by John Little
How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a 1000 kisses, milder than muscatel wine! - JS Bach
|Karl sipped his coffee, watched the world go by.
Berlin had once been a fairy princess. Even when she had lay dying, she gave him cover among her rubble until he was free, hiding in nearby towns until the dust of war cleared.
"Karl!" Hans kicked under the sidewalk table.
"I was saying, Berlin has forsaken her history. She's the whore of the West and the East. I don't know which is worse."
"I would get my morning coffee, right down there. Ingrid. She'd have my coffee ready every morning. It's on the other side of the Wall, now."
"You live in the past. This is the Space Age. Who will get there first? Democracy? Socialism? It would've been us. Now our scientists work for them. We will be first. But the Americans or the Russians will claim it."
"Shut up and drink your coffee. You talk too much, too loud."
Hans pushed the coffee back. "Germany has lost its soul. This isn't coffee. It's like the Americans, too raw and strong. Do away with sniveling democracies; push the socialists out of our backyard! We must rebuild! "
"They are rebuilding. They just forgot to include us. Let it go."
"No. I will never let go. Are you with us? For a new future?"
Karl sipped his coffee, watched the fraulein serve a couple tourists. She saw him looking and winked. The city was fresh, again. New dress, hair done up. Like a reborn princess.
"The past is gone. We had our time. It's over."
"It's never over!" Hans threw some coins on the table and left.
Karl watched him leave. The coffee isn't bad. And the young frauleins are as pretty as ever. Ah. To be twenty years younger and back in uniform.
Maybe, we had been wrong.