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Walls and their secrets

published: 2009-06-10

In a flash I could see what had happened. Someone was hanging from my shower. A man. He wasn’t all that big it seemed. Round glasses. Pleated pants. After that, I didn’t dare look in any mirrors for fear of what else I’d see.
While packing my things the next morning I decided to ask the owner the following question: “Did something sad happen in this building?” I didn’t need to be all too specific about it, if something bad had happened, I’d know from his reaction.
He offered me coffee. I sat down and studied him. He was tanned. His eyes were blue. His faced wrinkled from so much sand and sea and smiling. He eluded calm. We chatted about how the years had flown by and the disappointments of old age. The more personal his small talk, the more clear he had learned to control a stutter. Was I to ask after a drama I was convinced had taken place?
“How long has this hotel been here?” I asked.
“Oh it’s been here since the fifties.”
“A lot has happened since then,” I said.
“Yes, we redid the entire building. I don’t think a single stone was left untouched.”
“You can sense there have been quite a lot of emotions here.”
This is when he looked at me. He had often looked at me in the past few days. But I was sure he hadn’t registered what I looked like. I was simply another passing guest.
For a split second he looked confused. And then he smiled again and said, “a lot of love, yes indeed.” 

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