CoffeeShop Blues: 2015 Traveler's Edition - Page 18

CoffeeShop Blues The sun is low, and it is time to camp, but there is no cover. At the edge of the village there is a school that is undergoing renovation. It is a one storey rectangular building, pink except for where the paint has flaked off. The school grounds are a bit overgrown, and rubbish is scattered near the school building. A flag pole leans near the entrance. In silence Inge walks her bike down a side road to have a better look. I trudge behind her. “Maybe we can sleep in here,” she says. The alternative is to pitch the tent out in the open near the village, where we will be seen. Also, it is cold, and it might rain again. “Maybe so,” I say. There is a trailer parked near the school building—the construction contractor’s office, perhaps. The light is already on in the trailer, though there are no workers anywhere. We peer inside the school through a window that is ajar. We take turns scanning a storage room that is full of desks and chalkboards and lighting fixtures and construction material and dust. I push the window open a bit more—its frame is gray wood and the white paint on it has mostly flaked off. The wood is swollen so it is difficult to force it open but I manage to do it. I dump my backpack, the surplus army pack, and I lean my walking stick against the wall. I have a quick look around to see if anyone is watching, and I pull myself through the window and into the school. “Wait,” I say, brushing myself off. I spend a few minutes poking around the dusty rooms and there is a small pink room with mattresses in it, and I wonder for a moment why mattresses are in a school, but mostly I take it as a blessing to have the mattresses for us to sleep on. They are clean and dry. “Okay,” I say when I’m back at the window. “We can sleep here if we can find a way to get Suzy in.” “I come in too,” Inge says, and she jumps a little and pulls herself through the window. The double doors at the front are bolted, and a vertical metal bar 18