James Braly: Withdrawal:
Unfortunately, as my kids don't know I smoke, I had to wait till that night, after they had fallen asleep, and I slipped out to the sidewalk outside our flat. It's very different than the sidewalk in Edinburgh, for in Berlin you feel watched. Because you are watched. Making you even more nervous. Requiring even more cigarettes to reach the desired effect. (And buying new ones isn't easy, as my children are constantly around me.) We're living in what's known here as a Hitler House: an apartment building built before WW2. The house rules include no noise after 8PM, and even before 8PM there is a muted, beige auditory affect on the street that feels as if we're all living in a library. It makes you want to scream. But of course you can't scream, because you'll be evicted...or worse. The neighbor upstairs came down one day to inform us that her son was epileptic, and that if my sons continued to play loudly with each other during the day, her son might die of the shock brought on by their noise.