Monday, January 26, 2004

life of buddy don, chaptur 102:
new years in a divided city

bein as how me n emily dint hardly have nobidy else to talk to ceptn fer frieda n her sister erika, we dint have but each other to argue with, so thats whut we dun whenever we needed to fuss n fite with sumbidy. we could find mos innythang to fite about, but we had a few natcherul thangs built rite in. furst n foremost wuz smokin, witch she had dun quote quit unquote three times by the time we gut to germany: (1) whenever she gut the news i had asthma, she deecided she wuz a'gone quit n fer the furst servrul days of us knowin each other, she dint smoke, but it dint last a week; (2) whenever i ast her to git marrd, she quit agin, only this time she made it near 10 days till we went back to looseburg n her mama give her a carton, witch it seemed lack a waste not to smoke em, so she deecided she wood quit as a weddin gift to me, witch that dint last past her furst day in west germany on a counta twuz verr stressful; and (3) rite after we larnt how cigarettes cost so much more in west germany than they did in the states, she deecided she really wuz a'gone quit.

that last time she tride to quit, it gut us into one of the wurst fites ever on a counta how i fell fer this: she sed she wood be able to quit but wood need my hep to keep her frum backslidin. that meant she wonted me to keep her frum smokin no matter whut. so we agreed to start thatn as quick as she ran out of her current bag of tubacka, witch that tuck near a week. but finely, she wuz dun n since twuz a fridy n we wuz dun with inny skoolin we had to wurry bout that week, i deecided to clean up the place, witch that meant to clear out all the cloze frum the floor n chase the cockroaches back to thar holes in the walls by sprayin sum bugkiller at em n wash down the kuhlschrank n bathroom n sweep n mop the floor. i give her the cloze on a counta she wuz the eggspurt in washin cloze n dint wont me to mess em up, witch i felt the same way bout cookin as she did bout washin cloze.

i tuck all the loose butts that wuz lef over n put em in a bag n tuck that n all the res of the garbage out to the dumpster, witch i also opened the winder wide fer sum frische luft n while twuz open, i clumb out n put away all the garbage. i figgerd i wood make pizza fer lunch, so once i gut dun with the cleanin, i walked down to the buy palace n bought whut i needed, witch twuz sum cheeses n salami n onion n tomater sauce. i had brought the big tute, witch thats the cloth bag we finely bought to keep frum havin to pay fer plastick bags evertime we went to the store, so i figgerd i mite swell stock up on sum more spaten pils n plan a big evenin.

emily wuz thar whenever i gut home, n rite away i knew sumthin wuz a'goin on. thays jes a certain eggspreshun a person gits on thar face whenever thar up to sumthin they dont wont ye to know bout. emily wuz wearin that verr eggspresshyun, so i ast her whut she had been a'doin n she sed she had been a'washin the cloze. i sed i knew she had dun that, but whut wuz she a'doin whenever i cum in.

finely it cum out how she had dun been lookin everwhar in the hole house fer jes one leftover butt. i splained how i had dun cleaned everthang up, witch twooda been obveeus only she had dun started shuckin her cloze the instunt she got in the door n alreddy the floor wuz gittin coverd up tween her dirty cloze n the basket of cleans that wuz sittin in the middle of the room. she ast whut had i dun with the butts n i splained how i had gut rid of em fer good. nex thang ye know, shes trine to open up the winder n i splain how i dun had it open till it got rite cold in thar, but i had made shore we gut our frische luft. turnt out she wonted it open fer a nuther reason, n quick as i shut it n went to the bathroom, i could hear the creak of the handle ye use to open it.

i cum out jes in time to see her climbin out that winder, so i tuck my keys jes in case n follerd rite behind her. i ran to pass her on her way to the dumpster n then twuz a physicull fite with her trine to climb into the dumpster n me trine to hold her out. i kep remindin her how she had made me promiss not to let her smoke no more n she add mitted it but sed she wuz rong. i reminded her how she had sed not to listen to her no matter whut she sed n that lef her with nuthin to say.

