Archive for November, 2008

Has been drinking and is getting sentimental watching “Miami Ink”

November 16, 2008

Yes, I am now mixing Facebook status updates and WordPress titles. Such is life.

More than a year ago I was riding the commuter train between Uppsala and Upplands Väsby, with my son in his stroller, and across from me an Italian guy said, “So, how is your little champion doing?” I immediately liked him for calling my son a “little champion.” And today he and his wife and two kids came over to my place for tacos, drinks, candy and general hanging out.

I like this about life: one comment on a train a year and a half ago results in friendship, kids playing together, and people from three different countries eating tacos at a table in Sweden as the snow comes down outside. It makes all the internationalism a little more bearable. Though tacos and alcohol always make things a little more bearable.

I love my son, right now, pushing his plastic bus around the coffee table. I love kids hitting each other and crying one moment, and the next moment sneaking out to the staircase in pirate hats. Nothing will ever get better than that.


Self diagnostics

November 12, 2008

I was certain yesterday evening that today was going to be a fantastic day – a day of production, creativity and freedom of movement. And somehow it has not turned into that kind of day. It has turned into the kind of day where all I have managed to do is send an invoice, drink too much coffee and study old ladies with walkers shuffling past the library window. If my brain was a driveway I would hose it down. If it was a rug I would shake it out. If it was a kite I would throw it up into the air behind me and run and run and run.

My brain needs sleep.
My brain needs sugar.
My brain needs a long, fast walk in the desert.
My brain needs this library table to come with a built-in hookah bubbling with apple tobacco.

I will pick up my son from daycare in two hours. There is nothing like a small child to draw your attention away from yourself. Most likely he will not want to come home – his new thing – so he will stand in the corner, or hide under a table, or turn on one of the miniature faucets to wash his hands. His hand washing is all show and no hygiene – a waving of his hands under the flow of water to demonstrate that he is a “big boy.” I like his performance and find it much more convincing than my own, sitting in front of a laptop and watching the clouds.

On a train in the second person

November 6, 2008

The second person frees us. The intimate but distancing “you.”

You sit on a train speeding back to Stockholm, buzzing on two beers and frustrated over your mobile broadband’s refusal to connect.

You download a video on yoga, and clicking through it you come upon a man in the full lotus hopping around on his back. You smile over the idea of achieving flexibility, mental calm and humility through advanced silliness.

You think of your bed, waiting for you, and the sheets and clothes that need washing, and the hot black coffee you will make for yourself in the morning.

You think of life, of the clap of shoe heels on train aisle linoleum.

You get giddy thinking about Obama, feeling more hopeful about the U.S. than you have in your whole life.

 You add “Obama” to the dictionary of your cell phone when texting a friend.

You tilt your head back and hear train wheels rolling, and you want more beer and Swedish snus.

You think of the train as a long tube creating the illusion of “inside” when all along you are outside.

You feel your deadlines swirling about you, curving around your head and shoulders, held off by the heat of the beer and day-end tiredness.

You feel yourself using too many words.

You blink. You exhale.

You plan your next urination as one does in public: a calculation of need, distances and future availability of toilets.