Laura wore jeans shorts and a light green sleeveless shirt. She smiled while she climbed into the car. She gave me a kiss on the cheek when the engine started. I think that was the last kiss she ever gave me.
We had planned our trip for several weeks. The trip of all trips.
You won’t understand this if you’ve never been to a desert or a remote mountain. The sky, for most of us, is just a black or blue-ish carpet with a few white spots. But if you ever spend a night in the desert, away from all the “light smog” of the cities and cars and street lamps and even the petrol stations – then you know what the sky looks like: A beautiful pattern of white and yellow and even pink dots, uncountably many of them, spread in waves and patterns on an ocean of deep blue.
I screamed a “Yee-ha!” when we finally left the road. The landscape around us was already dry and beige, but there were still dots of green and the occasional red or yellow. The vehicle stumbled over heaps of hard and dry sand, further and further into the dead countryside; between carcasses of old cactuses and nothing but stones. Continue reading →
On the second floor of my house is a room that I rarely use. Its back wall is slanted and there is not enough space for any bigger items such as a shelf, and barely even enough space to stand. I stack boxes in the room, but I hesitate to call it a storage room because really I could put the boxes anywhere. For me it is just the slanted room.
I suppose it was never really used. None of the previous tenants ever bothered to cover the bare heating pipes on the ceiling or the scratched wallpaper; even the light source is just a bare bulb hanging loosely from the ceiling.
And it is that lamp that bothers me. It bothers me because it doesn’t work when it should and it works when it shouldn’t. When I want to turn the light, on the rare occasions when I enter the room to grab an old sweater from one of the clothes or one of the tools that I store in the room, it always takes me at least a minute to get it to work. I switch the light on and off and on and off and on and off again and only on the fourth, or sometimes the fifth or sometimes the eighth time does it actually, hesitantly, begin to glow in a faint yellowish white. Continue reading →
It was never unusual for me to get sunburn, although I have to say it was never to such an extent; it was never to an extent where my skin was glowing in a lobster-red tone. And it certainly has never peeled like this.
Back at the end of February we spent this year’s first days of sun at the beach. It was a spontaneous thing – four guys, a car, and a rented bungalow. We’d been there once before and found a quiet part of the beach where we were mostly surrounded by locals. The few other tourists were as surprised and as visible as us – the locals, mostly young men and women, were less inhibited than us to swim and sunbathe naked. Continue reading →