Here are some excerpts from my novel, Fortuna Berlin, which you can buy or read about on Amazon. Here:
The Elephant wasn’t a typical Kreuzberg bar. At least the interior decorations weren’t typical for Kreuzberg. There were no bleeding candles on every table, no exposed brick on the walls or furniture nailed to the ceiling, no mannequin’s heads in silver wigs on the shelves, their eyes inlaid with rubies, their cheeks decorated with glitter and purple fingernail polish; nowhere could you find a painting of a polkadot poison frog guarding the eggs laid by flamingoes, or the Duke of Parma in yellow Jewish slippers, or the windows full of Aleutian moonsnails; there was no Crimson Rose strung up in slow flight, no aloe vera plants poised like enormous grasshoppers, no DJ spinning disks under a green hooklight. No, in the Elephant, there were a couple of shabby old leather sofas around a coffee table and a pinball machine in back, some bar-height tables along the window that overlooked Lausitzer Straße, a fußball table near the front, and a long ‘L’ shaped bar. Behind the bar there was a fake-looking moose’s head, a few rows of colorfully illuminated bottles, and a newspaper article hanging up that said, “War Hitler Schwul?”
A German named Ulrich owned the place. He was in his late-forties, a little rugged-looking, long angular sideburns to go with his lean angular features, and he usually wore a newsboy cap, and a shirt opened up at the collar, dark-blue jeans rolled up at the bottom. He controlled the music there through his laptop. It was mostly punk, but he also played some Howling Wolf, and John Prine, and Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and The Doors, and the Grateful Dead, and Tom Waits, and you could never go there without hearing Little Deuce Coupe by the Beach Boys, and Train in Vain, by The Clash, and Bob Marley’s Natural Mystic and Catch a Fire.
I was sitting at the bar with Rhys.
“So has Ratboy made his appearance yet?” he asked.
There was a continental breakfast served at the hotel every morning at 8:00. I usually got there first thing and I was usually the only one down there, except for the owner’s wife, who prepared everything. I’d watch her going in and out of the room. She wore the same thing every day: a lavender scarf, a black t-shirt, a long denim skirt, and black sneakers. It was her working outfit, and I found it utterly depressing. It reminded me of all the years I too had been jailed in old, drab, soul-deadening work clothes, worn into a hideous shapelessness. Especially bad were her black sneakers. They were sneakers of no light. They wore her every day. Even on Sundays they could be found with her on, as she boiled eggs, carved curlicues in the tops of the butter bars, fluffed up pillows, hung laundry to dry, vacuumed, and wiped things, and scrubbed toilets, all for the Eternal Stranger passing through, all under God’s wrathful and judicious gaze, for lint, and pennies, and whatever passed for soul.
I then sat down just behind her on the corner of the bed and looked on as she checked her Facebook account. Tyler had just posted a status update.
“Do any of you assholes really think I care what you think? I don’t care what people think of me. Never have. We’re all gonna die. Think about it! We’re a blob of protoplasm that some primordial goatfish jizzed out on the shoreline, and when the sun burns out, we’ve had it. It’s OVER. It’s probably already over and we don’t even know it yet. We’re too busy thinking about the dumbshit babies. Stupidest things ever invented. Mmm breast milk. Mmm..Mmm… The birds are singing already and it won’t even be light for another 4 or 5 hours. Dumbshits.”