things into my diary, about how much I loved Vipassana, and then met the other servers in the dining hall. We were going to be around fifteen people for the next ten days. At the first meeting, the manager said, “For me, the most important thing is the harmony of the center.” Who did she think she was? We were all there volunteering; she wasn’t superior to any of us. Wasn’t she supposed to be selfless and super equanimous by now? I felt like
we were in Lord of the Flies. But I went back to my sensations, like my teacher had taught me, and calmed down to be liberated from negativity. When I went to bed that night, and every other night for the next four nights, I asked myself one question: Is freedom through obedience really what I want? I have been avoiding confrontation with what really bothered me in life for so long. I have been running for so long that my mind and body were refusing with all of their power to surrender to order. Every morning, I woke up telling myself:
“I will do this.
I will complete the ten days. She is not that annoying. It is not
six-bed dorm room 10 i t ’s c o z y share a
that cold. t o
with the same
if anything. Barcelona is not going anywhere. So what if the manager told you not to write in public and your roommate told you not to write after 10 o’clock? So what if that little, happy hippy told you it is not right to call yourself a writer, cutting you off mid-sentence to say that you are only a human being?
This time, I won’t run away because I am here in Vipassana and everybody else is doing it and
so can I. It will be good for you, Naz. So what if you feel like you missed the chance to go to Iceland with Javier by coming here? It doesn’t matter if the next thing is waiting for you to get out of here right now. You have all the time you have to live everything you’ll live as soon as you get out,
But then, why not get out now? Because it would be the same as getting out in five days. The world is not going anywhere as long as you are here, in the now.” I ran away on Day 5. On the train to Barcelona, I read this in Naked Lunch: “Buddha? A notorious metabolic junky … Makes his own you dig.” A few days later, I read a poem I wrote last spring about “The Art of Quitting” at a bar in Barcelona. As I read it out loud to a room full of people after proudly announcing that I had just ran away from a meditation camp, I thought, maybe I keep running away because I like to see myself as a member of the Quitters Club. Or maybe I run away because I don’t
actually like clubs. Otherwise, why would I keep trying to leave even the Quitters Club? Maybe I just don’t like myself in clubs. Maybe I love clubs too much. Maybe I know that I get overly excited and comfortable in clubs, like the times I spend days in Sisyphos, my favorite club in Berlin which opens its doors on Friday at midnight and does not close until Monday morning. When I go there, I stay until it makes me forget everything that I am and I see outside and I like it so much, until it stops being so much fun because I am about to collapse, or it shuts down, and I am left with nothing. Maybe I run from club to club because I don’t want to be there when it’s all over. Maybe that’s what we all ever do. From Istanbul with hope, Nazli February 2017
What is freedom?
to be able to get in to the club or to be able to get out?
by Caroline Pampus
Pfeffi, Toilets, Kisses and Cigarettes Colin Hubert
Bobby and Hans are making out in the back, and they don’t say much. When we get to the club I start buying Vicki drinks, Jack starts buying me drinks. I shake my ass for him and try to get Vicki to shake her ass for me. After three Pfeffis this starts working and were all out on the dance floor in the fog of Berlin’s Friday night techno club scene. Jack’s trying to kiss me, I’m trying to kiss Vicki and Vicki’s trying to dance. Bobby and Hans look on from the side, but they stopped making out. We go back for some more Pfeffi. Jack buys mine, I buy Vicki’s.
I love gay men. I get complimented on my looks. Sometimes they buy my drinks. And, most importantly, I can hit on their friends all night, without any competition. There’s five of us in total. I met them at the Hauptbahnhof on one of those silly techno beaches. They’re from Nürnberg, in town for the weekend. Bobby, Jack and Hans are all gay. I didn’t pay them much attention. We bonded over cigarettes and I made sure to sit between Steph and Vicki. It turns out Vicki was more interesting. We go to the club, FSK and take a cab because it’s Jack’s birthday.
This time Jack’s trying to kiss me, I’ve managed to kiss Vicki and someone’s hand slips into my pants. We go back for more Pfeffi. Jack buys mine again, I buy Vicki’s again. This time Jack manages to kiss me, but only on the cheek as I’m French kissing Vicki. In my opinion the night’s getting better. We go back for even more Pfeffi. But this time it really starts to hit me. The room’s spinning and I run to the washroom.
