Tag Archives: door

The Minimalist

Noah J. was so kind to narrate this story in English. You can listen to it here:

This story was also translated to Polish and made available as a Polish YouTube reading.


His name is Sven. He is 27, blond and used to have a well-shaped body.

We lived together for three years, him and me. Nights with beer and peanuts and good talk and days that we barely saw each other because of my busy schedule. He is an architect, or maybe he just was, I’m not so sure.

In March he made his life dream come true. He travelled to Japan and for three weeks his Facebook wall was plastered with photos of temples and streets and people. But most of all there were pictures of houses, large and small, finally photos of houses and apartments from the inside. Besides one of the pictures, to this day, stands a sentence that I think started his obsession:

“The people here are really nice. Tell them you are an architect and ask nicely and any stranger will show you their house – just make sure to take your shoes off!”

In his posts and the two short phone calls we had during his time in Japan I noticed that he seemed to have a new passion: Minimalism. Simplify and declutter your life and you will simplify and declutter your mind.

“You know,” he said. “They have apartments here, not even bigger than student rooms, but they have everything! A shower, a kitchen, everything in just one room and you don’t even notice it!”

The first thing Sven did when he came back was to pack most of his life – first spare clothes, his game consoles and his TV, then also old gifts or random memorability – into boxes. He placed the boxes on the sidewalk and within the hour they were gone. Within a week more and more left his room: Old birthday cards, photos, trophies, even his heirloom grandfather clock. Soon all was at the side of the street. Soon all of it was gone.

A room with a near-empty shelf, a near-empty wardrobe, a desk and a chair.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” he asked.

And I had to agree: So simple, so clean, so relaxing.

No clutter. No memories.

No worries. Continue reading

The happiest man in the world

A big smile on his lips. Nice words here and there. Everybody liked the happiest man in the world. The happiest man in the world met a friend in the elevator. “All perfect?” he asked. “Sure,” said the friend. “And you?” “Oh,” said the happiest man in the world. “You know me, I’m always happy!” The happiest man in the world greeted the cashier. She laughed about his joke and he laughed back. The happiest man in the world waved to a neighbor. The happiest man in the world closed the door. The happiest man in the world opened a bottle of beer. “It’s just us again,” he said. Then he drank. Then he cried.

Office 7/366

I sit in a building that has numbers for each floor and my name, in small black letters, right next to the door. I walk between people; call their numbers; smile and laugh. The laughs don’t linger. Those rare visitors, their smiles don’t stay; their smiles, when they leave the room, fade away. Between people; friends with all. And yet, at heart, connected with none.

Bus

The bus turns left. Another man’s body pushes hard against mine. Warm, soft, alive. He doesn’t apologize. I don’t say a word. I don’t look at his face. The bus stops and he takes his bag and rushes through the door. His smell lingers. On my way home I think of him, feel his warmth, smell his sweat. My first friend in months, since that old lady at the supermarket smiled at me.

Five Days. Five Nights.

Noah J. was so kind to narrate this story. You can listen and read along:

This story was also translated to Polish.


The first four days Lachlan had been excited. The fifth day, that Friday that he came back from primary school with dirt on his knees, he was not excited. He was euphoric.

I was in my office, writing the final formulaic words of another research proposal.

“Daaad!”

“Hey!”

“Dad! Dad! Dad!”

“Oh wow, someone is happy. Enjoyed school?”

“School is awesome!”

“That’s great!”

“And I have loads of friends!”

“Of course you do.”

“Look!”

He stretched his small, dirty hand towards me.

“You cut yourself?”

“No.”

“That looks like a cut.”

“It’s a talesman.” Continue reading

The Hotel

For a change I took part in a friendly little writing competition (please don’t comment on my post over there). It’s just for fun and practice, not for any price or profit.

Here’s the prompt I had to write about:

No end to the daylight when on the run….

In a foreign country, our protagonists put up in a hotel. It is a sweltering summer and there seems to be no end to the daylight. Our protagonists wait and wait for the sun to dip, but it doesn’t. Fed up, they head down to the reception, wary of the people still on their trail (since the job they’d pulled back home). What’s the worst they could find?

And here is my response:


The Hotel

Claire wiped the sweat off her face. Her eyes were still fixed on the dry group of trees in the distance.

I couldn’t stop myself from staring at her; the fitted gray shirt she always wore, a long ponytail and gray pants so tight that I didn’t need to imagine what she wore below. I tried to see her in a dress.

She straightened her back.

“They’ll try to free him again,” she said. “We should make a move.” Continue reading