Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

a man in a grass skirt

a man in a grass skirt with a giant wig asked me, on the bus to mainz, in english, "do you like beer?"

i said, "yes, i like beer very much."

he opened his backpack and handed me a nice, cold bottle of delicious bitburger beer for no apparent reason. i heartily thanked the man, and decided i was probably in for a good time.

in mainz, people decked out in costumes hopped like ravers in the streets while shouting along to european techno music, drunk as drunk can be. a very happy, goofy gentleman decided that i made an excellent arm rest and that i should be shouting louder. in fact, he did not speak a lick of english in his blissful stupor. he figured that if he spoke slower and louder i'd be able to miraculously understand him. unfortunately, he usually forgot what he was saying halfway through the sentence and decided just to dance and shout the lyrics in my ear.

in german, "drunk" is expressed with the color blue. if you are drunk, you say "I am so completely blue right now!" incidentally, a popular costume theme was smurfs. it was like walking through the entire smurf village with pixies and aliens and the kind of rocking shindig papa smurf would not allow.

one young woman, who did not want to get cigarette ash on her costume decided to peel off her elegant angel wings, complete with halo and hold it out to one side. in her other hand, she chain-smoked four cigarettes while drinking half a liter of martini, her angel wings held aside.

on the bus home, a quiet girl with "kiss me" written in black upon her cheek rode home alone, wiping tears from her eyes. grandmothers calling it a night packed in, with their bright clown wigs and cheered at the marching band that was trying to get home in time to be awake for their morning parades. the grandmothers wanted music. the band played, the bus sang along the songs of fasching. the bus driver got on the intercom to say, "bravo!" at the end of each tune. the quiet girl smiled, wiped a few more stray tears from her eyes. she got off the bus. she walked home, alone.

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