Ephipanies

It happened about a month ago. I was standing in line for BBQ’ed chicken at the supermarket. My only stop at this supermarket for almost a year. Funny that. You passed in front of me, and looked me in the eyes just briefly. Just like me you were unsure if you knew me or not. When I walked back to the car I was almost convinced I knew who you were. I couldn’t shake the feeling of warmth you gave me or how beautiful you looked. Something told me I had to find you. So, I looked you up and sent you a message on Facebook. “Was that you I saw?” You replied that it was. I suspect we both had a good understanding about who we were looking at, but this is Norway after all. We’re not Americans or Spaniards after all. We just don’t stop and talk to strangers unless we are absolutely sure we know them.

We couldn’t stop talking after that. We met again shortly afterwards. Two adults, a six year old and a three year old dog. We talked for two hours while your daughter and my little dog ran around playing. Without hesitation you invited me to come with you and your little family to a family park with lots of fun rides. It’s those places you can’t really go to unless you have children. Everything felt so natural and right. Not once did it feel awkward. It was the best day I’ve had for so long. As long as I can remember. And you know why? Because I felt normal. I felt part of society again. Considering my age it was the right place to be and the right thing to do. And I was with you. I didn’t feel like a nerd sitting at home writing novels. I didn’t feel lonely walking somberly alone with my dogs in a suburb full of happy families. I didn’t feel down because I was drinking beer with lonely guys above my own age staring down their failures in life. I wasn’t scared I might end up like them any longer. I was happy because I felt normal. I was in a family park, doing family things. It didn’t feel awkward because it wasn’t my family. I felt part of it. It felt right. I can’t thank you enough for that day when everything felt right for me. You included me on your family trip without hesitation even if you didn’t know me that well. I can’t thank you enough for trusting me and for giving me the chance to prove myself. I do not know what I have done to deserve your trust so quickly, but I will never abuse it.

I am yours now. I was hit by a lightning and I will never be the same. So, I’m tearing down the walls I have built around myself once more.

To quote Jeffrey Sinclair in Babylon 5’s War Without End Part II (even if it is corny 20 years down the road);

All my life I’ve had doubts about who I am, where I belonged. Now I’m like the arrow that springs from the bow. No hesitation, no doubts. The path is clear.

There is only one question I need to ask you. I think I know the answer, but I am still nervous about it. I feel like I have burned my hand once, and afraid of doing it once more. I think it will be alright. It feels like it will be alright.

And even if all fails, I will still remember the day when everything was alright.

Chapter 3: The Parliament of Dreams

She got in touch with me first. Rumour said she had run out of Finns to talk to, so she turned to Norwegians. Her country was under siege, being bombarded with deadly rockets from terrorists in the neighbouring country up north, striking her city.

She had gone further south, away from the attacks, to her cousins place. There was little left for her to do than to stay online. Our chats were often disrupted by air raid sirens which meant she had to take shelter just in case any of the rockets reached her area inland. I wasn’t thinking of a relationship because she was so far away from me I didn’t consider it to be anything serious. Until she said she would meet me in Prague. Visiting Prague was a week-long trip I had planned with my brother and a few friends months prior to meeting her. The trip wasn’t meant as anything to do with romance. I didn’t even take her seriously when she said she would go. But she did. We met in the square of the old town of Prague in lovely sunshine in October of 2006. At first I had an eerie feeling about it I couldn’t shake. Perhaps it was my intuition warning me of what was to come 10 years later. I can’t explain what it was, or why.IMG_4892

After Prague we met in Finland in November. She had a thing for Finland. I don’t know why many foreigners seem to do. Norwegians have absolutely no “thing” for Finland. I flew out on an early morning Finnair flight. We spent a few days in Helsinki before going to Norway. I took her to see my parents. We were already acting as a couple and I had no strange intuitions any more – it had disappeared after the first hour of meeting her.

As for Norwegian girls I could not talk or impress enough to go out with me, it was a feeling of leaving them behind victorious. Through most of that first college year I had a huge crush on a girl from my study group – which turned out to be a subsequent failure of me trying to date her. Of course.

So a foreign girl being much more direct about what she wanted – and completely honest in being attracted to me, felt so much easier to deal with. It was easier. My devloping prejudice towards local girls had been confirmed as true. They didn’t like me, but foreign girls did.

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I went to her home country in February 2007. For a whole month. Not only was the final destination of my journey worth it, but I got to travel. I simply love flying and traveling. Even transits at airports in Europe fascinates me. I was suddenly a world traveler, I was doing well in college, and I had found an absolutely smashing, exotic girl. It was also a bragging right that I was going to what Norwegians looked at as a “semi war-zone”.  It was too good to be true. I was suddenly racking up flights like a madman, spent tons of money doing it, but yet managed to save up a considerable sum between 2006 and 2010. We traveled her country extensively, got to see all the sights, and I plastered everything about it online. I was proud. We even had our photo published online by the biggest online (and offline) newspaper outlet in Norway under the headline “we are traveling all over the world!”

I talked her into opening a Facebook account so I could change my relationship status to “in a relationship with”.

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She wasn’t only pretty, but took whatever I had of low self confidence away and pulled me up to her level. She was one of the reasons I had no hesitation writing a book in 2008-2009 (the first of many). After acing my bachelors degree and ending up dating a beautiful foreign girl like her, there was no stopping me. My untraditional ways had paid off. I was right, everyone else were wrong. I had no hesitation investing all the time that it took in a long distance relationship. Why wouldn’t I? I got travel, and she adored me. Besides, I did not understand Norwegian girls, and they did not understand me. My crush the previous year was proof of that.

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The last part of 2006 was absolutely a smashing time. So was 2007. In retrospect, It was like I could only think about something, and it would come true. If I wasn’t flying to see her or she was off to see me, I was flying to England for air shows and beer. I had been dreaming of going to England since I was a child. Now I was doing it every year.

Things had finally turned around.