Hamburg, my love for you just got kicked in the gut. It took a knee to the cheekbone on its way down, and now it’s sprawled on the street, spitting out teeth and trying to to stop puking so it can breathe.
It’s one thing to piss in my face with your daily rain, I have an umbrella and a sun-lamp; I can take that.
It’s one thing to schedule reggae shows exactly on the days that I will not be in town; my man at the record shop around the corner gives me the hookup on gems from Jamaica and New York that are better than your stupid ‘Holla, Hamburg!’ shows anyway. (A German accent layered over the word ‘Irie’ is completely unbecoming. Completely. It gives me chills.)
But it’s another thing to serve me, in my favorite cafe where the server and I have finally begun discussing something more than the weather, a slice of fig, bacon and rosemary quiche with the old Hamburg surprise in it. You knew what was coming, Hamburg, and you watched that surprise wind up and let rip, and you heard my ‘oof’ and you watched me try not to cry long enough to pay the bill. You knew, you slimy bastard, that that quiche had potatos in it. Damn you, Hamburg, and your fucking potatos.
So now, my love for Hamburg is sitting up and wondering what the hell happened. It has a headache that will last for most of the week, and it won’t be able to find a dentist that takes its insurance to fix its broken teeth. In a few weeks, its clothes might not fit anymore, its skin might look ashy underneath its freckles, and it might get new lines around its mouth that make it look older than it really is. Hamburg, it’s up to you. Either you give me brand new ways to like celery root, a core-shaking display of contemporary art (preferably including sculpture,) and a smile from a stranger at least weekly, or the love dies. Got it?
p.s. the accordian that plays from 2-10 pm right below my window is no longer charming. Quite the opposite.