I watched 15 German movies in three days and they were all very sad. Every one of them. Just the titles make me feel dreadful: Fear Eats the Soul Up; Love is Colder than Death; Sheer Madness; Sophie Scholl, the Final Days; Aguirre, the Wrath of God; Why Does Mr. R. Run Amok? Once in a while, someone tells a joke, but even the jokes end with a living creature or creatures dying for a very understandable reason or reasons. Nothing like our American movies where you get all revved up by the excitement and the action and the good guys killing bad guys and the bad guys killing good guys, and guys killing guys and gals killing gals for no reason at all. Just a kind of slaphappy killing where, when the movie is over, you’re whistling your favorite iTune.
I took my dog for a walk to clear my head of the sadness and I met my sweet neighbor. He was also walking his dog. I had never asked him what he did for a living and now I asked him. He paused before telling me, and I thought maybe he was considering if he was authorized to disclose what he did for a living, or if he thought I couldn’t handle it. But he was a sweet man and he told me that he prepares spread sheets for his company in preparation for its making offers to buy other companies. “I spend a lot of time in front of my computer,” he said. “With Excel,” he added with a laugh. “Due diligence, spreadsheets, graphs, technical evaluations, financial analysis, tax implications. I kind of get things ready for them to see if they want to make an unfriendly offer.”
For no apparent reason I found myself weeping. It had happened before but this was the first time when I was with someone else. My dog Mitzi looked at me, and my sweet neighbor looked at me.
“Don’t cry,” he said. “I love my job.”
“Sorry,” I said. “I’ve been watching too many German movies.”“
That’ll do it all the time,” said my neighbor.
“I know,” I said.