10:05 European Central Time. I’ve finished a mug of very strong instant decaf with too much real milk, the Europeans have converted me, and put on my jeans and walk to Aldi for some decent food. Not European food. They know how to do coffee and that’s it. Geräuchert in the German, fumé in the French, hickory smoked bacon in my language. In the Dutch it’s gerookt, that’s just weird. There are no generic eggs on the shelf this morning, so I spend extra, supporting free ranging ‘happy chicken’ ovaries. Harry’s ‘American Sandwich’ bread, check. Two streets over, up and on the right, into the ‘bio’ shop for some decent English cheddar. Nostalgia for home is a home cooked ‘truck stop’ breakfast. Cheddar cheese omelette with overdone bacon, decent hash browns made from last night’s undercooked potatoes, with generously buttered toast. Real butter.
Sunday mornings are a time of ritual, with roots in the American West, more particularly, the Rocky Mountains. But it’s Saturday morning. This endeavor has been a project-projection into the future, if only 20 something hours away. The Germans are anal about rules and the rules are, no shops are to be open on Sunday mornings. And my Saturday afternoon, perhaps well into evening, is ‘booked.’ Germany today, France a few months ago, in the interim, a stay of a brief few weeks in a town adjacent to The Hague. Spain, for a year, before France.
Sunday noon. Chair pushed back from the table, somewhat slouched, with full belly and legs stretched out, many might say ‘life is good.’ That’s a completely different proposition to knowing to be grateful to be alive, that is, from one day to the next. My TV hero is Jim Rockford. Opening my laptop, I go to ‘hidemyass.com’ and via web proxy, watch this self-deprecating American law enforcement loser try to avoid taking it in the chops, because he didn’t dare bring his Colt revolver to the job. Myself, I prefer the Smith & Wesson Airweight, an easily concealed five shot .38 caliber, but Colt must sound more romantic to the American TV audience. Like Rockford, I never bothered to apply for a permit. These days, it’s a moot point; for an American with immigration violations in the European Union. I see no point in keeping a pistol here, I might be inclined to use it.
Rockford just escaped a compromising circumstance with ingenuous agility. Realizing he’s about to be trapped in a public men’s room, sans Colt revolver, he opens the liquid soap dispenser and drools a goodly amount of the slippery stuff across the floor. Then, his aspiring nemesis bursts into the room and unexpectedly finds himself practically ice skating across the room with unstoppable momentum, out go his feet and he cracks his head on the floor, lights out. Rockford walks out with his typical look of ‘huh, lucky me.’ I must be meaner … my thought when glancing across the room at where I keep the large, high quality plastic squeeze bottle full of 28% solution hydrochloric acid. Anyone breaking my door down is going to be begging this would be prey for a fire hose volume of water in the face.
Rockford was a fake, but then so am I. If Rockford’s military experience was part Sergeant Bilco and part Sad Sack, what was mine? A pause for reflection. Rockford was infantry in Korea, I was infantry in Vietnam. But not really. I was aviation assigned to an infantry brigade. Drinking, actually sucking alcohol down like a fish, nights, and days sitting on the floor in the rear compartment of a small, OH-6 observation helicopter, feet out the door with an M-60 machine gun in my lap, was not everyone’s cup of tea. Especially the time I’d flipped up my flight helmet’s face mask and barfed into the rotor wash, puke doesn’t always cooperatively go out of a chopper flying with no doors. Suddenly I found myself with a new job… driving a jeep. That had worked out well enough.
Two hours nap following daydreaming ancient history, and back in the now. I thought about the cops I’d known, the so-called ‘real McCoy.’ How would any of them have handled my present circumstance? Short answer? They wouldn’t. None of them, was my best guess. I mean they wouldn’t be free, a ‘relative’ condition, probably they’d not even be alive. Or maybe alive but framed for corruption and sitting in prison. Did I say that already? I didn’t steal my storyline from Rockford, this is real. Except Rockford was pardoned and there’s precisely zero chance of that in my case, if I were to slip up and create opportunity for my adversaries.
Truth be known, I’m too old to be playing games of intrigue, James Garner retired playing Rockford at age 52, too beat up to keep it going. If Garner was beat up at 52, my scary Jewish-Orthodox hybrid Greek girlfriend tells me, then at 63 years old, I’m a “full-blown case of run over.” I asked where she gets her obscure American idiom and she tells me TV. Old shows. Growing up with serial reruns of 70s stuff like Hawaii Five-0, Colombo and Cannon. More recently, Ally McBeal, whom she admires for her neurosis. ‘How on Earth’… I begin to ask, she anticipates the question too easily: “I grew up on the border with Tito’s Yugoslavia” she states as a matter-of-fact, “and we saw it all, airwaves don’t know borders.”
