Berlin Romance

He sat for hours in the rattling subway trains, watching passengers, passing stations without knowing the city above. This man was a lawyer in Bruno Maglis, that one wanted to impress with a shiny suit, but wore resoled loafers. No matter how much he adored the young woman's pale legs, her pumps weren't even leather.

He met Karla because she was his height, 6'2", wore black like him, had the same asymmetrical haircut, and dyed her hair the same black cherry-red. Her shoes were black suede, pointed and desirable. They stood on the platform waiting for the train, eyeing each other. He gave her his address, and a few days later she showed up at his door.

"My boyfriend has a motorcycle," she said over coffee. "He's into Karate and body-building, reads Mishima before we have sex."

"Weird," he said. "I'm an actor. An acting student. I want to do a great movie and then retire."

With Karla he rode the bus, and she pointed out the places where she had done it and with whom and how. She worked in the lower tier of a city administration and had only forty-five years left until retirement.

Daniel asked for stories about her big-armed, motor-cycling, tattooed, body-building, Karate-fighting and Mishima reading boyfriend. "Disgusting," he said, urging her to continue. He was rather skinny and not into any sports at all.

She wanted to make love to him and when he wouldn't, she invited him to hang out on her bed at night, the lights switched off, drinking wine and listening to the Sisters of Mercy.

Karla was quite drunk on the day he finally consented. She brought pink champagne and had just slept with her boyfriend. Daniel was afraid of AIDS, and only these green designer condoms were left, which had the tendency to tear.

Karla's skin was soft, her breasts small for a body that looked even more massive when naked. Daniel put on two of the condoms and thought of the tattooed fighter friend, knowing that Karla waited for him to perform. "I'm not a lover boy," he said, but she didn't hear him. Her face was pressed into the pillow, her backside raised to welcome him. Pushing, imitating the force of a man twice his weight, his left foot tipped over the champagne bottle. He watched the red liquid drench his carpet, fought the urge to go and clean up the mess. He thrust and grunted and thrust, watching the stain grow bigger. When he pulled out, one condom had been lost.

"I don't need Kleenex," she said.

"It's for the champagne," Daniel said. He was rubbing the spot on his carpet when Karla left.

About the author:

Stefan Kiesbye is the author of the novel Next Door Lived A Girl (Low Fidelity Press 2004). His stories have appeared/are coming forth in Hobart, Carve, and Poor Mojo's Almanac(k), among others. Stefan is living in Ann Arbor with his wife Sanaz. For more information, please visit his website at