by Nina Lekanderer
Everything is a matter of position.
There are seats at the back of the bus and corner seats in
the subway-car reserved for the physically disabled. On the
way to work, they are different positions from which I
observe my fellow Stockholmers, seeing them in different
positions. Early on, there's the old-timers heading to work
with their oldfashioned bags. I imagine they work in some
kind of warehouse or at one of the few
industrial areas that remain on the outskirts of the city.
They are fewer these days, older and quieter. Regardless of
actual size, they seem small and unglamorous. They mix with
hordes of children en route to school in the morning rush
and female office workers in gold chains and too much
Later on, there are plenty of people like myself. Women with
both briefcases and handbags - either students or
white-collar workers - and women pushing baby carriages.
There are some office workers and store attendants, and
sometimes I recognize someone from the wine and liquor
store. Perfume lingers in the air and perhaps a hint of
tobacco. There are almost no men around at this hour, some
younger guys, and the occasional briefcase and suit whose
car has broken down. The suitclad appear confused by the
public transportation system, they fumble with the tickets
and try to fold their morningpapers into a manageable size.
With the exception of some well-integrated Latin Americans
and the occasional Iranian intellectual, there aren't any
immigrants either. After all, this is the inner city. Every
child is white, except the adopted ones. Those were the
days, is one of those thoughts that spring to mind if and
when I run into Micke Berg. Never on the bus though, he's
always out in the street. Either walking or on his
motorcycle, sometimes pushing a baby carriage. What the
fuck, he says. Our neighborhood has turned into a parking
lot for Mercedes and BMWs. We usually meet at the
neighborhood grocery store, Erstalivs, where they still let
you buy on credit when the money's short. They'll even
hand-deliver groceries to the homes of the weak old ladies.
Kind of like a state-subsidized home nurse programme, only
it's a business venture...
FIRST PAGE OF NINA LEKANDER´S TEXT IN
THE BOOK "STOCKHOLM BLUES", WITH BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS
IN DUOTONE BY MICKE BERG, PUBLISHED BY JOURNAL, STOCKHOLM
[© 1994 BERG, LEKANDER, JOURNAL]