Around five years ago, I decided to move to Berlin after visiting the city for a weekend and instantly loving it. A sense of freedom was palpable along its wide streets and in the parks where people sat drinking massive bottles of cheap, decent beer.
“I don’t believe in astrology; I’m a Sagittarius and we’re skeptical.” — Arthur C. Clarke.
“Palmistry and astrology are good because they make people vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and everybody has a palm” — Kurt Vonnegut.
I wake up, uncertain how many people are asleep around me. Sometimes it’s just Jacques, at other times indeterminate snores ping pong over the fold-down sofa, into the shower unit and across the kitchenette. I slip into my trunks, part the patterned curtains and fall into the pool. At first, we all went over-ripe, our skin blistering tomato red.
“STORM IS A REALLY GREAT GUY. I THINK IT’S A SHAME THAT HE DOESN’T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND,” lamented an amplified voice on the television, through the locked door. “SO, ONE OF THE GIRLS FROM THE CLUB THAT I MANAGE…” The door-to-door Christian paused in the corridor outside.
For most of us, this is the start of an antagonizing annual cycle that begins with earnest calorie restriction and a gym membership. Then we give up. I call this the New Year, New Body trope, a mysterious and torturous actualization that demands self-starvation and encourages eating disorders.
Christmas movies used to be good. Even the bad ones, which is why it was a preternatural blessing when Mariah Carey released the highly anticipated teaser for her holiday movie and directorial debut, A Christmas Melody.