Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Comfort Woman

[Media prompt] Swedish women have sex with ‘refugees’ in the name of giving them comfort.
Comfort Woman

There was a noise in the hallway, but when Ingrid opened her door and looked both ways along the dank tunnel she saw nothing out of the ordinary. Which is to not to say she saw nothing, but that she merely observed what she considered usual; African men squatting outside their assigned doors, discarded fast food containers, bottles and plastic bags, newspaper covering mouldering mounds of faeces. In other words, the sorts of things she saw every time she opened her apartment door. All of it was lit by the only remaining light globe that worked, which cast its dull sheen over what might have once been called the detritus of Stockholm, but now was defined as the new normal. Perhaps even a little above the norm.

When she closed her door and went back inside, the man she had just serviced was talking on his phone.

“It’s ridiculous,” he said, looking briefly at Ingrid. “This one must be over forty. Mustapha has bigger tits. I’m serious.”

Ingrid turned on the kettle, then sat on the edge of the bed. There was an American movie on the television, but it was too complicated for her to follow. Besides, the African’s laughter drowned out the dialogue, and she couldn’t be bothered reading the subtitles. When the kettle boiled, she tipped the cold tea out onto the floor and refilled her mug. The manual stated she should serve the client tea or coffee after completion, but Ingrid had learned long ago that they rarely bothered. They were usually too busy talking on the phone.

“Room 44, the HBV on Vasaplan,” the African said. “Two out of ten.”

Ingrid logged onto the Centre’s page on her government issued iPad, entered the African’s ID and put it in front of him. He signed it without a moment’s pause.

“Exactly,” he said. “They should retire them earlier than that. Twenty-five, maximum.”

Ingrid pointed at the clock. The African’s time was up. She inspected her panties before slipping them on, catching sight of herself in the mirror as she straightened up. She turned away, looking for her t-shirt.

“Okay, man,” said the African. “See you soon.”

He put his phone away, checking his back pocket for his wallet. Ingrid knew he was thinking he could never trust a Swedish whore. She couldn’t blame him. The Swedes had all but destroyed black culture, and now was the time to make amends.

When she was alone again, Ingrid turned off the television and lay in the dark. It was true what the Africans used to say when she was a little girl. "If you’re ever in need, go to a Swede." She hadn’t thought of that for a long time. A shadow of a smile passed over her face. Deep down she knew she was doing a good thing. 

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