The Glass Pocket
In the Carpathian Mountains on December 23rd I walked down an unlit corridor in a lodge hotel with a backpacker’s backpack packed on my back. On the side of that backpacker’s backpack was a stretched mesh pocket with a see-through cylinder of pastel-piss dessert wine pressed against another glass container twist-capped.
The twist-capped container had mineral gas water for the train that evening, but instead it sparkled across the fresh-mopped floor of the unlit corridor in the lodge hotel because there was no slippery sign and no lady with a mop and only soap and darkness and a boy headed for the stairs. I slipped and as slips happen, in an instant, I was on the floor and so was glass. The dessert wine was safe. The lady with a mop showed up out of the dark, back from cleaning some darkness. She brushed me off and held onto the black smudge on rushed blood around my arm, asking if I was okay instead of letting me make myself okay by snatching some okay towels from the bathroom. I tugged away while she continued to talk about mopping darkness and my smudge and how sorry she was but delighted that the dessert wine was okay.
The bathroom had towels and a man by the mirror fixing something else while I fixed my thing I was there to fix and we fixed our things separately before I decided to fix my backpack and left the room. There were two stair options in that unlit Carpathian hotel lodge corridor and I’d chosen the one with the suds. The bus would leave for the train shortly so I shoved a fist in my mesh stretch pocket slowly as one can shove and slithered out slivers of glass thin as whiskers and sharp as a sentence. My fingers glistened with flecks of fresh hemoglobin.
That backpacker’s backpack was supposed to be fit as fuck, trim as a sailor and forged to fight the whips of tree tips and lash of rain bullets. But glass is not of nature and sure cut through that mesh and tore straight cuts ’cross the one side.
I’d chosen the suds. Gravity set the slip-trajectory. The wine just up and braced itself. I thanked it later for surviving via tummy hug from the inside. It kept me lucid on the Ukrainian train.