- Calcutta - Auschwitz
train had Russian markings.
My companion was a scared former East German kid dressed uncomfortably
and staring at the pages of a cheap paperback. My companion
did not utter a single word and skipped out near Dresden. An
ugly town even at night. The Czech border appeared suddenly
and the uniforms changed. The ugly industrial blight did not
Czech Republic," I murmured to myself. "Sounds like
some kind of breakfast cereal." It was dark and lonely outside
the moving window. I wasn't sure what to expect in Prague. All
I knew for sure was that it was IMPORTANT. The train dumped me
off at Holesovic station, a miserable dump by any measurable standard.
Freshly washed, permanently dirty floors greeted me and I refused
all taxi offers. I was determined not to get ripped off this early
on my trip. I waited for the subway to open and eventually it
did. Bleary-eyed, I trudged onward, the home-stretch was near.
In this early morning bardo, I found my little angel. When German
Yuppies die they go to Potsdam, but where do Czech yuppies go?
Prague was beautiful, but also filthy for most kinds of yuppies.
The smell of burning rubber attacked my nostrils in the early
and dank hours of the morning. I was lost .... Apple's confusing
instructions had screwed me up. I left my luggage at a hotel and
wandered through the Karlin section of Prague.
kept a journal of each day in my mind:
I found her at last. Summer is a perfect goddess. Perfect features
and perfect skin. An exotic mix of Swedish and French. Summer's
boyfriend, who helped me haul my luggage up the stairs, seemed
like a basket-case. But Summer, oh, she cares about everything
in principle; she belongs to the world and there is nothing
she can do about it. The karma is very heavy between us. We
were like magnets zeroing in on one another. I set up my altar
and fell asleep after puja. When I awoke, I found myself alone
had put a white shirt over her black bra and stood next to the
window smoking a cigarette. She looked very thin and sick.
Summer's skin was ivory pale. She was also nervous. "What
do you think about the Czechs?" I asked, sitting on the
floor. "Oh, one third are saints, one third are OK, and
the rest are utterly hopeless," she uttered with an air
of insecure authority. I can't recall the rest of the conversation
in detail, other than this little angel lived wildly and had
multiple health problems. A miscarriage and an eleventh-hour
abortion had hurt her more than she cared to admit. Asthma as
a child, heart and circulatory problems, and fibroids in her
reproductive plumbing tested my attraction to her for only a
few seconds. I was not slobbering and drooling, however. There
was something holy here. Our bond was ancient. We felt comfortable
as we slowly began to recognize each other for the first time
in these particular bodies.
Summer's frame was long and sleek, the word athletic came to
mind, but also the word dancer could have applied. I examined
her long and tapering fingers. Summer's arms were long as well.
Her breasts were small. Her feet dainty and erotic. I kept getting
this image of a benign spider. Summer had protruding collar
bones that screamed to be steered like handle-bars on a bicycle.
I then asked her if her red hair, which hung slightly above
her shoulders was her natural hair. "No, I dye it,"
she confessed with a little guilt. Summer wore contacts, which
concealed her bookish nature and exposed her pale and translucent
blue eyes. If looks could kill, Summer would be in the slammer
was only eighteen, but seemed emotionally advanced for her tender
years. She came from a broken home. She was a complete creature
of the Third Wave. Summer had basically only herself. Somehow,
around the fourth grade, she had dropped out of school and been
tutored at home like a spoiled princess. There was also a certain
savoir faire to my little angel. She had a ready knowledge of
what to say and how to say it. Summer had also studied acting
at a very young age. This could have had something to do with
it. Modeling seemed to bore her, though.
"Would you like to go out later?" she inquired. I
decided not to care. What was important now was to be with her
every possible second. The signal from San Francisco she had
sent had brought me to Prague; finally I had carefully and slowly
pulled it like a thread. It was time to explore our past. I
also sensed danger, but not to myself.
Prague is beautiful, but stagnant. It's denser and more compact
than Berlin. It's in the middle of a European cauldron. Summer
had come back to heal, and possibly to die in her old ancestral
home. For she was a sorceress who understood alchemy and was not
afraid of it. Summer's boyfriend was a crazed concubine. Somewhere
in the past, someone had taken everything away from him; he was
browbeaten and angry. He was out to get back everything he had
lost; and there was no end to this loss; and I knew this would
drag on forever. Summer knew this and tolerated it. She also knew
she deserved more than this, but was too sick to live alone. Summer
had dragged this poor man-child all the way from San Francisco.
They were officially a couple, but Summer was biding her time
now, waiting for her salvation in a patient and disciplined manner.
was during this time that I started shooting off rolls of film
with my cheap and collapsing Olympus camera. Summer's photogenic
pull was irresistible. These photo sessions were our first puja.
Summer was well-sculpted by nature. Our new alignment had now
started to move. Every act was an act of love. Prague's timeless
cobblestone alleys were our private garden path. The countless
spires and steeples hung like backdrops to an unknown play.
Summer and I posed for a photo on the Charles Bridge. I felt
as if we were already married.
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contents of this site © Finberg Books 2000-2004 by Michael Arthur