I miss my old house

Sometimes I watch old videos on my cell phone. Videos of my dogs, in my old house, barking or playing around. Other times just recordings I did with my GoPro when it was new. Other times, when I briefly stop by in person, I glance around and I see all those things that once were mine and the work I did on it.

Just outside the door there’s a patch of gras. How I worked to make sure the gras would grow there. It grows really nice now, I can see that. Behind that small patch of gras, there’s at least two rowanberry trees. I remember those well. They have grown so much! It was my mother who suggested I could plant them because apperantly they are useful for something. I remember walking into the forest to find some of them. I dug them up, took them with me and planted them by our house. They are still there, growing. Not all of them, but a few.

On the other side of the house there’s my redcurrant bush I managed to plant there. There’s also the (now) large bush of blackcurrant I planted. The then small plant have grown considerably since then.

Some of what I did has not fared so well because of my ex-wife non-ability to take care of it. Like the flowers by the veranda. They are not really there anymore. Weeds are growing in the driveway like no other, again because she can’t take care of anything properly.

Why am I writing this?

I miss my house sometimes. It’s like I just left it behind. It’s still there, just growing freely and wildly. It’s like there’s no one there any more. The house and the garden is just there continuing on without me. It is a peculiar feeling, and a somber feeling. There’s nostalgia connected to it as well. Sometimes that was so firmly rooted as mine. My project. Something that I was fully in charge over, and could do whatever I wanted with. At my own pace and my own terms.

There’s another way of doing things now. More chefs. More trouble. More difficult. Like the room that is intended for my daughter. I want to start fixing it. Sure, I’ll even paint it even if I think it’s a complete waste of time. Inside this room there’s a huge IKEA bed. I figured that if I was to start painting anything in that small room I had to dismantle that bed no one ever used except me for a couple of months. And so I started. Well, I grabbed a tool to dismantle it with. Then my father-in-law came and suggested I should just leave it for now, but he made it clear it was up to me. Then my girlfriend came and said the same thing. Why not keep it and paint anyway?

No! I don’t want it there when I paint. I had a plan, and now it’s all confusing and I lost all inspiration doing it. And so I put the tool back in its box. I haven’t touched it since. I just don’t understand why things can be done easier. I guess I was really spoiled when I was the sole master of my own house. My ex-wife didn’t really care. She was a city girl. Gardens were unheard of in her vocabulary. I was in charge.

And so when these things happen I just miss my house and my own pace, projects. I miss my blackcurrant bush, the gras I spent hours making to look nice. The redcurrant, my tulips in the now wilderness of a past flowerbed. I have been making a few things here too, notably weeding out a large area behind the house with my mom. Here, I simply have a feeling I am doing it for my girlfriend and not for us. There’s no ownership from my side to it. Neither paper-wise or feelings. My feel of ownership is back at my old house. I guess I still feel that it is my home and my real house. Because it was my mine. When my girlfriend are tired from four night shifts, she says the most rude things like “this house is mostly mine and will always be mine” or “you came here to a set table”. Like I am the one being spoilt and having it all easy. It’s the other way around. She doesn’t know what it’s like to leave a home for a new one. All the things you leave behind. Stuff you can’t bring. Like the room itself, a plant or a bush. Even emotions and feelings of ownership. It’s all there. The feeling you have when you simply give it all away to someone else. It’s yours now, all of this. I have no ownership any longer.

I miss my house, and it’s been three years now. No one will understand this. Not my ex-wife and not my girlfriend. No one. Just me.

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Yeah, I sneak off to McDonalds

You know what is bliss? To sneak off to McDonalds.

Like today. I have terrible problems with dry cough and breathing issues – like asthma, so I went to the doctor to sort that out. And I did. It took me like 20 minutes or so. All cleared with everyone. My mother babysitting and so on.

And so I decide, like I often do when Im out like this, to buzz off to the closest McDonalds 10-15 minutes away by car for a Big Mac. I drove down there, music blasting.

I bought my Big Mac with extra cheese and no pickle and drove a further 300 meters out to the lake to eat it with a view in front of my old car. To eat that burger in silence, looking at the lake – it’s just bliss. I love sneaking off like that.

My girlfriend doesnt like meat or fast food. Certainly not a Big Mac. I love fast food – not just every day. I’m no fool, I stay healthy. Sort of. And so I get little meat in this house for that reason. No problem, there’s always McDonalds.

