Berlin is populated by mentally ill people, Germans and mentally ill Germans. That’s why I like it so much, particularly the latter. If you’re anything like me – a well-adjusted, mentally-grounded Ausländerin calibrated for modern times – you make a bee-line for the mentally ill Germans, and not just because the sex is bestest. And not just because the semen of the zeitgeist-incarnate has 28 percent more amino acids than regular jizz; it’s because if you’re in Berlin and not sleeping with mentally ill Germans, you’re just not doing it right.
Case in point is a friend of mine suffering on her love-quest for normalcy: browsing OKCupid profiles together on a dreary school night, she began an epic whinge that she couldn’t find anyone ‘regular’ in Berlin. Unsurprisingly the ill-suited men inevitably encountered by her are petrified of women who use the word ‘regular’.
Mossy doesn’t think the single women of Berlin really want to domesticate the throngs of bi-polar Peter Pan party boys (they don’t exactly make the ovaries water), but there is a lack of The Boyfriend Experience being had. Another friend was used as the final, meaningless Berlin fling before this cad DJ moved back to Munich with his girlfriend. She had a Berlin minus-Boyfriend Experience, and they’re not uncommon. I don’t need to tell you that DJs are just the worst, despite being only mid-range on the mental-illness scales, even when they’d rank a 10 for substance abuse. During my Berlin honeymoon, I spent a few months with a Prenz’l Berg disc jockey who was literally impotent from partying. Take heed kids. My friends, fascinated, enquired as to how one has sex with a flaccid penis. Upon telling them, they wish they hadn’t asked.
“What is it with all these people, why isn’t there anyone normal in Berlin?” my friend continues swiping over the umpteenth profile of yet another self-aggrandising Berlin Creative Dude with uninspiring perversions. Having realised her company to bemoan a lack of normalcy (yours truly) was probably mismatched, she rephrased: “You know, I mean someone with a normal job.”
Conveniently for her, I had just come into possession of one ‘normal’ job, so we could careen past some of the awkwardness. Mossy could be normal enough, despite the fact that my own OkCupid profile leaves one with an impression of a self-absorbed, only-child alcoholic with a sexual attraction to flowers.
My friend’s problem isn’t really with the unconventional/unreliable incomes of Berliners; it’s that said people a.) are mentally ill b.) won’t watch Woody Allen movies with you on a Sunday night.
Before we get all defensive, this isn’t another on-trend jocular artist-bashing. It’s cool that there are so many artists here and that’s basically why we all moved here. But if you are an artist in Berlin and are yet to identity your mental illness, then you clearly haven’t been working hard enough. If you’re one of those types who think you have no mental illness, then perhaps it’s true, because you’re a prodigious yet modest symphony composer who makes old people happy; or, you believe that your divine compulsion to create art comes from somewhere much deeper than a desire for narcissistic self-actualisation. Pfft.
If you’re a Berlin artist and haven’t accepted yourself as being mentally ill AND your art isn’t good enough to make an old person happy, then you have to keep werkin’ it. There’s a wide range of Geschmack on the Old Person Spectrum for your art to please: from geriatric biddies drooping into their Kaffee und Kuchen to avant-garde spectacle-wearing Kreuzberg Gestalt-therapy Art Mums. Not saying there’s anything wrong with making art because it just makes you happy – well, maybe there is, but not that wrong. Better than massacring preteens. And being an artist in Berlin is especially virtuous, because you’re the Embodied Antithesis Of Everything Evil In The World. Comedians, on the other hand, are just depressed people who want to be famous. In Berlin, they’re very poor, depressed people who want to be famous.
Make art that makes an old person happy. Sleep with mentally ill Germans. Then let’s compare notes.
XOX Mossy Brackets XOX
REMEMBER: Sitting at home on a Friday night on Ketamine watching Grimes clips does not a socialite make.