Love and Chaos Part 6(L) Daniel 1

25th May 2021

Fischladen - Samariterkiez - Rigaer Str. 83
A Friedrichshain convenience. Google Images

Part Six. Berlin. April 1995

Though he was pretty immune to odours, Jake sometimes found it necessary to open the door and air out the bar while they were setting up.

The day had shown the first signs of a summer that promised to be warm and loving, a reward for surviving the harsh unrelenting Berlin winter.

Jake was sweeping in the back, by the stage, and Chris was behind the bar, stacking empty beer bottles in crates and getting tonight’s beer ready, when four builders walked in, the first asking in a north-English accent,

“You open, Mate ?” then sitting down before getting an answer.

Chris looked over at Jake who nodded.

“Sure. What can I get you ?” he asked, stressing his own Midlands accent.

“Fuck me, another one,” said the second man in his thick Irish brogue.

“Lot of us about, Paddy,” answered the third man, a thin, wiry Brummie with flecks of white paint in his hair.

“What’ve ya got, Mate ?” asked the fourth man, Daniel Roth.

Chris brought up a selection of bottles; Becks, Flensburger, Veltins and the Czech Staropramen.

“Give us a Becks. What d’you fuckers want ?” asked the Northerner.

“Do you not have no Guinness ? Fuck me. Go on, then, I’ll have to have a Flensburger, won’t I,” from the Irishman. The Brummie also chose a Becks and Daniel took a Staropramen.

“Look at that poncey twat, always gotta be different,” was the Northerner’s reaction to Daniel’s order.

They joked around insulting each other for a couple of rounds, then decided to leave.

The Northerner came back from the toilet, laughing,

“You oughtter see what it’s got writ in there: ‘Where is your Vortex ?’ (1) Too fucking right. I’ve been in some shite-holes in my time but this … Ah, no offence, Mate.”

Chris waved the insult away, suddenly remembering exactly why he had left England.

After they left, Jake was about to close the door, when he stopped and picked up a book that was on the floor. He held it out to Chris,

“This yours ? Lassa …’L’Assa moee …’ by . . . Emily Zola.”

“No, not mine. Sure as hell ain’t gonna belong to those thick-as-shit navies.”

Just then, Daniel came back in, looking for his book.

“Emile. It’s Emile, not Emily. And I wouldn’t insult builders, if I were you,” he said, looking at Chris, who was starting to lose the colour in his face, ”because those guys will pick you up with one hand and throw you against that back wall, there. Yeah, the book’s mine. We’re not all troglodytes, you know ? You can ‘ave it when I’m finished, all right ?”

“Yeah. Yeah, thanks.”

“You closing up then ?” Daniel asked.

Jake laughed, dispelling the tension and explained the opening hours. Daniel laughed.

“Well, maybe I’ll shoot by, later. Yeah, I know those guys are as thick as shit, but, they’re my mates, right ? And that ‘Vortex’ … Wyndham Lewis ?”

Chris nodded. He had written it one drunken night, inspired by a lecture from Melanie about how the cranes of the Baustelles (building sites) resembled Vorticist paintings. Jake had never noticed the graffiti.

But then Jake woke up a little,

“Hey, I wouldn’t insult builders if I were you.”

“Yeah, but the good thing is half the time they don’t even know they’re being insulted.” Daniel laughed at his own comment, realising the amount of truth in it. “Right then. See ya later.”

Later was still very early, just after ten o’clock and the bar was almost empty. Daniel sat on the first stool, by the door, and took another Czech beer. Chris looked at Jake and by mutual consent, agreed it was vodka time, though for Jake, it was always vodka time.


Chris poured one for Daniel, as a way of burying the hatchet. They talked about what they were doing in Berlin, where they came from and how much better life was here. Chris asked him where he lived,

“Wedding,” replied Daniel. This was an industrial Bezirk north of the centre, not renowned for its beauty. Not renowned for anything in fact.

“It must have been the only place in the West where people actually jumped The Wall into East Berlin,” he joked of his new neighbourhood.

Daniel was very impressed by both Chris and Jake living in squats and running the bar. But he began to be less impressed by the people that slowly started coming in, all neighbours and locals.

One such was Robert, a wild, crazy-looking German who sat next to him and proclaimed, without apparent cause or reason,

“Shit on a stick!”

The phrase was repeated endlessly throughout the night. Another large, almost obese customer nursed a solitary beer for hours and engaged in an animated conversation with himself. Squatters brought their dogs in and they snarled and barked, making their owners bark and snarl even louder than their pets in a vain attempt to make them stop. Jake barked louder than anyone, when he saw a dog about to defecate.

Then there was Peter. He was the father of the bar, a man in his mid fifties, with long yet stylish white hair and beard. He was very tall and looked as if he could have been a movie star in far distant days. He had travelled, was possibly an ex-sailor, and had been in Berlin longer than anyone could remember. He took a beer, then rested against a wall, observing proceedings. His only contribution was to raise his bottle to his lips and blow sharply, creating a shrill, resonating note, said note descending in pitch as he drank the beer.

Chris kept an eye on Daniel. He wasn’t looking quite so at home now.

Then the French arrived.

Johan had a group of friends who had either been in the army with him, or had come over to enjoy a cheaper, freer life.

They bounded in, Johan, Claude and several others, singing and shouting, Johan screaming out for vodka. Chris included Daniel in the communal drinking, despite his protests,

“I’ve got to fucking work, tomorrow. Fucking . . . OK, but last one.”

“Oh, you’ll be OK.” Chris winked at Jake.


By the time Richard arrived, desperately in need of alcohol, Daniel was swaying, smiling, singing, screaming. He was totally Czar-bared,

“Fuck you and your dry wall !”

“Eh, Jake, fucking hell, ‘ho is this man ?” asked Johan amused.

“Shit on a stick !” from Robert

“What’s wrong with continental breakfast ?” screamed out Peter, defying anyone to supply an answer.

Daniel, recalled back to life, laughed at Peter’s question and repeated it. Several times. It was at that point that Chris introduced him to Richard.

Picking up seamlessly on Chris’ lead, Richard insisted that the new friendship be cemented with a vodka. Daniel burst into song.

The whole bar, inspired by the French, took a vodka, Daniel almost drinking his shot before the communal toast and being restrained by Robert,

“Shit on your vodka!”

The madness continued. Daniel, in moments of lucidity, threatening to leave and get the last U-Bahn (long since gone) but he was now having longer periods of silence, head drooping, dropping, drooling, until he finally lay his head on the bar and slept.

Chris, who had been abstaining from the vodkas, had triumphed and he celebrated his victory by throwing crumpled cigarette boxes and old lemon peel at Daniel’s head, much to the amusement of Johan, bewilderment of Richard and apathy of everybody else.

After three-thirty, the bar began getting a little quieter, having been visited by a policemen who stood in the door and told them to keep the music down.

Another wonderful thing about Berlin. Here was a totally illegal bar in a squatted building and all the Police do is ask them to turn down the music. Having said that, a request from a German Policeman is pretty much an order, and was complied with. For a time..

Most of the French gone, the bar started to wind down. Richard was able to speak about his day, or rather his shift. He had worked with a new chef who was incredibly lazy, and some new bar staff who were incredibly boring. The novelty of being a Spüler had long worn off. But before Richard could complain further, Daniel woke up and staggered out of the door, no doubt determined to get the last U-Bahn.


Chris let out a celebratory cheer,

“Revenge !”

“Excuse me ?”

“Ah, never mind. Vodka ! Jake ? Vodka ?”

Jake stared uncomprehending. Wobbling around in the confined space behind the bar, he demanded of Chris,

“Do you have to ask ?”

The three drank and talked about the exit of Daniel.

“It’s amazing,” began Richard, “ people come in here, upright, homo erectus, sit at the bar, drink, drink again, and then, after the passage of time, they crawl out on all fours, to lie in a ball on the pavement, like single-cell pond life. It’s like watching evolution in reverse.”

His observation resulted in more vodka.

Richard left several hours later, making the mistake of going by S-Bahn. It involved a longer walk to the station, including a lengthy walk along the covered, elevated tunnel of Storkower Strasse, but was only a ten minute journey. The disadvantage was that if one slept, one was liable to find oneself in some distant suburb.

Richard woke up at Adlershof and took some time to adjust. He jumped off. Not only had he gone all the way to the northern terminus, he had come back on the same train and was now in south – east Berlin. The TV Tower, which should always be on his left, travelling home, was way off and to his right.

He knew that he didn’t have enough time to get home, get adequate sleep and return to work feeling anything close to well.

He worked yet another shift with a killer hangover.

However, it was more than Daniel Roth did. He didn’t make it into work. He had gotten on the first U-Bahn, but unfortunately the wrong one. He fell onto the train from Alexanderplatz, and was woken up by the guard at Hönow, in the east, the very distant east.

Chris, meanwhile, got his wages from Jake and merely had to fumble his way to the next door and up some stairs, where he fell into a deep and trouble free sleep.

(1) Vortex is the name of a household cleaning product in the UK

Love and Chaos Part 6(F) Monika 2

11th May 2021

Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, with the Wasserturm in the background. Photo by Martin O’Shea 2021

Part Six. Berlin. February 1995

Despite his naivety, when he woke up and saw that Chris’ bed was empty, Richard knew what had happened.

He felt uncomfortable, not to mention a little jealous. Once again, everyone else was hooking up, making connections, getting off. Everyone was making love, while he was merely making notes. Even New Year’s Eve, in clubs full of drunken girls, half on them on ‘E’, the kissing drug, he ended up crashing on Arizona Al’s floor. This wasn’t exactly the life he had envisioned for himself.

But there was little time for self pity as, shortly after he had washed and made his first coffee, there was a knock at the door, a knock that indicated it was Monika.

He let her in, and she was so apologetic, asking him to forgive her, and it wasn’t fair that he should have to suffer. She came for business, armed with fresh croissants and a pile of newspapers.

“We look through these until we find Chris a job, OK ? He is in the bath ?”

“No, he is, er . . . out. But he should be back soon. Would you like coffee ?”

They sat in the kitchen and that, reflecting back, was the mistake that lead to Armageddon.

