She turned me on to the Lessings (Gotthold and Doris), the Velvet Underground, and Oskar Kokoschka.
Bettina was six months older than I was; dark haired and impulsive.
On our first date, we went to see La Cage aux Folles with German subtitles; on our second, we went skinny-dipping in the Old Danube; on our third, we smoked hash, listened to the Sex Pistols, and read Paul Celan aloud with her friends from an anarchist youth collective.
Though I questioned whether I was good enough for her, and I felt lucky that she'd chosen me, I didn't question her role as change agent in my life.
It was a one-sided relationship not because I was any more selfish than your average teen boy, but because I took it for granted that this brilliant young woman knew the world better than I did.
I rarely reciprocated with my own offerings, fearful she'd find my own tastes (Stephen King, The Police) pedestrian, unimaginative and thoroughly disappointing.
Rabin defined the Manic Pixie Dream Girl as a muse whose primary role is to teach and transform a young man.
"For me, Manic Pixie Dream Girl was the story that fit," writes Laurie Penny, admitting that she had the "basic physical and personality traits... I, on the other hand, had the requisite qualities to be the boy who fell in love with MPDGs. I kept my longings to myself, wanting to spare them the awkwardness of making the "I'm flattered but I don't want to spoil our friendship" speech, and wanting to spare myself what I correctly imagined would be the excruciating humiliation of having to hear it.
Not old enough to buy cigarettes or vote, I was well on my way to being one of what Penny calls the "mournful men-children" who attach themselves to the bright, the unconventionally pretty, the eager-to-please.
She laughed, shook her head, and decades ahead of her time, gave a short but impassioned speech about how monogamy was the enemy of true love.
By the time I left Vienna, I was utterly infatuated.