so we turnt to go back in. we gut to the winder n i bent down to offer her a boost to git back in, but quick as i wuz down on my knee, she turnt n run n vaulted herself rite into the dumpster. i went over n saw her lookin thru the trash to find witchever bag had the butts, so i splained witchn twuz n sed i woodnt never hep her quit agin. i tole her i druther buy her sum new n i ast her to make shore not to lite a butt while she wuz still a'sittin in the dumpster, witch that made her maddern innythang i had yet sed on a counta did i thank she wuz jes stupid? i looked down at her in that dumpster n thang wuz, i dint thank she could git out by herself, so i compounded my miss take by sayin i dint thank twuz too smart the way she gut herself into a dumpster she couldnt git out of. but ifn she wuz mad bout me acktin lack she wuz stupid, i wood ignore it n did she wont 'bugler' whenever i went to git sum more tubacka n she sed she did.

so i lef to git it n she gut to hollerin bout she couldnt git out, witch i had dun noted n i lef her thar. thay wuz a kiosk rite outside or place, n ifn i hadnt been so mad, i wooda bought her tubacka thar, but it cost more so i figgerd she wood unnerstand if i had to walk round the corner over to leipziger strasse n then down to the buy palace, witch that took a lot longer on a counta thay wuz long lines by then.

it musta tuck near an hour befor i gut back, n furst thang i dun wuz open that winder back up n went out to check on her. she wuz sittin coverd in paper on a counta twuz cold. she had found her a good strang of butts n a cuple german magazines sumbidy had throwd out, so thar she wuz, smokin n reedin lack twuz the mos natcherul thang she coulda been doin. i ast her did she wonta cum out yet n she did, so i jumped in to whar i could give her a boost n then clumb out my ownself.

after that thay wuznt no more quittin episodes n i could always git her goat by mentchunin that dumpster n whut a addick will do fer a high. shows how much more addicktive cigarettes is than theevil weed on a counta she wuz havin symptoms frum not smokin n mane thang givin up theevil weed had dun fer me wuz make it so i dreamed a lot more. but she had shakes n pains n jes couldnt stand bein without her tubacka.

one thang that  meant wuz how i gut sick a lot more, n rite near christmus i gut sickern i had been the hole trip, not countin the hernia as bein sick. she wonted to go to berlin fer the holidays on a counta how she wonted to see as much of west germany as she could n even go thru checkpoint charley ifn they wood let amurkins gp thru sos she could git a look at tuther side. that meant she wuz mad at me fer bein sick. why? cause sumbidy had to go to the Reisebüro n order the tickets fer the trip. twuznt a'gonna be her neethur on a counta how she hated havin to speak german in the furst place n even more ifn twuz with innybidy wurkin in a offus.

meanwhile, i wuz havin a nuther sinus infeckshun n it jes gut wurse till my temperchur wuz up over 103 n even she wuz gittin wurried, lease a nuff to cunsidder how maybe we oughta try out our new west german student insurants, witch we dun n the hole trip cost us jes dm11, dm10 fer the docter, n 50 pfennigs each fer the two kinds a medicine she perscribed fer me, one of em penicillin, tuthern sum kinda stuff to make it so my sinuses wood run lack crazy. i had dun tole her i woodnt take no antihistimeans n she agreed they wuznt verr good ifn i wonted to git well, witch thats why she give me that medicine to make thangs run.

that penicillin gut me on the mend rite away, but i dint git well in time to plan no trip to berlin fer christmus n twuz a verr lonely christmus eve. i tride makin a pot roast n sumthin nice, but thays only so much ye kin do without havin a ackshul oven.

but the nex day we visited with sum folks that wuz wurkin at amana. they wuz friens of friens of pete smith n he ast us to call, so we did. they had em a huge, verr nice place with a exter bedroom that wuz biggern our hole apartment. they made em sum turkey with all the trimmins ye speck n twuz almos lack bein back in amurka. they insisted we call home on thar nickel n i wuz lucky a nuff to catch my hole fambly at the christmus dinner, witch they wuz makin a recordin to send me n that phone call ended up bein rite on that thar recordin. turnt out them rich folks wuz lonely fer amurkins, so they gut us to stay the nite n spend mos of the nex day with em.

mayhap the mos amazin thang bout that visit wuz how they showed us sumthin called hi definishun tv, witch twuz so clear n purty that twuz almos lack lookin thru a winder at folks. they wuz trine to splain how ifn we wood jes agree in amurka, we could have high definishun tv too. tv wuznt sumthin hi on my list, but ye could see twuz killin emily to have to be without one n she wooda enjoyed that tv they had ceptn thay wuznt nuthin on wurth watchin.

but i could see how much she lacked even whut lil they did have, so i promissed we wood git one as quick as we gut back frum berlin, witch by the time i wuz well a nuff fer us to visit them amurkins, i wuz well a nuff to go to the reisebüro whenever they opened after christmus n git everthang arranged fer us to take a trip to berlin.

