Der Himmel über Berlin by Weiwei

The meeting with Win was surprisingly pleasant. Within seconds we started to realise that we are both the kind of person who just goes with the flow, walks really loosely, not very good at making insignificant decisions, tends to judge things with their appearance. Also we hold a whole snow mountain of romanticism in our bodies which would collapse unreasonably. Then all people could see is our tough, fragile crest lines.

Win is C’s brother who I only met once in London. I took them to the cinema for Lou Ye’s film, Summer Palace. They knew nothing about Tiananmen Square protests and I was not even sure whether they were interested in it or not. Therefore I gave up explaining in the end. When looking back, that night seems to be metaphorical in many ways: After the violent summer, the main characters in the film wander to Berlin. And now, unexpectedly, Win and I manage to have the chance to see each other again in this city where we were all strangers.

We landed at the same time two weeks ago. He still had two months to go but I needed to head back to my misty city in few days. I asked him what brought him here. He shook his head and said he didn’t really know. ‘But I love it here, so much.’. So we started to count everything we love about Berlin: You could smoke everywhere; You could hold your beer on the tram anytime in the day; You would never feel in danger no matter how late the night is. Win is a painter. His painting is the colour of rose as well as the impression of love. Once I ran into his painting on an album cover in Rough Trade. I took it and stared at the painting for a good five minutes. It was the time when C just left London. I could still see her projections by street corner or in the crowd.

C insisted that Win and I should meet. ‘Please check on my brother. I am worried about him.’ she said. ’Make sure that he doesn’t take too many drugs.’ That was the first time we had chatted online after a long while. ‘I miss European-based people.’ so she typed, ’ What I am trying to say is, I miss you.’

I saw through those words on the screen then typed with my eyes silently: but you are so far away. Neither could she read me, nor my silence. I have been old enough to hold those feelings which strangely is still right when staying in me but soon becomes wrong when coming out. She shared some similar relationship chaos while I tried to correct her Mandarin grammar. Imagining myself as Damiel, the angel in Wim Wender’s film, I sit atop our monument and finally feel safe.

The next day after meeting Win, I started my project of visiting all   old photo booths in Berlin. There were several times, I saw them in a distance, hiding behind the parking lot or a row of bikes without owners. I had a strong feeling that they have been waiting for me. Such a long time they have been waiting for me to wake up from broken hugs and kisses, to finally walk myself into the abandoned organs, to sit on the round iron chair then draw the thick black curtain. They would wait for me to look into the emptiness, then shot the ‘me’ out of me. The strip of four back and white photos I collect from the narrow track, they are prophecies revealing through me. They are ghosts who have been left behind from The Cold War, brides who has been hesitating for centuries.

So I brought my ghosts and brides back across the sea. The departure hall was packed with a group of teenagers from probably the same arrived flight. They must have been through a long, arduous journey as their families all looked overwhelmed. I dragged my luggage, kept saying sorry and tried to pass their holding hands and dramatic gestures. Suddenly I saw my parents, standing on the other side of the swing door and searching for me eagerly.

The illusion was so real and lyrical that I decided to bend my head and walk through them quietly. I folded my tear into a coin, bought a coach ticket with it, then hit the road again.

 

在柏林穹蒼下 / 威威

和溫的會面出乎意料地愉快。我們快速發現彼此都是隨波逐流的人、走路渙散、不擅長無關緊要的決定、傾向以事物的表面評斷好惡,身體裡有整座滑雪場的浪漫,一不小心就會無理崩塌,險露堅硬脆弱的稜線。

溫 是詩的弟弟,我們只在倫敦碰過一次面,我帶她們去夜裡的戲院看婁燁的頤和園,她們不懂六四,我也不甚確定她們有沒有那麼想懂,因此解釋到半途便心生放棄。 這個夜晚後來在各個方面看來驚人地具有暗示性,我從故事說到柏林開始可以為這部電影流淚,而許久之後竟可以在柏林與溫再見。

我 們都在兩個禮拜前抵達這座城市,只是他仍有一個多月,我則過幾天就要回到短夏的霧都。問他什麼把他帶來柏林,他搖搖頭說不知道,但他好喜歡這裡,我們開始 數算柏林的好:處處可抽菸、無時不刻可以拎著酒瓶上電車、再晚回家也不感覺危險、老的新的事物的交替與平衡。溫畫畫,他的畫是玫瑰的顏色、愛的印象,我有 一回無意在唱片行撞見他的人像畫被拿作專輯封面,便拿起來看了好久。那陣子詩剛離開倫敦,仍時時在街角人群投射幻覺。

與 溫的會面是詩遠遠促成,她說請幫我看看我弟弟吧,我擔心他,請幫我確定他沒服太多毒品。那是我們分別後第一次在線上談話,她說我想念歐洲的人,我想念妳。 我用眼睛看下那些字,再用眼睛寫上去:「而妳卻那麼遙遠。」。我已經長到可以明白在身體裡都還正確,吐露出來卻是錯的那些我們姑且稱之為情感的遠古熔漿。 我一面聽她說一些紊亂的女孩關係一面糾正她拙劣的中文,想像自己是站在柏林高塔上的天使,遠近聲音悲喜無分,終於感到安全。

與 溫告別的隔天我開始進行走訪柏林所有老式快照亭的計畫。一天當中有幾次,我在荒草廢屋旁遠遠看見它們,便笑著走過去,感覺它們一直都在等待著我。這麼長的 一段時間,等我從破碎的擁抱之間醒來,走進放棄的城市器官裡,拉上厚厚的黑簾、坐上圓鐵椅。它們會溫柔地等我看進什麼也不存在的遠方,然後傾力拍打我、把 我裡頭的我拍出來。我從窄窄的軌道裡撈出長條四格黑白相片,那是以我為媒傾吐的預言,是冷戰過後城市角落無依的鬼、苦苦守候的新娘。

這 樣想著我就帶著我的鬼與新娘越過兩小時的海洋,機場的出境大廳擠滿了大約是從同班飛機回到倫敦的一批青少男女,遲遲沒有要往何處移動的意思。不知道是經歷 了什麼樣遙遠漫長的路程,接機的親人每一個都含淚哽咽激動不已。我拉著行李箱一直說著抱歉抱歉,奮力穿過一雙雙緊握的手和臂膀,忽然之間竟以為自己的父母 也正站在自動門的那端,在人群中逡尋我。那幻影如此真實而抒情,我便低頭快步穿越他們,把眼淚折成一枚硬幣,投進一台巴士,上了另一條公路。