I love sneaking off, taking those 45 minutes or so and just eat my burger in fucking peace and worry of nothing else than my fries getting too cold.

Long may it continue.

What the fuck? Part A and part B

Sometimes I’m just lost for words. Do I utter the word “women” with a sigh and throw my hands up in the air, or do I utter the words “people” or “relationships” with the same disbelief and/or the feeling of simply giving up. Like, giving up in ending the conversation and going to bed. And while I’m doing that I will be fighting my instinctive feeling of saying A) “I told you so!”, or B) “are you completely dumb?”

And so this was Monday. It is now Wednesday. The day involved one ex and one current girlfriend. In the end, I called a friend and just told her both stories. I just had to out of my own sanity.

So what happened?

I have a key to my old house again now (I used to have it, then gave it back – long story). I have the key now because I’m taking my dogs for walks when my ex is working long hours. That means I have access to the house again (which feels weird in itself). And so I went there Monday to take the dogs for walks. My ex gave me like six paragraphs of stuff to remember before I came. Just stupid shit like “their leashes are on the staircase” or “I have locked the bathroom door with a key so they won’t get inside (like dogs can actually open doorhandles). Or, her never ending “this room is being cleaned, so it’s off limits”. What, do you think I’m stupid? You have locked the room because it looks like shit and you haven’t mustered yourself into cleaning it!

What the fuck A)

I drive over to my former house, and greeted my dogs. I can’t help but notice the entire house looks like absolute shit. Dirt everywhere. Dirt on the floor, filth and muck everywhere – everywhere! My key barely goes into the keyhole because it havent been oiled, so I go to the kitchen to get some oil. The fridge stinks like hell. The kitchen have pots, plates, glasses and cups everywhere. All dirty and uncleaned of course. There’s still a photo of me on the wall. The curtains are the same as they were in 2012. I kid you not. The floors have insane large dustballs like huge galaxies in space swirling around. The veranda door all worn down by one of the dogs scratching it. I could go on and on. I was shocked. I shouldnt be shocked though. She never did clean anything. I just thought she had gotten her act together now with me gone, and actually taken som control of her life. Nope, not at all. I feel sorry for the dogs living in such a place. And, hey, this is coming from a guy – a normal guy with a normal view on what’s clean and not. A guy often being confronted by his current girlfriend for not being thorough enough when cleaning. Yeah. That’s right. I’m normal. A normal guy with a healthy and sane relationship to what is clean and not.

And you know what is pissing me off? For all those years when we lived together I was told it was MY fault she didn’t clean or tidy her shit. Apperantly I didn’t clean as good as she wanted, and since I didn’t do it right – she didn’t want to do it at all. Yeah, that was her words. I called her out on her bullshit then, but then I simply gave up. She wasn’t cleaning. I did it for her, my way, and decided it had to do with her mental stability this way of doing things around the house (or lack of). It was something to do with her state of mind – which may or may not be true. I know she had (and still have) issues. And so I was nice and did my best. I always said it was better to do some than not anything at all. She didn’t agree I guess. And so when I moved, according to her previous statements, she would now be in charge of her own house and the place would be spotless. She could do anything she wanted with me gone. Did she? No! The place looks like a fucking dump. It has degraded beyond belief in those three years since I left. It’s clear to see now she just blamed me for the house being filhty and untidy. I should send her a message saying “I fucking told you so!” But I’m not. I’m not saying one word. I will just keep my mouth shut. It wasn’t me. It was her all along!

Goddamnit. Really.

Goddamnit!

What the fuck B)

And so with that having gone down, I drove home. To a clean house. Clean floors and a very tidy kitchen. My current girlfriend knows how to tidy and clean. Her mother is around when I come. She had been there since like ten in the morning. I came home around three. In the meantime, I had made an appointment with my mom for Tuesday (visiting my parents) and so I tell my girlfriend. Now this apppointment is apperantly a problem because she made a tentative apppointment with a friend of hers of a visit on Tusday. So I’m like “is it actually a sealed deal, or you don’t know yet?” She doesn’t know.  I have no clue how to deal with a plan like this. So, I’m like expected to not make any arrangements with anyone because there MIGHT be a visit to her friends house? I tell her I can’t do it like this, and tell her that because of this weird way of planing I will have to push forward my appointment with my parents to today (Monday). The time is now like five in the afternoon. She agrees.

