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I shared a flat - okay it was a box-apartment.
During the day, I wandered about the city on my business. What kind of business? Don't ask. I don't know. Half of the time, I came back, none the wiser; and the other half I was so weary from my efforts that all I could do was throw myself into oblivion and sleep.
Sometimes I carried a big pack-all case with me. It was unwieldy but the only way of transporting my possessions that I occasionally needed to use in the day. When that was the case, I unpacked the pack-all, retrieved whatever it was I needed and then tried to fit the rest of my stuff back in. The problem was, once I removed an item, it tended to disturb everything else, which made it very difficult to close the pack-all. It was as if the contents had all grown in size or developed additional protuberances. As this was done on the sidewalk, it proved very embarrassing; passers-by could see what I had and could notice my difficulties in packing my kit away. Still, one does the best one can, after all the sidewalk is the place to be. At least there were no ordinances against my activities.
The worst part of all was when I finished using the item I'd taken out. Repacking it in full view was a nightmare. Sometimes I would retire to a small verge of wasteland while I reorganised everything from base one. If that happened, I would take pains to make sure no dirt or grass went in

After one particularly difficult day, I went back to my shared accommodation. When I arrived, I was stumped. I'd lost my access key. I searched pockets, turned my jacket inside out, worked out where I'd been and whether I could have dropped it. I even went as far as examining everything from my pack-all before reordering the whole thing. Ready to retrace my steps, I looked at the block of apartments where I was staying. For some reason the sliding doors were open.
I went in and took the escalator up.
The box room I shared was tiny. Part of it made use of the balcony. When I say part, I mean that the bed stuck out. It was the only way to achieve room-share status. Okay, that meant I slept out under the stars and if I looked past my feet, I could see hundreds more feet between me and the ground; but that was the breaks. Usually I was so dog-tired I didn't care. It only bothered me when I thought on it.
Tonight was probably my last night at this place. I had to move on and find somewhere else to take me. That was another day's job; tomorrow's to be precise.
For some reason I couldn't sleep. This night of all nights, the sheer drop to the concrete ground below bothered me. The bed was securely locked onto the room grappelars and was perfectly safe, provided I didn't decide to get out of the wrong edge. I looked over it and the ground beckoned.
The stars above ignored my plight and I slept ill that night.
Early next morning, the curtains that separated my side of the bed from that of my bed partner rustled. I pushed through them to enter the box apartment proper. My bed partner, the person to whom this box-apartment belonged, stood at the foot of the bed. She had a red and black basque on and I guessed she'd been working some of the night. She smiled but I knew that basque and smile weren't directed at me. It was time to move on.
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Submitted on
August 1, 2016