I love walking in the park, nor so far from our place, early morning, when one meets nearly no-one, bar a few crows and some brave joggers. So, today, I was surprised to see him, a joker-like character, visibly still made-up from last night party, or some other odd activity, whose ludicrous attire could not fail to attract attention. He was looking out toward the lake, and its frozen surface where, later, some skating enthusiasts would perform.
Something in his posture reminded me vaguely of other encounters, for which I did not care much. He saw me, and immediately tried to hide his face: I walked deliberately in his direction, and he walked away, a crooked flight I knew too well…
Abruptly, he started running in the direction of the canal, and I decided not to follow. In his trail floated the inescapable proof: a sharp scent of sulphur.
This, after all, is the City of Faust…
Image: The Joker @http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/the-joker/images/8895447/title/nicholsons-joker-photo
The clouds came with the giant moon, as if to hide us, humans, from the glare of its pitiless light. At the corner of our street workers rush home, to warmth, love and a well deserved rest. Friday night is for joy, dancing, the smiles of lovers, the hopes of poets, and, later, as ghosts start roaming the quieter streets, the shadow of Faust…
Bless be the City, and be pardoned those, who believe in the right of man to walk alongside the gods.
Image: Dr. Fausto by Jean-Paul Laurens
We met in the Alte Nationalgallerie, in Faust’s metropolis, admiring old masters, he, well into eighteenth century German painting, and I, as ever the historian, researching the pre-1870 period, before the Iron Kingdom turned into the centre of the new Reich.
A passing comment, near Toteninsel of Arnold Böcklin, started up our conversation.
“I can’t locate your accent,” he said smiling, and I recognised, just in time, the smile of Gerard Philippe in La Beauté du Diable…
“I was born here” I replied, “but have travelled a bit since then.”
“I like that,” continued the Devil, “Art and travel make for a healthy mind, don’t you think?”
We stopped on the path, near the canal, our preferred running lane in Faust’s metropolis, under the chestnut trees. The air was already much cooler, prelude to the cold wind that soon would blow from the plains of Poland and beyond.
“You’re getting too good for me,” I said, nearly out of breath, with the smile of a slightly puzzled male, faced with exquisite female beauty, and superior strength in one.
You smiled and blew a kiss: “Come on, I have to justify your admiration, and, besides, were we not a bischen different it would not work would it?” With the Köpenick accent, how could I ever resist you?