It is the weekend for me, and I finally have a Saturday off. My work schedule is really random, but I am adjusting to working the weekends again. I made plans today to meet a male for a drink. I had been casually seeing people who I find could be potential dating partners. My focus is still on “plan B,” but I admit I can get rather lonely sitting in that apartment with my ex boyfriend who avoids me like I am a deadly virus. The weather is warming up, and it seems that Winter could be over early. I am nervous about meeting this person who has been emailing for the last two weeks. He seems rather demanding, but non Native English speakers tend to sound more aggressive to me. We plan to meet around 630pm to have a drink at a bar that I love in Mitte. The decor is dark and posh. Velvet curtains, intricate wall papers, and beautiful furniture. This place is a bit pricey than the average Berlin bar, and I appreciate their relaxed smoking policy. To me, a short drink is the best first date. It is simple, and inexpensive. I always make sure to take enough money to drink for myself, just in case I am with a man who is cheap or low on cash.
I dressed casually, black leggings and white t shirt. Light makeup with red lips to match my red shoes and scarf. I really think red is my color right now. I like to feel comfortable when I go out, and this outfit was the right match. I never know what to wear in Berlin to be honest. I am either dressed up, or dressed down. I decided to stop caring so much about fitting in, I realize it is rather impossible. I get on the train a bit early to make sure I arrive on time. Time and punctuality have increasingly become important to me while living in Germany. On my way I get a text message, “What are you doing tonight, I have a day off.” Low and behold, the bassist wants to hang out. This is a man who I had known for a while and is my neighbor. Not next door, but close. He is a Black male from Texas who has been here for 20 years. He is tall, and handsome, and very talented. He has a lot of knowledge concerning Black history and is a very goofy guy behind closed doors. We had a falling out last year, well at least I did, and we have just begun to start talking again. I realize that there are not going to be any other Black men like him in this city like him. I do not want to push out one of the few kindred spirits I have happened to meet.
His sudden text message threw me for a loop. I was off to have a drink, but all I kept thinking was how can I cut this short to hang out with the bassist later? I arrive early to the bar and wait for this guy to arrive so I can get this “date” over with. I had met him, before, he is a mixed (Ghanaian and White German) guy born and raised in Berlin. He is very German, accent and all, but we had some things in common. He was dressed casually as everyone does in Berlin. T shirt, jeans, coat, nothing fancy. He has a slim build, and about 5’9. He had a simple job at a hotel, and lived in the South of the city. The conversation was dry at first, but we eventually found some things to keep the vibe going. I drank a vodka straight up while he sipped on his juice and talked about life in Berlin versus life in America. The typical conversation I have here that I have to admit I am tired of talking about. I could not wait for 930pm to come. Not because the guy was so terrible, just that I wanted to see the bassist again. I wrap things up, hail a cab, and make my way home to charge my phone to make sure I do not miss the call the bassist promised to make.
Like clockwork, he calls at 10pm and we catch up. I wanted to keep it light. I was quite angry with him for not speaking to me during a time I felt I really needed someone, but I just wanted to be civil. I wanted to stay positive. He informs me of a late night jam session at the iconic A trane bar and night club. I was not sure if I should accompany him to this. People always thought we were dating whenever we are out together, that was not entirely untrue, but I wished not to be romantically linked to him any longer. I decided to agree. Who would be out in the far West of Berlin from my group of friends? Everyone is either with their bootycall for the evening, or at some club trying to recruit a new one.
Even though I had to work the next day, I agreed to attend the session, which was set to start at 2am. He is a musician, so he is a night owl. I had to take a nap before going. I woke up about 1245am to redress and walk to his place to take a cab to the place. I was nervous to see him again, I was not sure how I would react. Men have a way of being so cavalier about things. I walked into his apartment, which to my surprise had been updated and organized. He showed me the improvements while I sparked one and waited for him to finish dressing. I could not help but stare. I have a thing for a man who can dress. He always wears something black and gold. I am sure there is some significance behind this. I also appreciate a man who wear a nice cologne, and his is one that is hard to forget. I tried to keep my head out of the gutter, and be nice.
We finally make it to the A trane. The place was packed with people who I luckily did not know. We found a seat, and watched the show. Watching live music with a musician is interesting. He is always serving his commentary about things. I had a glass of red wine and my head was spinning. All I kept thinking was: “What is that cologne he is wearing?” The set was nice. There were a group of European guys playing some good tunes. There was a young man playing in the style of Myles Davis, he was pretty good. Everyone knows the bassist so they come over to say hello while looking me up and down, I guess, wondering where did he find me? The Black male musicians are always asking, so are you from here? I find this to be hilarious, especially when I am speaking to them with the exact same fucking accent that they are. I guess single black American women who are good looking AND out with a Black male are rare sight.
I had a good night overall, but I kept thinking, I moved my whole plans around just for a few hours with a man that I highly doubt is a true friend in my eyes. Do I really have to do so much just to find a connection in Europe? I got home, emailed my father and said… “Dad, I think I am ready to come home.”