Collecting small anecdotes of transitory moments.
One of those mornings. The night was too long, the alarm clock too early, the coffee too late—and three cups too little.
As I fall over my open shoelaces in the hallway, I do wonder if I should have called in sick.
On my way down the aggressive miniature dog of my second-floor neighbor greets me with noisy, squeaky barking and jumps right at my throat. My day hasn’t even properly started but my heart rate already reaches unhealthy heights and my mood hits a new low.
9.45h. Running to the subway station. A classic Berlin morning exercise routine in a turtleneck and vintage Levi’s; a sweaty arrival at work is my favorite hobby anyways.
Don’t we all carry that sweaty-restless metropolitan scent of distress and approaching burn-out day in day out?
Station Weberwiese. Finally arriving in that mood-stimulating low tunnel in acid-yellow tiles, I finally catch my breath. Colorful posters behind scratched plexiglass panels advertise unpleasantly contrasting causes: “The ultimate Schlagerstars live at Waldbühne”, “It itches and scratches? Get yourself tested” and “Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Berliner Dom”. The graphic designer of the latter should definitely consider another profession.
A well-known jarring sound kicks me right out of my negative thought spirals.
OH NO. Accelerating my steps. What exactly have I done to deserve this?
I turn the corner and bump into a group of morning commuters coming towards me on the staircase.
The train to Alexanderplatz—my train!—is waiting at the platform, doors wide open.
I fight my way through the crowd; pushing a stocky little man in a pinstriped suit, jumping in zig-zags around a young woman holding a toddler.
Three steps at once.
The yellow train emits the familiar-threatening three-note beep sounds. Fuck!
I’M NOT WAITING FOUR FUCKING MINUTES NOW!
One last jump, I fall on the platform and get up again.
Doors still open.
I turn my head to the front of the train. A thin, beardless man with frameless glasses sits in the driver’s compartment, gives me a friendly smile and makes a fast, determined head movement back to the car.
I sprint and jump into the open doors.
The beep sounds ring. The doors close. The train leaves.
He waited—for me.