One Thing I Know For Sure

One Thing I Know For Sure

Maybe we stopped for a cigarette before we boarded our train to Berlin, or perhaps I stopped to take off my coat because it got warmer or maybe we were just waiting; I can’t remember. It was an early June afternoon. Or was it still morning?

We stood in front of the train station in Basel...or maybe we were waiting inside it.

One thing I know for sure: I saw a man’s feet moving.

I saw a man’s feet moving under a curtain of a photo booth. I remember this more vividly than anything else from the trip: more than the art I have seen at Art Basel, and the people I have met and the food that we ate.

I kept looking at the man’s feet in black shoes and grey socks. Or were they white? Those feet wouldn’t stop fidgeting, and although it seemed to me that the moment lasted for an hour, it might have been only a few seconds. Or the length of one Parisienne cigarette. 

All of a sudden, the curtain was drawn away and the person appeared. It was the rest of the person with fidgeting feet, and he was holding a leather bag. Or maybe he was carrying a backpack?

One thing I remember for sure: that moment when he passed rushingly by a litter can and threw something in it in a slightly neurotic gesture; almost with great disgust. Disgust mixed with anger. And perhaps I’m romanticizing this in retrospect, the memory of a little drama.

Maybe he acted totally indifferent.

One thing I know for sure: he threw something into the trash can.

A big wave of curiosity came over me.

I just kept my eyes on the bin.

As soon as he disappeared from my view, I walked to the trash can. Or maybe I didn’t even wait until he was gone.

One thing I know for sure:  I put my hand in it. I put my hand in and fished out his photograph.