I go into the stall and get my cock out to take a leak, but I didn’t lock the door too well. There’s a knock and the door’s open. Jack walks in and starts to give me a kiss. My cock’s still hanging out of my pants, and I still need to pee. Jack’s a good kisser. Most men are terrible kissers. They’re too aggressive, and just try to shove their tongue in the hole of your mouth as quickly as possible. I suppose men are very much a one-trick pony in that sense. Always trying to shove things into holes as quickly and aggressively as possible. I even began to think that he was a better kisser than Vicki, but he was wearing too much cologne and didn’t have tits. We broke off and now I was facing the inside of the toilet stall. We’d managed to rotate a bit when we’re making out. I begin to try to say that I’m not actually interested, but before I can say anything, I hear a loud voice behind me: -You SLUT! I’ve never been called a slut before, and I thought briefly that it was quite hurtful. The punch to the nose that came as I turned around was considerably more hurtful. It was Bobby. I fell on the ground and he kicked me too.
There was blood running down my nose now, onto my shirt and my cock was still out. I needed to pee badly. Jack blocked the next blow. -What the fuck! -Yeah what the fuck man! Jack added. -You little slut, you think you can just play around with my ex like it’s nothing! -You guys are exs? I said. -Yeah -What the fuck! Listen I was just flirting alright... They didn’t seem to be listening to me anymore though. They were starting to yell and scream at each other. Bobby was much bigger, but Jack was fierce and wasn’t going to back down. I’m not sure how to describe the feeling. I imagine it’s much like how my grandfather felt at family reunions. Nobody wanted to talk to him really, and yet he was the reason they were all there. Or at least half of the reason. I almost felt a sense of resentment, but luckily I felt an even greater need to pee. I crawled under the barrier to the next stall, made sure the door was locked this time and began to take a leak. I hate lovers that quarrel in public. By the time I sneaked over to the
sink they Bobby and Jack were talking quieter, more intensely. I could see that Jack was annoyed. Maybe Jack had called it off. I didn’t know and I didn’t care. I washed my nose off in the sink and then stepped outside. -What are they up to in there? It was Hans, lingering by the entrance to the washroom. -Damned if I know. You can find out for yourself if you want. -Do you think that they’re having sex? -What!? Hans was high on something for sure. He was nervous twitching and pacing. -Listen let’s grab a beer at the bar and try to find Vicki and the other girl. I had forgotten her name. I’ll remember Bobby’s though. The other girl was laughing way too hard at some guy’s joke. I think he was even surprised at well he had done. He didn’t know what to do with it and so sipped at his beer. They’d go home together, probably. I couldn’t find Vicki, so Hans and I
grabbed a seat and took a beer. -You again!? -Oh fuck. I barely turned around before I could see Bobby again, but luckily this time Hans got in the way. -Where’ve you been? You think that I don’t know what... Hans was furious. I zoned out. Nobody knows anything about anything. They were arguing about something new and I was just going to leave them to it. I still didn’t know where Vicki was. I found her at the cigarette machine, fumbling with a bill. I pulled out my pack and saved her the trouble. -Wanna get some fresh air? I asked her. I grabbed her hand and led her outside. I pulled her in close for a kiss, but in the light of the full moon I guess she could see some blood on my face still.
-What happened to your face? -Your friend Bobby... -Oh my God!
She started saying she was sorry and he can sometimes get like that and some other stuff. She even wiped my nose with a Tempo, but still wouldnâ€™t kiss me. I eventually gave up. We sat instead by the edge of the Spree and drank some SpĂ¤ti beers. When we were done I got her number and we said we would stay in touch. We hugged and I walked home alone.
