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Penguin and Paper

A conglomerate of my random thoughts

I’m looking for Zeitcafe, in the Köln (Cologne) train station, which is where I am supposed to meet Anna. I find it at the end of a long corridor and step out the doors to a plaza. And then I know this was all worthwhile, and that I will be fine, because there is this:  The Dom cathedral of Köln with the moon rising over its shoulder. And people sitting on its steps, and a busker.

The Dom Cathedral, as seen from the train station at midnight

I take a seat on the stone steps, joining the ranks of fellow travelers, and drunken students, and artists.  Beside me a guy is crying – unashamed, visibly, audibly sobbing with what can only be heartbreak. His friend is trying to comfort him. A group of young French students are exchanging email addresses, jokes and kisses. Others are quietly, calmly smoking cigarettes. And here, in this monumental setting, it seems as if the great range of human emotion has been laid out on the lap of history.

Then Anna and I find each other in the train station. We hug, we jump, we laugh, we create a small scene amid the business-minded Germans moving efficiently toward their trains.

Anna and her boyfriend live only a few blocks from the Central Station, and we walk back through Cologne’s sleeping and shuttered downtown. I should be totally exhausted, but instead we chat until 3 am over wine and cheese.

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