You sound like you’re in a Beckett play


I ran into an old friend in Dussmann (a Berlin bookstore), an American PhD grad student in German literature, who loves Dussmann as much as he loves chocolate. He is the only person in the world I can speak to for hours about literature. I hadn’t seen him since 2008, so this was an entirely unexpected surprise chance meeting. He was back in Berlin through a DAAD with his girlfriend, and he asked me how I was doing in Berlin. After my wandering and cryptic reply made entirely with no eye contact and very slowly as if I had to wait for brain cells to awake, he replied that I sounded as if I was in a Beckett play. Not being a huge fan of modern theatre and unfamiliar with Beckett outside of some high school level knowledge, I asked him for clarification. He went on to explain that I had recounted my years as though I was in some kind of enclosed space like a stage when describing my past 5 years in Berlin. Although he didn’t draw out the conclusion even further, I went on to speculate that I was also like the Beckett characters themselves repeating and experiencing the same thoughts over and over ad continuum.  For some questions like are you fluent in German, I have been giving, sometimes to the same people the same answer since 2006. Someone actually told me “that was the same answer you gave me 5 years ago.” This friend usually accepts me unconditionally and without judgement but at times, he also has the urge to burst the question “What exactly are you doing in Berlin?” 

One thought on “You sound like you’re in a Beckett play

  1. Maybe you are still trying to find yourself. Don´t think too much about that. Just do what you are good in. And there are tons of things you are really good.

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