The Page

A tale of intimacy and loss

Tag: Unter den Linden


2 On our bikes

 At 6 CET I wake up: the light through the half drawn curtains filters to the two graceful naked bodies, lying across from me on the large bed – our bed. Sarah holds Melissa in her arms, their breathing in perfect unison. I am overwhelmed by their beauty. Without the usual pinch of diffused jealousy I see them as a perfect couple, my wife and my lover…

In the little courtyard outside, birds are still celebrating the morning on the tall lime-tree. I get up careful not to wake them, anxious not to disrupt the wonder of their sleep.

I shower – warm water never feels so cool as in Berlin – and walk to the kitchen to make coffee: here I use the ground coffee Melissa bought thinking of me. Soon the aroma of brewing coffee diffuses through the apartment. I hear the low sound of a radio playing across the street from the balcony. Kreuzberg is so amazingly quiet…

An hour later the three of us are jogging in the direction of Tempelhof. Soon we reach the Airlift memorial and the terminal building, and run to the entrance on the side road. My two companions are fit and easily distance me: I have to keep up! We start on the long tour of the airfield, Sarah and Melissa accelerating to an easy 10k pace, I am already sweating profusely. We pass other runners who look appreciatively at my companions.

The whole tour will take forty minutes at this pace. As we are approaching the long curve, past the civilian crews scanning for ordnance and old WWII weapons, another runner overtakes us, slows down and start running even with the ladies. I hear Melissa greats the stranger – a tall woman in a blue track suit and fashionable sneakers – then the three of them laughing. It dawns on me that the runner is no other than Elga. I am now struggling to keep up with the three ladies who have gradually accelerated their pace. Sarah turns round and smiles, signals to me all is well.

… Back home, and still with Elga in a joyous mood, the ladies decide to have a common shower, and I will wait my turn. The majority decision is to go to the Tiergarten for a picnic. We, the three of us, later have an appointment at seven at the Chancellery…

We take bikes and ride towards the Potsdamer Platz. I am again struggling to keep pace with my three companions who giggle all the way. As we manoeuvre towards the Tiergarten I notice two or three military vehicles moving in the direction of the Bundestag. The ladies chose a spot not far from the Siegesaüle. While I was having my shower they did some shopping. Suddenly I am interested to see if Elga will drink and eat as a human; perhaps I am somewhat puzzled when she does, still laughing wholeheartedly at Sarah’s and Melissa’s jokes. The four of us have a congenial and relaxed time. Elga finally excuses herself, saying that she would see us in the evening at the pre-conference meeting. She rides off in the direction of Unter den Linden. It is only then that I notice her escort: four soldiers on bikes, wearing the uniform of the élite Grenzschütz guard. They are armed, and they are all women. Sarah’s looking at me smiling, as if saying “stop worrying, you are in good hands…”



1 Near Viktoria Park

DSC_0490 So much has changed… Those roads are now perfect, thin ribbons bordered by trees; and today the flow of traffic is out of the city, towards the northern coast and the forests of Brandenburg, it is Friday. Driving from the North-West easing the car into Kreuzberg is light work. Soon we find the street, and with her usual flair, Sarah navigates me to a parking space just in front of our door. I feel her eyes on me: it is her city, and she awaits my reaction to the new Berlin, now at peace.

We pick up our bags. Bicycles are locked randomly on railings and scaffoldings on the wide sidewalk. The air is warm, the street quiet. Sarah unlocks the door which closes silently behind us, and we walk up to the third floor. Melissa is standing at the entrance to the apartment, smiling. She and Sarah kiss for an eternity. We walk in, drops our bags, and then Melissa hugs me. The apartment is delightful, airy, a small balcony opening on the side street, trees and small shops, bicycles, summer dust…

Keith Jarrett plays in the background. In white shorts and a green T-shirt that reads NO SURRENDER! Melissa looks stunning. Sarah thinks so too, and soon the two of them disappear to the bedroom and shut the door. I find the stack of documents from the federal government I am expected to study closely in the meantime. I feel elated: the dread that overwhelmed me during the journey is now gone. Sarah said before we arrived that, here, in this city, she felt invincible. Her new intimacy, or should I say, her deeper intimacy, with Melissa, is for me an enchantment. What else could a man ask for? Two beautiful lovers in love with each other…

The documents set out the role of the support team – us among others – in the Coven’s conference, named “Towards Universal Peace”, and the supervising role of the German authorities during the proceedings. I understand that the main conference is taking place in Unter den Linden, in one of the government buildings, with working sessions in other places, including the Russian embassy. The three of us have separate briefing notes in sealed envelopes. I decide to wait for the women to reappear before I open mine. I walk to the kitchen, open the fridge, and observe that Melissa has done a clever shop of everything Sarah and I love, inclusive of dry Mosel wine. I pull three lovely glasses out of the rack and walk back to the lounge, setting the glasses on the table. Then I fall asleep on the couch.

Sarah wakes me up. Melissa is behind her opening a bottle of Mosel. The two of them  are not wearing much, and I am stunned. We toast to our success and a happy outcome to the conference. For dinner in a few hours Melissa has invited us to a local Turkish restaurant a block away. Sarah sends me to refresh and change in the bathroom, while the ladies get dressed. Suddenly, I realise I have surrendered – to them.