What we had was brief, but the memory stretched. Hooking up with someone when you least expect it, has the pleasurable quality of becoming a movie stored in the library of the mind. It usually lasts no longer than one night in real time, but it takes up more memory space than a boring year will.

You were half American, half German, but you felt German. We spoke German. In a park, close to the outdoor reception where we met. The first hour or so we talked about the feeling of guilt young Germans still carry with them. You said you could travel nowhere without someone bringing up the Holocaust. I was no exception. I apologized. You patted me on my shoulder a second too long and said: “It’s ok, I’m used to it.”

You were used to a lot of things. Being compared to your mother for example. The worst one is your father. He never fails to notice: “It’s a pity you don’t have your mother’s nose”. She was a model when she was in her prime.

You are not a model. Not by rigid 21st century standards anyway. You hate your nose, you say. I protest and insist you have a very attractive nose. The outdoor reception seems to get more and more distant, but one of your colleagues keeps bringing us wine.

We end up in my bed at around six am. My room-mate won’t be able to concentrate all day, because he woke up to the sight of your breasts. Very firm breasts you have. Pointy nipples. You are very active, even after a night spent walking through town. Is this an attempt at compensation for an inferiority complex? I don’t wanna feed your inferiority complex, but, damn, I like your action.

I walk you back to your hotel around 10 am. When my therapist makes me associate something with women I spontaneously say: “Lack of sleep”. All the way to the hotel your head is on my shoulder, your eyes are closed and you say: “You know, my boyfriend would never do this, he always falls asleep right after”. I raise my eyebrows, but am too tired to react.

In the hall of your hotel I ask: “Can I have your e-mail address?” You say no. “There’s no point, my boyfriend and I share the same e-mail address.” I ask how long the two of you are together. “Five years”, you say. “Like an old pair of shoes you are attached to and can’t throw away”. I leave it at that. “You have an attractive nose”, becomes my pick-up line for quite some time. Seducing girls is about breaking patterns.

It works best with girls who already have boyfriends.

A girl in a relationship is a girl who hasn’t had a spontaneous compliment for the duration of the relationship minus the first three months.

Be proud of your nose, German girl.

It gave us a night never to forget.


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