Yesterday I linked to my second LJ entry ever, in which I mention the trip I took to NYC with my host brothers Markus and Christian from Germany. We stayed at a dive off of Times Square and, to someone who had spent a good deal of time in the city growing up, spent much of our visit within a few blocks from our hotel. In addition to having conversations with homeless men sporting extra pairs of clean socks, cocaine vendors and teenage prostitutes -- the latter being Markus's idea -- we saw Jaws III in a bargain house where the floor seemed to be coated with thick, pink goo and posed uncomfortably in the heat for photographic souvenirs.That's my Harvard Model U.N. shirt from December, 1984, which was -- and is, though it now fits my like a "baby doll" -- one of my most treasured possessions, both because it feels thinner than the cloaks Galadriel passed out to the Fellowship of the Ring and because my mother washed it early on in a load full of red things, giving the fabric an eery rose glow. Those of you who have seen me wrinkle my face in various biologically inherited ways when confronted by something bright or annoying -- more or less the same, in the world of Bertschdom -- will recognize my expression. I didn't really notice at the time, but I can tell in this photo that Markus still has the well-developed arms of the Speerwurf participant that he once was, despite the intervening months of smoking and drinking. I guess the body is more resilient at eighteen. Not to mention the hair. I do miss my golden locks.