by Robin LopĂŠz
help us GODS Richard Schemmerer
Wet dreams are made of this, dreams of copulation with the latest brand of least resistance. The altitude rises with the attitude, with the penis envy the beats, the night pounds into the psyche of the unorthodox, the free from the bondage of stigma open for misinterpretation in goose step with popularity. Yesterday was just like today, like tomorrow, just another opportunity for self expression or self imprisonment, a self that fought hard to be uncovered
from the rubble of convention. I welcome you to the club of mis-users misrepresented, miscalculated or just plainly misunderstood. Like we all know parts of us that belong to multiple versions of these psychotic hell holes. Who needs a club to belong to anyway besides everybody? All of us are suckers looking for other suckers even the rich like to suck on each others’ coattails. We need clubs like we need fringes on jackets or digits like fingers to hold on to the sand of time that rubs us thin like sandpaper because we too want to be a grain in this sand, watch, to have our say about the speed of our demise. Clubs are for the ones that love to die a little slower and in company. Clubs are museums of our urges; they are graveyards of our shortcomings. Nobody wants to be just a tree in a forest of like but we want to be the exotic plant, even if it’s the stink flower that grows in the jungle of a soon to be extinct rainforest. We need to feel special at least once a week just like we need sex to feel worthy. We want to be a find, we need to be discovered like a planet or craved like chocolate mousse. We want to be a revelation to
others so we can reveal our true self in a sacred space. If we can’t get that we become addicted to ersatz drugs or dependent of clubs that offer us a place to play hide and seek with our denials. Today I implant my seeds of desires. In the increased heat of survival we aspire for a place of coolness, of detachment, of forgetting one’s self, the nagging part of the head that never shuts up, even if that means to debase our social structures for our urges in the process of becoming. Let’s not forget that we are not yet human beings but human becomings. We are looking to be a Mitglied, a member changing from bystander to core constituency maybe even with voting rights even if it is just about matters of taste. Waiting for the next big thing, the next techno bubble to blow into our nostrils and out our behinds. The DJ’s are still the gods trying to kill the apocalyptic mood with beats mixed from long dead cultures pumping up everybody’s sex drive into hyper speed. The snake pits or for that matter the Snake club has come and gone or better many have cum there but it’s all just hear say, the bathtubs of sweat, the slings of mind, the
strangulations of will power, the suspended ropes of belief and disbelief all free to become myths entering expanded orifices on display like an example of liberation of the soul from the confinement of the body. There was more than a sexual, or even mental liberation because once one is reduced to an object not even of desires anymore but of disgust nothing can ever scare you ever again inside your brain womb. Anything is better than living in the anonymity of the daily repetitive rituals life offers so freely but are underappreciated by us or our stimulation craving brains. The club, yes any club serves as platform for self propaganda but we need to understand that a mirror when it becomes too large, becomes a horrific manifestation of this sameness united in craving for recognition as an individual, in a group of seemingly superior cohumans or just like minded. The club of clubs is the cigar club. What you might say, who wants to sit with a bunch of old men in a stinking hole, well every powerful man in the world, the ones that own the clubs we want to belong to. The cigar club is very
elitist based on the history of how the Tobacco plantations were managed and by whom, but don’t point your racist warning finger too early, well okay go ahead. Elites are part of nature, of life for that matter and everybody is an elitist to somebody or something. Every time one makes a decision it’s racist in nature and with that said, clubs are havens for racist, maybe not against other races but other people’s preferences. Buddhist for example, for their desperate need for peace even they are not that peaceful towards some members of the human petri dish, anyway I love them, a great club to belong to. All religions are clubs, just wanted have that said. Where was I?
is the biggest club on the planet and everyone has tried at least once to join.
Nature is elitist, it supports the club of the strongest in impulse to survive. All life forms are part of the club of survivors after the last Armageddon. Survivor clubs are a newish appearance and have to do with counter balancing of the club of the shamers, but I am getting ahead of myself. Who belongs to that club, anyone? So nature prefers the ones that want to get ahead into the future. To dominate is an impulse all of us have, some only are able to do it with a pet. The club of dominators
Books that made History. From dates that will live in infamy to giant leaps for mankind, explore history’s greatest moments online now instantly. Join the club. And yes you too can become a member of the Upgrade ... I mean Upgrade Club. Google it. It’s for couples who want an upgrade for their spouses. Whatever that means for you.
Non Practicing Nuns and the Furries - both have sex in costumes. The club of the future will be happening in space and space will be digitalized. We will enter space lounges without ever leaving our sleep country memory foamed chambers. Planet earth will be finally renamed as Third Biosphere from the Sun and our brains will be uploaded and interconnected, not according to our desire which history has proven can’t be trusted but to our compatibility researched by the Club Med of Mate-sphere.
