Even if you can’t speak German and don’t care for bratwurst and look terrible in lederhosen, sometimes you’ve just got to follow your girlfriend to Germany—to Berlin, no less—where after a nasty breakup not twenty-four hours after your arrival, and while still recovering from jet lag, you find yourself crying and lost on the streets in a driving snowstorm at one A.M.
Of course you get mugged. What else did you expect?
The primal horde of German Goth kids with their swastika earrings take your wallet and backpack with your few carry-on things. And then for no other reason except that they happen to have a switchblade, even if almost indifferently, as if tiresome for them to have to treat you like this, they stab you in the gut.
But it’s all part of what you’ve got to do, as in follow your heart and not your head. Or so you said while squinting into Southern California sunshine not two days earlier, on the morning you left, telling your father and mother and baby brother that you’d soon be sending them a marriage invitation followed shortly afterwards by a birth announcement, for she’s that girl—can’t you see?—the very one.
viel Glück! Good luck!
It just as well could have been Detroit or Helsinki or Quebec.
Sometimes you’ve got to follow your girlfriend to wherever it is that she’s going in order to learn about the workings of love. How it will leave you indiscriminately stranded on the side of a foreign street in a snowstorm bleeding from the gut. And for its final trick, this will all happen within mere feet of a club, from where occasional laughter can be heard and music of course (bass heavy, some sort of dance mix), every time the door opens and slams shut.