Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Frankfurt Dream

In my dream I was on the tarmac in Frankfurt's airport, gazing through the oval hatch at the air traffic controllers as they perform their elegant dance-of-the-orange-rods before the gargantuan airplanes. I soon got tired and wondered aloud when we would take off. The passenger seated beside me said that we were grounded and I might as well just leave the plane and go for a stroll.

So I walked out of the airport and into a nearby suburb of Frankfurt. It turned out to be an historical town, with quaint streets winding twixt medieval houses. Evening was falling and lights were coming on in the houses. One door was open, letting warm yellow light pour out onto the narrow sidewalk. From within I heard the chatter of young people and the shuffle of kitchenware. I walked in and up a steep staircase, an uninvited guest.

atop the stairs was a corridor running between many doors. Evidently, this was a students' apartment. Several young men and women from around the world walked here and there, speaking English to each other. Some on their way to the kitchen, some to see friends outside. The place seemed to be accustomed to strangers since no one paid me much mind.

Still, I felt uneasy being there. After stopping in the kitchen and chatting with some petite latino girl who was cooking lentils inside a great pot, I left the flat and returned to the street. I walked downhill, searching for river Main and for a glimpse of Frankfurt's famous skyline. The suburb had a modernist center with modest glass highrises and a waterfront cycle lane. at some point the river and the lane separated, the river disappeared among the rushes, and across the dark asphalt of the lane appeared home.

Home: a barren hill of chalk, topped with the separation wall. Mediterranean bushes grew on the slope, climbing over old stone ruins on their way to the concrete crest. The side of the bike lane closer to home was dustier. I was almost tempted to step over it and climb the hill but then stalled and looked back to the suburb of Frankfurt, which was there alright, and looked back to the Jerusalemite hill, which was there alright, and woke up.

(artwork: "Germany and Poland" by Joshua Neustein, taken from the Moonriver's fantastic treasury.)

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