for germany
April 04, 2016


A train from Munich central station to Numberg, from which I transfer to a train to Bamberg. An overnight bus last night from Rome. A live, real-time flipped truck on a road in Austria. One MacBook charger left in Rome. A flight missed to Paris, with it one night at an AirBnB and a train route to Bamberg. Overstepping the terms of a personal relationship. Cash expended, paying for a dinner in Nepi, for drinks in Rome, and for the future Mac charger I need to purchase. A less than appreciable hairstyle, courtesy of wilful reaction on tour a month past. The almost-finished continuation of three freelance projects, as they somehow managed to cross the border and continue living in this fading, batterized computer.

A new developing gig, working freelance for a month at Artirigo. A new language, German, reducing me again to square zero. One new friend, met on overnight bus, a German girl from a small town near Neuschwanstein. A manageably good sleep. Reminder burst from a McDonalds paper cup that coffee in non-espresso amounts invigorates. A chapter of Byzantine history. A pumpkin bagel with cream cheese.

I am out of Italy. Part has been played, and I am now working on new material. Rebuilding competence from a different beginning. In search of a swimming pool, having not cleansed in chlorine for almost a year. In search of new fitness, more than anything. Of recreation. Some more sustainable context for returning to my what-was America, than this Italian make-believe; this Mussolini-Hitler, Putin-Donald Trump. I am landed in new ideology, which gives me the opportunity to recreate myself.

Linguistically, I am back at infancy. I am suffering the enervation of one language for the innervation of another. I am thinking of ideology in this way, as well. Both exchanges are not self-contained. The blocking of one for the potential of another is an oversimplified model, but it helps me wrap my head around the micro-complexities -- as a macro-complexity, overlooking smaller nuance for the sake of a simple understanding that can pressure a direction, action, free will.

I am here to practice working in a startup environment. I am here to get my feet wet with German. I am here to become fit again. I am here running through the sprinklers of the German tech sector. I am here to rethink my 8 months in Italy, outside of itself and myself -- because I imagine I will return to some old inside thought-politik when I return to Princeton in May. I am here to reimagine the year, myself, my education, my career (why must a career be mine?).

I do not have to meet people or make friends with them inside these ideas. I sometimes find those dearer who are a part of ideology's excess. Lips leaning on another's on the verge of departure, meaning where we have been told not to find it. Sometimes I think I can only find meaning where I have been told not to. Where it does not exist, and so I can imagine it on our own terms. Where love is lost, where lyrics lie, where I pretend to know something I don't: case and point.

author Lachlan Kermode

Written by Lachlan Kermode who lives and works in Princeton. You should check out his Resume, GitHub, or Twitter.