twuz quite a trip. fer one thang, it seemed lack a big add ventchur jes to travel thru east germany. we dint know whut to eggspeck. wood they have a problem with amurkins travelin thru? we wuz afraid they mite, but even tho as quick as we gut to the border twixt west germany n east germany, sum soljers cum on the train with machine guns, twuz jes a lil scary n they dint barely even look at our passports.

berlin wuz a verr differnt place frum frankfurt n twuz lucky we wood git to cum back soon a nuff. we dint have hardly no time durin that trip, tho we did git to checkpoint charley n make our way over to east berlin. we noticed a few thangs rite away: (1) they lacked to talk bout havin full employment in east germany n ye could see why rite thar at checkpoint charley on a counta they must had em a hole battalyun of troops, bof men n women, sittin roun in thar uniforms a'doin nuthin but bein thar in case truble wuz to brake out; (2) thay wuznt no ads fer nuthin in east germany so twuz hard to tell whut wuz fer sale at differnt places; (3) they wuz still usin coal to heat, so everthang smelt lack it did back at grandies up in morgan county tennessee n all the buildins wuz brown with gray or black smudges; (4) the coins wuz made out of aluminum n felt jes lack play money; (5) it looked almos lack the cars wuz made out of cardboard n they sood shake fer a bit whenever they cum to a stop sine; (6) the churches had eethur been lef burnt out or cunverted to museums n such; (7) the only brand new thangs bout the place wuz the statues of soljers n the mane message them statues had wuz how twuz the soviets that beat the german, witch ye woodnt speck them germans to be so proud of that till they wood allow them soviets announce it rite out lack that, but thay wuznt nuthin else could they do; and (8) ye couldnt find hardly no books to buy, n thonly books ye could find frum the west wuz by jack london, bertolt brecht n mark twain.

we et while we wuz thar, n that wuz a disappointment on a counta they dint have hardly nuthin listed on the menu. we had to order three times befor we struck sumthin that wuz bof on the menu n in the kitchen. twuz as sad n pore a place as ever we had been in. even the porest east tennessee hillbilly livin in a tar paper shack could put on a better feed n smile to boot.

twuz the new year, so that evenin, we deecided we wood git out n see how folks celebrated. west berlin wuz lack a war zone with firewurks a'goin off everwhar. kids wuz hangin out of winders n shootin bottle rockets at folks down below, only twuz hard to aim em, lucky fer us. but the contrast twixt them two cities was grate n obveeus: one side twuz lites n eggsploshuns n folks drankin n laffin n carryin on. tuther side wuz dark n quite as a graveyard. ye could tell whar ye wuz by lookin fer the dark spot, n that wood be the east side.

while we wuz walkin round dodgin the bottle rockets, we met a fella frum australia. we went out with him to this italian restrunt n orderd sum pizza. they had pepperoni pizza listed n i figgerd since twuz a real italian place, mayhap the pepperoni wood be the lil sausages i memberd frum the states, but twuznt so. in sted, i gut a pizza coverd with peppers, witch they turnt out to be rite tasty even ifn twuz a big disappointment whenever they furst brung it out. i dont member the name of our australian cumpanyun, but he gut us to order a fosters beer, witch i hadnt never known bout them befor that. emily gut one too n by time we wuz dun with that, we wuz reelin n barely able to walk. but our australian friend insisted, so we went out with him n follerd him down unter den linden to friedrichs strasse n finely back to the house of youngns whar we wuz a stayin.

twuz nice walkin round with that australian on a counta how he seemed to see the worl more lack we did, witch he dint thank the united states wuz the big evil in the worl n that he figgerd we wood leave everbidy alone once the soviets quit the cold war. he figgerd them soviets couldnt keep thangs a'goin much longer on a counta the east wuz near bankrupt alreddy, only we dint have no way to judge that. twuz a fack that ever german ye met figgerd thay wuznt no way the rest of the world wood let em git back together n be jes one germany, witch we dint figger that wood happen neethur. sum thangs wuz meant to wurk better divided, or so it seemed to us.

round midnite, we tuck one las walk n watched them firewurks really git agoin. over to the east twuz dark, but i could see the sparkles of them firewurks reflectin in emilys eyes, n i kissed her to celebrate the new year. twuz one of them moments when ye fergit yer cares n woes. twuz a new year n innythang wuz possibull, even in a divided city.

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