Had they sat in the main room, Chris would have seen them and spoken accordingly. Instead, he saw an empty room, but heard movement in the kitchen.

“Ah, what a night. Unbelievable. So refreshing to have some good old, down and dirty sex. Hot AND heavy. And not have to beg for it, either.”

Richard physically felt his heart stop.

The time between Chris saying those fatal words and realising that Monika was there, hardly more than two or three seconds, seemed endless.

Chris stood in the doorway, attracted by the smell of fresh coffee and croissants but the sight of Monika was so unexpected that he stood there, frozen, petrified.

Richard swept past him, grabbed a book, some money and his coat, and was out of the house and down the stairs before Chris could fully comprehend the extent of the situation.

That the relationship was over was a given. Just how much suffering she was going to inflict was the only variable.

Richard went to The Anker, but the cute waitress wasn’t working, so after a quick coffee, he moved on, further along Stargarder Strasse, past the Imbiss with the deep fried cauliflower, to another bar with a cute waitress who was working, but didn’t appear to recognize him at all. But, by now, Richard saw this as standard procedure.

He read some, looked around, checked his watch and came to the conclusion that he would have to stay out of the house all day. He could hardly phone and ask if it were safe to come home. Then what would Monika think of him ? How awkward would it be when they met again which, Berlin being more like a large town than a big city, they were bound to do.

He walked around for a bit, then decided to see a movie but even the earliest was hours away.

He tried calling on Arizona Al, but no answer and Berlin in February is not usually ideal for strolling aimlessly around. In the end he decided to get an U-Bahn to Alex, then take a long S-Bahn journey. It would keep him warm and kill time.

And that is how he spent his Sunday. It was a stroll in the park compared to Chris’ and Monika’s.

Monika’s first reaction was sheer shock. She sat, not believing what she had heard, softly repeating it. When she stood up, it was with defiance and she stood in front of Chris, just looking at him. Then, spontaneously, she hit him, with all her force, a punch to his chest. It appeared to surprise both of them. Then she hit him again, and was about to punch him a third time, when he caught her hand. She made a scream and he let go and they backed away, Monika cursing in German. She picked up her things and left.

Chris let out a sigh of relief. It could have gone much worse.

Then Monika returned, banging on the door and he had to let her in.

The fight was now really about to start.

She fired questions at him, shouting, spitting in his face with anger and frustration. She brought up all she had done for him, all he hadn’t done for her and kept asking, over and over, to describe in detail his night, what ‘down and dirty sex’ was, how to do it, and wanted to know about each and every time they had made love, how it had been, what was it she had been doing wrong.

She was relentless and Chris, with an almighty hangover was in no condition to argue. He also couldn’t help smiling, partly from still being drunk, partly from fear which, naturally, didn’t help the situation.

He tried to calm her by suggesting some tea, but she picked up a cup and threw it, and it caught Chris on the cheek.

That act subdued her and brought the initial hysteria to a close.

Chris made drinks in silence, not feeling like smiling so much, now. Monika paced up and down.

She then demanded to know all about the girl and Chris found himself making up a story, how he had seen her a few times and she was a nurse, who lived with her parents, rather than the truth, that he had only met her the night before, as he had simulated oral sex with Arizona Al on stage at a club called The Monkey’s Arse.

After came the subject of their sex life, and what did he mean by having to ‘beg’ for it ?

Then a list of all the sacrifices she had made, up to and including that very morning, as she was prepared to give up her free day to help him find a new job.

Just when Chris though she had calmed down, the anger and hatred returned and he instinctively covered his face, making her laugh.

“What a man, what a fucking little man you are. How could I waste such time on a fucking Smurf like you. Arschloch !”

Monika began looking around the room, collecting things of hers, cursing all the time and throwing things around.

“Ja, you just sit there like a fucking mouse.”

She went into the bathroom and Chris was glad of the momentary peace, even thinking about leaving the flat, and cursing the fact that he was too high up to jump out of this kitchen window, an action that had precipitated the whole scene.

It would be nearly an hour before she left, more tears and accusations, shouting and punching. Chris wondered where the hell Richard was.

“Well, you Arschloch, I’m going, why don’t you go to your filthy squat bar and pick up another fucking, dirty whore-cunt ?”

Several hours later, in a filthy Czar Bar, Chris looked around, but there were no women, dirty or otherwise.

“Hey, Man, thanks for coming with me,” he said to Richard as they sat on the end stools, further from the door, in front of the annex with the store room and toilet.

“No problem. Could use a drink.”

“Mustn’t overdo it, though. One, still got a hangover from last night. Two, shell shock from the Monika. It’s like having the bends. Three, work tomorrow.”

“Work ?”

“Yeah. Gotta find me a job and that is gonna be work.”

Seeing Chris’ sense of humour return, Richard ventured a joke of his own,

“Still, on the plus side, you won’t have to buy her a Valentine’s card.”

Chris was unfortunately drinking at the time and, laughing, beer began pouring out of his nose. Jake the barman was suitably impressed and, over a round of vodkas, got to hear the story.

“Ever noticed the initials of Valentine’s Day are V.D. ? Either of you expecting any ?”

“Cards or the clap ?” asked Richard.

“No, just death threats,” answered Chris.

“Stick around here. Sunday’s normally quiet but if it gets busy, I could use a hand. Hey, we’ll see how it works out, OK ?”

Chris agreed, but shared Richard’s scepticism, as it was after Midnight and there were only two other people in there apart from them, neither of whom looked as if they were going to be running Jake off his feet.

Then the door opened, and a man known to them only by sight came in, drenched from the rain that been falling with increasing ferocity all evening.

He stood there, hair soaked, dripping, rain falling off his jacket, jeans, gloves, nose.

“Hey, Mr Jake,” he called out in a heavy French accent, “Vodka. Hey, you two, too. Hey, Salut, come on, have a vodka with me. Women, fucking hell, Man. Have I got a story to tell . . . “

Love and Chaos Part 6(C) Richard 1

8th May 2021

Berliner Dom (Cathedral). Photo by Martin O’Shea 2021

Part Six. Berlin. February 1995

Richard was in the bathroom, trying to get his hair to do something presentable, when he heard someone shouting, in English, from the Hof,

“RECALLED TO LIFE ! RECALLED TO LIFE !”

Having just finished ‘The Tale Of Two Cities’, he instantly recognised the quote, and the speaker could only be Chris.

Sure enough, within seconds, there was the sound of key in lock, the door opening and Chris bounding in, repeating his phrase, with a wide smile.

“Hey, I’m coming, too ! Couldn’t miss Al’s gig.”

They embraced and whooped it up.

“What about work ?” asked Richard, having gone with Monika as she had driven Chris to work in Yorckstrasse, some hours previously.

“I raged against the washing-up machine. I threw down my tea towel, pointed at the head chef and said, ‘Fuck you ! I won’t do what you tell me !’”

“No !”

“Well . . . OK, not exactly. I jumped out the window and legged it.”

“You’re gonna hafta fill me in here, Dude, c’mon, full story.”

“So I’m at work, and it’s Saturday and you’re going out tonight with my girlfriend, not sure how I feel about that, but by the by, everyone’s going to have fun . . . “

“No, we’re going to see Al. Have you heard Al ?”

“A minor point, I’m working and I get sent to get something, I don’t even know what it is, some long piece of meat, about two metres long, who the fuck knows where it comes from, real ‘Naked Lunch’ food. Anyway, I forget what it is I’m going for and I have to ask somebody . . . “

“I hate having to ask somebody.”

“. . . and I completely forget the fucking chef’s name. I know it’s something like Randy, Roderick, Reginald, but they’re not sounding too German, so I’m in the fridge, suddenly it comes to me. I run out, stand in the middle of the kitchen and shout out,
‘RUDOLPH!’ like, you know, as in reindeer. Everyone looks at me, then goes back to work.”

“Guessing his name wasn’t Rudolph, then.”

“Guessing you could be right. Randolf.”

“Ah, much more German.”

“I just thought, fuck this ! I’m standing in the middle of a greasy, pasta-stinking kitchen calling out for a red-nosed, possibly fictional, animal. And not even drunk. The sink is right by the window, looks out onto the street.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Future reference. You ever start a kitchen, don’t ever give the Spüler clean sight of escape.”

“Well, you just did your duty.”

“Absolutely. I mean, fucking hell, washing-up for a living, screw me.”

“Yes. Pretty rough, isn’t it. Monika should be here soon.”

Soon enough, the knock on the door. Richard opened it and he hugged Monika. She asked him,

“Ah, question, shall we go straight there, or would you like we go to another bar first ? Get a bit drunk ?”

At that point, Monika stopped. She had just seen Chris come out from the living room. He stood by the door, smiling,

“Liebling ! (Darling)”

“And . . . what is ?”

“I left the job. I’ll get another.”

“And, when ? You have something ?”

“I will.”

Monika walked into the room and into the kitchen, Chris expected to follow.

“Er, it’s OK, I’m just gonna put some blue shit on my face,” said Richard, trying to be tactful, and referring to a face pack he’d picked up at Zoo Station. Chris had no idea what he was talking about, but did know that he was in for a rather unpleasant meeting.

The bathroom wall backed onto the kitchen, so the voices were quite clear, especially the female one, which sounded somewhat angry. Richard turned on the taps and began humming to himself.

After a series of very animated, though muffled screams, Richard heard heavy footsteps, followed by the front door slamming shut.

He came out of the bathroom, with the face pack on. Chris just gave him a look, an intake of breath and shake of the head. Then he looked at Richard more intensely,

“You’ve got blue shit all over your face.”

“Yeah.”

“You going like that ?”

“Naw, thought I’d wash it off, first.”

“Cool. Ummm . . . don’t think Monika will be joining us, tonight.”

Love and Chaos Part 6(A) Chris 1

6th May 2021

Photo by Martin O’Shea 2021

Part Six

Berlin. January 1995

Richard knocked the worst of the snow from his boots and entered the bar immediately seeing, and hearing, Chris and Arizona Al at a far table.

He ordered a coffee as he walked over to them, and began the process of taking off the layers of clothing.