By the time I wan to leave, it was already getting late. It was like 18:30. My girlfriends daughter suddenly wants to come with me. I tell her politely that she has not done her homework yet, and since she stayed up until 23:00 on Sunday before going to sleep – going to my parents at this hour without having done her homework and because of Sunday is not a good idea. I will be back around 21:00 most likely, and with her slow motion speed she won’t be in bed before 22:00. And this is with still homework to be done. She starts to cry. Quite loudly. She’s not used to getting a no.

And here comes the surprise; my girlfriend attacks ME instead of supporting me in this decision.  She accuses me of not being bighearted enough by taking her daughter with me! And I’m like “what the fuck!! She still has homework to do!”. In the background I hear a grumpy mother in law thinking I’m being evil. I don’t hear her, I simply feel her. My girlfriend rolls her eyes and tells me “there are other people here reacting to this!” referring to her mother in law. So? I’m trying to spoon feed all of them why my decision stands. Your daughter stayed up until 23:00 on Sunday. She havent’ done her homework yet. It’s almost seven in the afternoon. I had to change my plans because she and her girlfriend couldn’t make a proper deal in arranging a visit, and shockingly I am being accused of not being bighearted?? The daughter is now on the floor crying because she can’t go with me. Shocked at all of this, I leave anyway. I come home around 21:00 (like I expected). My mother in law, seeing me returning home, rushes out the door not interested in talking to me (first time in ages she’s out the door before midnight). Luckily, my girlfriends daughter is in her pyjamas and goes to bed in a reasonable hour. Which was my intention all along.

After days like this I am simply shell shocked. I question my own normality. Am I wrong in any of this? Any at all? No, I’m not. I’m taking reasonable and proper decisions for the sake of the well being of everyone. I keep my mouth shut even if my old house is falling apart from the inside out. It pains me to see all of what I spent time and money on in a state like this. It is horrible. I get worried for my ex well being. And when I come home and try to do the right thing I’m being accused of not being generous enough??!

What the fuck?

Seriously, what the fuck?

What the fuck with A

What the fuck with B

I live in bizarro world.

She’s doing quite alright without me

Sometimes I meet my ex. Often it deals with coordinating things with the dogs. Taking them somewhere or driving them somewhere. I’m fine with it. I’m happy to help.

And you know what, she seems fine. She looks upbeat these days. She talks like she have often done in the past, and she doesn’t seem to be in a troubled state of mind. Not that I notice anyway. Maybe she is doing alright after all? Maybe she doesn’t miss me one bit now, and feel really good about her decisions. Maybe she is happy for me, and have moved on. I guess she did that a long time ago? I guess we have that distance now where we used to know each other well, and the present “us” doesn’t do that anymore. It doesn’t really give me any issues thinking about that, and I am settled with it. If I do miss her, I do not miss the present her. I simply miss the scenario of the past I guess. It’s more about me than her. But I do miss someone that understands me like she used to do. Someone that gives me different form of respect than I experience these days. And when we speak, we are still on the same level. I notice that at once. Things I didn’t even think of before.

But there’s still pain. A few weeks ago I was at a friends house listening to music and I put on this song which have basically come to represent our break up and my situation at the time. The song got me really down. It was hard picking myself up from it again and continue playing songs and drinking beer. I am amazed how these handful of songs can affect like this still. These songs gives me a horrible feeling. Here’s the interesting part – I often myself reaching for these songs to play them. Like a morbid curiousity because I know it have a certain affect on me. But my friend is no different. He had refrained from watching a few concert videos from 2017 because after that concert he met someone that truly fucked him over. And so he never watched those videos because he was scared it might mentally fuck him up.

So I’m not the only one, I just never experienced it at this massive level of emotion before.

So, I guess she’s alright then. She looks to be. I hope she is. I am sometimes filled with guilt over finding a bit of happiness and even becoming a parent. Like I shouldn’t be allowed to when she is not a mother herself. There’s no point in having this form of guilty conscience, but I still have it. I wish her all the best and I am still sad on her behalf. Sometimes I feel I might be more down about it than she is. I don’t know.

