Headshot of a Doppelgänger : the Berlin-based shadow

By Marc Chicoine


Dull but not dum weight, when taking time to notice. The sheet doesn't cover it, the underside of the sofa, the Ungeheuer tries but it's larger than life, lurking, Kafkaesque. With friends, at dinner, new nooks, dance, sex, glow, especially after the event, rush of dopamine, the influx of sensory information. Then after a sudden disjunct, satisfaction no longer the end result of the simplicity.

It’s all in the eyes, warped lenses. They help when reading others; call it active listening, spurred on by that search to generate meaning... White hot to suffer, seriously, to still be hungry when the material world spoon feeds you like Hansel and Gretel. Perhaps the wicked witch does not have "real problems". But hey, we all carry our own baggage, especially when you unwillingly pull yourself outside of your skin and relate with others… but does that exempt you from goading her into the oven?

You attempt to filter this brooding from a non-objective viewpoint. Eastern ideology isn’t ideal in an individualized world. Mindfulness, being present, it's good for breathing room. Helps to free one from the seductive scent of clusterfuck headspace, but it’s not a distraction from the splinter.

A loose cog that doesn’t fit in the shiny world my parents have molded like clay. I am very grateful for their work. Well educated, free from physical hardship, confident, all the hotel amenities, and if not tippy top, high enough to taste the fine wine of hierarchy but leveled enough to understand the steps created by the bodies of those around me. Butterfly effects, from single parents and cab drivers and druggies and bank tellers and suits and all those pretty overlooked notes that make music. I reach out the window when I drive. It's not a strong reflection, but I try to feel their stories with my hands.

I've started to sometimes press pause. I haven't thrown the controller, but perhaps I'll set it down from time to time.The greater this feeling, the less I’m inclined to stream another character's storyline. Most of us dig into the rat race, waist deep we continue to shovel. I play my video-games better than most, sometimes no questions asked about the rules or morality of Nintendo. Maybe I'm type-A spoiled milk. A weed that needs to be uprooted, going through a “phase”. No doubt many self help books cite the angst of a highly motivated 20 something creative.

Perhaps I’ll eat some German cake and mull it over... My great grandfather was a baker before the forced draft of the Third Reich. In the end his baking skills, not Aryan promise, helped him escape from Siberia. Apparently trains do have a need for line cooks, supply and demand. It may be true that having touched tangible things that drive so many for their timespan, while realizing how many get burned in the process, the only way to fully embrace the greater context is to unshackle and step out of the cave to see fire. Hella blessed, but I wish I could see past my shadow...I like the taste of this frosting.