It was only mid afternoon, but all lights were on. The day, seen through the large glass panes, was gray and bitter, people walked along quickly, heads down and wrapped up against the cold.

“Look what I got,” he said, opening his bag and taking out three second hand paperbacks. He put them on the table, Chris taking them straight up,

“Let’s see . . . ‘Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man’, hhmmm, ‘The Trial’, Kafka, and, ah, Dickens, ‘Tale of Two Cities’. Which one you gonna read first ?”

“Think I’ll have a bash at Kafka. You’re always talking about him. You read this one ?”

“Long time ago. Al ?”

“Err, what’s that ? Kafka ? No, who’s he ?”

Richard explained about the Czech writer, as best he could, only knowing what he had read in the introduction on the U-Bahn ride.

“Oh, yeah, cool, could give that a go, yeah, something different. Been meaning to ask you guys about books. Like to maybe borrow some, if that’s no biggie ?”

“Here,” said Richard, offering the Memoirs. “Thought it was something German, name like Siegfried Sassoon, but turns out he’s as English as can be.”

“Yeah, the fox hunting bit may have been a clue, what ?” said Chris with a wink at Al, before asking him, “You read Generation X ?”

“Err, no, no, don’t think so.”

Richard had brought it from London, and they had read and reread it many times between them. Chris was all for going home and getting it immediately, but Al told him that later would be OK.


“It legitimizes our whole existence,” continued Richard, “for example, I’m no longer a hopeless loser, I’m a McJober. We,” indicating Chris and himself, “are occupational slummers. You, Al, are retro, neo, rock star, throwback . . . something.”

“Actually,” corrected Chris, “I’m taking an occupational sabbatical.”

“Yeah, how’s the job hunt going ?” asked Arizona, trying to get the conversation back to something he could understand.

Richard laughed to himself, having heard all of Chris’ descriptions of sordid, Dickensian working conditions.

“I’ve got an interview, meeting thing tomorrow at some pasta restaurant in Yorckstrasse, so at least I’ll get some decent grub. But, fucking hell, some of the places. I went to one, out past Dahlem, and there was no sink in the kitchen. They were showing me how to take the plates and shit out to a big barrel in the yard, and wash them with a hose. Then I went to a brewery bar on the Ku’ Damm. Took one fucking look and thought fuck that. Enormous kitchen and about ten chefs, all screaming at each other and at the Spülers, who just stood there, heads down, as frying pans were flying around, fat was flying, food was flying, bottles . . . lucky not to be decapitated. Lucky not to be employed there.”

Richard enjoyed the embellishments Chris had made since he first heard that anecdote, when it had featured a mere four chefs. He then spoke up, as much to clear his name as anything.

“Of course, I offered to let him go back to Biberkopf . . . “

“Yes, but then what ? I have a much better chance of finding something than you. Besides . . . Monika’s not happy with me being just a . . . “

Arizona waited for the completion of the sentence, but was forced to ask,

“You and Monika not so tight ? I thought you were solid.”

Chris let out a whistle,

“No, sir, not by a long chalk. Trouble at mill.”

He knew that Arizona would have no idea what he was talking about, so he clarified.

“I don’t know, Al. You should know, you’re been around women. What should I do ? First, every thing’s fine, great, she’s the love of my life, next thing, she’s a bloody Tasmanian Devil, a force of destruction. Hurricane Monika. Not a house left standing.”

“Hey, man, can I ask you something ?” then without waiting for permission, Arizona continued, “what was the deal with that Melanie chick ?”

Richard sat up, hoping that at last, he may know the full story.

Chris did in fact look at him as he began, but now didn’t care and was happy to get it all out in the open.

“I don’t know. As you can see, when it comes to women, I’m at a bit of a loss.”

“She was into you like gangbusters, Dude. When you kissed Monika, her face was just pure evil. Queen of death.”

“Yeah ! That’s her. ‘Queen of Death’”

“All that black doesn’t help,” added Richard.

“She some kind of Antichrist or something ?” asked Arizona.

“Atheist,” said Richard, presuming Al has used the wrong word. “We had a discussion about her beliefs one morning. She told me there was no God. But atheists are like joggers; you never see a happy one.”

“And you couldn’t argue with her. She’s always right.” said Chris.

“Especially when she’s wrong,” concluded Richard. Arizona was more interesting in the background than the word games.

“But did you ever like, date or fool around ?”

“Yeah, you ever take her out to second base ?” asked Richard.

“Get to second base, asshole. If you’re gonna go Yankee on my arse, at least get it right !”

Arizona tried to get the answer. Chris refocused.

“No, no, well, yeah, OK, kinda kissed and shit, but I wasn’t really into it. Breaks down like this; I was working in a café, bussing tables ‘n’ shit. OK, I was pouring coffee and working the till, whatever, and Melanie also worked there.”

“And Will was a regular customer ?” interrupted Richard.

“I’ll get to that bloody old nuisance in a moment.” Chris shook his head and took a strong hit of caffeine. “So, we’re both students, Mel and me, but never meet on campus, because I’m doing heavy macho stuff and she’s into waste of time, book reading or flower arranging, I dunno, chick subjects. But, you know, there ain’t much a-happ’ning on the home front, and we get on, and one night we go to the movies. Then, afterwards, as we’re saying ‘goodbye’ she comes up to me and gives me a massive hug, really hung in there, got her moneys worth. That should have been a sign.”

“Oh, I get it. A clingy-thingy.” Said Arizona.

“I hear you, Man.”

“But you were never together ?” clarified Richard.

“No, course not. So we kissed a bit, well, you know, vodka will do that to ya. But then I pulled down the portcullis. Told her I wasn’t into anything physical. Childhood trauma and all. I expected her to run like the clappers, but, oh no, she has to add her own Freudian fuckups. Unable to . . . you know.”

Arizona nodded, slowly, sagely. He knew.

“But she was coming on like you were soul mates an’ all,” Richard explained, “such talk, like you have the best hands in history. Let me see. Hold up those Germans.”

Chris wasn’t exactly sure of that Cockney slang, but held out his hands for inspection.

Richard made a dismissive snort,

“They’re nothing to write home about. Now, Will; what’s his problem.”

“Where do I start ? He’s just some old fart who’d come in, buy one coffee and stay all day. Couldn’t shift the fucker. The sort that works out how much he’s saving on electricity. Sniffing around young students.”

“Male or female ?”

“I don’t think he was even bothered. In fact . . . Yes, sonofabitch, he came on to me. Few times. Cheeky bugger. Thought he was just being . . . ”

“HEY !” exclaimed Arizona, who had been looking at some flyers on the table, “whatdoyaknow ? ‘The Wiggling Kellys’.”

There were a few seconds of silence, as Chris’s story had been prematurely curtailed, and they would have to adjust to the verbal jet-lag, as a new, wholly unrelated tale was going to unfold.

“Ha, those girls. They were my backing band.”

Neither Chris nor Richard were willing to delay the story, so they indicated with their eyes that he should continue, without pause, with Richard holding up his coffee cup, and three fingers, to the waitress, whom he naturally found cute. He had already checked her left hand and noticed the absence of a ring.

“Yeah, they were backing me at the ‘So Was ?’ (So what ?) club in Kreuzberg. Ya been there ? It’s got this long kinda walkway catwalk stage, so it’s great for rocking out on. I’d met these two girls some time before and they’re real hot, groupie types, and they’re asking about venues and how to go about getting a band together, and I’m all, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, just trying to decide which one I wanna connect with, ya dig ? So I told them about this gig and they were asking do I need backing singers, and I’m thinking, well, no, but, hang on here, what better way to turn ’em on, play the rock star card, so I say, well, I don’t know, maybe, let’s see what ya got.”

Laughter and claps of approval.

“Yeah, I’m one one cool motherfucker when it calls for it, I know, so they do a number, in the bar, and, what can I say ? OK, can hold a tune, just, but they start dancing to it.”

“Wiggling ?” asked Richard, with excitement.

“Oh, yeah, they had the moves, you know what I’m saying ? So I thought, hang back, if they sing, they’ll fuck up the songs, but if they dance …”

“Fucking genius ! I’ve got a lot to learn from you,” Chris gushed.

“Sure ’nuff, Grasshopper. So comes the gig, I’m playing, and doing my stuff, I just had guitar and drum machine, and I start to walk up the stage. The girls see this, and next time, they walk with me, one each side, dancing away. So it goes. Every time I move up the stage, they come with me, and the audience are going crazy. I thought it’ld be a tough crowd, lot of biker leather in there. So I play another, and another, each time, loud screams. Then I go over to change a rhythm track and strum a few chords, but the audience are still going wild, even more so, then I look up and see the girls still dancing. Then the fucking PA motherfucka cuts my amp line and starts playing Techno shit, and the girls keep dancing, the audience going even crazier.”

“So . . . what did you do ?” Richard was forced to inquire.

“Just packed up my equipment, took a beer and watched the show. Gave them the name, too. From ‘90210’. You guys get that in England ?”

They both denied knowledge of it. Arizona continued,

“Yeah, I had a lot of afternoons at home in the early Nineties. So there’s this character called Kelly, and in the opening credits, she wiggles off. Man, you gotta see it. OK, gotta split. Oh, shit, Man, nearly forgot. Got a few gigs coming up.”

“Cool !” from Richard

“Rock on !” from Chris.

“Yeah, you’ll be there, right ? ‘Cause ain’t nothing worse than playing to an empty hall.”

“Of course. Even take the night off, if I have to. Chris ?”

“Absolutely. I’m so there. One question . . . “

“No, The Wiggling Kellys will not be there. Got their own gigs. Playing the, hey, check it out, they’ve got another gig at the ‘So Was ?’. Hah. Never asked me back. OK, out of here. Tschüs.”

After he left, Richard turned to Chris,

“I’m glad we know him. Oh, shit, he’s coming back.”

Arizona returned, holding out a cassette.

“You guys still play tapes, right ? Here’s a copy of some of my old stuff. Yeah, you may be into it. Give it a listen.”

He left again. Chris put the tape in his bag and Richard checked his watch.

