Berlin’s burning

by James Glazebrook

Last night, in a dream within a dream, Berlin burned to the ground. Somehow I witnessed this horrific event first-hand and survived, but thankfully don’t remember the details because – still in my dream – I woke up.

I then turned on the TV to discover that New York City had actually met with the same fate. My brother was there, acting as a kind of arson anthropologist, examining the strangely pristine skeletons left behind – like Gormley statues stripped down to their bare bones.

Then I woke up.

Zoë dreamed of apocalypse and mass murder.

Read into all this what you will.

Up in the air

by James Glazebrook

“Leave behind old attachments”

“Let’s Go”

The electronic billboards at Heathrow seem scripted. Trite little visual devices to underline our motivation.

Looking up at the glass ceiling, I see myself reflected back against the black sky, surrounded by half of my worldly possessions: two suitcases, one wife.

This feels like looking at a screen, like watching a twee indie flick in which our protagonists go on a journey that somehow serves as metaphor for their new life together. In my head, Bon Iver scores the scene.

On the plane, my wife remarks that she can’t look directly at the sun, as if all that is out there in front of us is too bright for her to visualise. I have no such problem, staring straight ahead until blankness fills my eyes. When I look away tiny trails of light remain, little paths back to my past.

Outside, everything seems otherworldly. The rolling fog looks like the surface of the sea, the sun peeking out from a hot pink horizon. Half an hour later, crisp white light cuts across a cloudscape that resembles snowdrifts on a glacier.

I believe that we are doing this in the same way you believe in the plot of a film for 90 minutes or so, only to pick it apart afterwards. We are immersed in this experience, but it’s hard to convince ourselves that this is our life, and that it will last indefinitely.

Seatbacks upright – we are now beginning our descent into Berlin.

View from our airplane window

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition.