Mother: Why is she in Berlin if she’s an artist. All artists are in Italy.
Me: What all artists are in Italy?? Italy’s poor for artists—you have to be rich to live there.
Mother: Well, isn’t she rich? You told me she was on television.
Me: On the radio, I said! It was an interview—you don’t get paid for interviews. And artists go to Berlin these days, it’s become a big cultural center. Paris is for when you’re dead, for the tourists.
Mother: Of course Berlin is a cultural center—I know that. Escada!
Me: That’s Munich.
Mother: That Russian girlfriend you had, the one in New York, she bought nothing but Escada when she came over. Escada, Escada. Why would she buy Escada in Vienna? You gave her your credit card.
Me: Because Escada is what they all wore in New York in those days. And I did not give her my credit card. She had her own.
Mother: Yes you did! I remember! She also bought lingerie with it. It was all red! She said they wear red in Russia for good luck. She wanted red for the New Year.
Me: Really? I don’t remember the red lingerie.
Mother: Well, she stayed for New Year.
Me: Maybe it was for Russian New Year. For after she went back to New York.
Mother: I won’t let her hurt you.
Me: A. won’t hurt me at all. She’s scared stiff. Scared that I’ll hurt her.
Mother: Ha. Two kids… you found each other.