A derelict house stood at the side of the road not far from the hostel we stayed at. We stayed there in the quaint and enjoyable Lugnåsberget hostel for two nights to see the cranes dancing at the nearby lake Hornborgarsjön (here is a live camera of the place), but this derelict and dilapidated construction was a captivating attraction in its own right. On the morning we were to leave for home, I made my way over to the abandoned house, in the damp and the rain.
The closer I got, the more I felt the eyes of the well kept houses of the neighborhood were watching me. I was perhaps another stranger trespassing on a story they knew and which I was not allowed to know. The feeling became acute. As I came closer, many questions appeared. Why was there so much trash in the field of this home? It was as if someone had dragged the buzzards entrails into the open to divine the future, and in doing so destroying the record of the past. And why was the door left open? Why was there trash riddling the floor and up to the walls?
I stood at the threshold, and after peering in through the open door, finally broke the seal and stepped inside. I was in the kitchen. The trash covered everything. It was inside everything, falling out of everything. On closer inspection, it wasn’t trash at all. There were bills, and letters, histories, memorabilia. In the kitchen there were a number of cages for pets, perhaps hamsters. There were papers and items of all sorts in these as well, as if they too were abandoned houses now serving as a museum.
Further in, the rooms were covered, not just with trash, but mysteriously well folded clothes, in piles, some clothing still hanging on coat hangers. The ceiling had fallen through from the upper floor. Ascending the stairs, I discovered rooms filled with riddles. Here was a bedroom with a child’s bed, books and items still on their shelves, letters spilled out across the floor. Children had lived here, and the details of the lives of these people lay strewn across the house. It did not look ransacked, but as if someone, a pack rat, had lost the ability to clean, had abruptly died or moved away, and all was left as is with no one to come collect it.
All of this woke a sense of tragedy in me. Seeing a little lamb on the bed, I thought of my own children, and this derelict house suddenly became a home whose central figures could no longer uphold its order. I was once again trespassing, and the eyes of the neighborhood were again upon me. And so, with few images taken, I left. It was enough. I doubt more images of the place would yield more than the sense of how much stuff lay around, yet without adding any more to the story. That story was hidden in the letters and papers and items I will never read.
The images in this series are few. They are edited with Snapseed.