You wonder what’s behind all those names of boats streaming in the veins of this Spree river. Located outside the south part of the central train station, the river bank grabs the attention of people on their first arrival from behind the glass window of the towering station, yet strangely unnoticed in winter. If you give it a closer look, you’ll find nothing really special about it. You won’t find wild stream of cleanest water, classical street lights, meaningful sacrificial history of any born saints or minutely-crafted statues on the bridge, barren as a cloudless sky. In fact it’s the epitome of Berlin’s touristy face coupled with a grand view of the Reichstag and flooded with bare-chested sun-worshipping Germans.
One may alienate himself to be able to think out loud clearly but not too alone lacking the ordinariness of vanities. For some reasons you still need those accidental sounds, of footsteps on the deck, of growing grass and water splash, of pretty faces and floating birds, of arriving trains from the distance. The city-tour boats at the river bank go offshore hourly. Tourists from all walks of life spend 10 euro for a quick boat ride, a price reasonable enough to pretend that they give a fuss about history of this city and each historical building that the boats pass. They would nod almost simultaneously to every good-to-knows and stick out their fancy cameras almost simultaneously towards all directions and here I am by the river, not more dignified than herd of sun-bathing penguins at a national zoo.
River bank serves as a home for both the joyous or the low in heart. It harbors the festive and the brokenhearted. It provides the ground for the mindful and mindless steps. Only those with peaceful mind would go to a lake, while at one point they wish the lake would remind them of a river. A river flows to a certain direction, some flow more swiftly while some less but it doesn’t really matter, as long as you put your thoughts to sail off-shore. They teach you a kind of flow, to where your unborn thoughts shall meet their ends. Not that they’re drowning, but there’s an edge that the eyes alone can’t follow.
Let me cry in my sleep. But I’m not sleeping. My eyes are wide open and hurt by the merciless sun. A blond boy with a pink-blue cap is standing next to me staring at a boat which he just rode with his parents. Upon his face I sensed a feeling of being stranded for the tour came to an end too quickly. He smells of heat, his inexperienced eyes are the bluest blue at this very hour and you won’t trace any wounds in there. Suddenly I wish it would rain. A sudden quick rain with no warning that tolerates no time to even spell r-a-i-n. A rain terrible and heavy enough pouring down on me, shoving me down to the river that I might cry for help to the passing boats. But all I see is two girls sitting on the grass few meters away with boxed Chinese food shoveled to their mouths using plastic forks, caring nothing about the boy’s blue eyes and names of the passing boats. They prefer nameless things at this flavorless public space. As long as the river flows, everything seems fine. But even if it stops flowing, you can’t expect them to notice. Nobody comes to a river bank to see a river. Nobody ever feels the need to watch a dancing river, with harmless little waves that mirror myriad of crystals from the sun that if you gaze at them long enough, all you see is something else from the back of your eyes and you remember ocean waves.
That’s how they named the boats. For everything appearing on the surface of the water should have a name. The fancier the boat is, the more frustrated the passengers’ faces appear. They ride a boat that is too far from the water surface, foreigners carried by the dancing waves, low as asphalt you never notice when you’re in a car. The next boat appeared. The sunglasses-masked tourists disembarked from Kehrwieder. Blue plastic chairs on her upper deck are only half occupied. At the same time Luna passed me for the third time already, not that I’m counting. The voice of the worn German flag and the faceless statues on the bridge are swallowed by the boat engine, slowly disappearing like the unrecognizable shapes of the scattered clouds above. Kehrwieder stopped leaning once it’s filled with another flock of shepherdless tourists, leaving me with a stark smell of diesel.