After a week of work which weighed more heavily on me than any other week of work I can remember, it was all I could do yesterday to drag myself through the cold streets of Stockholm and up the five flights of stairs to the apartment where the husband was preparing an impromptu dinner party.
I didn't want to have an impromptu dinner party. I wanted to moan and bitch and lay about. I wanted to sink on the couch and wallow in the laziness that is my due, considering the circumstances. I didn't feel like chatting with anyone or listening to an evening of Swedish.
"Hello," M., the t.v. producer said in his crazy cartoon voice when I unlocked the door of our apartment and poked my head into the hall.
Somehow, I made a mental about face, and after a couple sips of cheap but tasty shiraz from Australia and a cigarette, I realized that a night with all my favorite people was in fact the perfect antidote to the emotional hangover that I had just about given in to. I was so very happy when A., the former model and aspiring producer came in - it seemed like weeks and weeks since I'd last seen her.
I ate my salad of rocket and beets, and my stew of just about every root vegetable one could imagine, and I actually enjoyed every bite even though I've never been overly fond of beets or turnips or parsnips or those strange sticky black carrot-shaped root things that the husband so loves. Especially those strange sticky black carrot-shaped root things.
I savored the figs and ice cream.
People ever so politely asked me if they should speak English and I told them to continue in Swedish, and although the wine got the better of me somewhere during dessert and I lost my focus a wee bit, all the dreadful meetings in Swedish earlier in the day were forgotten and somehow it didn't weary me at all to continue in Swedish, not even the gargly southern Skånska accent of the football player - the boyfriend of A.'s little sister.
"How do you translate kuf?" A. asked. I don't remember how we got on the subject, I only remember that A. didn't agree with the very British-sounding dictionary definition - odd customer, rum fellow - or my own interpretation - oddball, weirdo, strange guy, eccentric. "No, it's not so negative; Albert Einstein was probably a kuf."
But, at A.'s request, kuf remains the Swedish word for the day, although apparently I don't have a proper definition. Perhaps someone else does?
- by Francis S.