Back to the CDC the clubber dubbing clubbing in present day Berlin with cheap beer dressed in pre-love stained dresses, sloppy colored haired girls and guys with old menâ€™s beards and mouse in the water bed hair. It is just another version of a version of a version of lookalike that clutter the fashion pages of our history books which also has a club of course.
Beyond the Chandrasekhar Limit Alex Rezdan
The star named IK Pegasi shone brilliantly overhead. Even in the heart of the city, it illuminated the entire sky as if it was a second sun, and it was getting bigger by the second. It wasn’t supposed to go supernova so early in its lifecycle, and even then, it wasn’t supposed to affect Earth at all. But it did, and now it would.
The four-on-the-floor beat thumped itself consistently out of towering speakers. A mass of bodies gyrated in unison like atoms preparing to implode, being ushered along by the droning bass. Spotlights joined in the dance and crisscrossed in the sky making IK Pegasi feel welcome and beckoning it to come closer. The star itself almost seemed to pulsate as if it too could hear the beat. Richard danced in the middle of the crowd. Everyone there had already accepted their fate. They all came to this outdoor, openair festival—the last club event in the world—to party under the magnificent force that was coming to wipe them all out. Richard had originally come with friends, but they scattered shortly after arriving. Not that it mattered anymore. Soon, even the concept of friendship would become stardust. He dug into his pocket and snuck out a small Ziploc baggie, his teeth grinding together as he tried to make out how many pills were left. It was either two or four, but regardless, he dumped the entire contents into his mouth and settled back into the beat. If his
world was going to end, he would make sure it would end in ecstasy. The DJ up in the booth set up a long, minimal transition. The synths took center stage as the beat stepped aside and waited for its climactic return. A seductive female voice repeated vocals that promised pleasure and euphoria. Richard mimicked a girl next to him, raising his hands and swaying to the perceived beat. He closed his eyes and lowered his head, shaking it back and forth and letting the music take total control of his body. The stars’ promise to end all the problems of the world filled him with satisfaction. War, hunger, poverty, cheating girlfriends and bastard so-called best friends. It would all be over soon. He couldn’t ask for anything more than that. When the drums kicked back in, he dropped his hands and raised his face to the sky. IK Pegasi welcomed him back with its pulse. It was getting closer now. His heart rate accelerated and seemed to suck the saliva from his mouth. The dryness made it difficult to swallow. He looked at the people dancing around him. No one seemed to have a care in the world. Richard knew there was
nothing that could be done, but he was still surprised to see how well people were taking the end of the world. Looking back up at the light in the sky, it was apparent that they only had minutes left before nothingness embraced them all in its shockingly inviting arms. Richard squinted at the pulsating light. His breaths became shallow as he struggled to take in oxygen. It was all happening too fast now. The moment he had been waiting for during the last twenty-four hours was upon him, but he wasn’t so sure anymore that it’s what he really wanted. Not that it mattered what he wanted anymore. There would no longer be any more. He stared at IK Pegasi. The illumination was blinding. He instinctively held up a hand to shield the light, then let it drop to his side and smiled at the impending destruction. This was it. Life was exactly as meaningless as he had always believed it to be. The star pulsed with the beat, getting brighter each time, and abruptly killed the music along with everything else. The girl dancing next to Richard was the first to see his body drop.
She continued swaying to the beat for a few measures before realizing that he wasn’t about to get up anytime soon. She rushed over to him and shook him, repeatedly asking if he could hear her and if he was okay. Others quickly joined in, either trying to help or creating some breathing room around the body. Two men lifted the body to its feet and a third grabbed the legs when it became obvious it was now just dead weight. The word “Security” spread over the back of their shoulders, and the crowd watched them carry the body away as if they were the angels of the dance floor. The pulsating rhythm of the strobe light overhead stuttered their movements to any onlookers, and soon, the hole in the dance floor was filled and the scene returned to normal. On its way out, a girl recognized the body and rushed forward, calling it by its former name.
“Richard! Richard!” she cried out. “What happened?”
The men put the body down on a bench and turned to leave.
