For Immediate Release, published August 2, 2011!
Description: A collection of writing, essays and articles on dream interpretation, intercultural observation, the power of memory and emotion and more. From Native American author and resident of Germany, Red Haircrow’s “Songs of the Universal Vagabond” is a diverse look at a variety of subjects from the perspective of one person’s journey through life.
“There are dreams that are warnings to guide one on the path of life. I’ve dreamed them.
There are heartaches so great one can barely stand upright. I’ve experienced them.
There are losses so complete there is no hope of recovery. I’ve survived them.
I am only one person in the unbelievably immense universe, and I’m not alone in the things I’ve thought, learned and lived, but I want to share them with the world as through it all I could still know joy thanks to so many wonderful people.
Red Haircrow, two spirit, wanderer, child, ancient. These are the songs I’ve sung.”
Format: Ebook, 112 pages
Price: .99 cents
Genre: Memoir, Autobiography, Storytelling
Primary Readers: Adults
Spring in Berlin
“Watery golden sunlight, the staccato clack of Herr Zug awakens me. Struggling up through vivid dreams, already late with the rising of the sun, I pull on clothes willy-nilly. Racing down the corridor, through the station, barely making the train I need, I catch my breath only to have it taken again: a handsome young student with a ponytail, quietly defiant in military black is just an arm’s length away warming me with the intensity of his gaze. I imagine our hearts begin to beat in time, that he must see even the hole in the toe of my left sock so long he looks at me.
“You see something you like,” I finally ask, laughing in mild exasperation and pleasure after several interesting minutes ride of mutual review.
“Yes,” he replied simply with a small smile, his eyes never leaving mine. And even I, I the one surprised by nothing, blush beneath his glance, surprised. Returning his books to his rucksack, refastening his ponytail all the while watching me, he stands and I am presented with the profile of yet another fit muscular German derriere clad in black fatigues.
Standing at the door, he looks back to me. “Want to go for a coffee?” Thrilled yet trying to remain cool, “Sure,” I say. We step off together. After a conversation that begins somewhat stilted, we conclude laughing. We make plans to meet later.
What a wonderful beginning to a day!
Glittery sun, sudden gloom, a spattering of rain then sleet, a pattern having been repeated a dozen times during the day. Standing in a breezeway waiting for the worst of it to pass, I lean against cold graffitied concrete listening to the shrill laughing voices of children happily crunching the glass like beads underfoot. A Sigmund Freud look-alike shares my haven for a moment blinking up at the sky through round spectacles. Lost in Kreuzburg, looking for work, it has taken all of my day yet nothing to show for it. I’ll find my way home soon, tomorrow I am confident Berlin will bow before me.
Evening rush, hurrying through the tunnels for no particular reason except the crowd presses close behind me driving me onward, I fight against them a moment, and they part like water around a river stone. I toss a euro at the guitar player whose music fills the air, his voice lifted in Russian song. That’s how I know I’ve reached the right station. He’s there every day without fail at Nollendorfplatz.
The doors close with the computerized voice calmly announcing in German, “Caution, doors closing!” I sink down on molded plastic, and sigh at the aching of my feet. Most of the day has been wasted but I have enough money for a few beers tonight. Rocking with the movement of the train, I sit next to an Asian woman delicately biting at a small sandwich barely seen above the wrapper. My mouth waters but I tell myself I am not hungry. I still have some beef jerky left at the room anyway.
The door is opened to my knock. It’s someone I don’t know recently moved into the eight steel bunk bed room, but that doesn’t matter. Almost everyone has the same dream that’s come to this special room at Meininger 12 hostel: room 007, dubbed “the room of dreams to be.” They have dreams of success in their field, of making the grade, of finding a job. Each and every one of my friends are dear to me now: Nikko, the jolly giant from Münster come to make pastries; Isabella, an awesome young opera singer come auditioning; Rachel, a petite Australian beauty who wandered in from Amsterdam; and Robin, my first and dearest, a young Swiss student with a love of jazz.
We all sit around the lone scarred table counting out our last monies, most of us are near the end of our stay, reluctant to go home, to leave each other, to give up on our dreams for this trip but we still smile and make the best of it. We bring together what food we have left and share until each is filled. I contribute my beef jerky, a great new favorite of Robin’s. He offers fresh bread and we all exclaim in delight. Some granola bars from Rachel, beer from Nikko, and dried fruit from Isabella. A great feast.
A new friend awakes on the bottom bunk of Rachel’s top bed roost, groggy and jet-lagged, groaning at the light, his accent is Australian. A great surprise and pleasure for Rachel, they are even from the same city of Melbourne. He is friendly as the day is long and immediately pulled into our group. Robin and I vow to show him the wonders of Berlin, and help him get acclimated. He’s in Europe for the first time, a journeyman engineer come to work at Siemen’s.
