a book is living

My sofa has a variously shaded crocheted lilac blanket I like to lie on, or curl up under, wrap around myself while I work. Today I mostly slept surrounded by it. A day off of sorts. Ballet in the morning, late morning really, and late rising so a little of my recently too present stressed and snappy demeanour reappeared, then home and tend to my wounds, blue sky and an easter weekend I hadn’t been aware of until I arrived a work yesterday, Berlin eerily quiet and discovered the door locked. So a Friday with Daniel and Matthias in Torstr, chocolate and coffee on the balcony as spring kisses the tips of the trees.

Today I rode to Mitte, a storm of tourists and others, inverse to yesterday’s peace. I like Berlin in the winter for this driven-indoors humanity, dark and grey and yes, a weight on my psyche, but still, Berlin in winter is a city that wears its season well.

A couple of sketch books so I can start drawing again, and the other for German notes. H&M, equally turbulent; I haven’t bought clothes since late last year and I do love clothes, even when they are this cheap. Mostly it was getting tiresome wearing the same trousers every day. Then to St Georges, I visited long ago, when I last was disimpoverished, and was one of my favourites in my early Berlin days of buchhandlung discovery. That it is near me, some streets north is a small joy.

I prepared with a list. I shall admit an improbable, unlikely and mostly ensuring disappointment. A long list at that, one of volumes better suited to the cornucopia of AbeBooks, which I reacquainted myself with also this evening. But a visit not of the nature that I left empty-handed. As you can see from the four new books below I departed with drunken smile and veering wildly towards my bicycle, a greedy junkie of words.

Borges was the first I laid my fingers on, or no rather, Adorno but I was unsure whether to covet him so early. Later and intoxicated with ink I could have probably collected the entire shelf of him, next to Arendt, above Benjamin. Borges for A Universal History of Iniquity, which I found in Collected Fictions, mainly for the Cantonese pirate queen Jihng Yat Sou. Then browsing up the ladder in the back, Mortenson’s Three Cps of Tea, I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. And further back, utter joy with Stross’ Halting State, and of course Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory, reminding me of my delightful Hobo who introduced me properly to him.

On my sofa, then. A bottle of cheap Bordeaux wine, some bread and cheese, snoozing the afternoon away and occasionally remembering to read. That I can afford books reminds me of the comfort my life has attained in the last month with a full-time job. Yes, I only get to dance on the weekend, and must push myself through yoga in the evenings and come perilously close to exhaustion trying also to freelance, but…

Here in my hobo piratenluder attic with the sun warming the morning, and to spend an afternoon diligently applying myself to nothing is a comfort I have missed.