When I entered “Kaffekoppen” (The coffee cup), a vintage cafe located in Stockholm’s Old Town, it was crowded. The waitress said if I did not mind going down stairs, there were plenty of seats available there. Of course I did not mind.
Walking down the narrow spiral staircase, I reached the cellar. It must have been used as a storage for vegetables or wines ages ago. Chilly and with a smell of old rocks. The rough stony wall has got various symbols and characters imprinted on it. It reads KN ❤️ SN with an arrow going through the heart. Kevin and Sharon or Karen and Shawn? Never mind. A few spider webs hanging down in the corner. No spiders in sight.
The cafe will be closed at around 08.00 pm. So I was told. I am thinking of hiding myself in the corner until it gets dark outside. Have to take some night shoots. 4 hours to go. Not sure if it would work out though. Have already finished my tea and apple pie, at a slower tempo. I might be asked to leave if people keep on coming for a cup of coffee and home-made soup to warm up their bodies. The sun still high but it is freezing cold. I cannot stand wandering for 4 hours. Not in this cold. I might have to order another piece of pie, carrot pie for a change but the apple pie, it gets stuck there.
My empty plate has now been taken away by the waitress. A silent request for me to leave? A few minutes later, I am outside the cafe and start making my way back to the hotel.
It is almost 10 pm, I have returned. The lights glowing and the moon shining, those narrow streets in Old Town are now at rest. It feels distant but warm and intimate in a strange, yet most natural way.
Wandering alone at night is quite
liberating. I stop at the end of every narrow path, hoping to find patterns, the evidence of the past. People who lived here decades and centuries ago.
There were high hedges covered with flowers when I was here last autumn, and red maple leaves hanging on the walls. Now the graffiti gives colour to the town, it fits the yellowish wall and the soft lighting nicely.
It is approaching midnight, the moon looking down on me, bright and full. Would a 1920s car pull up besides me, like the one in Woody Allen’s film “Midnight in Paris”? Would the people in the car, dressed in 1920s fashion ask me to join them and bring me to a 1920s party where Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway are among the guests?
It is all silent. I am walking through the empty streets slowly, shivering and waiting. The town is drowned in the darkness.
Thank you for reading and take care.