I'm so country that even being in the international terminal at JFK was a severe thrill for Miss Thing. I desultorily read a copy of the new i-D and drank some white wine while I waited for my flight. Too nervous to sleep on the plane, really. I kind of dozed.
So then on Tuesday morning I made my way to Stevie's fantastic apt in Mitte. We drank tea from fancy 24k gold cups and saucers. I was very happily reunited with La JJ. Stevie took us to Schöneberg to meet Wonderful D (1-D, One Directsh) and his dog. WD took us in a very long cab ride to a lake at the outskirts of the city. We walked through a gorgeous, very strange (to me) trailer park along the lake. A kind of a strange village. 1D did a secret work errand while Stevie and I peed in the woods. We had a picnic by the lake with good cheeses, wine, and smoked a lot, until we were quite overtaken by mosquitoes. We took another epick cab ride back to the apartment to change. We were treated to a truly amazing, fantastic Italian dinner at the restaurant downstairs. Hilarious gay couple owners. Wonderful first night in town.
Wednesday we woke up very early to have breakfast with Vaginal Davis and Manuel at the gay cemetery. We recorded the talk and as soon as it's online I'll share it with you. Right after our meeting I found out that Ms. Davis has been immortalized in comic strip form over at Bitch magazine, which is adorable. Back home to Mitte where we were treated to a very nice Pan-Asian German lunch with the Solar. We went down the street to the new Berlin CdG store, thankfully just a few meters from Stevie's abode. JJ and I went to Shwuz to pick up fliers for his show (this friday!). We stopped for green beer (Waldmeister) and went thrift shopping. Would you ever think that I would like green beer? I do, in Berlin. That night we went to a local gay bar called the Sharon Stonewall. Kind of a let down, but we had it to ourselves. Mitte is crazy. The echt-professional streetwalkers in matching see-through platform heels and fannypacks and corsets, calmly negotiating with expats. I love the darkness of the streets there. Not at all foreboding.
Thursday we went out for Mexican food, Mission-themed burritos. I know. I actually really liked my Berlin burrito, though, it came with vegan meat and peanut sauce? It was called a Vegan Lover, which I thought was sort of cute. But then what? I forget. We went to some parks, met up with Krampf and Joey Hansom at the Tempelhof field. Gorgeous afternoon and so much greenery. Thursday night I performed at Chantal's House of Shame.
There had been a slight misunderstanding as to where I was to meet her. I didn't know there actually was an office, so had been hiding out with La JJ in the room marked "backstage" where cute boys with emo flat-ironed haircuts and well-stocked fanny packs (what is it with the fanny packs?) tried to tempt us with purchases but I was on a budget and terrified. That backstage room was where, on my first trip to Berlin, La JJ and I had been misinformed about what controlled substance we were dealing with, and then (accidentally?) locked up in a metal cage for a few hours. Anyway eventually we found the actual office, reunited with Chantal who was a bit miffed for my tardiness (Entschuldigung!) and we headed to the stage. I did a few songs including a new Teena Marie cover, I think people liked it. Chantal said that I sang better than I had in the past, when I had been performing in my underwear. I feel that I'm coming up in the world, truly. Visited with Neon Ladosha and Nuclear family at the club after the show. So much fun! We got paid and out of the club before 4:30am with for Berlin is sort of miraculous. Such a fun night.
Friday I went to Tiergarten to meet up with Pash(ly). We drank Rosé by a lake and caught up, discussing art and politics, theory, etc. She's such a genius and a true inspiration in my life. I wish I could share more of the knowledge she revealed to me but I don't want to! I want to keep it private! Nyeh-nyeh! But a gorgeous, dreamy afternoon. We were starving and later went out for food in the mall. It was kind of amazing. The junk food there in Germany is so much better because unlike in the US they don't make their citizens eat poisons. Friday evening we hosted a jazzy cocktail party at the Mitte apartment with so many dear heart faces new and old. I was in heaven, hanging out with Krampf and Iwaijla and Miss Sophie and new friends Candy and Anna and Christa and Jack and John and Mary Beth and just everybody. Just a fantastic night. Staying in, even! The downstairs neighbors complained so we moved the party to the sitting room, were joined by a gorgeous boy ballet dancer who casually bragged about being able to fellate himself (kill me). Iwaijla made a cucumber salad then put whiskey on it. It was a great night. We watched Fantasia with Stevie's projector on one of the giant palatial apartment walls.
