Lothar

Jul. 14th, 2005 01:12 pm
paulonleave: (Default)
[personal profile] paulonleave

The first time I went to Berlin, I had a number of wonderful experiences.  One night in Prinzknecht, a man I had met the night before saw me standing alone and invited me to join him and his friends at their table.  It was a largely German group, but there was an Italian and an American and a Cuban as well, so people were mostly speaking English. 

I had already arranged to meet my Hamburger friends there that night, but it was very enjoyable sitting around with these strangers talking and laughing.  The one who stood out the most for me was a man named Lothar.  Sometimes, you meet someone and it seems as if you have known them forever; you make eye contact with him while someone else is talking and it is almost as if you share exactly the same thought.  Such was the case with Lothar.  He is extremely attractive, as a matter of fact, but my interest in him wasn't simply carnal;  we just seemed to "click."  Eventually, Holger and Jan arrived and the three of us headed off to another bar, leaving Lothar and the others in Prinzknecht.  Altogether, I would say that I spent an hour or so with him. 

After I returned to Paris, we exchanged emails a few times, and when I decided to go back to Berlin this summer, I contacted Lothar to let him know that I was coming.  Although he sometimes rents out a bedroom in his apartment to tourists, he generously invited me to stay with him for a few days as his guest.

I was nervous, of course, about meeting him again, since we really didn't know each other at all.  And, in fact, as I got to know him better, I realized how different he is from the "imaginary" Lothar I remembered from November.  For one thing, he is a bit more flakey than ever would have imagined.  Not that he is very flakey, but my first impression was of someone in complete control, mature and serious, unlikely to make a mistake.  It was kind of nice to discover that he can be indecisive, distracted, and insecure.  The time of my visit was not ideal:  he was occupied with a number of personal and professional issues, but he still found time to hang out with me a fair bit.  I found myself liking him more and more;  he has a great sense of humour, even about himself and his problems, and seems to be politically progressive without being doctrinaire. 

This visit to Berlin was much less "touristy" than my last one, largely because of spending time with Lothar and his friends.  Instead of going to museums or galleries, I went to cafes, parks and apartments.  It was great.

Next:  Rafael

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Paul Leonard

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