This week I traveled with my father to my grandparents' place in Stockholm, with only a short interlude in Uppsala to see my brother and his wife. My father met up with some friends, but my own intention was quite different. I have recently become somewhat obsessed with preserving the present, creating something that carries past my own small personal sphere of experience. My grandparents are getting old. My grandmother's hearing is ailing; she has begun to repeat herself and seems to have lost some of her ability to reason abstractly. My father's parents, though still spry-minded and quick to a pun, wince from back pains and troubled stomachs, and this realization compounded has turned my thoughts to our human mortality. Are they to go without their story written down? Will the sound of their voices never be heard again?
I feel driven to write it down, to furiously tell their tale, as if I could not work fast enough to hold on to their words. I find such desperation to be a natural part of every writer; though we may not admit to our mortal soul such petty reasons, we write in the hope that our words will be, must be enough to remember us by when we have passed beyond this earthly life.
Therefore, I have decided on another hare-brained scheme--to create a digital library, in which to keep recordings of my grandparents' stories, and possibly others of their generation. I would capture their accents, and in this small, selfish gesture, preserve the voice by which they lived.
Farfar works on a crossword puzzle.
"Here. Have a napkin."
I just found out I'm related to Tintin. Of course, grandfather denies all such allegations, but it is obvious that I am. In direct line. A third generation adventurer. The world has wondered what happened to the intrepid boy-reporter, and I'll have you know he married Frida and had two sons and spoke little of his past adventures. Here he is, slightly the worse for wear and tear, but never seen without his trademark quiff or that incorrigible gleam in his eye.