If my daughter ever comes home one day with heartbreak; all I can tell her is that it will get better. Tomorrow, in a week or in six months. Maybe it will take a year even, but everything does get better. You take a punch, you might go down, but you find a way back into standing upright again somehow. With time. That I know.

And for my extremely intelligent and pretty, exotic foreign girl; you are truly one of a kind. I do miss our friendship.

Summer aftermath

Earlier this year I wrote this https://severeddreams.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/the-cabin-a-cultural-golden-ticket-to-high-status/ about an upcoming stay at a cabin belonging to her family.

Now, the results are in, and the aftermath have already taken place.

I have been quite open about what I have been worried about concerning these cabin stays. In short, it comes down to the lack of proper private sphere and the lesser availability of hygiene. During my stay, even some of the others involved admitted the place was too small for the amount of five adults and three children.

But I also discovered other challenges I had during my stay.

I felt I had very little control over my own days. I was always following someone elses plans or agenda (or lack of). If we we’re going out for a trip, it was someone else saying this would be the activity. Whatever it was, I was simply degraded to a follower of someone elses ideas and schedule. I am not used to this. I have always been my own boss, and if not I have always been asked or been taken into consideration when theres plans to be made. With this, it felt I came last. I was simply part of other peoples plans. Today we go to the beach, today we go for a boat ride, today we don’t know what we’re doing…and so on.

I told my girlfriend about this, and I said I wanted more part in planning these days for next year. Maybe I want road trips to certain coastal towns, or visiting my aunt down south. I want plans settled and decided for. These days are important. Apperantly, she can’t really give straight answers about making plans because it’s like she doesn’t want to plan big things except things that will happen a short amount of time ahead.

Like an example;

If I suggest a hike to a certain mountaintop. Instead of saying yes, she hesitated and talks about another mountain instead that she feels is nice (nicer?). And so I tell her that mountain is nice as well, and I’m up for it – but that means automatically the burden of planning is on her now and not me as my suggestion was halfways voted down. I have no inside knowledge of her mountain which means it will be on her. And so, we often simply end up not doing anything at all because she is not at her best if planning ahead is involved.

When we got back home after our cabin stay she was in a sombre mood. In the end, she got mad because I wasn’t willing to say I loved going swimming in the ocean. I don’t. But, in the end it’s just a symbol of her disappointment. I have never really liked swimming. She accused me of going too quiet and simply being annoyed during our stay. She wanted confirmation on confirmation that I enjoyed my time.

Did I?

Yeah, sometimes. Not always. Not when I felt I was panicking because I had no space to think. Not when I felt I couldn’t even take a shower because no one else did. And I clearly remember someone else being grumpy – and vocally grumpy at that. Since everything is being compared to this individual, I did the same back. I said he was grumpy, and much more than me.

And so she came to attack the core of me, as I have written about here; https://wordpress.com/post/severeddreams.wordpress.com/1511

She attacked the airshow. MY airshow. My holy four days abroad with my father and brother. Those days that cannot be altered. The weekend I can’t find a middle road on. It is mine, but anyone can come. Those that respect me and my interests and wants to get to know me, they can all come. Anyone can come. She don’t want to come. I suspected so, and early on told her she didn’t have to go. She proceeded to attack the event itself without knowing anything about it. How it was just for old men. How it wasn’t a family thing. How it was about looking at old aircraft. I got mad. Very mad. Bullshit! All of it!

In the end, she apologized, but damage has been done. How disrespectful is it really to not accept my four days and to equally expect me to accept her three weeks at the cabin. How rude! The cabin is HER airshow, and I’m trying my best. She’s not even trying to adapt to my life. My narrative. My interests. She just expects me to be all in love with this cabin and I have constantly told her my challenges with it.

And so I expect this scenario to play out once again come this next January. I want to plan ahead, she doesn’t. I want to go to the airshow, she wants to go to the cabin. I accept her cabin and two weeks minimum there, but she doesn’t accept my airshow. And so I have to quite frankly beg for forgivness because I want to go. It shouldn’t be necessary.

The Third Age of Mankind (part 3)

All my worries about my travel to Texas turned out to be correct. Nothing that Summer day of 2001 went as I had planned it. And, in those days I had no cell phone with me, meaning I couldn’t call either my parents or my internet friend waiting for me in Dallas. From the moment I went through the security check in Oslo, and until I connected with my friend in Dallas, I had no way of getting in touch with anyone. She had my flight schedule, and that was it. If all went well, I would land in Dallas at a certain time in July 2001. Pure luck made it happen in the end.

