This is from Cara Michaels. A photo prompt, a “turn the tables” prompt, and a Berlin prompt.

“You know, I was in Berlin once.”

Sherrie and I were having lunch in Paley Park, a small park on 53rd Street between Fifth and Madison. There’s a wall at its northern end and a never-ending waterfall streams down it, muffling the noise of passing traffic.

We always passed a piece of the Berlin Wall when we went for lunch there. It stood right next to the park’s entrance, graffiti-covered on one side, starkly-naked on the other.

“It was in the mid-80s, before the wall came down. And, yes, a man was involved.”

“Quelle surprise.”

“Yeah, those days. I was working on a deal for Deutsche Bank and they’d sent me to meet a company we were supposed to lend money to. He was the junior guy on their team and was the junior on ours. Yeah. A long time ago.

“He kept looking at me. His hair was perfect. His English was perfect. His smile was perfect. But he was so damn German, you know? The five or six of us agreed to meet for drinks in the hotel bar after the third day of discussions. We were very close, and did close the deal on the next day. Did I mention how German he was? He didn’t want to blow the deal by doing something ‘inappropriate.’ But I could tell. So I decided to turn the tables. He excused himself to go to the bathroom. As he came out, I was there. He was surprised. I pushed him against the wall and I threw my body against his and I kissed him for all I was worth, which, as you know was quite a lot in those days, and I felt him grow.

“We left the table five minutes apart and he was in my room. It was one of the greatest sessions I’ve ever had. I went back to Frankfurt the next day. I think of him every time I see that hard slab from Berlin when we come to lunch. I thought you should know.”

These five segments of the Berlin Wall, which separated East Germany from West Germany from 1961 to 1989, stand in Urban Plaza outside 520 Madison Avenue. Beginning in 1984, Thierry Noir, Kiddy Citny, and others, would illegally sneak in and paint parts of the wall to bring artistic life to such an antifreedom symbol. Inscribed with garish, colored images of grim faces and graffiti the slabs convey the sense of desolation and alientation felt by those divided by the wall. After the wall came down, others took possession of these muraled pieces and auctioned them off in Monaco.