It's a quarter past midnight, and I sigh and say: "Tomorrow I am going to explain to Asbjørn why it is vitally important that I don't hand in my overdue physics homework."
I'm dead tired. I have now stayed two months at Atlantic College (the one in Wales, not the one in the US - they are quite considerably different) and I am almost ready to give up. There is just too much. What can I say? It's difficult. I come from a background where I didn't have to do jack shit to get anywhere in school. Apply that to an arguably elitist school, and you get my current situation.
"Again?" asks my Norwegian co-year, Cecilie.
"It's becoming regular occurrence, yes... Sort of a Sigbjørn - Asbjørn tradition."
Music has an enormous influence on the emotions of people. It provokes emotions like very few other things can, and it easily provokes associations. Listening to an album, Hagnesta Hill, by a Swedish band called Kent, just now, in my bed in my dorm in my house, makes me realize just how little of it belongs to me. I miss deadlines. I miss sleep. I miss a lot of things, but more than anything I miss home. I have hit a new low, a new level of apathy I had no idea existed. Nothing has any meaning to me except those amplified emotions.
Jag behövde en hundradels sekund - I needed a hundredth fraction of a second. This album, Hagnesta Hill, was one I played half this summer, when I was working at the museum, living alone with my brother back home. I loved that month, it feels strange to feel such a pang of sadness when remembering it. It's a natural consequence of me and my brother being at the age we are, both of us moving around, studying, meeting people, and eventually settling down. I don't know if I will ever experience such a summer again. I hope so, but I don't know.
Musik Non Stop. Just like Led Zeppelin immediately transports me to the deserts of Arrakis, just like REM instantly makes me play Civilization II with my brother when we were "much" younger than now when he was 17 and I 12, just like Locomotives takes me for a ride a year back in time, late at night doing homework, Kent takes me back home like nothing else.
And I miss home. I miss decent food. I miss my brother. I miss my cat. I miss my friends. I miss a pause in my life.
Jag så en film, en framtidsvision - I saw a film, a vision of the future. My brother and I have a relationship that is about as perfect as it gets. Total understanding, total harmony, all fun. It feels strange now to remember that only some years ago there was no real bond between us, at least not in this way and of this magnitude. Now that he's moved out, and I've moved out, it is so very very strange when we don't see each other for months on end. It's something to get used to, I suppose, but that realization is not one that gives me much joy. Inget lyckligt slut - No happy ending.
Det er över nu, och jag som aldrig har haft nostalgi, jag gråter nu - It's over now, and I who never had nostalgia, I cry now. I miss decent food. I've earlier commented to Marit, a second-year Norwegian, that Atlantic College *is* an eating disorder. It's not entirely that far off the mark. Food is okay, but not really good. You don't get enough of it if you've got an active metabolism (like me), and you never get variation. I miss fish. Heh, I'd never think that I would, we get all too much of it back home - the meat was the treat. I saw the change in my brother though, but perhaps never understood it. I know that there will be a lot of fish in the week I've been allowed to dictate the menu in.
My cat is possibly the most loving creature in my life. We've got a house cat that supposedly belongs to someone on the opposite side of the campus. But she isn't really very loving - not like Tina back home that will attempt to lick your face as if she were a dog.
I've got very few close friends, and have never felt such a social desire that I see many have. Months now, without any contact with any of the people I know back home, do make me look forward a lot to seeing people again. En himmelsk drog - A heavenly drug.
Sigbjørn still maintains that he is going to be somebody ... carefully neglecting the fact that all the ninety-year olds still singing into their combs in front of their mirrors, they too knew that they were going to be somebody. It is slowly dawning on him that his shot at being a star kid actor may very well have passed, so as a backup plan, he's currently attending university in Trondheim, Norway, studying film.
ABOUT SIGBJØRN LUND OLSEN
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
11.26.01 @ 10:20a
What, exactly, is the English translation of the Swedish word "slut"?
11.26.01 @ 11:48a
This is quite lovely. It has that inky not-quite-morning-but-almost feel to it, when you're not afraid to connect with those feelings you don't usually reveal during the day...and I like that.
I also like the bilingual touch, but since you're almost young enough to be my son, I probably shouldn't elaborate. ;)
11.26.01 @ 12:17p
Adam, you pig, "slut" is "end" in English :-P
11.26.01 @ 12:30p
On the other hand, you now have proof positive that I read it closely.
11.26.01 @ 3:09p
The key difference between myself and Adam is that I wondered and he asked.
11.26.01 @ 3:51p
I would certainly hope there's more than one key difference...
11.26.01 @ 3:54p
Let's not get into that.
11.26.01 @ 4:54p
I was just waiting for it.
(Which is not a difference between myself and Adam.)
There are actually, like, 83 differences, but that would get us off topic and would take us away from remarking on how beautiful I bet phrases like "jag grater nu" sound when spoken.