geography

I never know what other people are doing

She said,

Is it as cold and dark as you imagined?

I said,

Hi.

I think I took too much acid.

Actually I think probably I took the right amount for many situations

But I am alone in the Arctic

And want to make the right choices.

Itʼs funny how I can still operate this horrible hand machine that controls everything.

She said,

What kind of space are you in?

I said,

I don’t know.

What are the units.

She said,

Where actually are you

I said,

Narvik.

 

She said,

You are NORTH.

I said,

Yeah

I really should put on my clothes and go find the northern lights

Itʼs why Iʼm fucking here.

She said,

That would be good, and how?

I said,

I think climb a mountain and wait.

God this thing in my hands is a monster.

She said,

Are there other people around who are looking for lights?

I said,

Hard to say.

I never know what other people are doing.

How will this work?

She said,

How will this work?

I said,

I’m trying to spend no money

Iʼll email this guy from college who was Zooey’s roommate our first year in Boston and now lives in Amsterdam

My former coworker Aliscia’s father’s family is in some remote Sicilian village

I remembered last night that a woman I went to kindergarten with married a Spaniard and moved to Sevilla

I’m feeling pretty thoroughly bananas.

What is helping me stay sane and away from that mentality whereby things arenʼt okay unless Iʼve worked out everything for the entirety of my life is imagining that Iʼll spend a few weeks at a stretch in a given place and in each place forge relationships and make discoveries to plan the next place.

Like any version of living, I guess, but in more motion.

She said,

I literally thought you were just going to show up and figure it out.

I said,

Like sit at the arrivals gate at CPH and ask people where they’re going and whether I can come?

disappointing produce

Dad says the produce in Berlin in June of 2006 was disappointing, that I should pack apples with me. This can’t be right. I remember how appalled I was at the available plant matter in Bergen in December… But wow we can’t grow much of anything here in New York City in late December, either, but we have access to much more than garlic and potatoes. Is it just that Bergen can’t support the import? There is not adequate market? Perhaps. That’s the self-reinforcing cycle of culture, I guess.

jøde and reading lamp

Today I went back to the café where I made my one Danish friend the last time I was here, an old hippie who called me out right away as jøde because he himself is, too, and there he was, waiting to hug me good and tell me to come back on Friday, by which time he’ll be through with the ministry of food health or whatever they call it here and ready to ping-pong — his verb—with me about what I might do from now onward. The Danish aren’t particularly open-minded to what is known as networking, he says, for they miss the point that to let someone new into a circle is to one’s own benefit, too. The Germans, he says, will be different.

Now it is six minutes ’til ten at night and I am only just beginning to need a reading lamp to write by, which really could be called a writing lamp if not for the crushing creative imperative. Northern Europe in May, as advertised.

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