That year we spent most of our nights in the woods, despite the colder weather, but also, from time to time, in revisiting those parts of the city we loved. We walked along the tree- lined streets in forgotten corners of the East side. Living in the small town – where we still live, after all these years – made us enjoy our walks in the city even more. It is there that, one night, our lives took a new direction, without us planning for that change, although later, Inga, as ever thoughtful, explained that it had to happen, in order to preserve the balance of our immune system, and perhaps also our sanity.
So it was that as we walked along the river bank, in the pre-dawn hours, we heard some intriguing melody, coming out of what looked like a small club, viewed from outside, in one of the narrow lanes that had escaped the planners. It was a club, and Inga suggested, silently, that we could go in and dance. At the door a huge bouncer wanted to see our members’ credentials, and was promptly convinced by Inga that there was no need. It was bigger inside, with young people crowded around a stage with a live New Rock band. People were dancing, or standing at the small bar talking and drinking. The sound level was, by the standards of the day, quite low, so that conversations were taking place. The atmosphere seemed to be relaxed, good behaviour reigned.
We danced, and both us observed the scene. I noticed immediately the good-looking youngsters, of all genders, in the audience. It was not rare in the city. The fashion then was for boys to adopt a kind of androgyn style, and for young women to look as butch as possible, breast and buttocks tight in leather. The band was very good, playing what sounded like original pieces, and some classics. After a while we went to the bar and ordered bourbon. We drank alcohol rarely, but it did not affect us. We drank a little, then Inga said to my ear: “look at that guy near the drums, the one who dances with the Greta look-alike… I think he’s interested in you…” A quick look revealed a tall, blond, regular-faced young man, elegantly dressed, who seemed to be more interested in looking at Inga and me, rather that at his partner, who looked a little bored. We went back dancing. Inga manoeuvred us closer to the drums. The band was playing some classic alternative tunes I had not heard for a while. Soon we were close to the other couple. The fellow was indeed very good looking, with a blasé smile, which was then fashionable. Inga and I danced close to each other, her arms often on my shoulders. It is he who spoke first to me, asking me, perhaps us, what we thought of the band. I was complimentary. The conversation started. He wanted to know next where we came from. We were of course as evasive as ever. And what about him? Greta was unimpressed, and shortly after joined another girl for a different dance. We soon retired to the bar with the blond young man. It was obvious to me that his interest was toward Inga, although he continued looking at me when speaking. He turned out to be an art manager for one of the fashionable galleries on the West side. We spoke paintings and sculptures. Inga was saying very little. The conversation continued on the theme of the city at night, and the artistic beauty of its streets under the moon. This was not terribly subtle. We ordered Riesling. Our new friend was a little more animated, drawing Inga into the conversation. We spoke about the art galleries, about theatre, about films.
Some time later we decided to go out, the three of us, and visit a small park nearby, where our new friend said some exquisite modern sculptures had been installed. The air was clear, icy, the sky cloudless. The new moon lit the streets. The park was twenty minutes from the club, and deserted. I was surprised that it was unlocked. We passed some interesting modern statues, upon which our new friend commented. Then we stopped near a small sculpture of a Greek god. The young man took Inga in his arms, and I stood behind him a hand on his shoulder. Inga instructed me wordlessly to let her handle him. I did. We were standing in obscurity, in the midst of thick bushes. In the silence I could hear Inga’s regular breathing as our companion was telling her some tales. I saw my lady busying herself with the boy’s zipper. I tightened my grip. Soon the motion of her arm gave me no doubt as to what she was doing. I held him now tighter, which he appeared not to mind.
I was breathing calmly but knew something was coming, and I could not resist it. As I pulled him lightly against me, my teeth went for his neck. His surprise was total, and the lock he was in did not give him any possibility of escape. A little later, not more than five minutes, I felt his body slacking against mine. I had to hold him upright. Inga freed herself, and said in a low voice: “he’s yours, take him!”
I drank, and stopped only when Inga intervened. I do not know when that was. I eased my victim slowly down, unconscious, to the ground and a grassy patch behind a thick bush. Inga tidied up his crotch. I was dizzy. “We must go now” Inga said, and guided us back, out of the park, and through the deserted streets, finally to our train station. I was floating. So, it had been my turn to be the predator. I remembered the first time, when Inga had drunk from the woman in another park. Now, we really were at the gate of the Night.
Bild: Savignyplatz in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Knabe mit Ziege von August Kraus – Fridolin freudenfett / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)