Sven

Sven is not a happy man. Despite his carefully crafted dreadlocks and lifestyle not dissimilar of a student, he doesn’t seem to be remotely impressed with being stuck in charge of a youth hostel in Talinn. Not one bit. A tall thin man with a sad face, he wears clothes that looks like he was lifted up and slotted into them like a toilet roll into a loo roll holder. They fit him almost exactly, with slight space for movement and an area about the shoe to make it look like he accidentally grew in the night. His t-shirt of a red, once exciting, now rather faded and word. A reminder that once, long ago, Sven had fun. His trousers have probably seen clubbing days but now only see other return from clubbing as he enforces that ‘no visitors’ are allowed in the rooms or ‘to keep the noise down’. Sure Germans do stick to rules but he didn’t think he’d be the stereotype when he took this job, spending everyday perched at his tiny computer desk, surfing the escape possibilities online endlessly, using the computer that ‘is for everyone unless I am using it.’

As I entered the hostel today Sven didn’t even look me in the eye. Another one of those comedians, he probably thought. Staying here for one night, taking a large room to himself, while the rest of the world suffers. ‘You do this comedy as a hobby?’ He asked me. ‘No’, I replied. ‘Full time. Its my proper job.’ ‘Hmm, curious’ came the response. As discerning in tone as possible. My job isn’t a proper job. Nor will it ever be. Yet somehow, somehow, I earn more than he does and enjoy my life. This discrepancy will only burn inside his soul as he searches yet another Facebook page for some reason as to why his life has hit a huge dead end. The sort of dead end that you can’t quite turn the vehicle out of without scraping both the sides and some arsehole telling you ‘its a dead end y’know’ and that you’re facing the wrong way.

‘Where are you from?’ ‘Germany.’ ‘Yep, but which part.’ ‘Oh, you wouldn’t know it.’ I honestly began to wonder if Douglas Adams’ creation Marvin was based on a trip to Germany many moons ago. ‘I don’t know why I left’, Sven said, before turning back to Facebook. Outside the very walls in which he sits is a city steeped in architectural history dating back over 7 centuries. But he’s seen it. He’s seen it before. He’s seen the people come and go through it. He’s heard Americans say its quaint, English people talk about the beer and Australian backpackers take extra bread and cheese at breakfast to make a sandwich for lunch. Tomorrow, I leave here. Another one of those many people whose names he won’t ask about, whose careers he will discern out of spite, whose comments on minus 13C degree weather he’ll snort at, knowing full well he hates the cold too. And in years to come he’ll still be here. Surfing Facebook, wondering why everyone in the world has more fun than Sven.

Why waste time Sven? Here’s the answer: Its because you’re a penis. I’m totally going to find a way to fuck up the internet on that computer and make you cry. I really worry I shouldn’t be allowed out into the world. Ever.

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