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Gabbi WernerGirl Friday – the Book of Bad 11. The Last Night

Von | 21.06.2013, 2:18 | Kein Kommentar

We got ready for a last drink in the Hotel Bar. A group of Businessmen walked by. In passing, they stared at me. I could hear them whisper and laugh.

Welcome. To the stories I told in many hotelrooms. To a man who had trouble falling asleep. A business deal, men usually pay for different services in hotelrooms. He just paid for my words. Here they are.


Night before check out, The Majestic Hotel, Barcelona, 2002.

Tonight R. was different. I could sense it right from the beginning. He opened the door, and smiled at me. „I am so very glad you are here. You don´t know how glad I am that we do this, how much it means to me to have you around.“

I nodded. He continued, „You have no idea it can be so hard to find a way to relax. I wonder how people do that, relax.  I can´t understand a holiday works that way, do you like holidays? Well you must, otherwise you would never have agreed to accompanying me all over the planet. I hate holidays, I hate travelling, I despise most of the people I have to deal with, making them happy, giving them what they want, let the mergers take place at the costs that we never see reflected in the balance sheet of any bookkeeper as they are the costs of the quality of life.“

He stopped in the middle of that sentence and looked at me. „You wanna do the story here, or shall we go to a bar, I feel like going to a bar shall we have a drink at one of the bars in the street or just in the hotel?“

I told him I had seen enough of the streets, staying inside would suffice.

„Let me put something casual on then, I don´t want to be overdressed next to you.“

I didn’t know how to take that last remark. Was I underdressed, did he just want to get rid of his suit? I went into the hallway. I waited, the door to R.s room was still open while he changed. There was a group of businessmen walking past the room. In passing, they stared at me. One of the men tried to look into R.s room. He then looked back at me and grinned. The men walked slowly and turned their heads until they reached the elevator. Up and down their eyes went, every part of my body was being scanned by them. I looked the other way, did not dare go into R.s room, he was still changing. I could hear the men whisper and laugh. The elevator door opened, they got in.


R. had put on jeans and a T-shirt and did no longer resemble the corporate image I had seen for so many times. He had by this simple change ceased to be the much more grown up and smart man. I asked him how old he was. He said he was 42. That was 11 years older than me. I had a lot of friends who where that age. But none of them had flourishing businesses and travelled, hardly any of us had  a car.

We went to the bar and I dared to ask him another question. I asked him how he had relaxed before he met me.

„I hardly could, that was the point of hiring you. I would go back to these hotel rooms and just lock myself in, in my thoughts. Or I would crunch numbers, look at files, just add all the numbers the companies gave me. Add every single digit they fed onto their paperwork. And see what would come out of it. Would add the page numbers into my private little equations. Or multiply or whatever. One hundred thousand minus one. That is ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine. Minus two. Makes ninety nine thousand and ninety seven. Minus three. Ninety nine thousand and ninety four. And so forth, kept it going till minus one hundred. And then back to minus one again. When I did that, the goal was to end at zero. I never succeeded. I think that is why I used the trick so often, cheating on myself in order to get to zero. Zero would mean all was good. It worked, but not as good as you do.

I like your life. You don´t take anything in for real. You just react, you never act, you are one of the last true Bohemians, you should have lived in The Sixties … ah, no, if you had lived then, you probably would have died of an overdose, or worse, have survived it and then having to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.“

I took it in. I asked him what time he rather had lived in.

„I live in exactly the right time. But enough of me now, tell me another one, you flowerpowerpuffgirl you.“

I told him I had been a Punk-Goth-Garage girl and no way a Hippie, but I have lived in a house with Hippies. It was in the middle of The Eighties.

That house was dreadful. The Hippies were stoned all day, listening to Frank Zappa and John Lennon and Yoko Ono who were also stoned and screamed. And sometimes, Zappa screamed that he wanted to be an Eskimo in the deadly yellow snow. The Punks  stole whiskey from the local liquor store or tried to fabricate their own speed.

The house had a ground floor, and two upper floors. The ground floor had been empty since forever. The Hippies lived on the first floor, we, the Punks, lived in the attic When the landlord kicked us out some time later, he renamed the attic a loft and could thus charge six times as much rent for exactly the same space.

I wondered what R. would have thought if he were ever to set foot in the dump we called our home.

To be continued. Next friday. Every friday.

Link to German Translation: click Girl Friday – Buch des Bösen 11. Die letzte Nacht

Artwork: Gabbi Werner

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