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The room was littered with newspapers, a few empty pizza-boxes, empty soda-cans, compact discs. Near the window a couple of plants tried to catch at least some of the light streaming through the venetian blinds. A television set created a stroboscopic lighting effect on the otherwise unlit room. A soft background noise murmured out of the twin speakers doubling as table for the television set.

The computer standing underneath the desk was open on one side, giving a view of the messy inside. Red, black and yellow wires connected the various devices to one of the power converters. Several fans were blowing to keep temperatures within operating limits.

On the bed in the corner of the room a leg had bared itself from its covers. A tangled head of hair had slipped off the pillow shoved up against the wall. The only other part showing from under the covers was an upturned hand draped over the remote control lying next to the leg, pointed at the television set.

The apartment consisted of one room and a small bathroom, demanding less than a quarter of the twenty-four square metres the apartment occupied. The sink, next to the entrance, was filled with plates, glasses and cutlery.

Suddenly the refrigerator rattled to life. The humming produced by the fridge was drowned out by the high-toned whine of a defective ball bearing in its compressor. The head twisted onto its other side, trying to get rid of the insistent sound. When that tactic didn't work the other leg shot out from under the covers and hit the refrigerator. The whine died out as the ball bearing had second thoughts about its defective state and the sound reduced to a normal hum. The head twisted back to its former state, but sleep had vanished.

Reluctantly she sat up in bed, reached for the remote and switched channels a couple of times. After five test-views and three commercials she switched off the television. With the same remote she switched the stereo set to the CD-changer and raised the volume till it completely drowned out the hum and returned whine of the fridge. Sinking back to her elbows, she placed her hands on her midriff, just below her breasts. Slowly moving her hands up against the bottom of her breasts, she hung back her head and looked at the ceiling, where the wall went over into the ceiling with a sharp bend, a corner. Looking at the corner she pushed up with her hands, feeling the edge where her flat midriff ended and the bulge of her breasts began.

Checking the digital clock next to the bed, she groaned and swung her legs out of bed.


Somewhere; 15th of November 2000

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