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Swaying with the bus, my fiddle case across my back. A maroon sweater, long hair in ponytail, grey cap reflecting my eye shadow, a wisp of hair falling in gentle wave behind my right ear twisting with my pearl earring. This is Germany.

A zombie walk, we crossed the ocean, now we try to keep ourselves upright. Soon, we’ll wander up that back staircase to beds only a foot off the floor. And in the morning we’ll come downstairs for rich, tart yogurt to crown with honey, nuts, and dried fruit.

There will be a window among the cobblestones in the wide open square, peering down into a world below, and white catacombs for the books that no longer exist. What was it like that next morning? Cinders blown away in the wind? You cannot destroy cascades of the mind.

I remember a church upstairs, above a restaurant? Italian? I remember the young German couple we met on the bus. They were so nice to us foreigners. I remember typing home on email to my mom, perplexed by the configuration of the keyboard. Dots and… was that a B?

I snatch at the wisp of memory. A back way. Wild overgrowth. Old stones. The outskirts of the university campus. I love forgotten places. Black forests, Americanized names, and old recipes make up my heritage. I am myself, but this makeup adds accents to my features.