Saturday I don't actually remember what we did. Clean up? Stevie did most all the cleaning and La JJ did all the cooking and I just loafed around like an asshole. What I know I did was drink a whole bottle of Club Maté and smoke a whole pack of Gauloises Blondes, because I did that shit every single day and don't for a second regret it. We also listened to Stevie Nick's Belladonna a lot. A lot. Oh, I know, I took a very long walk to Kreuzberg to go to King of Falafel, the best falafel place in the world that I know of. Kind of a spiritual pilgrimage for me. Ate on the street like a weirdo. Loved it. We tried to go to see Miss Travis' reading, but we got there too late. We got to hang out at the gallery with some folks. Iwajla and La JJ and Miss Stevie and I went to another opening across town, a group show, that seemed sort of too NY art-prank-y for me. Lots of Seapunk and Jogging-ische influences. I did not fly all the way over there to see that, you guys. Iwajla took us to the bar next door, which she told us is actually the oldest bar in Berlin. It certainly seemed that way. I am guessing it was Americana-themed. They only played American records. One of the waitresses looked just like Meryl Streep, I couldn't get over it. La JJ saw a pair of ancient German granny crones sitting near the front, chainsmoking and drinking some red drink the color of blood. He immediately asked what they were drinking: house-made cherry wine. We ordered the same. It was fantastic, it did taste like a hangover. Soon the bartender made a long announcement auf Deutsch that that night they were having a summer party and that everyone would be getting a present and that they hoped we all had a good time. They passed out noisemakers, maracas and honking plastic horns to the crowd. They played swing music and the bartender changed into a gold tuxedo and danced on the bar. They lit fireworks underneath the bar, right in front of all the booze. Not just sparklers but actual fireworks. The bar filled up with smoke and everyone loved it. It was populated with very old German people as well as some younger expats and queermos filtering in from the neighborhood. I noticed a confederate flag on the wall, next to a poster for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I am always nervous that I'm secretly wandering into Nazi territory but was assured that wasn't the case. We hung out there for a bit, actually, then outside the bar where more friends showed up. Such a nice fun time! We went to KreuzKoln to pick up Miss Sophie, then bounced around bars which all seemed kind of blah until settling it at Rose's, which no one but me seemed to be so impressed by. Much fun, a bit low-key. Went to bed very early by Berlin standards.
Sunday I was really feeling the Merc retro feelings! La JJ and I went to Museum Island where we failed to sneak into one museum with stolen passes, but did get into a second where they didn't even check them, go figure. We went to dinner with an American friend of Thee Irish Horse's, a kind of strange Chinese-ische food. Fantastic. Home for a second, then to Ficken3000 for Pork. Which was SO MUCH FUN. Sadly Miss Brian Tennessee couldn't make it as she had a cold. I performed with this amazing artist from PDX called DUBAIS. She was so good! I'm totally obsessed! New obsession! And Sara Adorable DJed! So much fun! I did another set, I think it went just OK. Got to see some more Berlin homies. At least one 1990s rock mega-icon came. I don't know if they watched my set or not or what they thought of it, so I have to assume they were deeply moved. I did get a bunch of positive feedback from the crowd, people liked how "New York" I was, how confident, how I didn't seem to take any shit, etc. It's insane to get any feedback at all, least of all in Berlin. Fuck. One guy said I was a much better queer rappers than the other ones he's seen. That was a highlight of the vacation, I gotta say. I fucking love PORK, it's the god damned best thing ever. We danced all night, took in brief glimpses of the much-famed darkroom, yikes. We left about four or so, once the trains started running again, but on the way home Stevie told us about a charming little spot at Alexanderplatz, technically on the way home. Told it was the oldest gay bar in Berlin, it was very small. We drank many many many Jagermeister shots and sniffed RUSH and drank Budweiser, but the good Budweiser started by the other Budweiser brother, not the nasty stuff we have in the States. I learned so much! Soon enough it was after 6am and the sun was up and people were on their way to work, and we were sitting at the tiny tiny bar singing along quite loudly to ABBA's "The Winner Takes it All". Back to the train station, we got the first, freshest chocolate croissants from the kiosk. Burnt my tongue on molten Nutella I want to stay that way forever. Went home and I guess slept, a little?
Monday was hard, guys. My last day in town! I dragged La JJ to that fantastic vegetarian restaurant in Mehringdamm I like so much. JJ had an audition, I did some errands. JJ and I went to KaDeWe to eat fancy cakes at the counter upstairs like we always do. Came home and Stevie cooked us a really awesome dinner. Wonderful D came back over, brought a bottle of champagne and we smoked and and we watched How to Marry a Millionaire projected on the wall. An oddly apt metaphor for the week, I can't even tell you. It was magickal.
Yesterday I got up too early, went to Tegel where they had no reservation for me, but then put me on an earlier flight to Munich. I spent much time at the Munich smoking lounges before making my way back to New York. Feeling under-slept and yet somehow ecstatic and energized, I went to the gym right when I got home. A pair of guys set up bongos down the street, under a tree, I had to fight to keep from dancing like some kind of freak when i walked by. Feeling happy and relaxed and missing Stevie and La JJ so much. I wondered how I could feel so excited and awake, when I passed out at 9pm halfway through my takeout pad see ew.
Everything is alright. Great, in fact. I'm glad to be back except for the insane heat, but I miss Berlin so much. I had some minor revelations, just in time for my birthday super soon. I am going for it. I feel good.