This picture came rolling onto my iPod just before I went to sleep last night. It was sent by my German friend Thomas who was drinking on the boat I go on every Wednesday night. The boat, named the Eastern Comfort but called and cristened The Motherfucking Boat, is also a hostel, and remains forever docked on the Spree near the Oberbaumbrüke. The drink on the right of the picture is a Rothaus, a pilsner-style beer that’s been around since Frederick William II held the Prussian court. The drink on the left is what we call a Thomas Special. Tequila and lime juice on ice. This picture was accompanied by a note saying that I was missed, and that C. says hi. C. is an ever-cheerful thirty-something South African. I’ve only known her for about a month, but she’s there every week, and when we first met she kept saying how I had ‘kind eyes.’ I liked hearing that. More often people have told me I have crazy eyes. They don’t say it when I’m sober. Something must come over me several drinks in.
I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.” ~ Marilyn Monroe.
I was telling Thomas the other night about an old pill-addict friend of mine, now nine years underground, who had these strangely hypnotic eyes, kind of like Rasputin’s. Thomas said I do too sometimes, which I tacitly took as a compliment, although I don’t know how serious he was or if it’s even remotely true, mostly because no one else has ever told me that, nor do I see it when I look in the mirror. Of course in the mirror I don’t animate myself as I must do in public. I stand there catatonic. We must miss a lot when we stand in the mirror, our perspectives being mossed-over by self-loathing, self-love, and laid flat by the immobility of our features and the lack of play in the eyes.
I’ve always considered a man’s eyes to be his essence, the portals to his soul. They are the most telling feature. And yet to the expressiveness of our own we are mostly blind. Half the time, we don’t know what rays they’re giving off or how those rays are being received. Which is why my interest is always piqued when someone says something about mine. Some things you can’t gauge by yourself. It’s like your own writing. You never really know what rays it gives off till you hear from someone else.