I never expected to become a ghost but it happened to me all the same. Up until my move to Berlin, I had never had a problem being real apart from the usual vagueness suffered by many people who have spent a lifetime lost in books and thought.
I had moved from New York to Berlin by myself, determined to focus on my studies and start a new life. I found myself living in a two room Altbau apartment with wooden floors. My apartment looked onto a cobbled street that had three restaurants, an antique shop, two florists and one community center for homeless old people. All day long, people walked up and down, walking dogs, carrying home shopping, strolling arm in arm. And of course there were a lot of old people, on their way to the center, with bowed heads and hunched backs.