Day 5—May 26. Berlin : Annie bought some roller blades this morning and sends me a video of her feet slicing through the streets of Prenzlauer Berg and into a church. Don't you go breaking an arm now, guitar player! We're not done playing. Me? I'm playing it very safe on our second day off. I'm still reclusing in the posh west end of town. I've got to make use of that time to put the finishing touches to my first book, a memoir of addiction and recovery that I started writing three years ago. It tells the story of how, exhausted and lost from years of touring and a bad breakup, I escaped from Tucson to regain my health and sanity in Europe. I must have learned a thing or two since. Days off used to scare me. I'd be missing the adrenaline of performance so much that I would behave like a mad monkey chasing a swarm of bees. Today, though, is truly a (dirty) laundry day. In the evening, I emerge to meet with three dear friends at Café Einstein in Schöneberg. We girls - the German, the Italian, the Greek and me, the mutt - talk about love and other little lies. On the way back, we drive past the site of the Christmas Market 2016 terrorist attack. East and West, past and present, no matter how you slice it, Berlin is a stitch job well done.
Annie Dolan in Berlin with her new blades:
Also of Annie with her new blades in a church:
Day 6—May 27. Berlin: I was looking forward to a day of reclusing again, needed to prepare for tomorrow's show at B-Flat on Alexanderplatz. Needed to work on the new songs I'd soon be singing with my "other" guitar player - the British one - in our hometown in Kent. But that didn't happen. Today, I kept both tour manager and friend hats screwed on. I meet Annie in Prenzlauer Berg for a morning Pilates class at Remedy Studio (motto: I love my body. It's an action. It's a feeling. It's a lifestyle). I was hoping she'd like the new experience.
Annie Dolan, Ami Garmon and Emily Ranford at Remedy Studio in Berlin
Afterwards, I help Ami, our teacher, an old friend and the studio owner, with flyering in the neighborhood. Brittany hasn't joined us. She has been coughing and running a fever since the start of tour and isn't getting better. She wants to go to a doctor now but, on a weekend, is better off going directly to the emergency room. I take her to Charité Mitte where we wait the customary four-plus hours. After a blood test and chest X-rays (stripping not a big deal here), the verdict falls. Viral. That's it. Nothing Brittany can do, really. The doctor asks if she wants codeine. She says no and we leave. We haven't seen a cashier. New nickname for Brittany: Elviral. Annie has been out rollerblading in the Tempelhof park. Me? No matter what I did today, I really only paid attention to the song looping under that tour manager hat of mine: the Gainsbourg/Birkin duo Je t'aime...Moi non plus. In a couple of weeks, I'll have to perform it, orgasmic spasms included for the UK audience. Yeah, I'm gonna have to prepare.
Brittany Katter after leaving the emergency room in Berlin