“OK, gotta split soon, myself. You back at the flat tonight ?”

“Yeah, gotta stay sober for the interview, meeting thing.”

“Why you sweating it ? You’re a sure thing because, one, they really need a Spüler, and, two, they really need a Spüler. Another coffee ? Then I’ll have to go.”

Left alone, Chris read a bit of Dickens, starting in on the introduction, but couldn’t really concentrate. It was only an unskilled job, paying a basic wage, but money went a long way. A full week’s work would cover his rent and travel for the month, and there would be free food, as well.

But the job meant so much more. He still hadn’t told Monika about the studio closing and was terrified of her running into Al and him telling her. He had to get something, or he would certainly get something from his girlfriend who would instantly become his ex-girlfriend.

Taking Care of Business: Act Three

25th April 2021

Nicholas Young (Elvis) & Martin O’Shea (the Colonel). Original Berlin cast

ACT THREE

     Elvis appears. He goes over to the TV’s and repeats his movements from Act One, but without any enthusiasm. Finally, he goes to a chair and slumps down. On a table he sees an old pizza box, with some left-overs. He picks one piece and eats, but mechanically, his jaws moving in a uniform rhythm, also without enthusiasm or pleasure. There is more debris in the room and rubbish on the floor. After his food, Elvis just sits staring vacantly into space.

     Enter Colonel, slowly, with a sideways glance, a look of pity and confusion rather than disgust.    

Col: Well, I’m still here. I was re-instated in my post. For the sake of peace and quiet, I apologised and promised not to do it again, a promise I have every intention of keeping, I might add … my back was aching for days afterwards. I left my girlfriend or at least tried to … she wanted to break up with me. Something about me not being so much fun anymore, no sense of adventure. Work’s the same. I no longer bother to speak about what’s going on in my life … I merely listen to others drone on. I’ve developed a whole series of gestures and non-committal phrases like these …

(demonstrates various movements of head and body to match his words)

You don’t say; no, really ? Well, whatdoyaknow ? How do YOU feel about that ? What do YOU want to happen …Thanks for coming, hope to see you again, real soon … When I come home … it’s this. The work has dried up and so has he. No-one seems to want an Elvis, anymore. I felt in some way responsible for his depression. I tried to cheer him up by doing things like this …

(to Elvis)

Hey, Elvis, I put some flyers around town and some adds in papers, how about leaving Graceland for a while and going back on the road ? You know your public needs you.

(addresses audience)

we got a little response … we were put on a short list for a walk-on part in a TV add … Elvis likes TV, but they chose to go with a George Michael look- a-like in the end.

Elv: Won’t they get a surprise when they go to the can !

Col: Right ! Who needs it ? Walk-on parts ! Opening shops selling any old tack.

Elv: You know, I think you’re right there, boy. I shouldn’t be limiting myself to small commerce. I have a higher calling. Doggone right, you know, I’ve got it, I know what I have to do … call the Limo, Colonel, we’re off to … the Reichtstag ! (1)

Col: Say what ?

Elv: Yeah, I’m gonna offer my services to the state, hell knows they could use them. What do those politicians know about real life ? C’mon let’s go see ol’ man … er, who’s the big boss man, these days ? Is that big mother still there ? (2)

Col: No, there’s a new kid on the block. And that kid’s a woman.

Elv: Hilary ? Man, she’s cute. Love that hair-band thing.

Col: No, not Hilary. Not cute, either.

Elv: But a woman ?

Col: More or less. Give or take, though you’d probably want to take more than give. Name’s Merkel.

Elv: “Urkel” ? Oh, well, I be damned if I’ll go then. Wait till they get a President worth clambaking … can’t have a man like me wasting photo-ops with a two-bit cow-faced in-bred hillbilly.

Col: (To audience) Then I had an idea and bear in mind that I’m getting increasingly desperate. This is something I tried a few weeks back.

(To Elvis)

Hey, Elvis, Paul McCartney’s outside, he wants so much to meet you. Can you find the time to give him an audience ?

(A mere nod from Elvis. Colonel goes off stage and returns presently, dressed as a Beatle, dark suit and Beatle wig. Throughout, he speaks with an exaggerated Liverpool accent.)

Col: All right there, Mister Presley, honour to meet ya, like, it really is, fab, gear and groovy. Me and the lads got all your records, we really love you, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, like every time we write a song, we think, “how would it sound if Elvis sang it ?”

Elv: Better.

Col: Hey, you could be right there, Cock.

Elv: Bet your arse I’m right.

Col: So, which one of us is your favorite … everyone has a favorite Beatle ? Is it me ?

Elv: None of you.

Col: Oh, ‘ey, ain’t you a one, hey, a right Bobby Dazzler. Is it me ? It’s normally me. All the girls like me.

Elv: Boy, you sure as hell look like a girl. Whoa … I like the drummer … Bongo. He’s all right. ‘Course, he’s not the best drummer in the world.

Col: “In the world” ? He’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles. Ta-da ! An oldie but goldie. But can I ask you, where does your talent come from. People ask me all the time to …

Elv: Stop talking ?

Col: Oh, you do like a laugh, oh, ‘ey, fab, like, gear, WWHHHHOOOOOHHHHHHHHH

Elv : No, boy, I mean … stop talking ! You can get a signed photo on your way out. It’s my time to commune with the higher power now. An’ if you wanna know where my gift comes from, well, I suggest you get your skinny, white arse down to the local Baptist church. Randy Scouse git !

Col:

(To audience, as he removes his Beatle garb)

I gave it my best shot, what do you expect ? It got to the point where I was past caring, I thought I’d just let him rot, what’s it to me ? If he couldn’t pay his rent, I’d sling his fat arse out of the joint. ‘Course, I might need some help, someone with a JCB, maybe, but then … something happened. I was at work, drying glasses, when this guy comes in. He orders a beer and we strike up a conversation, you know, I’m thinking about the tips, well, this guy, he’s talking about his house and he’s got some light switch, which, I dunno, either it worked, or only sometimes, doesn’t matter … this guy’s talking to me … about light switches ! I don’t know the guy and he’s not drunk, he just goes on and on and on, he presses the switch one way, on comes the light, then when he tries it the opposite way, the light stays on, that kinda thing … and I’m LISTENING TO HIM ! I’m trying to follow him, see where he’s going with this … then it struck me … OK, the Ku’Damm (3) is hardly the road to Damascus, but this night, could I honestly say that my flatmate was any crazier than this guy, Mr Off-Switch ? Or any of the others in that sad and sorry place ? The guy playing video games all day long ? The girl who puts all her hope in computer-dating ? Anyone who’s ever gone to a Karaoke bar ? Maybe he had the answer … he felt that his life simply wasn’t good enough so he did something about it … little extreme for some tastes, I grant you, but … he did something. He was happy … was … so who was I to judge ? He made people laugh and, for a time, forget their own lives, their own problems. You know, I think people envied him. Really. He had the balls to be what they wanted to be. HE’S NOT ELVIS … he knows that. Did I have any better solutions, any answers, any … thing ? The next day, a letter arrived which gave me an idea. It was actually a bill for 46 Euro that’s 45 for the pizza and 1 for the stamp. I phoned and put a little proposition to them. They could have Elvis eat there every night for a week. I got him a booking …                   

Elv: What’s that you say, boy ?

Col: Elvis, you listen and listen good. 

(Speaks in a heavy, Southern accent)

I’m an old army man and I’m used to discipline. Now I’ve been good to you, almost too good, lettin’ you enjoy the fruits of your labour, an’ all. But heavens to Murgatroyd, they want you ! Your public’s crying out … they’ll be banging on the doors… Elvis, you’ve got to throw a little bone once in a while. I’ve got you booked into a week’s residency and by golly, you’re gonna do it.

Elv: A gig ?

Col: You betcha a gig.

Elv: Enough to keep us here, safe in Graceland ?

Col: More pizza than even you can imagine … but ya gotta get back into shape, son, back into motion.

Elv: Yeah, I have to … warm up a bit, that’s all. Why I can hear the crowd now … faint but expectant … murmuring. I can feel the excitement mounting … the lights, the make-up people running around, the choir doing their scales, musicians tuning. I gather my children around me for a little prayer, the audience getting louder and louder, sweat beginning to pour. I’m calm, gotta keep my people under control, but my heart’s pounding. I owe so much. People living their humble, God-fearing lives, have this one night to get a taste of, a glimpse of … something … higher. They need me … they need me to show them the way, to give them hope, belief, happiness … they need my love … they deserve … my love.

(Colonel slowly exits during Elvis’ speech. As Elvis reaches the end, ‘If I Can Dream’ comes on so that he can go immediately into his routine. He mimes along to the entire song. There should be no parody in the performance. Elvis can give out towels or flowers to women and as the music ends, the play finishes and lights go down.)

Notes

(1) Reichtstag – the German Parliament building.

(2) A reference to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl

(3) Ku’Damm the main shopping road in west Berlin

Takin’ Care of Business: Act One

A comedy in three acts written & directed by Paul Pacifico

23rd April 2021

May be an image of 1 person

First performed in Berlin early 2000s with Nicholas Young as ‘Elvis’, Martin O’Shea as ‘Colonel’ and Chad as ‘Pizza Boy’. Later revived with Jason Daly as ‘Colonel’ and Philipp Pressmann as ‘Pizza Boy.’

Feel free to use this play as you see fit. If a small profit is generated, I would appreciate a donation to a cancer charity.

This version is set in Berlin. See notes at the end of the play for any references to specific locations or vocabulary.

Legal notice: should you wish to perform the play, you should check for copyright issues or music publishing rights. Original music may be used instead.

And now … lights down … Richard Strauss ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra.’

Takin’ Care of Business

Cast :    Elvis

     The Colonel

          Pizza Boy

Berlin : The Present.

ACT ONE

One room which is a microcosm of Graceland. In one corner hang multicoloured drapes. A table with some plants. The other corner contains three TV sets. Two comfy chairs.

Darkness. Intro of Strauss ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra.’

Two corner lights (red and blue) switch on.

Elvis enters after a minute or so. Lights up.

