‘Moon Over’ Chapter Alert: Daily life and tense plotting

Daily reality of life in West Berlin is going to mean tons of changes for young Dima. Regular morning showers? That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Meanwhile, plans to get him out of East Germany right under Soviet noses sound scary as hell. Mark and Juliette are in it up to their elbows.

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Author’s Notes:

People often don’t realize that Berlin is deep in the eastern part of Germany, not far from the border with Poland. The city was not split down the middle on the East/West German inner border. It lay far inside and surrounded by East Germany. So even though Dima is now in West Berlin and seemingly well hidden, getting him out of Berlin will be no trivial task.

Deodorant! Americans like me who visited or moved to Europe in the 80s and 90s often experienced a cultural phenomenon that led to misunderstandings. Americans have for decades used deodorants that contain aluminum chlorohydrate, a compound that essentially clogs up underarm pores, preventing perspiration and virtually eliminating natural body odor. Europeans have never really bought into the aluminum chlorohydrate thing, so while they shower and use deodorant as regularly as Americans, they tend to smell a little different. (Some would say more natural.) I was actually bowled over by it at first, until after a few weeks I acclimated and didn’t notice anymore. But little things like this are going to matter to Dima, who at least for now, has a whole new world to get used to.

Juliette would have stopped in at travel agencies right around here on the Ku-damm, not far at all from Ian’s apartment, which I’ve based on where I actually lived in Berlin. I sat at those tables in the background many times.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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