Dinner on the Spree

12 Sep

spree 2I’m looking for a new restaurant, I’ve eaten at the Italian cafe on the water overlooking the Berliner Dom at least once a day. No mater what direction I start walking, the curving streets I turn down always bring me back there. It’s nearing 8:30, I’m famished from a day in the hot sun, and so far the offering I’ve found are quick-stop tourist spots, I see the cafe ahead, so I return.

The wheat-gold light of the setting sun is gently lighting the surfaces and filling the spaces of the Berliner Dom. The angels on the rooftop seem to be reaching to the sun, while the reaper-like character stands, back turned with a cloak covering most of its down-turned head.

Spree 3As the sun sets just a little further, birds rest in the angels’ out reached hands. A pair of young musicians with a saxophone and a mouth synth stand amongst the tables, they press play on an outdated stereo and begin to play bad wedding reception music. After a handful of songs the mouth synth guy asks me for a tip. I have no small bills, he shyly suggests I give him a large bill and walks on. Before the musicians are gone the wait staff loudly turns on Rihanna. A hearty woman in her late thirties squeals, she flies up from her patio table and prances into the restaurant waving her jacket overhead, like a drunken bridesmaid. The vision is completed as she crosses the structure threshold and releases an ear piercing, unnecessary, “wooo!” Her husband, in his mid fifties looks on, annoyed.

She is dressed how you would imagine an office administrator, or low level management person dresses when they go out. Too-tight stretch top with leggings, a mid thigh skirt, and sparkling shoes. When’s encouraging the staff to dance with her, hey politely bob along as they walk away. I watch for a moment and kindly smile, she has all the party girl moves down, the ones that draw the attention and say, “look at me, I’ll show you a good time”. Her blonde hair is thinning and dead from too many years of forcing an unnatural shade. Her makeup, too heavy, sits thick on her face. She had been slouching, bored and unaffected at the table next to me before, and now her husband sits at that table with the woman’s mother, not even trying to hide his anger as her mother struggles to hide the sadness she feels for her daughter. This woman used to be good looking. You can see it in how she carries herself. But she was never beautiful, her features are plain, there is nothing about her that stands out, that is individual, just a blank canvas. A canvas that she made good looking through all the Cosmopolitan seasonal suggestions. A canvas that attracted men, and convinced her she was beautiful.
spree 4She was the party girl in college, the hot girl at the office, and now, she is the sad woman at the expensive cafe. It seems like the age old love story, as she aged, her hair thinned and her body thickened, she went for the kill. She found a man who made enough to support her, a man who was happy to find a woman 15 years his minor that was good looking and found him devastatingly charming. She married him. And now they live in a constant state of annoyance. They’re settling for something, because something is better than nothing. The woman’s mother goes into the restaurant to retrieve her daughter. She sits back at the table, invigorated for a few moments, then back to her sedated state of existence, only perking up for attempts to catch the eye of young men passing by.

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