As they retreated back to their spots in the crowd, the girl overheard one of them say,
“Just another overdose.”
heartbeat Gerdi Bauer
the heart has a language all of it’s own. we often mask it with speech.
sometimes however on rare, precious occasions -when we are most open to receive no preformed opinion, simply a readiness to engage to accept whatever it is we’re offered and give back what feels right to give
it comes to the surface to communicate it’s got so much to offer pure emotions a longing to be close, to be embraced to be felt first, rather than looked at
when two hearts meet in a beat eyes close two lungs breathe in unison it’s then, when this most natural of processes -rarely even thought about becomes something joyful two separate lips sharing same smile when two hearts meet it’s then, when truly we find peace.
by Otto Oscar Hernandez Ruiz
Cats in Clubs Sinead Cerf
Every year when my brother and I were children, our parents, in an
attempt to socialize us and to keep us busy on weekends, forced us to pick at least one extracurricular activity. But for the antisocial introverts
that we already were, group activities were torture. We would beg and protest that we would much rather just stay at home and play with each other but our parents never flinched and each September, at the
beginning of the school year the dreaded brochure from our local youth
center would be pulled out and we would be made to circle at least three
activities that we could possibly enjoy doing. Of course my brother and I, feeling already hateful towards everything and everyone, firmly believed
we wouldn’t enjoy a single one of these activities and would rather be left alone to read our books or play in our imaginary world so we just tried picking the least horrible sounding one.
Our parents, especially our father, dreamed of us as athletes and for a short while he even got my brother into soccer. My brother begged
them to let him get the same cool hairstyle as David Beckham and my
parents gave in to encourage his new love for football. Shortly after, my brother gave up football but was left with a super cool hair style (a
bleached blond Mohawk, this was Beckham from the early 2000’s). I was also forced into sports. I went pony riding for a year because I figured
sitting on a pony’s back doesn’t require much effort, but the teacher was so strict and mean! I tried my luck at dancing and roller skating but
was clearly lacking the grace and agility not to make a fool of myself.
I finally settled for doing fencing for a few years because by that time I was old enough to walk alone to the sports center and figured out no
one was actually going to say anything if I didn’t attend the lesson. So I would skip it and instead spend two hours reading in the park.
One year when my parents had finally come to terms with the fact that we would never become great athletes, they let us enroll in a pottery class. They even expressed a certain enthusiasm about it, probably
dreaming of all the lovely handmade pots and mugs we would bring home and that they would then be able to cherish forever. But neither of us had any plans of making pretty pots. When I was that age I had a
pretty big obsession with cats, I used to collect little cat figurines and
my bedroom was exclusively decorated with cat things. Naturally when I joined the pottery class I started making cats. Lots of cats, long stripy cats, cats with no ears (because I had forgotten to make them) and the
cats kept getting bigger and bigger. I had made a friend who was just
as cat obsessed as I was so we combined our forces and made cats so big we couldn’t even take them home. My brother was also making weird clay monsters and I’m sure that’s not what my parents had expected when
they signed us up for the course, but for the first time we were excited to go each Saturday afternoon and made friends as weird as we were. The teacher was an old woman who let us do anything we wanted. One
day she was demonstrating how to use the pottery wheel and made the
perfect vase which she then offered one of us to keep. I took it home and pretended I had made the vase on my own. Iâ€™m not sure if my parents
believed me but my mother had talked with some friend who had advised her to keep everything her children made because their crafts were
the most precious memories she could ever have. It was the one activity
we kept doing over the years and me and my brother both met lifelong friends from that group. It actually gave us confidence to express our
creativity, and my mother still has every single horrible thing we made at the pottery class.
My brother went on to drawing comics and eventually joined film school. And I... well I got a bit lost and wandered for a few years forgetting
all about creativity and any kind of clubs and activities. Until I moved to Berlin. Just after having moved to my new neighborhood, Friedrichshain, not knowing anyone I decided to go out for a walk. I didnâ€™t know any of
the cool places to go to so I went where any medium-town girl would go, to the mall. It was winter and the large streets were just as gray as the sky but walking under the S-Bahn tracks I spotted a brown door that
looked interesting. There were heaps of broken beer bottles and glitter on the sidewalk in front of it and I thought to myself that this must be one of the famous Berlin clubs I had heard of and made a mental note to look it up later. After my shopping session I went home and Googled the name
of the club I had seen earlier that day. Reviews came up of angry people complaining about bouncers who didn’t let them in. This scared me a bit,
but I still decided to go that Saturday night and check it out for myself. On Saturday evening, I passed out before the club had even opened.
