. . . my friend Emel-Elizabeth, aka The Girl From Estonia, called me via WhatsApp, and we spoke for something like three hours. It was the middle of the afternoon here in California, but for her, in Estonia, it was the middle of the night. I watched her roll something like three or four cigarettes and drink what seemed like an entire box of white wine she had in her refrigerator. Whenever she got up, she took her computer with her . . . and so I went with her too, and saw the whole place, which had wooden and wallpapered walls, and a little kitchen like the ones you see in studio apartments in Tokyo. She lives in the capital city Tallinn, and told me she pays something like €400 a month to live alone, which is nuts. I didn’t tell her what I pay here because she probably would have had a stroke.

Anyway: It was a very sweet call. I won’t betray the contents of it here! But she told me to come to Estonia and meet her mom and I said I would. And she read poetry to me in Estonian, and summarized what she had read . . . and then proved she speaks six languages by speaking in complete paragraphs to me in six languages. Says I to her: Dang, girl!!

Finally, round about four in the morning in Estonia, she told me she had to go to sleep. I promised her I would read some Rainer Maria Rilke, and told her I loved her and that I would see her again in Berlin, and then we waved goodbye and hung up.

Now it is almost four in the morning here in California so I should probably go to sleep. For her it’s the middle of the day. Well! I guess that’s just how it is for now. But soon . . . !

Off the top of my head, I can’t remember how to say good-night in Estonian. Back in the spring she had written me a letter with some Estonian phrases, so maybe one of these can suffice for now:


ok bye!! ☆彡