Friday, 21 October 2011

Masters of the Universe

Jennifer is new in town, and we decided to meet up in town and have a proper talk. She is American, and has already lived in Stockholm for three years, but moved up here in September because she felt the Arctic Circle just wasn't close enough. Though she may also have come because of her acceptance into the city's prestigious art college. We went to Schmäck (a coffee shop) for lunch, and I ordered broccoli soup with a warm pesto and walnut sandwich and side sallad. Afterwards we walked over to Sandbergs Pappershandel, which would fill her every nib-and-sealing-wax need. And then to Åkerbloms to purchase a postcard for her friend. We bid goodbye and I went to my office (coffee shop) to work on pappa's book.

The bathroom scribbles are rather mild.

I take offense at this scribble. What if the 'me' in question is filled with fault, marred by weakness, moved to unkindness because of selfish ambition? Is that all I have to look forward to in life? Some washed out 'I am' statement?  Do I not have the strength to stare down my weaknesses and pull them out by the root, to build strength of character in its place? I'm not still-finding-myself. I refuse to be reduced to a shrug of the shoulder, an apologetic that's-all-I-can-do. I can do more.

I realize the statement intends to be encouraging, to coax the timid from their shell, but perhaps they could be coaxed by other means. I'm rather tired of only hearing about those who fumble forward, who stagger into the future only because they must. I want to see the brisk walkers, heroes who stride confidently into the dark unknown, who give of themselves without hesitation, whose kindness is counted as strength, who cure chronic despair in others by being assured of their own identity. I found another scribble on the wall: Live today. Tomorrow it may be too late.

A few hours and 812 words later, I caught the bus home. It was cold to wait in the open station.

Mamma and I made buns for the Sunday church service. I crumbled the yeast and stirred whilst my mother poured the flour into the melted butter; we rolled out the dough and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar along its length, and whilst I snipped the long roll into manageable pieces mamma put them into little paper cups and tuned the oven. It was one of those He-Man moments. By the power of Grey Skull! And we were suddenly He-Man and Battle Cat, fighting side by side in perfect synchronicity.

Our battle was just more delicious.

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