She’s how I was educated in the matter of Tito’s space program and many more ‘alternative’ histories. It seems Tito’s Yugoslavia was a paradoxical mix of American entertainment industry and stuff the American establishment media wouldn’t touch with the proverbial ten foot pole.
A Jewish-Orthodox hybrid, Greek girlfriend, is a truly scary creature. Particularly in a case of a Jewish father’s abandoned wild oats, or technically a ‘goy.’ Somehow the ‘goy’ part did not erase genetic memory of centuries of Christian pogroms pursued by Orthodoxy. Nor did a further technical abandonment, a theological one, not having been born to a Jewish mother, endear her to any modern establishment in Jerusalem. As well, the Orthodox memory of the Catholic sack of Greek city of Constantinople, makes for no friendly feelings for the establishment at Rome. She consists of something like four angry parts pulling in five directions, when you throw in the Yugoslav socialist influence. Fluent in Greek, Macedonian, Russian, German and English, not only language but culture as well, she’d be an intelligence agency’s dream assassin. She informs me all her previous boyfriends had slept with pistol or knife under the pillow, but I don’t. She appreciates my trust but perhaps misapprehends the fact. There’s no point. You’d be dead before your weapon could be brought out, if that’s what she wanted, is my impression.
It’s Monday morning in Charlottenberg, a Russian mafia controlled district of Berlin. Jews for Jesus are out in force. Jews for Jesus are not really Jewish people per se. The fine print under “Jews for Jesus” reads: “and others.” You talk to them and discover one grandparent is/was a Jew, they are married to a non-practicing Jew, or most likely are just a ‘born again’ convert by the organization, with no other Jewish connection. But that Star of David on their shirts is better than a diplomatic passport in Germany. Germans not only don’t want to talk to them, they don’t want to see them. Pretend they don’t exist. A clear case of ‘don’t remind us.’ Jews for Jesus operates as freely on the streets of Berlin as though they were conferred with invisibility. I never saw any German accept a tract from Jews for Jesus.
The MOSSAD pussies are gearing up for another attempt, it’s plain as day. A sort of ‘roll your eyes’ moment at the amateur effort but you never let on. Jews for Jesus proselytizing Christians are flown in from the American bible-belt and are set like bothersome flies on the irritated Germans, who perceive the Star of David on their tee-shirts as though someone had placed a plastic dog shit on the breakfast table, as a conversation piece. Meanwhile, over the past week, you’ve noticed your haunts have been staked out and routines studied. The anomalies are glaring. Duped American mid-west Bible-thumpers are the cover story.
When Americans flown in from the Midwest Bible Belt have been replaced by Israelis whose general demeanor, facial expression and body language is top to bottom different from the duped evangelicals (who should not, after-all, be surprised that actual Jews would be involved with their organization), it is not going to be missed by someone with my level of training. I notice a couple of Israelis studying my routines, while it was Americans covered the larger public area I frequented, for a few days, and then it was Israelis had staked out my most often used U-Bahn entrance.
So, apparently I’m not supposed to notice some West Bank settler, a veteran of IDF special operations forces, with hair style similar to a Rastafarian, dirty hippyish dress, oozing violence in the very fiber of his being, has the entrance staked out, a cultivated vessel of Israeli ‘artistic’ muscle suddenly (it must’ve been last night) converted to Jews for Jesus and made respectable with a Star of David on his clean, only because it is brand new, tee-shirt. From West Bank settlement to IDF special forces to MOSSAD assignment of Israeli artist in Berlin to Jew for Jesus for a day. And I’m not supposed to notice anything like that.
I enter U-Bahn at my normal entry point, Kurfürstendamm at Adenauer Platz, but instead of going down a 2nd level and taking the train, I walk out another entrance, as though I were using the U-Bahn station as a method to cross an intersection without having to deal with above ground traffic lights and ‘walk’ signals, while watching for any tail I might pick up and sure enough .. a tall Israeli in tight shorts (no ‘Jews for Jesus’ shirt) reverses direction and emerges behind me but I’m ready for this. I’ve positioned myself with back to wall at an outdoor café table, sandwiched between people also facing him with backs to wall. He cannot hit me with a poison needle without giving himself away. Totally the wrong crowded scene, it is my advantage, not his. He stupidly studies my circumstance for a minute, hesitating, starts to leave, stops to study again, wonders what to do while obviously out of sorts, gives up and leaves as I’d been looking steadily and directly at him.
MOSSAD moron, is my single thought, as I watch him go away.
What’s actually frightening in all this is, my girlfriend. MOSSAD had trained her in airport security, her previous employment, and God knows what else. She allows herself anti-Semitic moments but I have to walk on eggs in the presence of her-highness-of-the-Jewish-feral-oats that sometimes spends the night at my flat. Her sense of humor can be pretty good. When she asked how, the previous night, I had managed to keep from ejaculating despite her best effort to force me to go first, I answered “fear.” She blew coffee through her nose onto her laptop.