09 June 2008

Leaving, Well, Yes, On A Presumably Jet-Powered Plane and All That

LUND--The sky is now at 0130 as dark as it is going to get. My bags are packed and I am about ready to go. Backpack closed and empty day-pack strapped down over it. All the batteries are charged for the Panasonic and the Sony and the Leica. There is plenty of film for the other one. I have tapes and they are bringing me more. We had dinner out and some funny random conversations. Now Lena is asleep on the couch, keeping me silent company in this ersatz ready-room and I appreciate that very much for she has to work tomorrow morning and I am about done, manana I just get to wrap up inconsequential details and fret.

I went to class today because there was a field trip. On it I met a guy from Costa Rica, married to a Svensk Kvinna, moved here three weeks ago. We spoke of Sweden and Central America and a lot of the rest of the world along with Anders, one of the teachers, a good man and a good friend of Lena's friend.

I will be leaving this place, on my own, for the first time. I have never spent a night away from Lund before, after moving here, without Lena. I am not shutting the door on my house to leave it cool and silent until I return. I am leaving a woman I want to return to. When I come back it will not smell still and dark.

We went out for dinner. I decided I wanted a hamburger and fries for a last meal here. I am an American. We saw funny drunk Swedes and talked to Brits. And we came home and I did the things that I have done so many times, pulling zippers and changing batteries and checking again if all the things I have to have are going with me. Passport and money, can't do anything without them. Then cameras and their accessories. Then minor things like clothing and toothbrush. So it all seems to be there. It was all mostly packed anyway. And then I went to bed.

05 June 2008


LUND--This was my last day in class. My teacher sent me home early because, well, I fell asleep in front of my computer and she knew it was my last day. It was done with no malice. In fact she was quite solicitous about the state my my stress level. She sent me home for my own good. I tried to take all my checked-out books and CDs back to the library but it was closed. Then I went to Burger King and bought two 10 crown hamburgers. Then I sat on the Patio of the Olde Bull and drank comparatively cheap Fosters and wrote a very long and complicated essay on my time in Swedish class that I very much would like to write down again on this computer bloggy thing. But not now. And then I called Jake and he was in a meeting and then called Pat and he was about to leave on his motorcycle and then I called Rob and his phone was about to die and he was at work anyway because it is six hours earlier and Lena was at a newspaper work party. But then I called Jake back and we planned a trip to the best restaurants of Paris and talked of every other thing. I called him back at Seattle's, where we met and which, they say, is going to close. He put me on the phone with the people who are always there and were. They said hello. We spoke of Swedish film and of Indiana Jones and of the things we are going to try our damn best to do. And SKYP kept cutting out and we were about done anyway. So I sat and wrote a while and then Lena called and was on the bus home from Malmo and so I stopped writing, picked up my camera and went out the door to the station to meet her.

A Tabletop In A Swedish Grandmother's House