my suitcase is packed
with old adidas sport trousers
and half-empty bottles of wine
and a piece of rotten cheese
and a tensor
and a broken down walkman
with no batteries
and a piece of red cloth with a non-english word written on it.
I am at a new place.
Windy evening, green dusk.
It’s a hostel.
I am a salesman.
I sell pool chemicals.
I am very good at my job.
I dress smart.
My handshake is unwavering.
My eyes are cold – color: dark honey.
But now I must rest.
There are no curtains,
So I lie down on the bed
Watching the green skies.
I search for a minibar.
There’s no minibar.
I find a box under the bed, though.
I uncork one of the bottles from my stash.
I’m sweating a little bit, but there’s a big, squeaking fan hanging from the ceiling.
After a few sips, I fall asleep.
The box, still unopened, by my side.
I wake up -- the sky still green, but darker.
I think about my job.
No one needs the chemicals.
All pools are closed down.
We need the water to drink, they say.
They use the pools as dumpsters.
“Tons of chlorine will be needed to sanitize this shit”, I tell them.
They shake their heads.
I call the boss, keep him informed.
He says keep going, you are the best at what you do.
Of course he doesn’t pay me.
I have to find other lines of business.
I make marmalade with blackberries I find by the road.
I sell the stuff.
It’s better received than the chlorine.
I open the box.
There’s nothing inside.