Five very short stories from the streets of Paris.
“Peter! Peter!” the man shouts into a large blue air-mattress lying in a brightly lit pedestrian tunnel.
The mattress is covered by a plastic sheet that is tightly tucked under the mattress. I hear a shuffling and mumbling coming from underneath the plastic sheet, then a voice. A tiny head appears from underneath the plastic sheet.
“Hello Peter, how are you?”
He is called Buddha.
His house is next to an underground parking garage in Chinatown, Paris.
It is a very ordered house. His cardboard bed is very clean and folded into a sort of ‘chaise longue’. Next to his bed there is an altar with a Chinese statue of an old man. In front of the statue there are a few candles burning, some incense, and some smaller statues of Chinese figures.
Buddha is not here today, I am told by a passer-by. He is having a beer and watching X-factor.
Ewa’s tent is placed along Qaui d’Austerlitz.
It is very windy.
She sits in the middle of her tent.
She has enormous breasts.
Sometimes her face relaxes, but when the gusts of wind blow around her tent, her face turns into flames. She shouts to the wind and bares her problems.
“Scheiße! Scheiße! Fuck! Fuck!”
Two carts from the supermarket form the foundation.
In between, as a wall, he has stuffed plastic bags with something as protection against the cold wind. For a roof, he has used a green tarpaulin.
The house is constructed on a grid that releases heat from the underground.
A strong smell of rotting fills my nose.
A dysfunctional heater is placed next to the exit of the house.