Meeting in the Park by Davis Morton

MEETING IN THE PARK / 2018 / oil on canvas / 24" x 18" ... Read a painting comment below...

     Long before the wall came down my train ride through East Germany to Berlin looked very dreary through the window. Then when the guards came on to check our passports, with their Uzi's and their dogs, the aura of Nazi Germany was even stronger.
     But in my cabin, an Albanian guy was very entertaining, reminding me of Steve Martin playing "a wild and crazy guy." He kept telling me how clever he had been hiding things around the cabin and in his bag. Then when the guards came in and found out he was a comrade, they told me "geh raus" so they could strip search my new friend.
     Twenty years later, I flew into Berlin on a very different kind of trip. As in Manila, years before, I had to wait for days for any word of my new contact. Knowing there could be no meeting in my hotel room that could be wired, I was hoping for a cafe meeting on the "Ku' Damm" with some beer. But when I finally got instructions, I was disappointed but amused.
     Like the wild and crazy Albanian from years before, I thought the Germans were over-acting with their spy-craft as though I was there to make a drop. "Looking for a blinking flashlight in the distance" sounded like a Tom Clancy scene to me or the Germans were watching too much TV.
     But then, I thought about other trips that turned out to be more dangerous than I expected. And with no one I could contact but the person with the flashlight, I couldn't help but wonder if my instructions could have come from someone else. So having no choice, I was hoping for the best but wishing I had a gun, as I was walking to my meeting in the park.