Easter in Purgatory

Life (and death) in the Swedish Hereafter

The Weather Underglass

February 1st, 2010 by easterinpurgatory


Another day here, a cold one for sure, ten below zero! I know that you probably don’t get out much, but you should get your new owner to take you for a short stroll, I think you’d like it.

Actually, now that I think about it, you were never much of the outdoor type. No, I’m imagining you sprawled out in some kind of IKEA kitty couch, dozing…, dreaming of revenge. But really, now that I’ve joined you in this place, the whole revenge thing seems kind of silly doesn’t it? More on that later.

-St. Eriksgatan

But you really should get out more, this city can be pretty remarkable if you give it a chance. You’d appreciate how the roadways are cleared and gritted every morning with clockwork precision, making way for the army of red and blue buses that prowl the neighborhoods, swallowing up their fill of shivering, fur-clad vixens and SMILFS with prams.

–Number 1 to Frihamnen

The ethanol they use for fuel has this faint smell of craft-glue, you know the white Elmer’s kind that boogery school-kids are always using to glue Cheerios to everything. Take it all in, the doll-house apartment buildings, the icebound parks populated with puffy figurines  and the vague whiff of lost childhood  and it all starts to feel like living in some kind of scale-model world…you know, one of those snow globes with the miniature cities inside. Just the kind of thing you’d expect from the afterlife.

–Obviously glued into place

One of the buses is pulling up to the curb where I’ve been waiting. Its pneumatic doors swish open, inviting me in from the cold. I know your probably arching your protoplasmic spine and flashing your little kitty fangs at the mere mention of a bus, but these things aren’t anything like the mobile psych-wards we used to get around in back in Oakland.

You’re probably having post traumatic flashbacks from all those bus trips we took to see the vet about your bad teeth. The ones where you’d sit there hissing  in your carrier as AJ and I stood solemnly near the doors, eyes glued to the floor, desperately trying to avoid eye contact with the crazies packed in around us like Styrofoam.

It takes some getting used to, but the buses here in Stockholm are used by what appear to be perfectly normal people going about what appears to be completely ordinary business. Gone are the bitter, minimum wage drivers, the winos and amputees lurching in the aisles, absent are pukers and the half dead,  the beady-eyed panhandlers and punk kids, the thieves, junkies and tweakers, they’re all just gone, stowed away somewhere like old shoes. You know what’s funny? I sure miss those motherfuckers.

Here’s my stop, but we’ll continue this later…we’ve got a lot to talk about. I’ve even got hopes that these little chats might pave the way to putting our little…incident behind us. But that’s just me and my new-found optimism, maybe it’s just that I really believe time can heal all wounds. And what have we got here, if not time?

— Lake Mälaren

Report abuse »

Death by scarf

January 29th, 2010 by easterinpurgatory

You know there are a lot of ways to go,  ranging from the relatively banal slip-and-fall type stuff to the freaky stories you read about on the internet. Like the 20’s dancing legend who was practically decapitated in her car when her scarf caught in the tires, or that scuba diver firefighters found in a pine tree after their tanker plane emptied its bellyful of lake water over a blazing forest. OK that last one was turns out to be less fact and more urban legend but the point is it could have happened that way.  We all live on the edge of a fragile, trembling membrane that delineates this world from the next.  And sometimes, well…*pop!*

It’s not like I’ve been reincarnated or anything, I’ve still got the same weak ankles I’ve had since the sixth grade. It’s more subtle than that. I guess I always imagined it would be different somehow, you know, something more dramatic, shimmering vortices and surreal landscapes,  but Stockholm?

The truth is, I’m really starting to dig this place, starting to fit right in with the locals. I’ve been lately suspecting that there is a kind of strange logic to everything that’s happened, to being here.  And when I saw you in the metro the other day that fuzzy vision crystallized into a perfect epiphany.

It’s about you!  Easter! Easter that cat. Sickly, neurotic, Siamese Easter, my  long lost roommate from Oakland California. This all goes back to what went down back there brother, doesn’t it? You see, if we reconcile our differences, you and I both get both get to forgive and forget, and then we’ll both be moving on to the next place.  Get it?

More later…

Report abuse »