It’s one of the fundamental facts of human history: movement demands motivation, motivation demands energy, and energy demands fuel. Even on the run you’re occasionally forced to stop to find something that can fill your stomach. And in these moments of external dependency you are weak and vulnerable against any dangers lurking in the surroundings.
So at a German Autobahn Raststätte joint on the way back to my beloved home, the state of Denmark, the most happy place in the whole universe, because we Danes are all so rich, beautiful and perfect … I stop, thus letting another story, no less real, begin: I’m running away from Berlin, the city that is poor, but sexy, after boxing with lots of bad love, too much alcohol and air that has done permanent damage to my normally flawless Danish skin. Thinking I have burned all bridges for sure and soon will be safe home in the welfare womb of the north, I get an SMS from this crazy ex-vegan bicycle builder guy living in Berlin. Once the guy had been an important church boy in the Catholic youth movement down in the Free State of Bavaria, but due to certain events he moved to Berlin a few years ago where he converted to veganism and meditation, until he hit his head in a bicycle accident really bad, woke up with blood on his teeth and became a full-time meat eater with an obsession for building cargo bikes the size of small houses. Then one day walking down the street this wheel headed church boy bumped into his own personal Virgin Mary and had an almost religious sight followed by an incredibly hard erection. Jumping the bike saddle from behind and shifting into the highest gear, he started climbing her holy mountain, and in the process ended knocking up the fancy looking chick and was now standing on the edge of parenthood.
Why should I care? I have enough trouble of my own right now, fleeing like a madman from a failed imaginary life, too much a coward to look back and learn. But, on the other side of the spinning coin of life, a friend is in need. Surviving in Berlin is rough, and entering parenthood in the city of the underworld, can kill even the most trained ex-vegan urban cyclist. So no time to think it over. I have the three big C’s: The Cash, the Car and the Courage. The wheels are already turning with a will of their own, setting my course straight back to Berlin. The Great Dane is coming, there is a friend to save, yeah a whole city of lost souls.
Just Another Alter Ego is a series of articles about a bumpy road trip into an urban utopia: not one still to come, not one that someday may be, but one that already is the hard, thrilling and colourful hyperreality of life in our cities.
Story © The Great Dane
Illustrations © Sally Wilde