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  • The guy in the far left oft the picture, exhaling smoke, and looking to his right side, has lived in Högdalen for as long as I can remember. He is almost always out, somewhere around the shops and cafés. Most of the time, he carries a broom and a dustpan, and with them he sweeps up cigarette butts and litter that he comes across.

    One day, it was maybe six years ago, I was having coffee with Emil on one of the local cafés. We looked at the man, walking from one side of the street to another, taking care of litter issues.

    "Whats the deal with this guy that goes around sweeping up litter all the time" I said to Emil.
    "That guy?" he said. "But that's Sam Sebotka. I rented an apartment from him once".

    I was absolutely amazed. He not only knew the guy's name, but had lived in his apartment. I knew which one he meant. I had been there myself, in about 1995, a few years before Emil and I became a couple. When we were just friends. When Emil lived with his parakeet Lenin. The small one room apartment had arched doorways and dolphin shaped hangers in the bathroom.

    I asked him what had happened, why he had moved. It had something to do with Sam Sebotkas mother not approving.

    Emil and I had a baby, Folke, and when he grew up to be a toddler, like most toddlers, he took an interest in brooms and dustpans. He would walk up to Sam and look at him working. There was some kind of connection there.

    Earlier this year, me and Emil sat at a café again, looking at Sam Sebotka picking stuff up from the ground with the dustpan, throwing it away in the waste bins. Right there, Sam took on a kind of mythical quality in our heads.

    Like if Sam was a charachter from myth or fairy tale, representing something profound within us, with a destiny intertwined with our own. Carriyng his broom and dustpan as regalia, with an important task to carry out.

    I doubt that's how Sam sees himself, though. Mabye Folke will ask him some day.
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