The husband and I celebrated Ascension day by ascending to the minimal, luxe and empty bar of the Nordic Light Hotel with M., the t.v. producer and L., a great friend of the husband's from the old days and a king of the Swedish fashion mafia, on account of his being about the only haute couturier in the entire country.
I say a friend from the old days because the husband and L. rarely see each other anymore. Though neither has, or would, say as much, this is no doubt on account of me.
I like L. tremendously, his voice so soft one has to lean closer to hear him, his elegant but unstuffy manners, his twinkling blue eyes. But he surely must resent me, even if he never acts in the least as if he does. I think the husband and L. were friends in some measure because they were both single, it was in part a bachelor cameraderie.
Why is it that when one pairs off, certain friends suddenly fade into the background, while others come into clear focus? It is true that most of the friends of the husband and I, but by no means all, come in pairs.
Is it because single people grow weary of hearing the word "we" all the time?
Interestingly enough, this is not the case with M., the t.v. producer. It is no doubt because he romanticizes the relationship of the husband and I all out of proportion. It would be a mistake to think the M. is not a hopeless romantic, just because he's fucked half of the most beautiful women in Stockholm aged 18 to 24.
"I love you guys," he always says grabbing us around the shoulders, especially after having had one too many sips of white tequila, served neat in a whisky glass. "You guys are my family."
And we love him, too, because he is indeed a part of our large and unwieldy but much beloved family, most of whom are not blood relations of any sort.
The Swedish word for the day is söderkis. It is a slang term for a boy who is native to the island of Södermalm, once a working-class section of the city that now likes to consider itself as Sweden's answer to Soho.
- by Francis S.