Elvis switches on first one, then the other TV’s. He looks at them, moving his head from side to side at regular intervals. He is dressed in 70’s costume and periodically alters his garb, without shame or any self-consciousness. He moves around the room. Suddenly he leaps into posture, performing a few karate kicks and muttering to himself, “Master tiger”. Then he does some ‘moves’ or set pieces. He gives a little chuckle to himself and mumbles something. He moves to the TV’s and changes the stations, eventually ending up with the same programmes as beginning, but on different sets. He watches intensely, moving head from side to side. He then moves around the room, performing two set pieces, one facing left, other to the right.

Elv: Well, that’s my work out finished. As the man said, if ya can’t fix it, don’t chyou go a-breakin’ it. Hahaha … Makes a guy hungry … Colonel…  (shouts) COLONEL ! Oh, Col-on…

Col: WHAT !

(He appears from side. He obviously isn’t Colonel Tom Parker but a young man dressed in normal street wear.)

Elv: Hey ! What were you doing upstairs ? You know NO-ONE is allowed upstairs !

Col: Certainly not the cleaning lady. And as for the bathroom …

Elv: Hey! What happens in the bathroom, stays in the bathroom.

Col: Yeah, just make sure it does. Would it kill you to open a window ?

Elv: (with exaggerated pathos)

You know I have a weak constitution. My lil’ ol’ body can’t take those winds rushing up from the Delta.

Col: Yeah, rolling in from the badlands of Kreutzberg. (1)

Elv : Why, you’d tease the bobtail off a muskrat. I know ya don’t mean a cotton pickin’ word. C’mere…give me a southern-fried hug …you know you want to.

(Elvis goes to grab Colonel, who leaps out of the way, almost into the audience. Elvis freezes, mid pose. Colonel now addresses the theatre.)

Col: It’s not easy. I mean, isn’t life hard enough without having a flatmate like this ? I blame myself … it was that party … the theme was ‘great singers of the past who are now past it.’ I chose Dean Martin, which … “Elvis,” here, thought was extremely funny, as he’d been to school with two brothers who were called Dean and Martin. Anyway, I chose ol’ red eyes then suggested that what with his physical dimensions, he’d be a dead – ringer for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. That was the day my music died. Mind you, the signs were all there. He once went through a Beethoven phase. He spent a week frowning at everyone, demanding that we all speak up. Of course, with Beethoven he only attracted geeky nerds. You know the sort … they understand computers. Believe Fox News is “fair and balanced”. Pockets full of crap: screwdrivers, batteries, long forgotten toffees … not a girlfriend between them … literally. Anyway, sorry for this digression but if you remember rightly, I was about to be slobbered over by that inflated blimp behind me. Consequently, I’ve no real desire to resume this play, but, the smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the audience, the show must go on, yagga-yagga. Besides, I’ve learnt how to cope with all … nearly all … situations … Watch this…

(Colonel returns to his former position, ie, about to be hugged)

Col: SALAD !

(As predicted, this repulses Elvis.)

Elv: Lord have mercy, Colonel, give a guy a heart-attack. Ah, heck, ya can’t fool me. I know you’re a grizzled ol’ whiskey soaked man’s man, but, deep down, you’ve a huge capacity for love. I respect that. I know where you’re comin’ from and so if sometimes I don’t say it, well, doggone it, I love you, you ol’ moonshine shadow, you, (sings) “I don’t have a wooden heart.”

Col: No, just a wooden head.

(Goes to phone)

Elv : Say what, boy ?

Col: I said I’ll get onto the pizza hot line. What would you like on yours ?

Elv: Cheeseburger, of course. Hahaha, no, I’m only having my little laugh, no, gimme the Hawaiian Five – O.

Col: That’s pineapple and five types of meat ?

Elv: Yeah….and five of them. Gotta keep in shape.

Col: Oy, Elv, the guy here says if you order the Hawaiian Five -O-One, you get a free pair of jeans. Guess that’s some kinda baker humour.

Elv: I haven’t worn jeans since my ’69 special.

     (awkward silence)

Hell, you know I don’t wear jeans … too restricting for my fan base.

(He can think of nothing else to say, after floundering around for a short while. Suddenly he strikes some poses and exaggerates his pelvic thrusts, which should be a balance of vulgarity and humour)

Col: Everyone’s a comedian, hey ? Oh, the guy said don’t try and fob the Gästarbeiter (2) delivery boy off with one of your tin foil medallions. They want cold, hard cash.

Elv: Cold and hard … just like their pizzas … HAHAHAHA … whee-whee, boy, you didn’t see that one coming, did you ?

Col: (With heavy sarcasm) No, gee that was a good one. Way to go, dude.

Elv: Spoken like a good ole boy !

Col: I was speaking to Jimmy the other day. You know Jimmy ? He’s a real American.

Elv: He’s not American ! He’s from San Diego. I don’t wanna hear … I’m worn out … you’re driving me too hard … what do I hire you for anyway ? You should be making all the day to day decisions … what pizza do I want ? How do I know ? That’s your job … I’ve got so many other things to think about, shows to prepare, a public constantly demanding more, wanting to know every rinky-dink detail … I tell you, they won’t be happy until I’m dead. No, don’t apologise, my head is too full up … I must prepare myself for pizza. I’ll be over here … in the Jungle Room.

Col: Well, that’s him quiet for a few minutes. Let me take advantage of this little respite to hip you in to some other info. As I was saying, it all started at that party. He blew everyone away. He was great. Dancing, singing, even the Southern accent kept up. He was fun and you know why ? Because people wanted him to be fun. He fed on their expectations and their spirit. And he got lucky. Yeah. Women who wouldn’t even look at him before, were fighting over each other for his attentions. He learnt the meaning of the English expression ‘knackered’ that night and no mistake. The fact that a girl I had my eye on went over to the far side and got herself “a hunk, a hunk of burning love,” didn’t exactly endear me to this sequinned monster I’d created. But I got over it. He didn’t. He’d found something he’d never had before. He was popular, people loved him. I don’t know where all the moves came from. Very disturbing. I’d advise you not to try any of them at home, certainly not in public. Illegal in seventeen states kinda moves. I thought it was just a phase. Unfortunately not. Quite the opposite … he’s now the head member of the Berlin branch of the Elvis impersonators. They’ve got their own website. He opens supermarkets, gets booked for parties and signs CD’s at markets and Messes (3). He signs … ‘Elvis Presley.’ It seems that people need Elvis, even if it patently isn’t Elvis. He pretends he is and they let him. They want him to be Elvis. The sonofagun makes more money than I do. He can pay for the pizzas … he’ll sure as hell’ll eat them.

Elv: (Makes sniffing noises) Pizza’s here.

(A knock on the door)

Col: Amazing. I suppose you want me to get that ? Sure you don’t want to meet your public ?

Elv: No, even the King must have one night off. Oh, to be King, but where is my queen ?

Col: Well, if you’re a good boy and eat up all your pizza, I’ll put on my Little Richard costume.

Elv: I told you never mention that man’s … er … make that woman’s name around here. He … er, she says she invented Rock ‘n’ Roll. Upstart, Johnny come lately, and don’t start me on Jerry Lewis.

Col: Guess you mean Jerry Lee Lewis.

Elv: I know what I mean, now get the door … pizza waits for no man, and this man don’t wait for pizza.

(Door is opened. There stands the Pizza Boy, loaded with boxes)

Pz : That’s 45 Euro and no tin foil. I’ve heard about you two.

Col: Me ? What have I done ?

Elv: Problem, Colonel ?

Pz : Colonel ? Bloody hell !

Col: No, it’s him, I’m not … what the hell am I speaking to you for ? You just deliver pizza, and not even quickly. If you think you’re getting a tip, you can whistle Dixie … you’d only spend it on comic books and bubble gum.                                       

Elv: Whoa, there, Tiger, that’s no way to speak to guests in our fair country.

(Goes to door to speak to Pizza Boy, looking more at the boxes, than the boy)

Helloo, Chief … and … how … do …YOU … like our … country ?

Pz : Well, it’s OK, I guess. Get to meet all sorts of interesting people. See what they get up to. Makes me think my life ain’t so bad after all. So you taking these pizzas or what Mr Presley ? Or may I call you Elvis ?

Col: Ut-oh, that’s done it.

Elv: Why son of my heart, c’mere lemme give you a…

Pz : I don’t want one of those tin foil medalli …

Elv: …kiss

(Gives enormous smacker on the mouth)

Pz : Aaarrgghhhh … fuck this for a job ….. think I’ll join the army.

Elv: And now’s a good time, plenty of work.

(Pizza Boy Exits cursing, random ad libs like, “Go back to Brokeback Mountain.”)

Elv: Kids … they love me, what can I do ? An’ yer know the best thing ?

Col: We didn’t pay.

Elv: Hot diggerdy-dog, yep, let’s eat.

END   OF   ACT   ONE

No photo description available.

NOTES

(1) Kreutzberg – an area south of the river in Berlin, famous for being a student hang-out, full of bars and Turkish restaurants and, in the 80s & 90s, squat houses.

(2) Gästarbeiter -‘guest workers’, typically immigrants who work in the less desirable sectors such as cleaning or general unskilled work.

(3) Messes – trade fairs, business and marketing events

Nicholas has his own website: http://www.thesoulofelvis.de/photos.html

Love and Chaos Part 5(G) Tommy 2

22nd April 2021

Photo by Martin O’Shea 2021

Part Five. Berlin. Autumn 1994

“Yeah, I was in bed when The Wall came down. I’d been out the night before, didn’t get back until seven or eight, and just crashed the whole day.

“Finally got up late at night and went to make some coffee and what do you know ? Got no milk. So I’m thinking, ‘Scheisse ! Gotta go out.’ And I’m feeling like day-old shit, and I’m looking like shit and I smell like shit, but, you know, just go to the store and get some milk, no biggie.

“Now, I didn’t put the TV on, or the radio, I’m just focused on my little world which has a serious milk crises going on.

