Spray us yellow so that we stand out from the red hotels claiming Gamla Stan. We were the second boarding house to hang a vacancy sign, and that first one went kaput before the Great War. A single bomb struck during WWII, shattering windows and driving the resident Holy Man out onto the cobbles to beg God. Flanking us is a canal filled with lily pads and Storkyrkan, the brick Church built in the Dark Ages. To reach the Church tourists use Monk’s Bridge, below which cars race the freeway.
Past residents? Victims of the plague, a garrison of soldiers, and that bald hooker with the gold-studded tongue. Remember our defrocked priest mumbling psalms every Good Friday? I am thankful those gay men still rent our garret, going on eleven years now. There is history in the bones of this pension, and our story will survive as long as strangers need a bed.
But be warned: we will go under if rival hotels steal our color. Imagine Old Town flooded with hues of piss? Nobody will find us. See the voyagers floundering in an ochre sea, battling waves four floors high? We might consider pink, the color of lips and seduction. Other hotels wouldn’t dare. But travelers would remember that color, even the Americans. Being remembered is everything.