The Strangest Pictures We Have Seen


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Scene Title The Strangest Pictures We Have Seen
Synopsis Other things continue happening on the other side of the world.
Date January 23, 2010

Berlin, Germany

He'd expected him to be drunk. He hadn't expected to find him pissing away euros at karaoke bar in Berlin.

Under any other circumstances, the man in the woolen greatcoat, leather gloves and the black cravat would not have set foot in Lützowplatz. The club's chartreuse green lights give his tall, lean figure a sickly cast and sap what little handsomeness he can still lay claim to, exaggerating his face's aquiline features and the sunken hollows where his eyes are set back his skull. None of the college students crowding around the tables that populate the floor pay him any mind as he weaves and winds between them, eventually arriving at the bar itself where he pulls out a seat at the end of the counter and turns his attention to the stage.

He hadn't expected to find him without a shirt either, come to think of it, but the longer the man in the woolen greatcoat speculates about the condition of his compatriot belting out Electric Light Orchestra lyrics into his microphone in a drunken slur, the less surprised he is.

The visions dancing in my mind

The early dawn, the shades of time

Twilight crawling through my windowpane

Am I awake or do I dream?

The strangest pictures I have seen

Night is day and twilight's gone away

His slacks are a little too low on his waist, giving his lean figure a lankier appearance than usual that borders on emaciated. Covered in a sheen of sweat and strips of gauze soaked through with the same, the singer's body — with its hard curves and feline musculature — acts as a magnet for the opposite sex. The man in the greatcoat suspects this is why he chose Lützowplatz. If there's one thing that he learned during the course of his career, it's that loneliness is one of the most powerful motivators on the planet; too often do people take extraordinary risks simply for the sake of human companionship and the sex that sometimes comes with it.

Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile

Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind

Away from me.

The bartender asks the man in the greatcoat if he would like something to drink. The man in the greatcoat replies, in perfectly accented English, that he'll take a gin and tonic on ice with a twist of lime. Onstage, the singer has yet to notice his presence at the bar — his attention is fixated on a shapely blonde with a buxom figure whose arm is looped around his waist. When he leans down and kisses her on the mouth, he does not pause and instead murmurs lyrics thickly against her lips. The words are all wrong, and the man in the greatcoat does not need to be reading the screen projected behind the couple to know. English is not the singer's first language, and even if it was, he doubts that he would would be having better luck.

If it weren't for the pretty young thing trying to slide her hand down the front his pants, he wouldn't even be standing.

You brought me here, but can you take me back again?

With your head held high and your scarlet lies

You came down to me from the open skies—

The boom of the microphone hitting the stage explodes through Lützowplatz. Feedback blasts tinny and shrill from the speakers mounted on the club's walls, and although dozens of hands are flying to cover just as many ears, no one is as disturbed as the singer whose leg is now entangled in the microphone's thick black cord. He's spotted the man in the greatcoat, gin and tonic cradled in the seat of his gloved palm, which he raises to his compatriot on the stage in a silent toast.

He sprains his left wrist rolling off the stage and kicks the blonde square in the teeth with the heel of his boot in an attempt to disengage from her like a cat twisting away from a bath of cold water. She screams, but the only person in Lützowplatz who cares is the bartender, who's coming after the singer with a broom and a maelstrom of German epiphets. He doesn't have to chase him far. The emergency fire escape at the bottom of the stage's steps provides the singer with the quick exeunt he's looking for, even as he shouts something about being chased by a volk.

Drinking from his glass, lime tart on his lips, the man in the greatcoat lets him go. He'll find him hiding in a motel room several hours later and will summarily put his head through the flimsy bathroom door before pushing it under several inches of cold water with the intention of either killing him or sobering him up.

It will not particularly matter which.

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