November 25th. --- Wake up very early this morning - a quarter past 5. Why? I think, staring into the dark sky of Berlin, no star to be be seen today - Why?
I might sleep as long as I want to, because a week ago I took my heart into both hands, or better: one, because in the other hand I carried the dustbin on my way down to the cellar where the 6 big dustbins for the whole house stand (the two for plastic constantly overflowing).
In the courtyard a week ago I had heard steps behind me - AND THOSE STEPS I KNOW!
The Flying Dutchman calls the owner of these steps "Pantoffeli". The Dutch have the tendency to make everything small and harmless by adding the syllable "-je" to it (a diminutive as "- let" in English) - and the Dutch use it in abundance, living in a small-sized country.
Pantoffel might be translated to "clogs" in English (though I remember the old English word "pantofle")
I say Hi and try to put some warmth into my eyes. In daytime neighbour is unremarkable, but at night he turns into a monster - murders my sleep with wooden clogs in the apartment over my head.
Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! I sit bolt-upright in my bed. Every night, at least two times, at least since a year - yet I cannot get used to it. At three o'clock it's prostate-time: Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! For me the perfect moment to send out Red-golden Love to all Beings in the World - yet that often fails because I am at the same time busy with incarnating a pressure cooker before explosion.
To cut a long story short: I spoke to him.
Very very friendly (as no-one loves to be rebuked). Not his fault, oh no, I say - of course he is a free man who can do as he wants - and nothing to complain about clogs in broad daylight (which is almost the truth), but at night... could he be so kind and spare a HSP like me, a fragile little woman (here I try to hunch my 1.78m a bit) that stomping at night? Entirely my fault, I repeat, and the fault of a typical Berlin pre-WWII-residential building with beautiful parquet (Query: do I overdo it and sound like Hyacinth Bucket?), and could he kindly change his clomps to bedroom slippers at night?
He smiles benignantly at me. Had I but spoken up earlier! he says. I button my lips, because three years ago I had - which gave me more than one year of undisturbed sleep, then he must have discovered his favourite Pantoffel again ...
And away he walks, rattling with his knight's armour ... can I trust my eyes: is he emanating a weak aureole of Red-golden light?
Whatever: it worked!!! I can sleep through till 5 or 6 o'clock, undisturbed at eleven, midnight and three o'clock in the morning! Bliss!!!