The airport I flew out of had a project going on with automatic self-service check-in machines that summer. Like those that are mandatory these days. Only these were not working very well. I went to one of them, and got my boarding cards and baggage tags. However, I didn’t know what the baggage reciept was, and plastered everything on my suitcase. Yes, plastered. I put all of it on the side of the suitcase. I put the boarding cards with my passport, and went towards the security check in stressed and confused. My mom was with my brother at the toilet when I decided to leave, but for some reason I was stressed and just left. I am sure she would have liked to say goodbye to me. I don’t know what I was doing, and I don’t know why my dad didn’t say «hey, wait until your mom gets back okay?» I just left.

I boarded my Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt okay, but then the problems started. The baggage system was down. They had to load the bags manually. We waited in the aircraft for at least an hour. Maybe two. An elderly American woman was seated next to me, and I spoke a few words with her. To my surprise she thought I was American. At that moment I was very proud of my language skills, and remember thinking all those letters I wrote to my Texas friend did help me out in the end.

The Lufthansa Airbus jet just sat there at the gate. The stewardesses started to serve bread and drinks. I slowly realized I wouldn’t make my connecting flight, and I felt a slight panick coming on. A German stewardess helped both of us out about what to do next once we came to Frankfurt. In general, a desperate for help and answers, I exited my comfort zone and tried asking for any help I could. Eventually, once airborne and on my way to Frankfurt, the Captain came on the radio and informed us that I was transfered to an American Airlines flight.

Once finally in Frankfurt and about to leave the aircraft, the stewardess told me to seek out a transfer desk. I had no idea where, what and how so I followed my elderly American friend around. I was desperate, and I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t think straight. When I asked airport staff all I got was some machine answer. After a while the American woman got bored of me following her in my deperation, and repeated to me how I should find a transfer desk. I said «okay,» and went on my way – alone.

I walked (sometimes ran) around mildly confused for a good while, and after some more time found myself in the departures terminal by chance. Here, I lined up in a que based on what I can only assume was a gut feeling it was right. But, then I re-decided the whole que thing, and left again walking around without knowing what to do. I remembered the Lufthansa Captain had mentioned American Airlines, so I made my way over to one of their desks. The gentleman behind the counter was British, and a sigh of relief came over me. I understood what he said. Finally someone to help me. He looked at my ticket/boarding card and with a half surprise, half annoyed attitude towards Lufthansa said; «but there’s nothing on here.». I lied; «but I was told to come to you.» Then I had my breakthrough. He told me what to do next. I needed a transfer stamp, and I had to stand in line – somewhere – to get it. The que I had been in, it was the right place after all. It was the transfer que. «You still have time,» he said next and wished me luck. I had time. I think it was about two hours of time left actually. I didn’t even know before he said it if I had time or not to make my flight. But I did. I was finally slightly up to par on my surroundings. It was then that I noticed my leg pocket was open. This is where I had stuffed my passport and boarding passes. Thankfully, it was all still there.

I lined up again, this time in front of more Americans apperantly flying in from Moscow and not making their flight home. I remember a young guy saying «my parents propably think I’m dead» because he missed his connecting flight. I wasn’t apart of the conversation, but I truly wanted to be part of it. I was desperate for support, but I found little and I still didn’t dare to join in on their conversation. By the time I reached the counter, the Lufthansa employee looked at my ticket, typed a few words on his keyboard, and put a stamp on my boarding cards. That was it. I was done. I was transferred to American Airlines.

I walked through a passport control, found my way to the right gate, and entered it. It seemed that the entire amount of passengers were already there. I was the last one. I wonder who was late. Me or the aircraft? I remember someone saying something about the aircraft in need of service before departure. Was I lucky to have made it? Would I have made it if it wasn’t for this sudden service? I have no idea.

Security personell asked for my baggage reciept. I said I had none. They asked me to describe my suitcase. I did. I said it was blue and not thick. Useless info really. The personell took note anyway. One of them took my passport. They asked me if I packed everything myself. I said no because it felt like the right thing to answer. I think my mother had packed my CD player, and so I told them. It generated heaps more questions (of course). After even more questions I was allowed into the waiting area for the flight to Dallas. After some time, the crew strolled by me. I remember the Captain looking at my shirt. It had a picture of a WW2 Halifax bomber on it. He smiled.

