i’m way too fucking poor
for this city
i don’t care about money
but i can’t reach people.
this whole place is an antique store
‘do not touch’
— thanks, the management
i haven’t felt
the human in a persons’ eyes
since i’ve been here.
this morning i woke up at 7:30, brushed my teeth, and walked to my bus stop. at 8:38 i arrived at stuttgart’s central train station, and climbed a flight of stairs to reach the underground foyer where i buy a baked good to eat each morning. as soon as my head peeked over the stairs, i saw a dark skinned, indian looking man standing by one of the large metallic ashtray/trashcan combos that act as the central point from which a five meter (invisible) radius makes up individual smoking zones. i am not an expert on the ethnic minorities of india, but there are certainly different phenotypes. this man possessed the ‘bad-ass bollywood star’ phenotypes. this charisma was certainly exaggerated by the silver and gold foil space blanket which he was donning like a turban. as he stood with a cigarette in his right hand, he talked at a furious pace with a woman who was sharing his smoking circle. i tried to suppress a smile which floated up from some dormant organ, but it burst regardless as it reached my facial musculature. i bought a schinken/käse croissant and walked to work.
at 7:30 in the evening I was once again in stuttgart’s main station. i now found myself standing in an annoyingly long line for customer service regarding the region’s public transport service. while staring at my shoes and contemplating the odd patterns that had dried onto them after their exposure to snow (and likely road salt), my conspiracy theorist turned guru made an impressive return. he ran to the crowd of impatient (and mostly disgruntled) commuters who were waiting to resolve their various issues, and began to chant nonsense (or maybe hindi) while wiggling his hands and fingers over our heads. I was able to make out a single word, which he repeated with some frequency: maharajah. all the while he was also releasing intense, bellowing laughs. the kind of laughs that are always genuine and can’t be faked. the chanter promptly stopped his display and ran out of the rear of the station, into a large public garden.
at 8:05 i was seated in the regional train to tübingen, which was stopped shortly at stuttgart’s bad cannstatt station (just one stop from the central station). i looked up from my knees, and turned slightly to look out of the window. poking out from the stairwell leading to the platform was the turbanite. although unlikely, he spotted me from his position on the platform, and began to laugh and wiggle his hands in my direction. at this point i could no longer control my roused organs, and i began to laugh and smile and to mimic his gestures back through the window. the train’s braking system hissed and my spiritual guide waved calmly good bye, finishing with a sweeping, shooing pantomime.
They’re not exactly my thing, but it seems fun and they collaborated for Diamond Rugs, which is beautiful, so I am prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
I wish I could be in the city every day.