i wish

don’t stand so far from me

don’t stand so far from me
Written by Cathoel Jorss,

Och, my heart’s pounding! I just queued in the supermarket next to a man taller than me (rare) with whom I conceived one of those fleeting yet it stains your day – your weekend! – mutual desire curves founded in, apparently, mutual liking as well as pheromonal drift. Oh, I stood next to him and he stood next to me. He came up behind me and I cleared my stuff out of the way, as Berliners often do for one another, so that he could lay his heavy armfuls of groceries on the band. “Danke schön,” he said, in just this irresistible voice, and I glanced up and met the most beautiful eyes and a shock went through me and my face lit up and I said, “Bitte!” A pleasure!

After that we both crowded up close to one another and he was humming and after a little while started singing so that I would see what a gorgeous voice he had. I was immersed in the glowing feeling running up and down my nearer, left side and in parsing his collection of groceries (single!) and in searching round the vault of my brain for some plausible, yet open-ended, conversational gambit. The woman ahead of me had already greeted the cashier and her goods were being rung up. We hadn’t long.

I picked up the plastic divider between his stuff and mine, only later realising what a perfect psychological expression of my wishes this really was. “Ich habe gehört,” I remarked, holding it out to offer to him, “daß diese manchmal ,Kassentoblerone’ gennant werden.” Ya know, I’ve heard these are sometimes called Cashier Toblerones.

“Stimmt!” he said, yeah that’s right! He took the thing from me and lifted it up. Pretended to stuff the end in his mouth and tear off a hearty chunk. We laughed and then there was nothing else to do but grow shy, so we both turned back to the belt and gazed at the groceries. He checked out my stuff and I checked out his. I was buying the ingredients for a carrot and ginger soup and he likes decent cheeses. My side was humming. Oh, I was just so happy and contented to be standing just that little bit too close to him, and to be in each other’s aura. There was nothing more to say, apart from, “When will you be here next, you’re so goddamned cute,” so when my goods were rung up I sang out, “Tschüss!” and he said, “Tschüss!” and I ran laughing out of the supermarket, saying to the giant punk out front who holds out his little army cap for donations of spare change, “Du siehst ja so total schön aus, heute!” You’re looking so beautiful today! It wasn’t just the punk in his Saturday outfit of fishnet stockings and a zebra print mini, it was the light, the few trees left in the corner of the car park, the little boy zooming on his scooter with a great determination, the dad who stood and watched with his arms grimly folded – I ran home and said to my companion, who was sitting up in bed holding his stomach and had requested, when I said what might make you feel better, carrot soup, “I just met this man in the supermarket and we liked each other so much! Oh, it was such a joy just standing next to each other.”

Ordinarily these kinds of stories are just part of the ongoing conversation between us but today, stricken with stomach flu and hungry for his first solid meal in three days, the poor guy went, “Don’t, I’m gunna vomit!” He was clutching his stomach. I has pushed open the window and was peering out in case the cute guy and his cheeses might have decided to walk home down our end of the street, in case I might see him. Bye, love.

10 comments on “don’t stand so far from me

  1. I love you and I love your stories! Plus I used that Toblerone factoid I learned from you before to amuse a cross lady in a queue once, and I think she appreciated it.

    Jameela March 25, 2017 at 11:43 pm
  2. Oh dear – the one that might have been! Always a dilemma. I like the way you approached it, with joy, and with loyalty…

    Alison Lambert March 25, 2017 at 11:55 pm
  3. Love your story – could feel it

    Shez Wright March 26, 2017 at 12:13 am
  4. What a delightful glimpse into life in Berlin! For those of us non-Europeans – thank you! I love peeking into the culture. Nowhere else would I get a glimpse into daily life there. And I love those electric human meetings.

    Steph F March 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm
  5. I agree with Steph. I find the German culture fascinating but somewhat difficult to understand, but I find that your little vignettes are like ‘immersion learning’ in a Jacuzzi full of friends (and a few bottles of champagne nearby).

    Michael Bath March 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm

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