Ne­ver lea­ving Ne­ver­land

Siegessaeule - - An Eng­lish Roun­dup -

> “I’m just gon­na ste­al a bi­cy­cle,” said my new Eng­lish fri­end one night. Ha­ving had my bi­ke sto­len be­fo­re, I crin­ged. “Don’t do that!““Why shouldn’t I? I’m new he­re and I ha­ven’t got much mo­ney,” he re­spon­ded de­fen­si­ve­ly. “Du­de, you’re 31 ye­ars old!” I spat back. Ob­vious­ly, bi­ke theft is a hu­ge moral no-no. What I rea­li­zed, though, is that I was just as mo­ral­ly ou­tra­ged at the idea of a 31-ye­ar-old do­ing it as I was at the act. Age play­ed a fac­tor in this ou­tra­ge. It is al­so a ma­jor fac­tor in why a lot of us mo­ved he­re, queer or not, and it’s tied to that Pe­ter Pan Syn­dro­me that is so af­fec­tio­na­te­ly spo­ken of. I’m 32 ye­ars old and I still en­joy ta­king drugs, I still li­ke get­ting things for cheap or free, I still re­lish play­ing the sing­le field and so on. In other parts of the world, es­pe­cial­ly outs­ide of queer Ber­lin, the­se things are age in­ap­pro­pria­te. I’m thank­ful to ha­ve that kind of free­dom. Even for me, the­re’s a po­int whe­re so­me of the im­ma­tu­ri­ty gets em­bar­ras­sing. For ex­amp­le... Mo­ving to Ber­lin for the long-term and ma­king no at­tempt to le­arn Ger­man: You can’t gi­ve me the “Don’t tell me what to do, I ca­me he­re to be free, you fa­scist” ar­gu­ment – it’s a will­ful la­zi­ness, as well as as­ser­ti­on of your own pri­vi­le­ge. Not ever­yo­ne had the op­por­tu­ni­ty to pack up and mo­ve to ano­ther coun­try at will – the­re are thousands of peop­le he­re now who didn’t ma­ke this choice light­ly. Avo­iding the mi­nu­tia in ge­ne­ral: I don’t fault peop­le for not kno­wing they ha­ve to go to the Bür­ger­amt to re­gis­ter right away. Or the my­riad bu­reau­cra­tic bull­s­hit obst­a­cles li­fe in Ger­ma­ny pres­ents. But if you’re he­re for two or th­ree ye­ars, it’s not just me who gets ti­red of hol­ding your hand through ever­y­thing. Your to­ken Ger­man fri­end does, too. Ta­king the par­ty too far: Af­ter six ye­ars he­re, the worst six words you can say mee­ting me for a da­te (sex or other­wi­se) are “I ha­ven’t slept in th­ree days.” I get the church of Berg­hain thing, I do. But gi­ve it a rest. Hol­ding on to il­lu­si­ons of being an ar­tist. Ha­ving a poor-me at­ti­tu­de whi­le not wor­king hard enough is not the sa­me as being an un­derapp­re­cia­ted ar­tist. I know so ma­ny gre­at peop­le he­re who bust their as­ses to ma­ke art and sur­vi­ve on it – and ra­re­ly ha­ve ti­me to com­plain, be­cau­se they’re do­ing what they lo­ve ins­tead. At one po­int, you’ve got to work to main­tain that free­dom. If you want to con­ti­nue to drink, fuck, dan­ce, in­dul­ge and re­joice, put in the ti­me for it. Ta­ke a damn Ger­man cour­se (and go re­gu­lar­ly), try fil­ling out your own For­mu­la­re and keep your par­ty on the dance­floor – or bet­ter yet, ta­ke so­me ti­me off from the dance­floor to do your art! Bot­tom li­ne, you ha­ve to mix Mär­chen­land with fucking rea­li­ty from ti­me to ti­me. <

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