I woke up the next day at 9 am, I decided not be defeated and go anyway
because as strange as it seemed to me, I had heard all the real Berliners
go clubbing on Sunday mornings. So I went, fresh as a flower, with not even a bit of “pre-drinking”. I queued behind the few people waiting in line who all
seemed joyful and had glitter on their faces. When I reached the bouncers they looked at me from head to toe, asked for my age and then my ID, they still seemed skeptical after checking I wasn’t underage and asked me:
“Do you know what this is?”, “Yes” I answered but they kept asking: “You know it’s a club, right?”, I was then a baby in the clubbing world and must have looked very naive but in the end they shrugged and let me in. They stamped my wrist and I went to the bar to order a Gin and Tonic
feeling like and imposture in the middle of all these beautiful people dancing
and smiling so big. I sat on a bench sipping my drink and straight away the people next to me started chatting with me and within minutes a
hippy looking guy had split a pill and offered me half. I started to relax, everyone was so friendly, my whole body was feeling very light and we went to dance. I lost them in the crowd but met some other people who
shared their food with me. Pizza? In a club? It wasnâ€™t like anything I had imagined before but I was certainly having fun.
I gave myself over to the experience, forgetting all about time and the
outside world, I loved it! That day I discovered a new community of people who seemed to know how to enjoy life and made my first Berlin friends who I would then meet every weekend because I kept going back, every weekend for months I went back to that club. Oh, and the club was entirely cat themed!
cut the club for the daily mental breakdowns Dayna Gross
i have this theory that everything runs in loops. i’m aware this isn’t actually my theory, that it must exist somewhere else, in well print, in book clubs and library shelves but i’ve come to this idea of loops and now i’m trapped. there are loops everywhere, in beauty and round eyes, in breasts and round body parts, in the phallic, non-phallic, but more importantly, right now, the loops are in my mind. our minds. the minds of those who suffer from
daily mental breakdowns that are non-verbal but very loud and measured, measured on sticks, which are vertical or horizontal, i never will know the difference. by sticks i mean in this sort of time dimension that we draw a dot with the point of our finger and say ‘here’ marking a beginning, an entry point, and then press another dot into a nearby empty space, with the same finger, and say ‘here’ and then try to connect the dots and what always seems to come out are these lines, but what is the point? the distance between the dots, the points themselves, or wait, is it the connecting of those points or the figure making the connection. now look what i’ve done, i’ve made a loop of your line but if i add it to the list of loops then perhaps again it can take on a charted vertical/horizontal form. loose noose loops. non-suicidal, but death is always near. always close by. death is there to bring a sense of renewal, rebirth, false or factual, irrelevant, slightly relevant. death is near me but that is another loop that we are not up to yet but loops don’t stick to an order so we’re there, since it’s near, but.... in order to accurately discuss the loops
people need concrete, ground, earth, lists. save the abstracts, the non-verbals, the aliens we call, self! (i have and will always be reading too much jung) i need to stop putting things in my round mouth and filling my belly that takes on a round shape imitating the swirl of my childhood belly button which okay, is still my adult belly button but it receives less attention than it used to like my beauty mark which also has rounding effects on my neck like a dirty little shadow. when i believed in god, whom i understood to also have a mother and a father at one point in my looping attempts for understanding, i once believed i was meant to be born a black man and my three times round beauty mark on my neck was the starting point and my nose which i now acknowledge upon further inspection, is more jewish than any other part of me, but then i used it as an excuse to write my first ever book report on martin luther king jr and clung to books on slavery and my childhood attachment to racism that i have no explanation for and secretly believe it comes
from a past life. everyone else gave into tantalizing and glittery holocaust books, or chicken soup for the pre-teen soul. which i confess, because i believe i’m in a safe place, the club for the daily mental break down loops that is, as safe as i’ll ever be, but not literally, never literally, because in some form of reality i am actually sitting at a table for four with two teal blue plastic chairs and two bright orange chairs when i should really be sitting on the aqua velvet chair in the airport in shanghai where a woman asked me if i want a massage, and of course i do, but i said no and kept walking and here i am, but the confession, the confession was how i delved my dirty little mind into the horrors of rape and death stories read under sleepover blankets by girls who were searching for something strong enough to make them cry, which also explains my obsession with lifetime, the channel for women, the only thing in my preteen years that could really make me cry and contemplate rape by a dentist when induced by too much laughing gas. but the safe place, right, the safest place was only in that abstract place that i carry with me everywhere, sleeping or awake, that place is in china now but is everywhere i
