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All of this took place

on the shores of a lake

in Wisconsin,

when Larry let me stay

in his guesthouse.

A small house

with photos on the walls,

with a shower, kitchen and bathroom,

with a piano, a typewriter

and a living room.

Larry didn't know then

that I had lived

with the Vasilevs,

who were very afraid

that I would become an alcoholic,

even though their son was

an alcoholic and one night

he stole my television.

Then I lived at Krum's.

When I used his bathtub

the neighbor lady shrieked

that her hallway was flooded.

(I don't think Krum had taken

a bath in ten years.)

Larry also didn't know

that I had lived at Simon's,

on Rakovski Street.

It was a nice room,

but didn't have any windows.

I bought a little lamp

that I turned on at night

so that it wouldn't be like

waking up in a coffin.

I even lived in a basement,

in the army,

with Gonzo – an orphan,

who every morning

opened his eyes

and lit up a cigarette.

Larry, my friend,

there's so much you don't know!

Thank you

for letting me live

in your guesthouse.

God bless you,

as I write these lines

on your typewriter!

Ivan Hristov

Translated by the Angela Rodel