The morning. Baby and I arrive in Berlin just after eight. It’s raining. A cold mist cleaves the streets. We left early and our eyes are half-open from half-sleep on the train. We lost our tickets crossing Karstädt and had to search our bags, our pockets, the floor when the conductor asked us where they were. We finally found them at the bottom of the valise, tucked away for safe keeping.
If we aren’t careful, true Fascism will grow and take hold in this country – not Nazi thugs on the streets in their brown shirts perhaps, but our own, Americanized version of it, bloated and overwrought, with stars and eagles instead of a swastika bound by a thick circle that would keep anyone who isn’t anglicized, God-fearing, white and heterosexual at the bottom of an ever-deepening barrel.
The first sounds of the morning are of tuk-tuk and taxi engines as they come to life, their honking horns alongside the footsteps of the city’s informal working class taking to the streets. And, even earlier than that, the song and chant of Hindu morning prayer, and the feral dogs that slink to the shadows to sleep, no longer dominant as the sun begins its climb from behind Agra, India’s low hills.
Germany has addressed its past in ways most countries, especially the United States, have not: A sort of national psychoanalysis to keep something like the Third Reich from ever happening again.
It will only be a matter of time before the accessibility and readily-available nature of A.I. partners will supersede the time and effort it takes to impress a real one.
We all know the things we want. We lust, we hide, we lie, we cheat, we need. We desire. It’s inherently, truthfully, human.