Berlin, Zoo station. Made famous by a tragic story of a teenage girl caught up in an ever increasing heroin addiction. Prostitutes roam the nether regions of this transit place, waiting for their next punter. Pale and emaciated men and women cower behind luggage departments, sleeves rolled up, needles still in arm or in hand. Hollow eyes, no longer seeking anything but the next hit.
Once I lived with a heroin addict. My flat mate and I we knew he liked drugs, but we had no idea he was seriously hooked. So much in fact, he would leave the house in the mornings, return at night complete with story about his day at uni where in fact he had spent it in a crack house. We found out only a few months later when many things began to add up.
Victoria Station, London, was not the place he bought his H, no, further up, Finsbury Park. Taking the Victoria Line down from there would inevitably get you to Victoria Station. Such a busy place. An ant hill is peaceful in comparison. London already is packed with people. My first day at Oxford Circus I thought Madonna was around as there were simply that many people.
I would go to Victoria Station to relax. Just sit there, and my thoughts would begin to calm down. Quite something. Well, I have found out recently that a similar phenomenon is gaining popularity: ASMR, autonomous sensory meridian response, an ongoing noise causing people to relax. Only a few weeks ago I marvelled at how people find such nuisance calming?
Now, I am reminded that I myself had once been that edgy that only a buzzing place would get me to unwind. I would at times sit in trains, for hours, to calm down. The tension would get so high, I would have to break out. Interestingly enough, during that time my dreams were filled with me on an incredible speed running through ever changing landscapes.
There were several years during which I would only meet my family at air ports or train stations. Several minutes would have to last for another year. My brother would come in from Jerusalem, whilst the other was off to Mexico, my dad had come back from Switzerland and my Mum was meeting someone in the Eastern Part of Germany. So we would meet at Zoo. No needles in arms or hands, though.
Yes, places of public transport for a long time were loaded with emotional baggage, good-byes, gratitude, and yet in the midst of the intensity of feelings the room for intimacy was totally lacking. It is only recently that I have come to hate travelling. Or stations. I hate eating at a station, I hate their surroundings. Their smell, their lights. Awful.
Give me a private plane any day, and my disgust would vanish for sure. I love staying put nowadays, no more heroin addicted flat mates, no more meeting family at the station, no more taking the SBahn round and round for hours to relax. Rather I cuddle with the hubs. Don’t underestimate the power of Oxytocin. Maybe far less people would get addicted to Heroin if they were to inject Oxytocin instead?