Kurt Simon, The Zebra and the Poinsettias

Brasserie De Bademeester 19.4. (3) Ausschnitt

The Zebra and the Poinsettias

More than 20 years ago, I was in my forties then, Kurt in his mid seventies, we made a Christmas stopover in Los Angeles on our way to Hawaii where we wanted to greet the new year. Kurt had invited us. He picked us up at the airport, wearing blue jeans and a gingham patterned shirt, and told us, “We must pick up a young lady on the way, she looks like a zebra.” And there she was, black and white striped T-Shirt, dainty like a child, her round face beaming with joy, age­less. Atsuko.

Atsuko had prepared the Malibu beach apartment for us with dozens of poin­settias and just as many fresh red apples in the fridge. The apartment was like everything Kurt ever built: plain white and simple. Large windows and mirrors on the opposite walls gave it more depth and width, so in the morning we awoke in our bed amidst playing seals and pelicans in the Pacific Ocean.

On Christmas Eve before the Holy Night broke the four of us sat in front of the two story high white fireplace, completely decorated with Christmas cards of Kurt’s friends from all over the world, and unpacked our presents. The pre­sents from other friends would not be opened until Christmas morning.

Kurt couldn’t let his eyes off Atsuko, who took a pair of tiny shoes out of a box, putting them on her hands, air dancing around with them happily, “Beautiful shoeses!” They fitted perfectly on her little feet.

Scan 3

Ulrike Eisenträger
Frankfurt am Main
December 3, 2012

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