The boarding started. That is, everyone boarded except me. Was I held back or did I simply wait? I don’t know. I was the last person to board the flight. A German girl wanted to trade seats me with to be with her parents, and I said yes. When I finally came onboard the wide Boeing 767 jet aircraft I couldn’t find my seat. I walked all the way down and up and didn’t locate it. Finally, a stewardess helped me to my seat. The switch had caused confusion with the crew as well in the middle of everything else.

When the pushback from the gate happened, and the big jet turned onto the taxiway, one of the most peculiar feelings came over me. It felt like I was leaving everything behind. I left my life behind. It was a feeling of shock/panick and a complete feeling of loneliness. I wasn’t scared, but I was anxious. Very anxious. It felt like I had done something I could not turn back on. Which is basically true. I was on my way across the Atlantic, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I simply had to go along for the ride.

frankfurt

Always figured this was Frankfurt, but it could also be Dallas come to think of it

To be continued…

The Third Age of Mankind (part 1)

You know, I was there at the dawn of the third age of mankind.

I am sure the creator of Babylon 5 (where this quote originally came from) had a different idea in mind, but in this case – let’s say the invention of the internet led us to the third age of mankind (from the stone age to the industrial revolution to the revolution of communication). The revolution that this technology presented was vast, explosive, and it is easy to forget how much this technology changed our world. And, I was there from the beginning in the mid-90s. When the Internet was new.

The third age of mankind led me across the Atlantic ocean and to Texas, USA. In a country house in this large state sat a teenage girl typing away on her computer every day. She was typing to me. We exchanged e-mails every day. Maybe twice a day. In the end, I knew her better than anyone else I had known. Two lonely teenagers with an ocean between them, but only seconds away with the new technology at hand.

I can’t point to the exact time we first started to talk, but I was still in high school. I am not quite sure if I had finished my second year or not, but it might have been in the summer of 1998 we first exhanged e-mails. Maybe it was before that. I wish I had saved all those long conversations, but I simply dropped the ball and lost them. One of the few things I haven’t been able to digitaly save from all my computers since 1996.

We became best friends. She was low on confidence, and so was I. She seemed shy, quiet, but yet reflective and thoughtfull. We shared similiar interests in science fiction, aviation, music and had a certain destructive bitterness towards society (but yet different societies that seperated us culturally). We thought we were alike, and maybe we were – but maybe we weren’t. I still don’t know.

We kept on writing for at least two years. Every day a new e-mail. One time, I’m sure it was in the summer of 1999, she called me on our house phone. I was still living at home, and my mom picked up the phone. She freaked out because there was a foreigner on the phone, and she wanted to speak to me she said – all in English. I found support in her (like she did with me) and she made me feel like a normal guy when I was not. I wasn’t doing what my peers were doing. I was digging into my own nerdy subjects, ignoring the more general topics and activities such as drinking, partying and being social. They bored me, or maybe they made me feel scared. Maybe it was all of it combined. Maybe it was a result of going to high school where 14 out of 16 classmates were girls. And at that age, they had no interest in me. And so, the geek that I was could not get my way with the girls. I didn’t like them either, those girlie classmates. They seemed dumb. My Texan friend however, was not. She understood me, and I understood her. Like friends was supposed to do.

Two years passed, and I moved out of my family home and to an extremely small apartment about an hours drive south (felt like a million miles away) to start an apprentice job. Alone. Again I ended up working with an all female crew. I didn’t know anyone, and couldn’t find a way to meet any friends (and didn’t try either). I had her, and she had me. E-mails. Long E-mails. Every morning when I woke up, I started my PC and opened up an e-mail from her. It was routine.

In the summer of 2000 she came to visit. I was on holiday, but did not go home. I stayed in my small apartment waiting for her and her Swedish aunt to turn off the main road, and onto the driveway next to my place. I was inside when I’m fairly sure I was sent a text from her saying she was outside. I opened the door, saw their car immediately, and out of the car she came. We hugged. I remember being so excited my legs could barely hold me up. It was July, and I remember hat day was pretty warm. And so we went for a walk together towards the center of town.

I remember sitting on a bench somewhere in the main street of this small town just talking. Just picking up from where we left off on our last e-mail.