“I’m on the streets, and yeah, I hear all this noise and cars beeping and shouting, but I just think that a football team’s won, don’t really think too much about anything, but, as I get to the main road, it’s full of people, and flags and banners and these … I don’t know what, cars, there’s all these fucking Trabi’s (Trabants) and it’s true, they only came in two colours; sky blue or spermy white. Sorry, but it’s true, these fuckin’ cum-mobiles crawling along the street.

“Then I’m in the store and it’s usually pretty quiet, but tonight, it’s full, full of people picking up tins of soup, or bananas, and waving them around. But these people … it wasn’t like they were from another country, it was like they were from another planet.

“So, I get my milk, but I have to queue to pay for it, and the queue just isn’t moving, everyone’s talking and shouting, and I’m thinking what the fuck’s this ? It was more like we had been invaded by them, and now we’re going have to spend all day queueing for bread and potatoes.

“OK, I know history can’t stop, just so as I can get some milk, but come on, wait until I’m sober.

“Then at home I put on the TV for background, and it’s on every channel. I was a part of history, the streets of Berlin, November ‘89, and just wished they’d all fuck off back over The Wall. Come back tomorrow.”

Richard took over directing the car, along Karl Marx Allee, then up into the western part of Rigaer Str.

Café Kinski was full and they got the only free table. Tommy held court, shouting loudly, easily projecting over Rage Against The Machine (Philipp was working and gave Richard a cursory nod).

There was an asymmetrical dynamic to the group, two girls and three boys and Anna appeared to be pulling towards Richard. Karin and Tommy had already staked their claims on each other.

However, Richard was in love with someone else, and stepped aside for Andreas, who wasn’t sure where he was with Silke, and within an hour, the two Germans had gone back with the two Danes. Richard had more beer, then made his way home, alone.

Two weeks later, he wished he had chased Anna, as one night of pleasure may have saved him months of pain.

Love and Chaos Part 5(E) Chris 2

3rd April 2021

Photo by Martin O’Shea 2021

Part Five. Berlin. Autumn 1994

Finally, just before lunch time on Sunday afternoon, Chris woke up, got out of bed and showered. Richard was finishing off his Hemingway, then emptied the fridge in preparing two plates, using all the remaining bits of food.

“Ah, a moveable feast !” joked Chris.

“You OK ?”

“No. Not really.”

Richard didn’t know how to help. Usually they would just drink, but that had only sent Chris into oblivion from which he had returned, yet the pain remained.

“Well, anything, I can do, just ask. Probably won’t be much, but … well, let me know.”

Richard knew that it wasn’t the time or place for his own dog-dance.

Instead, he made up a pretext for going out, so as to give Chris some space.

Left alone, Chris sat and smoked, numbing his mind with the BBC World Service, re-tuning when the news came on in German.

He envied Richard a little. He had Chris to fall back on, to answer his questions and to explain the mysterious workings of this schizophrenic city. Despite being the capital of the newly re-united Germany, the strongest economy in Europe, Berlin still had so many traces of it’s recent, Eastern Block past. Opening hours were seemingly arbitrary, queueing systems non-existent, food often unidentifiable.

The public telephones all worked and he had never seen any vandalism, which was taken as read in England, but they had an irritating choice of being either card operated, or coin, only rarely both. By now, he knew the pattern in his area, but had been caught out, trying to call Monika, happy to find a phone, only to realize he only had coins for a card machine, or vise-versa.

Then there was the paranoia. This was caused by not understanding enough of the language and being confronted by important-looking letters, or notices, or announcements, or street talk, and always having to ask what it meant, and if alone, a sense of powerlessness and vulnerability.

There was one final custom in Berlin that was going to have an immediate effect. The shop opening hours. All shops, with barely a few exceptions, closed all weekend. Food shopping had to be done on Friday mornings, or the only choice would be take out food or restaurants.

Chris looked at the phone, willing it to ring but refusing to call Monika, and smoked his last cigarette. Having to buy more was a good reason to go out and he walked to a street vending machine to buy more smokes, the Vietnamese not working the U-Bahn on Sundays.

But then his spirits lifted slightly. Where else would he find a city with cigarettes available by machine on the street. They wouldn’t last five minutes back home.

He opened the packet of Golden American’s, not his usual brand, but it was from a vending machine, he had to make allowances, and flicked his lighter. The flame flickered and went out and he had to cover it with his hand to keep it burning. He turned up his collar. The air was getting chilly. Winter was on its way.

Richard came back as it was getting dark, and found Chris in much the same position as when he’d left him, sitting in the kitchen, chain-smoking, starring off into space.

But now they were starting to get hungry.

They waited a little, staving off the hunger with cigarettes and coffee, but eventually they had to get food.

Not having the money or mood for a restaurant, their only choice was to find an Imbiss. This is usually not a problem. They were ubiquitous in Berlin, and there were some in Stargarder Strasse, some by the U-Bahn, and in most of the neighbouring streets.

Tonight, they all seemed to be closed.

It took a little time, but by a very circuitous route, they ended up in a Turkish Imbiss on Stargarder. The kebabs, however, were finished. All meat, in fact, was out. All that was left, before the staff emptied the displays to prepare for the new week, were pitiful salads or large, yellow objects.

They looked at each other, their hunger taking precedence over their judgement, and they cleaned out the large, yellow-object tray. They were wrapped in tin-foil and put into a thin plastic bag.

On the way home, more curious than famished, they took their first bites.

Fat.

Pure, deep-fried fat, barely warm.

Then Chris let out a sound of disgust.

“What the … ?”

Richard echoed the sentiment.

“In the name of … ?”

Hidden in the centre, amidst layers of cold, stodgy fat, were florets of cold, barely cooked cauliflower.

There was silence in the flat. They studied their plates, examining this alien food. Grease oozed out when they prodded the lumpen mass.

Chris slowly put his plate down, took a fresh cigarette and said,

“Fuck this, I’m going for some real food. Not this … fucking, old … Socialist shit. This Commie crap. Mush for the masses. Fuckin’ … I mean, school dinners had nothing on this, this … Cack ! That’s what it is. Cack ! Hello, Mr Imbiss Man, I’d like some cack, please. And, yes, my good man, pile up the cack and put more cack on top. Don’t stop there, give me a side order of …’ “

“Cack ?”

“Good idea, side order of cack. And, to pass the time, while you’re filling my order, give me a glass of cack. Fucking hell. All right, you wait here, I’ll bring back some proper food.”

Richard waited. Nearly an hour later, Chris returned. He held out a bag, with a bottle clearly delineated.

“OK, here’s the bad news; I could only get Bells Whiskey.”

By the time Richard left for work the following day, he still had a hangover.

Chris hadn’t made it into the studio at all.

One of the first thing that caught Richard’s eye when he began working at Bar Biberkopf was that the crockery, cutlery and glasses matched the ones in Chris’ flat. Sometimes his own naïvety amazed even himself.

He thought back to his early days at café Kinski. A man had sat at the bar, skinning up a joint, in front of Silvio, and this had shocked him, thinking how could he be so blatant, right in front of the barman. He learnt, soon enough, that joints were almost as common as cigarettes.

The work was pretty easy, if not tedious and mind-numbing. In addition to cleaning plates (which a machine did), there were minor preparation jobs, such as peeling vegetables or fetching things from the cellar.

The staff were generally friendly, though no one to match Hannah’s beauty. And he was slowly learning German, albeit kitchen terms and swear words.

The benefit was cash in hand (every night), access to alcohol, free food and, apparently, home furnishings.

On Wednesday night, he got home around one-thirty, the journey requiring two night buses, and found Chris in an even deeper depression.

Richard decided to take him to The Anchor on Stargarder, opposite the red brick GethsemaneKirche, hoping it would still be open and that the cute little waitress would be working. It was, she wasn’t.

Fearing that it would soon be ‘Feure Abend’ (last orders), Chris ordered four beers and two large whiskys.

The next day Chris again missed work, and while Richard was out buying food, he had an idea. He checked his change, making sure he had enough large coins, and went to the coin pay phone. He called Melanie.

When he returned home that night, he found Chris in a much better mood, and there was a bottle of Sekt waiting, which Richard was grateful for, as the whisky drinking was starting to take its toll.

“Melanie phoned. Out of the blue. Can you believe that ? We had a really good talk and … well, dig this, ya ready ? I’m back with Monika.”

“Sekt ! Open the bloody bottle, let me hear that cork pop.”

Chris told how Melanie had helped and, afterwards, he felt strong enough to call Monika. They talked for nearly an hour and decided to get back together.

“Oh,” said Chris, “one more thing. Lorelei’s left her stupid boyfriend and has moved in with some old fruit. Also, there’s an art student, music student open-house event, gathering, thing, on Saturday, and we’re all going. Lorelei sans boyfriend.”

Chris raised his eyebrows up and down several times.

“Just pour the Sekt.”

Richard hid his smile by his ex-Biberkopf Sekt glass.

Love and Chaos Part 4(C) Chris 1

23rd December 2020

Berlin 2020 with the Cathedral (left) and the TV Tower. Photo by Martin O’Shea

Part Four. Berlin. Summer 1994

Chris wore a cotton top with white and purple horizontal stripes, faded black jeans and Converse All Star sneakers. Richard wore his slim-cut blue Levi’s and a light, dull-green, woollen jumper with brown leather waistcoat that Chris had picked up from one of Berlin’s many second-hand clothes stores. They looked cool and felt cool, Richard thinking he looked a little like Kurt Cobain on the ‘Unplugged’ show, and planned to grow his hair out. Possibly bleach it.

They met Monika at a bar for brunch at the area Richard now knew as the Wasserturm, or Water Tower. The Sunday afternoon pavements were covered with chairs and tables, children running and dogs hunting stray food. All the bars were busy, but Monika had saved two seats and waved to them.

Richard had been in Berlin for just over a week and had been out drinking with Chris nearly every night. The previous Friday, The Gang had meet up, this time going around the bars in the northern part of Prenzlauer Berg, around Schönhauser Allee U-Bahn, where Chris lived. Gabi had driven over with Lorelei, both seeming relieved to be away from their boyfriends. Andreas was there with Silke and Nice Guy Kai. Some other friends had turned up, and it seemed that Monika knew every waitress and barman in Berlin and that all the women were really cute, and all the men were really friendly. Richard mentioned this to Andreas;

“You haven’t been here long. Just wait.”

