untitled - Fiction

“Memory. Memory is the key. Faulty, traduced by years of remembering,” he stutters at this point, faltering, “I remember, or I thought I did, how Anita danced on the table. How Elow laughed. How Isherwood sat hissing in the corner.”

It is hard not to interpret memory, these memories in particular as something other, in the light of what subsequently happened. It is hard not to interpret these memories as false. As indeed they are false. This box of building-bricks gone mad.

Kastner, witnessing the burning of the books at Bebel-Platz, saw his own work in the flames and L, recalling all of this years later, recalling the Kabaretté, the clichés magnified by the passing years, all those sudden horrific reversals and terrors and victories and losses and losses: the horror of the world turned upside down – smiled quietly.

L is my spirit guide. He drags me back into a blood red velvet world a century away.

I stumble around Orannienburger Strasse at 4am and there he is, a little drunk old man with faultless English and furtive eyes. L, with his gammy leg and his dodgy ticker. L, with his hotline to God.