This morning, by decree of the divine climate committee (whoever, wherever they are), summer was over. While not my favourite September revelation, it’s as unavoidable as loud music from the third floor any given Saturday throughout the year.
Up here where it technically should be neither sunny nor green, summer arrives in late May and shuffles around a bit, not knowing quite what to do. It dabbles in the art of itself, goofing off while it leaves all the hard work to the Gulf Stream. In late August, it excuses itself and leaves. “Sorry. Having an appointment in South Africa“, it says, while persuading most of the birds to sneak off along with it.
Next thing you know, you’re shoveling snow.
The lawn dew had magically transformed itself into a frosty substance during the night. As I stood swearing in the window, the sun had already begun its uphill battle against it. The parts exposed to the early morning sun were already wet, but the rest looked as inviting as an overweight truck driver in drag, still with his greasy baseball cap on.
06:39. 2.1 degrees and rising. Slowly.
Outside on the parking lot, on the roof of my car, the September rain from the night before were frozen blobs. The windcsreen had icy streaks running across it. I opened the trunk and got out the harbinger of winter; the ice scrape.
Scraping ice off your car’s windcsreen is an excruciatingly boring task. The upside of excruciatingly boring tasks is that you can do all sorts of things with your head in the meantime. Whenever I do all sorts of things with my head, there’s either some kind of story coming out - usually in monologue style and never written down - or there’s an annoying song playing over and over.
Today there was a monologue, and for once I decided to write it down. I like writing stuff for which there are no research other than occasionally opening my ridiculously large and blue book with english words in. It’s my dictionary and it is supposedly the best one there is. You have likely never heard of it, but it’s supposedly the best one there is.
Call it the muse, call it inspiration, call it voices in your head or whatever the hell you like. Now and then, the words comes trotting along in English, other times in Norwegian and once every blue moon they are wrapped in no language at all. The latter means I can write it down however I like, and those days are the really good ones. For writing, I mean.
I’m a history geek too. My time horizon is about a week forward and 400 years back. I could never write sci-fi, make plans for next summer not to mention a life. This very fact makes me mentally incompatible with about 99.2% of the planet’s female population, the folks who need to know what you’re doing on Saturday when you’re trying to avoid sleeping on the job Monday morning. The ones who buy scented candles on Tuesdays because they are planning to take a long bath on Sunday. I wash myself, they take baths with scented candles. If that makes sense to you, I’m incompatible unless you enjoy talking about the etymology of dirty words. Does that make any sense?
Here is what makes sense. (Or: here is what makes sense, but only to me):
Three months ago. Eating too much in a flat in London before smoking a smoke on the smallest balcony in the world, worrying about making the still wet laundry smell like foreign cigarettes. The humidity is killing you, but the locals aren’t even taking notice. The day after, you take the bus. Three weeks after that, the 37 bus is a smoking semi-wreck in Travistock Place and you think to yourself “didn’t we take the 37 bus?”
Three months ago. Italian food with noders. Your pulse is about 14, and the next day someone have placed a cup of tea next to your bed. You wonder if you slept naked and if it would have mattered to the locals. No and maybe.
Two months ago. Driving back from the beach where you (amongst a lot of other things) tried to learn how to let go and just float but just couldn’t. There’s a knack to letting go. You have to stumble across it. The harder you look, the more it hides. Later, after a bend in the deserted highway, you find yourself driving into the sunset singing an old psalm with someone’s head on your shoulder.
Two and a half months ago. Saying goodbye and farewell and good luck to the staff at the daycare. Big girls leave daycare and start school. Big guys feel strange about it.
Two months ago. Working for a week whilst the rest of the guys are off on their respective vacations. Despite being the poster boy for slacking, you get more done that week than you ever thought possible. You start to wonder if “good team worker” really means “tell lots of jokes”.
One month ago. Setting off late on a Friday evening, only to get stuck in traffic for hours. The queue moves at an infuriatingly slow pace, but nobody complains. You wonder if the lack of complaining is a major malfunction or simply the way people should be. The lack of empirical data means you’ll have to guess wildly. You settle for the latter before the strangest feeling appears between your strung-up shoulders; they inch a little closer to the factory setting “Relaxed (normal)”. The sun was shining too.
Two months ago. Everyone’s gotta eat, so we had pasta with olive oil, feta cheese and tomatos. Yeah, and white wine. A week later as I drove back home, I found a name for it: Mangiando con Rosso. It’s impossible to cook by the way.
One month ago. An SMS from the database administrator gone real estate agent in Turkey. They’re having the time of their lives. So then, they were just busy. The annoying feeling of being in the wrong place for the last ten years takes on a life of its own. Epiphanies are sometimes 160 characters or less, excluding smilies.
Three hours ago: just as suddenly as it arrived, it took off again. Hello ice scrape, goodbye shorts.
That makes sense to me. That, and all the cars. And Rosso too.