David Getman in Prague

When we saw what was in front of us, our eyes all circled the room scanning for appropriate responses. Disbelief, bemusement, a trace of fear, and a hearty slather of something sort of inexplicably funny. The strange man had a booze-stench and a delicate approach was necessary—he was deeply and loudly asleep in my bed at the hostel.

Our whole party talked about what we could do and complained about that man’s nerve.

“We rented every bed in this room!”

“He’s wearing shoes on my bed!!”

David stepped forward. He leaned over the man, quietly taking in the shade of it all for a minute or two. “Hey, buddy! Buddy!” David whispered repeatedly.

No response. He tried again, patting the man’s shoulder while addressing him. Still no response. But David’s face stayed calm.

“Sir!” he yelled, thrusting his fingertips into the drunk man’s shoulder like evidence; a finessed undulation in the motion of his 4 fingers as they recoiled with a flawless snap.

It only took one “sir” and the look on David’s face suggested even he didn’t expect to wake the man only when his words got more polite. Curious, pleased, slightly afraid but thrilled at the uncertainty of what could come. It was a look David sort of always had at the foundation of every expression.

“What’s your name?” he asked the man. The drunk man muttered to himself substantially before stating his name as Craig.

“Craig, you gotta go. This is someone else’s bed.” David’s best business voice. He nudged Craig to get up while asking him what room he was in. Craig was mumble-arguing that it was his spot when we realized the best thing to do was have the front desk tell Craig which room he was in.

I noticed my room keys were missing and panicked about it. “David, I’ll never get my passport back!” But he saw that Craig’s keys had fallen on the bed unattended, so he quietly picked them up. “Give them these. He’ll think he lost them going out anyway.” I felt bad about it, but something about the way David wanted to right everything made me not hesitate for a minute about it. After the front desk had taken Craig to his room, David laughed about how terrified he was that Craig knew he gave me the keys.

The next morning, we split a Kinder Bueno bar for breakfast and found my keys in David’s jacket pocket. We both forgot I asked him to hold them so I wouldn’t lose them.