The sort of girl that says things like "horrid."

Yesterday, while touring Teufelsberg, I met a British man/boy named Matthew. And twice in the course of an hour or two I used the word "horrid." I don't remember what we were talking about, nor is it important. What I know is that the second time I said the word I realized I was giving Matthew a false impression of myself. Now he will think I'm the sort of girl that says things like "horrid."

I didn't mention this to him, but I did mention that I'd been reading a bunch of Jonathan Franzen all in a row and at the moment I couldn't stop narrating my life in the way I imagined he would narrate it.

I'll give you an example. But first I'll have to explain Teufelsberg.

Teufelsberg (translation: Devil's Mountain) is situated in Grünewald (Green Forest) only six miles from where I live. At one point in time a Nazi military college was being constructed there. It was never completed. Instead it was buried under literal tons of WWII rubble. Tons. Thus forming the mountain that is now there. It is the highest point in Berlin. In the 60's the NSA built an enormous listening station on top of the hill with ET-phone-home-looking white geodesic spheres. The spheres are made of a thick canvas and the lower third has been eaten away by weathering. Now the place is inhabited by young, German graffiti artists (all men) who keep a tight watch on the perimeter, fawn over their kitten, and wear sweatpants with canvas jackets.  For 7 euro they will allow you to enter and pretend to give you an absolutely un-informative tour.

Perhaps you can begin to understand why this day was feeling more like fiction instead of reality. Now for the example.

I was sitting in the highest of these spheres which exhibits the most stunning graffiti I have ever seen and the most intense echo I've ever experienced. The place felt both evil and holy. (Böse is better. Evil and angry. Angry and holy.) I tried to settle as far away from the center as I could, but it is a sphere, so there's only so far you can get. When a fellow tour-taker snapped a photo it sounded like a giant pair of steel scissors cutting through some far inferior material. It was alarming, awe-inspiring, and it made me detest the photographer without any good reason.

Matthew was on this tour with me, but I didn't see him until I was outside of the compound and attempting to navigate to a body of water that seemed to be nearby. "Sprichst du English?" he said; in German even worse than my own.

Poor Matthew couldn't know that he has the same name as my long lost brother. He couldn't know that I had heard the scissors closing in the dome while everyone else whistled and snapped to test their ability to create vibrations. He couldn't know that as we walked along I was seeing the black letters on the white backdrop that either Franzen had already written or that I would try to record in an effort to make sense of this strange feeling I was having. I thought about telling him all these things, but Franzen doesn't ever dive to deep into the meta and I had to stay true to his vision. It was the only metric that was making any sense.

Which is to say, nothing was making any sense; but looking at the world through Franzen-glasses was giving me comfort.

Nowadays, when I meet a new person, I can't seem to find the right version of myself to introduce to them. Even when I'm making an effort not to care what the new person thinks of me, I feel that I'm introducing them to a lie. And I really don't want to be a liar. But when you don't believe any specific truths very strongly, the only way to meet a new person is to create a fiction they can interact with. 

In short, meeting new people has become quite horrid.

Soon I should be out of this phase of moody letters and eventually I'll get around to telling you what I'm doing. (It's a lot! And it's fun!) But for now I have to get ready to go to a dance club. Because apparently the kind of girls that say "horrid" are also the kind of girls that go to dance clubs on a Monday night.

Wish me luck!