That’s no typo, no derailed touch on my iPhone’s screen, it’s just the proper way to pronounce Zurich when you visit the town in the summertime. You have to do it voiced, quite sensually, tune it with all the softness you can come up with. Zzzzzzzzurich. It will put you in the right mood. Zzzzzzzzurich. Give it a try. It helps you adjust to the circumstances. The sky is nowhere bluer, the sun is nowhere brighter, the trees are nowhere greener, the air is nowhere softer, and your drinks are nowhere pricier. Zzzzzzzzzzzurich.
Berlin has so many lakes, little ones, big ones, small ones, huge ones, a friend of mine lived near one of the smaller ones, in a beautiful villa next to Nikolassee, but however small it was – the lake, not the villa – the neighbourhood’s real estate renommée was huge, nothing but hoary villas set in beautiful gardens, with mature treestock and a rhododendron population to die for, if these bushes suffer from anything, they do from old age, then there’s Wannsee, one of the biggest, which has become quite infamous due to a conference held in 1942, in an even costlier villa, waterside property, the lake’s image, however, hasn’t suffered much, obviously you can’t blame a lake for its residents, but I digress, all I wanted to say is, after a year of living in Berlin, I almost never made it to any of them, they are all so very far away from where I live, Lake Zurich on the other hand was part of my life, I lived nearby, a five minute walk, I crossed it at least twice a day, in the morning on my way to work and back home at night, I swam in it, I sat on its border having Bratwurst and beer, I walked along its shore, back and forth, I watched the sun setting over it, the sail boats crossing on it and stalked the ducks swimming in it, well, what does one do with a lake on your hands, I did all of those things and enjoyed it deeply. Do I do any of these things in Berlin? Some, at least? Not so much, I’d say. I don’t seem to respond to these lakes’ sex appeal. Not in the least, actually. Lake Zurich has ruined me for other lakes, that’s the awful truth.
I have an imaginary friend who loves to lie in bed and ramble on about his past, he’s called Marcel Proust, and an imaginary foe who bores me to death, he’s called Charles Foster Kane. Tonight, they both inspired me to bother you with this sequel, some kind of photographic rambling on, a post photum rather than a post scriptum, but there were still pictures from my past, of my mind’s Swiss materialization that I hadn’t yet shown you. The selection has no theme, it’s just a potpourri of my favourite places, happy memories, eclectically put together subjects of beauty, just like all the stuff that this rosebud fanatic Mr Kane had put together at Xanadu, you are familiar with Citizen Kane, aren’t you? I never understood this film, really, call me a cinephobic if you must, but as far as Mr Kane’s sense for beauty and idyllic magnificence goes, this I get. Judge for yourselves.
It’s all over now. Autumn’s here. No more swimming in Lake Zurich, that lake right in the middle of the town, with the softest water, silky, clean as hell, invigorating, soothing, breathtaking, arousing, sensations that let yourself come to all kind of senses, after a long day, during lunch break, first thing on a Saturday morning, before going shopping for groceries, after a cup of coffee on the balcony though, all it takes is to go the Badi nearby, on Utoquai, and to take a jump, and then, while I’m floating in the crystal clear water, Lake Zurich pulls some magic effects, I’m being enthralled, mesmerized, bewitched, I am about to forget about any groceries to shop for or about those meetings in the afternoon, at some office far away, and the moment I lie on the wooden deck of Badi Utoquai in my very favourite trunks, the ones by Gucci, designed by Tom Ford, that I refuse to stop wearing, I’ve been refusing it for some many years and I won’t ever stop doing so, I even consider being buried in them, but lying on that deck, I miss the water already, I just take some time to let my skin dry, to soak up the gorgeous summer heat, before taking another jump into the lake. But as I said, summer’s gone. And my trunks are taking a break from all that fun now. Just like me.