That night, I let them have my apartment and I slept in an even smaller apartment I had been living in that first year as an apprentice as I still had the key. I don’t know much much I slept that night, but it wasn’t a lot. She told me the next day she hadn’t slept much either.

It didn’t take too long before we got a bit more physical. Holding hands and kissing. Except for kissing a girlfriend a few times at the age of 12, this was all brand new to me, and it was EXCITING. The underlying problem with all this romance was that she actually had a boyfriend back home. This confused me because if she actually cared for him, why was she kissing me? I figured he was not of importance (she was – after all – all over me) and just went with it. She’s married to him to this day and age, so I misunderstood that whole deal a little bit.

We had four fantastic days together that summer of 2000. To many, (I’m sure including my current girlfriend), this sounds like no big deal and something young people simply do all the time, but to geeky me it meant the whole world. My best friend from Texas was with me, she was kissing the hell out of me, and I could finally experience some of that these girl classmates of mine were talking about all the time. Today, I don’t remember anything else but those four days from the summer of 2000, but the memory of those four days meeting my online friend is burned into my memory.

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When she left and arrived back in Texas, we started talking like the routine was once again. We quickly decided that I would come visit her in the summer of 2001 (which is basically what this set of posts will be about) and I bought tickets with Lufthansa via SAS’ internet system that fall. I remember it being about 8000 NOK for the round trip to Dallas, and being fairly nervous about the transit and flight because I had not once travelled anywhere that far, and certainly not alone. I remember I even took the bus to the main airport once during a day off in the spring of 2001 simply to get my bearings! Not that it helped much!

However, during the fall of 2000 and spring of 2001, a few things would happen that would eventually lead to an end of e-mails and close friendship. But, I would still make the trip as we were still talking and still being best friends ignoring those issues that arose.

To be continued.

Like somebody walked all over my grave

I got myself a new haircut yesterday. Well, not new really, I’ve had this hairstyle before. From the spring of 2016 to the summer of 2017. And so my hair was cut that way, and I went home and studied it in the mirror.

A chilling feeling came over me. Like someone walked all over my grave. It was uncomfortable looking at, but yet I enjoy this hairstyle which put me in an awkward bi-polar position.

It reminded me of 2016-half of 2017 badly. Suddenly it looked as if «I was back». I wondered if this would bring me bad luck now – using this hairstyle again. Like I brought everything back that was finally put in some distance from myself. Like I had pulled myself back from the transit of the dead.

It just reminds me of how shit it was. Everything. Not going two days without having some form of breakdown. Just wandering around in those days feeling left on the outside of community. It was so chilling I have no words for it.

Maybe there is a reason for whatever sometimes. Maybe my past, short, relationship actually made it all at least a bit easier to deal with back then. Without her care and comfort and presence, maybe it all had been even worse. Maybe a lot worse. And for that I thank her.

And all of this because of a certain hairstyle.

Unbelievable.

Lost in translation

I must be poor at explaining myself and trying to make proper arguments for a case, because when I do, I have to tackle a very angry girlfriend.

Like yesterday. There’s a documentary on TV that’s been doing rounds in the media and with the public. It shows horrible conditions and downright cruelty to pigs by farmers. A journalist have been using a hidden camera visiting pig farms for five years. I didn’t even want to watch the entire documentary because of what it shows.

So this subject comes up (she now doesnt want to eat meat because of it), and I’m simply trying to put forward the fact that this journalist obviously have taken the worst cases and included it in her documentary. If she visits 50 pig farms and five of them have these horrible conditions, there’s no point in including scenes at pig farms where nothing happens and everything is fine. It doesn’t take anything away from the horrible fact shown, but just because some farmers do this  doesn’t mean every farmer is like this. This is easy.

And so she goes on a rampage. She tries to show me articles from NOAH (animal rights organization) to which I decline. I would like to stay somewhat neutral and to use sources which obviously have an agenda is not my first stop along the way to the truth (even if they might be right). She then accuses me of «being like her ex boyfriend» because he hated NOAH. I let that one go, but I am getting furious.

While I am simply trying to make the point that not all farmers can be accused of animal cruelty, she continues her shock n awe tactic. She then compares Holocaust to the pig industry, and that’s where I put my foot down. Never, never, never, EVER compare Holocaust to ANYTHING else. By doing so, you clearly show lack of understanding of this event. She actually does not back down from this fact. Then she calls me stupid, two times in a row. I’m like «what is this, really? What did I say that was so bad?»

