6th December 2020
Part Three. Berlin. Spring 1994
“Says he’s working for a temp agency again. As kitchen porter. Fucking Hell! “
Chris broke off to explain to Monika about Richard’s job, then continued reading the letter.
“And he misses Berlin. Good. He should come back. We could find him a job, couldn’t we ?’
“For sure. He has been here, before ?’
The story of how they met and Richard’s two trips to Berlin were briefly related. Chris took a bite of toast as Monika poured more coffee, and read further, nodding. It wasn’t in the letter, but he had obviously seen Melanie, as he had the new address. One line made him exclaim;
“Yeah, that’s right, Dude, you coulda.”
Monika looked over, her icy blue eyes asking for clarification. Her English was only basic and Chris’ use of slang and Americanisms sometimes threw her.
“Oh, he’s just saying how he if he’d stayed at Uni, he’d of graduated by now. Last year, in fact. Ha, then he jokes about what he’s done, instead. A year at a bookshop, six months at a record store, six weeks in Berlin, the rest washing kitchen floors. What’s this ?”
“What is ?” asked Monika, in her heavy accent.
“I dunno, something about being locked in a freezer. ”
“So ? Is he coming over ? I think you would like that, no ?”
“Yeah, I would.”
“Does he need a flat ? I could ask The Gang.”
“No, he’ll stay here. After Rigaer Strasse, this is a palace. What time do you start ?”
“One. I told you.”
“Just checking. So we have time.”
“For what ?” asked Monika, with mock innocence. Chris raised his eyebrows and smiled.