By: Jake Indiana
Illustration: Johannes Helgelin
This text from Jake Indiana takes us back in time. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
It was, I later learned, my golden birthday. Turning 23 on the 23rd of the month,
an omen of symmetrical importance. But it doesn’t feel very gold. Today is
violet. Today is purple princess. Today is the park picnic of the purple princess
and everyone will attend.
I have lived in Berlin for only eight months and I am
friends with everyone, everyone knows me, and everyone will attend.
I glide through Neukölln like a sparkly wraith. My hair is unicorn hair and I am
invincible. Dyed purple and fading blue, I am the lanky fairy child of Cotton
Candy Land, floating above the souls of Berlin and sprinkling them with
kindness and giggles. It is my day today, and the world will know joy.
Almost everyone is there. I am photographed and adored. I drink bottles of Sekt
and flit like a butterfly. I am hailed as a beautiful object and kissed only once on
the mouth. We are in the cruising area so I can watch you pee and you kiss me
but it is not worth it. It is a pity kiss, and a pity kiss is to be pitied. Why have
I am fluffy with ketamine and am given a baby. The rush of elation is halted by
the fear. This is not safe, I am on drugs and this is an infant child in my hands.
The mother smiles and nods and I stare into the inquisitive pupils of a baby. I
am this child’s goddess. Their godmother. I am too scared to drop them and I
return them safely.
It is now morning, and we are marching down the gravely path of Berghain and
probing the queue. An ocean of ravers garbed in black and we slide through like
violet sea snakes. I traipse sets of stairs and continue to flit. I belong to the
spirits, I am a party angel. I cannot be kissed I am beyond pity.
Scenes and costumes change. I am still awake and I am in a field. A hot, hilly
knoll. There are sandbars and I am parched. I am at a wedding and I know
neither bride nor groom. I know some, but not all, of the guests. I stumble into a
wood that is bare, trees with no branches and dusky dirt for ground. It is a hot
day but my memory of this moment is a chill. There are patches of merry-
makers clutching phones and glasses and I am in a wood of ash and silence.
The stars are opening up above us and I have no idea how to leave the field. We
are in Berlin, but I have never seen so much sand here before. It is not my
birthday, but I am still awake so it counts.
Later, at home, I assess the day. It is a hard world for those who flit.