“Now, we go?” Kunal asked, but we only laugh. It’s around eighteen hundred hours, far too early to go out. Go back to sleep, we advise him. It’s what we’re going to do. Last night’s wandering around Wedding with a return at four a.m. begged for necessary napping.
Not long after midnight I am shaken awake by a smiling Robin who, in faulty endearing English, whispers so as not to awake the others who’ve chosen to pass on this night’s adventure, “Come, come to meet friends!” Prodded, pressed, and persuaded, shaken, stirred and baited I stumble into my best, snatch up Kunal, and out the door we go.
Walking down a dimly lit side street, parameter tape still flutters in the night breeze, marking the steps of the synagogue, its sole guardian identified only by the red ember of his cigarette burning in the shadows. Not until the door opens at the next corner do I know we’ve reached the place.
Wading through bodies thrashing to the heavy beat, sliding onto shabbily chic sofas where slim hot bodies make room in a casual way, one can’t hear a thing above the chest smashing pulse of the music but a soft kiss of welcome eases the tension from the people closest. The first beer blurs the line. I lean back in muzzy delight. It’s Robin’s favorite place, Cafe Cinema, its dark walls covered with photos of famous stars, its high ceiling swimming in haze.
A guy I’ve never seen before, grinning and sporting a red spiked Mohawk, leans across on a wobbly chair to yell in my ear, “What’s your thing?” I can barely hear him. He can barely keep his eyes open.
“Poetry,” I shout back at him, “just poetry!” I push him back into his chair for he’s almost fallen into my lap.
“Cool,” he mouths blissfully as he falls asleep sitting upright. “Cool, cool, cool….”
“He works at the embassy,” my friend tells me lighting another cigarette. “He’s their head chef!”
After a half-dozen rounds of dark German beer that he generously provided in good Aussie style though we tried to decline or at least return the favor, Kunal expostulates loud enough to turn heads, “Oh my God! It’s supposed to be spring!” Across the tall front windows a sudden fierce snowfall blows sideways, in its grasp, dim figures with heads ducked struggle to and fro, one group cavorting in protest as a night bus pulls away.
Better head in for the night, we decide, for the Aussie Ausländer has work in the morning unlike my Robin and I. Lucky devil he, we both have to come back and try again for a place in Berlin after returning home to work and get more blunt.
Wading out into the swirling squall, Kunal still exclaims in amazement beneath his breath shaking his dark curls in wonder. The rhythm still in his head, the beer curling warm in his belly, Robin dances in the station, his face angelic as we beg him to stop. He’s too close to the edge of the tracks. He pirouettes away with glee lifting his Frank Sinatra style hat politely to an elderly couple, stalwart in wool and tweeds standing stolidly shoulder to shoulder waiting, as are we, for the next train.”
Copyright 2011 Red Haircrow
All rights reserved
Red Haircrow Biography:
Red Haircrow is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, private chef, reviewer and former law enforcement officer of Native American descent whose hometown is Berlin. Red is also completing a degree in Psychology, and operates the indie publishing label “Flying With Red Haircrow” that opened on 31 October 2010.
Both traditionally and independently published, Red chooses to inject realism into their fictional work and happily ever after is not always in the mix though love and strong characters always are. Like life, there is always a bittersweet mixture of laughter and tears, and Red imbues their writing with the passionate love and depth of emotion they’ve experienced. If you want giddy fluff, camp, or heavy sex content, you’d probably prefer another writer. Non-fiction and articles are diverse, direct and willing to ask the hard questions yet considering of open-minded discussion.
Among other things, Red loves traveling, learning languages (speaks more than a few), and spending time with friends. Active in Native American affairs, Red can also be found playing RPGs, browsing 2nd hand shops and savoring the meditative Zen of archery with the medieval Longbow. Red’s trademark quote: “I welcome questions. I hate assumptions. ”
Praise for other works by Red Haircrow:
Rainbow Reviews: “Haircrow’s magnificent command of language, skill in showing events using a minimum of words had me spellbound from beginning to end.”
Top2Bottom Reviews: “There is no doubt Red Haircrow has a gift for descriptive prose; the vivid imagery the author presents through the selection of language sketches a picture for the reader that is rich in feeling and atmosphere.”
Queer Magazine Online: “The language is beautiful, the descriptions drew me in, the deep emotions evident in both main characters held my attention. Even if you don’t normally like historicals, this is one I don’t think you want to miss.”
Romance Reviews: “…Beautifully written, the story took me away with the almost poetic way that it is written…”
Outlaw Reviews: “Written in vivid detail and elegant prose, the author has created rich characters with emotional depth, and provided a glimpse into the heart, soul, history, and people of Russia.”
For those interested, a free copy of the collection of flash memoirs “Songs of the Universal Vagabond” can be downloaded at the Smashwords website. Ends Wednesday, 17 August! Just enter the following code: UJ72B.