I grew more desperate when We Can Do Better by Matt Simons started playing. In a panic, I hastily walked across the breakfast hall trying to find the source of this hellish melody. The song had almost ended when I finally found a panel and paused the playlist.

Three hours later I was at the pool, trying to figure out how to properly measure the chlorine concentration, one of my tasks. I hadn’t had the chance to get my second cassis yet. I had decided to become a night guard because it seemed very doable and easy to combine with activities in the day.

The next task concerned glueing tickets into a folder. While scratching the dried-up Pritt off my fingers, I fixated on the security camera displaying the hotel’s driveway. Behind lied the woods. I watched them closely. The group of adolescents did not appear.

Around 5:30 the receptionist who instructed me showed up to see how I was doing. I told him about my frustrations regarding chlorine and pop music. He expressed understanding and started talking about his vacation. He visited Auschwitz last summer.
“I am highly sensitive, so I can for instance feel what happened in a place. So, for me, being in that camp was an extra intense experience. It’s truly bizarre, the birds stop chirping the moment you enter that place.”

A man in a bathrobe came walking down the stairs and waddled with a hunched back towards the reception desk. He asked us whether we could turn the cameras off before breakfast was served.
The receptionist responded: “The security cameras you mean?”
“Yes, you see, I’m a model for Vogue. I’m here to rest, and so I would prefer not being recorded”, said the man.
“I am afraid we can’t turn off the security cameras, but the footage will not be made public.”
The man briefly hesitated, nodded, and walked back. The receptionist and I strolled to the bar. As I started drinking my second cassis, he remarked joyously: “A model for Vogue, how cool!”

One week later, I quit being a night guard. It disturbed my sleep schedule. Of course, I couldn’t have thought of that beforehand.

Onno Gieszen 4 columnist 2023_Pauline Wiersema_Levien Willemse

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