Reflections on a Queen

Part II

“Come again,” he says, his eyes unfocused like his mind.

“Do you want Karen for the early shift or Thomas,” I fight hard not to sound annoyed for this is the third time I ask.

“What day are we talking about again?”

I breathe in deeply, faking a smile. “Monday,” I reply in a voice that surprises me myself. How on earth did I just manage to stay so friendly?

“Ah yes,” he shrugs. “I don’t know. Who else do we have?”

“Two shifts, two colleagues available,” I moan. Now there it is, my impatience in full bloom and I know my Medici glare is not far away.

“Right,” he agrees, his eyes squinted as if he’s trying hard to focus. Concentration it couldn’t be, because after 90 minutes into our meeting I know for certain he has none whatsoever, especially not today.

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Reflections on a Queen

Part I

“I don’t know,” my friend shrugs. She’s a fresh 22 and looks at life with much more cynicism than I did when I was her age. “I don’t see Catherine with any man. Somehow no one seems to fit her strength.”

I look at her for a moment, then nod, “I think I know what you mean.” And yet it feels strange to hear myself saying that, especially since my friend only recently told me how much I remind her of Catherine on occasion. So what does that say about me?

“She’s so self-sufficient,” my friend continues. “It feels odd to suddenly see her so vulnerable, so needy.”

“She isn’t needy,” I protest before I realize my friend has struck a chord. “She just wants to be loved.”

“Yes, maybe.” A laugh.

“And she deserves to be loved,” I argue with someone who I know is too young to understand the pain that lies in the realization that, by the end of the day, love is as rare a find as luck.

Requiem to a Dream

“Did you already stand in line to get tickets for the Berlinale?” Angus sits across from me, his eyes resting on mine with a casual smile.

I shake my head and sip on a fruity cocktail, waiting for the ice to freeze my brain. I’ve been thirsty coming to this place. The bagel shop on the second floor. The store next door is being renovated once again. Something always changes in Berlin and yet it strangely remains the same.

“Me either.” Angus glares at me with a look that leaves me guessing. He pauses, then sighs. The way his spikes an olive from our appetizer plate almost seems volatile. “Too many years have passed since I last won a Bear. No accreditation for me this year.”

I watch how he picks the olive from his toothpick, his lips glistening from the oily dressing. “I don’t know what it is with this film festival. Last year I was too ill to attend, the year before I was struggling to keep my job. Must be the season. I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything.”

“Berlin is gray in winter. They say the festival brings color to a dreadful season.” Angus picks another olive and chews on it.“No shopping for investors at the EFM this year?”

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Appeal

Hail outside today and storm. I sit on my sofa and watch Game of Thrones. The appeal of it escapes me, which makes me sad. I don’t know why. Is there a law that I should like what has been hyped? I rarely do. Battlestar was one of the few and that one never really went mainstream, so what’s the problem now? Why am I so astonished that I don’t see what so many others like? I’ve always appreciated finding gems of my own, so why is this different? Because it’s January, I suppose. The days are short, my schedule busy and I long for new worlds to explore. And I like to discuss what I loved about a twist or a turn of events. It’s so much easier with something everybody seems to know. And yet, as soon as I express my interest in GoT’s appeal, friends reveal their own indifference or their bewilderment about the attention it draws. It’s funny really how a simple question can change the perception of things like that. All unimportant really and yet so diverting. I’ll always be a pop culture nerd, I guess. Just roll your eyes, that’s okay. I’m used to it. And you know what, I don’t care. Because when it rains outside like it does today and everything is cold and damp and dark, there’s nothing greater than to curl up on the couch with a cast of characters who invites me to laugh and suffer and cry while I enjoy my chocolate and my wine. It’s simple pleasures like that that keep me going and help me forget the bleakness every winter brings in the absence of snow. And that’s how I intend to last till spring, other pleasures included but I like to keep those to myself.