Luv Bier Garten, Bremen

Luv Bier Garten, Bremen, Germany

Here at the beer garden nothing lasts except the sameness of the outdoor umbrellas. Customers move down rows between long wooden tables, shoes crunching in gravel. Attractive young waiters in a tight white aprons, “Luv Bier” stenciled in bold black letters move through the tables while an impatient breeze comes over the river to play with their hair. Knowing the rain will come and glad he planned ahead, Holger toys absentmindedly with a small umbrella brought from home.  He pulls at the looped brown cord in the handle and watches the people sitting at his tables. He lights a cigarette, creates a cloud of smoke.  And in this one instant yearns achingly for nothing in particular, nothing important, glad when the sun shines through the clouds for the moment it is permitted to stay.  He feels the warmth on his skin and the coolness of the breeze under his wet collar, enjoys the drift of cigarette smoke through the air, the casual laughter at the next table, the shadows and shapes walking by.  He hopes a pretty woman seated at table 4 will leave him a good tip.  There is stillness in his movements, moments in his milieu of being without participation, the setting up of things and the inevitability that they go.  He sips beer on break and thinks how vast and empty it is between the tables, like the space between stars.