I try to make a point where I say “what if someone shows up with a hidden camera in this town and document five cases of parents hitting their child? Would you like it if someone said the entire town does this – that would include you as well?”

She rejects the example and says it’s on the same level as her Holocaust argument, and I am simply shocked that she thinks its the same.

Am I THAT bad at explaining myself?

After a while, I discover one fact; since we have not seen the documentary there’s confusion as to what is shown in the documentary tiself. Is this local farmers cruelty towards animals, or is this cruelty happening at slaughterhouses? While I am almost sure this is recorded at local farmers, I give in and say «I didn’t know it was recorded at slaughterhouses». She seems focused towards a more general production style of this type of meat and the obvious killing of pigs that is done. I was always talking about the documentary itself. I understand what is going on in slaughterhouses, but comparing that to the Holocaust is a step too far. So whats she actually she’s arguing about?

I have no idea.

In the end, she apologises for calling me stupid, but the rest if simply left alone. I revert back to simply «agreeing» without trying to introduce more nuance in the debate.

We’re simply lost in translation.

From e-books to God

I just woke up after staying up until 3am. We had one of those conversations that truly upsets and worries me to the bone. Why can’t I reach her and convince her I might be right?

We had a huge discussion going from e-books to God and UFOs. Imagine that. It all came from her daughter participating in a reading contest.

What can I boil it down to? What are the conclusions from a four hour discussion which includes a phase of «you hate me, you really hate me» coming from her part. So I’m like «What? No? When did I ever hate you?»

Very unconventional, and I’m not used to it. I’m not used to this – pardon my French – basic ideas of opinion which there are no nuances. Just right – wrong – good – bad.

Going back to e-books and use of electronic devices, her focus is different from mine. To her, HOW you read is more important than WHAT you read. She wants her daughter to read books the old fashioned way since her aim is including her into this reading contest as a way of blocking usage of smart phones and tablets – and make her read instead. While I agree with the aspect of reading as extremely important, I am not so focused on HOW you read as long as you DO it. I have read tons of books. I love to read. English and Norwegian alike. I have personally not read even one e-book. For her, this was a way to hinder usage of what to her is damaging negative technology, and make the daughter focus on old and positive technology (books).

So I kept saying it didn’t matter to me how her daughter read, as long as she did it. That is the whole idea of the contest (they include e-books as a way to read).

The irony of it all; where do you register and sign up for this contest? Online, using a smart phone…

It mattered immenslely to her that her daughter read the RIGHT way. To her, reading an e-book is coined under «usage of ipads and cell phones» which falls under what is harmful. Apperantly, there’s no disctinction of wasting time playing some silly brainless game than reading an e-book. Using a smart phone as a radio or music box makes no difference from using it as a game console. It is all to be avoided – because usage is usage.

I have the most terrible time following this train of thought.

To me, the actual reading is important. Not how you do it.

To her, usage of ipads and cell phones damages your eyesight.

To me, the constant focus on one spot for long durations of time damages the eyesight (whether that be books or ipads). I have even documented that I am right by talking to an optician, but to no prevail.

And then we shifted onwards to God and faith.

To her, God is a documented fact. She backs up this claim with witness testimony from the bible days – using the bible as the prime source of factual documentation as well as art history (very bizarre to claim art is proof of God though).

To me, God is faith and not a documented fact. There is not evidence of God. This is why its called faith. Faith is something you choose.

To her, belief in UFOs are a giggle factor and something to be embaressed about since I am interested in all things aerospace.

To me, there are not such thing as belief in UFOs as witness testimony by our best fighter pilots and the best technological equipment (The Nimitz Encounters 2004) proves actual evidence of unknown aerial vehicles operating in our skies. This is a fact. Leave the aliens out of it as of now. We can only accept that something or someone is operating these objects. The rest is faith.

To her, life on other planets are unthinkable and not true.

To me, using new science as a back up – life on other planets are unavoidable as the Universe is basically unending. It is mathematically impossible we are alone.

And where do we go from here when our opinions are so different? I thought I could make a claim, and back it up with facts was enough to convince people. It is apperantly not.

I’m all out of ideas.