There was only one downer. How to behave to Lorelei, because there was no sense in hiding it; he was totally in love. Meeting her caused all the emotions to collide like a ‘super-charged particle accelerator’ as he himself described it. There was the initial excitement that almost caused his heart to burst, the gasping for air, as the tension grabbed him by the throat. Then came the terrifying doubts, wondering how she felt and how he should act and react to her. How to play it cool, when he just wanted to go over and confess his love and throw himself at her cute little, painted toenailed feet. And he wanted to kiss her so much, he thought he would go crazy.

The subject of today’s lunchtime summit.

“You know how I think it went ?” asked Chris, referring to the previous evening, “Brilliantly. She digs you. Big time.”

“But the boyfriend ?”

“No, I don’t think you have to worry. They are like flatmates. They share a bed, but make nothing.”

Richard thanked Monika for the information, before Chris continued,

“And she laughed at all your jokes. Even the ones I didn’t even get.”

“She was just being polite.”

“Oh, right. C’mon, she’s into you like a train.”

“I hope so.”

Monika silently ate her lunch, then was relieved to be able to change the subject.

“Oh, next Saturday, Erika is giving a performance. I said we’d go.”

“Sure.”

“Yeah, cool. Who’s Erika ?”

Chris answered,

“Barmaid slash performance artist. Does … kinda improvised … what would you say, Moni ?”

“Performances.”

“Exactly ! She … ah, you’ll see. Oh, Arizona may come. He wants to hang out with us.”

“Arizona ? Oh, from your studio. Don’t think I met him last time.”

“No, he’s cool. Little bit older than us, mid-thirties. Bit of a character. You’ll see.”

After a lunch of sausage and eggs, fruit and the obligatory Sekt, Monika left, as she had to get home to work on some dress she was making. One of several ways she earned money. Chris explained, as they took a stroll,

“Some mornings she gets up and cleans a bar, sometimes works the door in a club, sometimes hands out flyers, sometimes does check-out in a small supermarket, sometimes does dressmaking, alterations, sometimes does haircuts . . . you know.”

“How do you keep up ?”

“It’s not easy. I need something like a periodic table, like all those chemistry dorks used to have on their walls.”

They walked up Rykestr, turning around and seeing the TV Tower loom over the Wasserturm, through the trees of the park. Then a turn into the main Danziger Str, and one block east to the Ernst Thälmann park with its massive statue.

“These girls are amazing,” said Richard. “Silke, Gabi, Moni … Lorelei. Oh, man ! They should form a band. Just look at them: Moni with short, black hair, Silke; spikey, Gabi; curly, dirty blond and Lorelei’s luscious locks. Forget All Saints, it would be the hottest chick band, ever !”

“I know. Amazing, isn’t it ? I thought after Ute, that’s it. But it worked out just fine.”

“Advice, c’mon, spill; how do I get Lorelei ? What moves did you pull on Moni ?”

“Oh, it was a breeze, baby, couldn’t be easier. Ute dumped me. There I was, allein in einer grossen Stadt (alone in a big city), got a shitty job, no money, live in squalor and just lost the love of my life. Began going out with some of the Biberkopf staff after work, drinking. At one bar, I meet Monika. She asks why I’m looking so sad. Got so much sympathy … that, my friend, is how to get women.”

“Act all pathetic and make them pity you ?”

“Hey, I’m the one with the girlfriend, remember ?”

“But I’ve got no one to dump me.”

“Well, that can be easily solved.”

“Could always leak it that I was dumped in London … came here to forget my pain … ?”

“See … now you’re thinking. And that, Amigo, calls for a drink.”

Chris had taken some days off from Biberkopf to be with Richard, but was now working five nights a week, as well as occasional days at the studio. The following Saturday, after seeing Erika’s performance, Lorelei asked Richard,

“What do you do all day ?”

They had meet at a new café in one of Prenzlauer Berg’s back streets. It was the familiar converted shop space, a plain room with large, wooden tables, and just candles and ashtrays for decoration. Soundgarden on the CD player. The barman with two or three friends at the bar. It was very quiet, but was still very early for Berlin.


The gang, on the night of Erika’s show, was without Silke, who was working, but with Nice Guy Kai and one of his new girlfriends.

From the bar, they drove to Kreutzberg, Pearl Jam pounding out of Monika’s car stereo as she twisted and turned around Alexanderplatz.

Another Hinterhof, south of the river. A mixture of junk and broken furniture, some sorry-looking plants, broken glass, empty beer crates and cigarette butts. Twenty or so people, standing around, drinking, smoking, laughing, shouting.

Erika’s show was through one of the doors that led off into a basement, but was locked. It was Berlin, performances were not expected to start on time.

The Gang all got another drink, passed around cigarettes and talked. Richard was unable to get any idea of what the performance would involve, but enjoyed seeing the individual reactions, Andreas and Kai appearing very cynical, Monika supportive and Chris nonsensical.

A man walked into the Hof, alone, dressed in leather trousers, with a mauve T-shirt and bottle-green, velvet jacket. He wore yellow-tinted glasses, had thick sideburns and a four-day growth of beard. He looked around, then waved to Chris.

Arizona Al.

Introductions were made, then a door opened and people began paying the entrance and descending into the converted performance space.

Inside, the walls were painted bright orange with various murals showing scenes derived from Bruegel and Bosch; sinners being devoured by demons, or put into lakes of fire. Arizona Al was somewhat taken aback and was particularly struck by one group in a corner, showing four men who appeared to be musicians, though their instruments were more like weapons. There was a blond woman next to them, who appeared to be in severe discomfort. He pointed it out to Chris and asked what it was.

“Don’t know. Kinda spooky, isn’t it ?”

“Yeah, like, man, what’s going on ? This some kinda devil-freak joint ?”

Chris was about to mention the illustration to the others, when the background music abruptly cut out. People began turning to face the small, central stage area, and moving forward.

Erika marched onto the stage, commanding everyone’s attention. She had curly, auburn hair, which was moused and thick. Her face was brightly made-up, thick, red lips and long lashes. She wore a black and white basque, fishnet stockings and high heels.

She made sure everyone was looking at her, before walking around the stage, striking a pose, and clicking her fingers. On cue, the music began, Marlene Dietrich numbers, which she mimed along to, or acted out.

During ‘Kisses Sweeter Than Wine’, she was joined onstage by a friend, also in lingerie, but with short, brown hair and a few layers less of make-up. They performed a mime about falling in love and raising a happy family, Erika taking the male role.

The opening line, about a young man who had never been kissed, brought sighs of sympathy from Gabi and Lorelei, and made Richard feel uncomfortable, in case The Gang thought it applied to him.

Arizona Al, like Chris, Richard, Kai and all the other men in the audience, was just enjoying the sight of what he referred to as “Two smokin’ babes,” cavorting around.

After twenty minutes, the show was over and Eighties German pop music helped to clear the space.

Outside, people got drinks from a bar area and stood around in small groups. That was when Lorelei asked Richard how he spent his days.

“I get up early, fix myself breakfast, and go back to bed. I read a lot, walk around, wait for Chris to come back, then go to the local bars. Of course, I spend a lot of time thinking about you.”

Lorelei smiled, then turned away.


Erika came up to them, dressed as she had been on stage, but with a leather jacket now over her shoulders.

They all told her how much they had enjoyed the show.

“Very nice,” said Chris, with a knowing glance at Monika.

Al introduced himself, then had some questions about the practicalities of performing, whom to ask, how much could be made.

“Yeah, don’t want to monopolize you, know you got a lot of people to see, just one more question, don’t know if you’d know, but there’s this picture in the corner, it’s like four dudes and some blonde chick and, I don’t know, it’s kinda … weird, you know, like … “

He made a gesture of terror and fear. The others had all stopped talking to hear, and see, Al’s own performance, knowing that Erika only had basic English. She was silent for some seconds, trying to process the inquiry, then she understood, and looked to Kai for confirmation.

“Oh, Ja, that’s based on an old German folk … “

“Legend. Folk tale.” Kai to her aid.

“Genau (exactly) a folk legend.” Kai took over,

“It’s from the Medieval times, from the Black Forest area. It’s called The Concert Of Grotesques. Do you know it ? It’s a great story … “

Subject Index: Writing and film

4th December 2020

Seahorse Productions: my films, theatre and writing

Ao Tuong (dreams) 2020 // short film // Seahorse Productions 30th April 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/30/seahorse-productions-ao-tuong-dreams-2020/

Bad Faith 2005 // short film // Seahorse Productions 6th May 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/05/06/seahorse-productions-bad-faith-berlin-germany-2005/

Inferno 2007 // short film // Seahorse Productions 25th May 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/05/24/seahorse-productions-inferno-2007/

Shadow Sonata 2014 // short film // Seahorse Productions 8th June 2020:https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/08/seahorse-productions-shadow-sonata-2014/

Steppenwolf (2008) 2014 // short film // Seahorse Productions 15th May 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/05/15/seahorse-productions-steppenwolf-berlin-2014/

Cinema

Jean-Paul Belmondo // R.I.P. // 8th September 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/09/08/jean-paul-belmondo-r-i-p/

Belmondo & Delon // Qu’est-ce que le cinema ? // 12th July 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/07/12/quest-ce-que-le-cinema-belmondo-delon/

Close up // Iran 1990 (Dir: Abbas Kiarostami // Cinema // 25th February 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/02/25/pessoa-and-kiarostami-the-disquiet-of-close-up/

The Cranes Are Flying // USSR, 1957 (Dir: Mikhail Kalatozov) // Cinema // 13th June 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/13/art-cinema-the-cranes-are-flying-1957-ussr-director-mikhail-kalatozov/

Distracted // UK, 2018 (Dir James Devereaux) // 9th August 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/08/09/f-is-for-fake-d-is-for-distracted-distracted-james-devereaux-2018-uk/

Makiko Esumi // 5th July 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/07/05/makiko-esumi-and-maborosi/

Lee Eun-ju // A Korean Star // 3rd September 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/09/03/lee-eun-ju-a-korean-star/

