I walk along the Grosse Stern Allee in the Tiergarten; the air is icy, the skies clear. In this city, it is already Christmas, with little markets springing up everywhere, selling Christmas cookies, tinsel, dolls and toys.
From far away, I see you, walking towards me, tall, smiling, your long legs covered in wool, the high leather boots, the short leather skirt and jacket: passers-by notice you – how could they not? My heart has frozen, for I know this is not possible, that it must be a mirage. But how could I reject this vision, this vision of overwhelming beauty?
But this, here, is our city; I know I will die here, meeting you like this, lost in a crowd, perhaps you not even noticing me. Why should you? After all, like you, I am a ghost. The difference between us is merely that you are younger, very beautiful, and indifferent to the world; whereas I am older by the day, and ugly, of the ugliness of people who have overstretched their time, and I still hang on.
Near the lake you have stopped, looking at children playing with little boats. Soon the lake will be frozen, and people will come skating on Sundays. Early winter sunlight is playing in your hair, as I look at your beloved face, trying to catch your eyes. But you don’t see me, you resume your walk, and as I follow the magic moves of your body, I know that I should not be here, and that, maybe, I am not. Yet, you turn round, and looking straight at me, you smile.
“Julian, it is so nice to see you here, I thought you were fleeing me.” Your voice reaches me loud and clear, yet your lips are not moving, the smile undulating on your face.
And then you are gone. And then I am no longer in the Tiergarten.
“You’re still very hot my darling,” Sarah says to me, and I wonder how long my wife’s been here, watching over my dream. But I take the medication she hands over to me, admiring the perfect beauty of her hand.