An Average Day: Part 1 of 8

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A fictional day comprised from parts of many non-fictional days while I was backpacking in Europe

Yanked from my dream by the sound of someone rustling a plastic bag, I lie there with my eyes shut and listen for awhile. What the hell could they possibly be doing that would necessitate all that rustling inside such a tiny bag, I wonder. There are always a few moments I’m mad my dream has ended before I begin to relax and welcome the real world.

I don’t know what time it is since I don’t have clock or a watch, but I feel well rested. Once conscious I don’t like to stay in bed for very long, so I decide to get up. But first I roll flat on my back, drop my hands by my sides and try to meditate on compassion; breathing and focusing. Then noticing I’m falling back to sleep I sit up and grab my green, faded cargo shorts, which are rolled into a ball hiding my locker key in the back pocket and stuffed between me and the wall, as opposed to the usual safer spot behind my pillow since I haven’t washed them in awhile.

Standing up, I scan the hostel for open eyed girls who might catch me looking lanky in my white legs and underpants and then slip on the green shorts with one missing button, two broken belt loops and three torn pockets. Yesterday’s shirt is spread wide over the top of my big backpack to ward off intruders and air it out while I sleep. I’m not sure how many days I’ve worn this one, so I check for a scent, but find little so I slip it on as well.

Upon reaching for my socks, which lay sprawled atop my sneakers, my face enters a hovering region of palatable odor. I always try to shower and change on the same day, but I’m already dressed and these socks are rigid like cardboard, so I grab a fresh pair and stuff the foul ones in what I call the “death bag”. This is where my dirty clothes go to commune and take shape for weeks until my six outfits have run out and it’s time to do the laundry. The death bag currently happens to be a stretched out, plastic, navy blue, Gap shopping bag. The little white pull cords are broken, so I twist it shut like a bag of bread when you’ve lost the twisty wire. As I fold over the wound up slack and wedge it into my giant backpack, attempting to pinch an air seal like you might a rewrapped piece of cheese going back in the refrigerator, I notice a small hole appearing at the seam. For a quick fix, I adjust the death bag so that the small hole faces the outside of my backpack, where the smell’s only choice will be to exit straight through the canvas wall or to stay put inside.

2 Thoughts on “An Average Day: Part 1 of 8”

  1. Estelle Says:

    I was just curious:
    Why are you staying in a hostel instead of the van?
    Looking forward to more,
    Keep writing!

  2. Katie Says:

    because it’s a fictional day.. and he’s not actually doing that right now.. I get it John. No worries.

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