I’ve come to the North, no doubt about it. People are talking about the coming bad weather, while having a cigarette in a fucking storm. The mentality of this, my origin, is somewhat pessimistic, but in a lovable way.
Finally we reached Lakselv, after being trapped in the Tromsø Airport for four hours, without a chance to have a fag or read my mail. (Ok, you could pay 2NOK each minute with your VISA, but I’m not that rich. Here we have one aunt and one uncle whom emigrated from the South some ten years ago. They’ve got two kids, two hyperactive girls with energy reserves like the oil storage of Saudi Arabia, one happy dog that really hates cigarette smoke, two to four cats (I’m not sure) and a couple of squirrels.
I was content making x-mas cookies for a wee while, but after three cups of coffe and one demanding ordeal with a dog and a x-mas tree, I decided to go for a walk.
Above the Polar Circle, we ain’t got much light, so I borrowed a ‘headlight’ from my aunt. That’s like a flashlight you strap on your head. Yep. Not exactly fashion of the month. But with my rabbit-fur coated hat, commonly referred to as the ‘bear pussy’ and my homeknitted mittens I looked far from fashionable anyhow. Not that I care or anything:p
With the dog sweeping the floor in ecstasy around me I tied my mountain shoes, rolled my cigarettes and stepped out into the polar night. Actually it was the polar afternoon, but since there is daylight in Oslo I became rather confused. Looks alot like night.
What direction? That one!
Along we went. The dog sniffing about and marking its territory, and me chatting idly to it. The vast polar sky does that to you. The stars are like needlepoints, stinging right to the core of your spine in the cold. It’s brilliant.
There I go, dog’s rushing around, me looking at this and naught in the cold, electric light from my forehead. I jump down a small snowy hill and loose the light from the two houses out here in the wild. In front: trees, bushes, snow covered stones and the black sea. I breathe in the crystal clear air till the lungs are ready to collapse, smell the flinty atmosphere of cold, packed snow and absorbs it all for later artistic display.
And I walk on and on..
‘Till I’m standing in these small packs of bushes, thinking about the brilliant head light, and how lost I would be if the batteries suddenly should go out. A small breeze makes the snowcorns resting on the hard four-day old snow dance around my feet as I consider my current situation and a worst possible scenario. I’d fucking freak out.
I swallow, but continue a bit further. Can’t return just yet, wearing my ‘bear pussy’ and all thing. Down a slow slope into a narrow wooden path, surrounded by dead, black shoulder-tall trees seeming to stretch after you. Dog’s by the side.. Or is it? I stop and look down. It’s standing there, but its happy eyes are not looking expectantly at me. And they don’t look happy either. Its ears are pointing straight up, and its gaze is locked on something out of my head light’s reach. A fearsome sigh escapes me, flooding my sight as the light reflects in the frost cloud.
What could be out there? I mean, really?
I hear some dogs barking in a distance from me that can’t be more than three kilometres. It must be dogs. I look down on the one by my side, and yet fearless it is no big deal when confronted with a pack of of of of whatever we could encounter out here! I cast a glance over my shoulder. My footsteps are still there in the snow, and I know they lead home. I look forward again. Slowly, not to scare myself.
The dog follows obediently.
I reach the small bridge that marks the end of the unknown zone and the beginning of the familiar and safe courtyard of my aunt and uncle’s place. In the light from the windows of the house, I turn of my headlight and peer back and beyond to where I just came from. It’s pitch black. If the head light had gone, I would’ve been lost. And, perhaps, lost to something…
I won’t take such a long walk tomorrow. Maybe another direction. It would really suck getting lost in the woods on x-mas eve. But I can’t keep myself from the cries of the forest. From the wild. From the something out there, awaiting confrontation. I’ll bring spare batteries and more cigarettes. And Ylva, the fearless dog. Merry X-mas!