Harold Lloyd // Hooray for Harold Lloyd // 28th June 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/28/hooray-for-harold-lloyd/

The Lockdown Hauntings // UK 2021 (Dir Howard J Ford) // 24th May 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/24/the-lockdown-hauntings-a-new-british-film-with-my-friend-russell-shaw/

Noirish Project // UK, 2018 (Dir James Devereaux) // 11th July 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/07/11/noirish-project-theatre-literature-pure-cinema/

The Painted Bird // Czech Republic 2019 (Dir Vaclav Marhoul) // 29th July 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/07/29/book-into-film-the-painted-bird/

Russell Shaw Interview // Building a Career in the Arts // 28th June 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/28/russell-shaw-building-a-career-in-the-arts/

Youn Yuh-jung // Congratulations ! // 28th April 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/28/youn-yuh-jung-best-supporting-actress/

Music

Peter Green tribute // 18th February 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/02/18/peter-green-1946-2020/

Nanci Griffith tribute // 18th August 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/08/18/nanci-griffith-last-of-the-true-believers/

Lee Scott Revelle tribute // 6th August 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/08/06/lee-scott-revelle-rip/

Charlie Watts tribute // 30th August 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/08/30/charlie-watts-r-i-p/

Writing

Greek Myths

Oedipus // The hubris of Oedipus // 16th September 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/09/16/greek-myths-the-hubris-of-oedipus/

Theseus and the Minotaur// 6th October 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/10/04/young-learners-level-5-welcome-to-athens/

My ‘to read’ list // 29th August 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/08/29/my-to-read-list/

Fernando Pessoa ‘Book of Disquiet’ // Cinema // 25th February 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/02/25/pessoa-and-kiarostami-the-disquiet-of-close-up/

Poetry for pronunciation // 16th April 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/16/poems-for-pronunciation-practice/

Takin’ Care of Business: An Elvis Comedy

Act One // 23rd April 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/23/takin-care-of-business/

Act Two // https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/24/takin-care-of-business-act-two/

Act Three // https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/25/taking-care-of-business-act-three/

Waiting Fo(u)r Godard

One-actor play / Royalty-free // Seahorse Productions 5th September 2020:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/09/05/waiting-fo-u-r-godard-a-play-for-one-actor-two-laptops/?fbclid=IwAR3Sbi0dIZJSQGZOVB749tNA5YSE_zYzbF2UWwEhQX92IH8gvF3ep5ptvnY

Love and chaos

Love and Chaos: A novel set in post-Wende Berlin of a pre-internet world. Set between the deaths of Kurt Cobain and Elliott Smith.

Title page, photo by Ana Svarz // 11th November 2020

Contents // 11th November 2020

Part One

Richard – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/11/love-and-chaos-part-1a/

Chris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/11/love-and-chaos-part-1b/

Melanie – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/11/7839/

Marina – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/13/love-and-chaos-part-1d-marina-1/

Richard – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/14/love-and-chaos-part-1e-richard-2/

Chris – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/14/love-and-chaos-part-1f-chris-2/

Claudia – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/15/love-and-chaos-part-1g-claudia/

Chris – 3 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/16/love-and-chaos-part-1h-chris-3/

Richard – 3 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/17/love-and-chaos-part-1i-richard-3/

The Divine Poet From Florence https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/17/love-and-chaos-part-1j-the-divine-poet-from-florence/

Chris – 4 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/18/love-and-chaos-part-1k-chris-4/

Shoulder – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/19/love-and-chaos-part-1l-shoulder-1/

Steffi – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/20/love-and-chaos-part-1m-steffi-1/

Part Two

Richard – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/22/love-and-chaos-part-2a-richard-1/

Chris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/23/love-and-chaos-part-2b-chris-1/

The knock on the door https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/24/love-and-chaos-part-2c-the-knock-on-the-door/

Will – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/27/love-and-chaos-part-2d-will-1/

Firefly (prologue): https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/30/love-and-chaos-part-2e-firefly-prologue/

Firefly: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/11/30/love-and-chaos-part-2f-firefly/

Nuno: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/01/love-and-chaos-part-2g-nuno-1/

Chris – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/02/love-and-chaos-part-2h-chris-2/

Richard – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/03/love-and-chaos-part-2i-richard-2/

Part Three

Richard – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/05/love-and-chaos-part-3a-richard-1/

Chris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/06/love-and-chaos-part-3b-chris-1/

Kurt C – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/06/love-and-chaos-part-3c-kurt-c-1/

Richard – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/07/love-and-chaos-part-3d-richard-2/

Hitch – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/09/love-and-chaos-part-3e-hitch-1/

Chris – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/13/love-and-chaos-part-3f-chris-2/

Part Four

Richard – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/15/love-and-chaos-part-4arichard-1/

Lorelei – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/18/love-and-chaos-part-4b-lorelei-1/

Chris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/23/love-and-chaos-part-4c-chris-1/

The Concert of Grotesques: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/28/love-and-chaos-part-4d-the-concert-of-grotesques/

Gabi – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/12/29/love-and-chaos-part-4e-gabi-1/

Chris – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/01/02/love-and-chaos-part-4f-chris-2/

Monika – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/01/09/love-and-chaos-part-4g-monika-1/

Richard – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/01/12/love-and-chaos-part-4h-richard-2/

Arizona Al – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/01/21/love-and-chaos-part-4i-arizona-al-1/

Part Five

How a coffee break started a new scientific theory https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/02/09/love-and-chaos-part-5a-how-a-coffee-break-started-a-new-scientific-theory/

Chris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/03/23/love-and-chaos-part-5b-chris-1/

Richard – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/03/29/love-and-chaos-part-5c-richard-1/

Burkhardt – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/02/love-and-chaos-part-5d-burkhard-1/

Chris – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/03/love-and-chaos-part-5e-chris-2/

Tommy – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/09/love-and-chaos-part-5f-tommy-1/

Tommy – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/22/love-and-chaos-part-5g-tommy-2/

Richard – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/04/22/love-and-chaos-part-5h-richard-2/

Chris – 3 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/03/love-and-chaos-part-5i-chris-3/

Sylvester – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/04/love-and-chaos-part-5j-sylvester-1/

Part Six

Chris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/06/love-and-chaos-part-6a-chris-1/

Monika – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/07/love-and-chaos-part-6-b-monika-1/

Richard – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/08/love-and-chaos-part-6-c-richard-1/

Three English Portraits – https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/09/love-and-chaos-part-6-d-three-english-portraits/

Arizona Al – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/10/love-and-chaos-part-6-e-arizona-al-1/

Monika – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/11/love-and-chaos-part-6-f-monika-2/

Johan – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/13/love-and-chaos-part-6-g-johan-1/

Descriptions of a Doctor – https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/14/love-and-chaos-part-6-h-descriptions-of-a-doctor/

Jake – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/19/love-and-chaos-part-6-i-jake-1/

Chris – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/22/love-and-chaos-part-6-j-chris-2/

Richard – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/23/love-and-chaos-part-6-k-richard-2/

Daniel – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/25/love-and-chaos-part-6-l-daniel-1/

Part Seven

Stefan – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/26/love-and-chaos-part-7-a-stefan-1/

Daniel – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/28/love-and-chaos-part-7b-daniel-1/

Chris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/05/30/love-and-chaos-part-7c-chris-1/

Boris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/01/love-and-chaos-part-7d-boris-1/

Ragno – Prologue https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/02/love-and-chaos-part-7e-ragno-prologue/

Ragno – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/03/love-and-chaos-part-7f-ragno-1/

Richard – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/07/love-and-chaos-part-7g-richard-1/

Daniel – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/08/love-and-chaos-part-7h-daniel-2/

Monika – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/08/love-and-chaos-part-7i-monika-1/

Alan – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/14/love-and-chaos-part-8a-alan-1/

Alan – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/11/love-and-chaos-part-7j-alan-1/

Part Eight

Eric – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/12/love-and-chaos-part-7k-eric-1/

Call me Herman https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/16/love-and-chaos-part-8b-call-me-herman/

Chris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/17/love-and-chaos-part-8c-chris-1/

Richard – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/21/love-and-chaos-part-8d-richard-1/

Julie – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/24/love-and-chaos-part-8e-julie-1/

Chris – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/06/29/love-and-chaos-part-8f-chris-2/

Daniel – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/07/02/love-and-chaos-part-8g-daniel-1/

Alan – 2 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/07/06/love-and-chaos-part-8h-alan-2/

Part Nine

Daniel – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/07/11/love-and-chaos-part-9a-daniel-1/

Johanna – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/07/19/love-and-chaos-part-9b-johanna-1/

Sergei – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/07/26/love-and-chaos-part-9c-sergei-1/

Julie – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/07/30/love-and-chaos-part-9d-julie-1/

Chris – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/08/07/love-and-chaos-part-9e-chris-1/

Richard – 1 https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/08/14/love-and-chaos-part-nine-f-richard-1/

Art & Literature

Three poems and some Shakespeare // Auden, Betjeman, Larkin 19th July 2020:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/07/19/three-english-poems-and-some-shakespeare/fbclid=IwAR1WoY9acqpt_cOeeoXgFmYOKfJfLl73qtFO1zKJl80Luwaiop9aimgtJbo

Portrait, Landscape, Still Life (Wyndham Lewis, John Constable, Paul Cezanne) // Adult Class, Level 1 // 19th December 2018: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2018/12/19/adult-class-level-1-lessons-1-2/

Art: giving opinion // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Art // 13th April 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/13/adult-speaking-class-level-3-art-what-do-you-think/

Art: DaDa & Surrealism // Adult Speaking Class, level 3: Dali, Dada & Surrealism // 23rd April 2020: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/04/23/adult-speaking-class-level-3-dali-dada-and-surrealism/

Art: types of art // Young Learners, level 4 (Dali, Alice in Wonderland) // 16th May 2019: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2019/05/16/young-learners-level-4-art-for-arts-sake/

Art: Unusual art // Adult Speaking Class ALH 8.2 // 3rd Match 2021: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2021/03/08/adult-speaking-class-level-2-art-for-arts-sake/