am, and one of the very important loop breakdowns was over the importance of location, but we are not there yet either. location, we can’t avoid, can’t help but be, me for instance, now is finding herself somewhere else than the origins of these loops, however the most interesting and clever thing about loops is our failure to find a starting point, or stable point. ah, stability, that’s really where the interests lie, the point between moving points. loops. mental breakdowns. club. mental breakdown number? some of many. i have aged into a disproportionate dependent independent woman, but more importantly dependent and most importantly woman. yuck. woman. what a mouthful-ofa-word. i prefer to load my mouth with chickpeas and french fries and chocolate covered almonds. but dependencies break down. i know how to walk alone, i know how to think alone, i know how to sleep alone, and i need to write alone, but the minute someone else is there i lose my self and find myself leaning not so lightly on the appetite and schedule and decisions and direction of the other. oh no, i confess, i confess,
dependence, yuck. and the woman, me as the woman, that can be beautiful, but it’s not on me, not my costume, not my custom, not yet, but it should be, almost thirty and it should be. woman. woman knows how to make her own decisions, knows when to jump in the water, knows when her skin wants to feel the lick, the cold, the cleanse. woman knows this, knows her skin, knows her own desire. independent woman knows what it is that she wants. i’ve drowned the girl, i’ve left the dependence behind on land and taken an aircraft to china traveling from bottom to top but not the total top, peaks and summits but not ends and (tops) after all, the planet is round, so we have no top to go to, only what we have named top to draw lines and crosses, but we are in a loop, we are on the sphere. we think we understand the circle by drawing the line first. fakers. death. i ignored everyone else’s intuition and passions and regarded them as disregards, disavows, goodbyes. there are so very many different sorts of deaths we fight to find to finish to call a new beginning a re-birth, i’ve felt false beginnings and skies
opening to take life only to return a new one. i will die if i don’t master our sins and conquer our hereditary weaknesses. dear mark, i know you’re there, but i also know that i want you here more than you might actually be here since i don’t know about that part of life that comes after it’s ended, only this limited egocentric understanding which is you traveling everywhere with me and you disapproving of my traveling ways because i don’t dive into the shit head first but i’m still learning how to push the pain for passion and enjoy the moment, the process, ya know?
loops for the mental breakdowns.
we’ve finally made it to death, hooray. i have avoided death, and i say that now while i am still alive but i am sure i avoided a sort of death, death was most certainly after me, and still is, almost took the lead without any labels like, accident or misfortune, just one single angel hair away from the inward curve at the center of my spine. i have lived a death but now it’s gone. i cannot identify the loss, cannot name it, as death often buries language, or amplify its weakness, its uselessness, language loops there’s another one to name after death, but death. the loss of a part of life but not the life, not the whole life but a piece that has been left behind to make space for a new beginning. i’m willing to believe that’s more of a desire than an actuality. i’m rolling into language. language, sometimes i take on the role of big sister and beat it up and twist it around and out of all the boxes and rows they’ve sunk its body weighed down with such certainty, more certainty than i’ll ever own, but sometimes when i’ve drunk enough wine, whiskey, or caffeine, i slip my little tongue into cracks and break walls, and spit up word banks that have been stuck tight upright and stiff, so so stiff, and gargle their rules with my
handicaps and spit or swallow but now we’re talking about habits, but what about memory, and songs, and rehearsals? i am proud to be an american where at least i know i’m free and i won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me and i gladly stand up! next to him? me? her? god? syllables, syllabus, sisyphus? who was it again and where was i this round? must exist somewhere else, in well print, in books, on shelves
in this loop.
by Gloria Ciceri
Berlin | Ä°stanbul | Barcelona facebook.com/rhnkmag firstname.lastname@example.org