Saturday, January 11, 2003

The Baltic is frozen to the edges of the Stockholm archipelago, and the sun has finally made it over the horizon for the first time in a month in the northern Swedish city of Kiruna. But the husband has momentarily abandoned the winter for sun and heat. He is, as I write this, on his way to South Africa to film a music video involving a rabbitman and a band playing on the flatbed railroad car of a train careening through the countryside of South Africa.

The South African publicist and his husband, the guy from the Goethe Institute, were terribly jealous when the husband told them earlier in the week. They'd stopped by to pick up shoes that they'd left behind at the New Year's party and brought sherry, which we sat sipping in what was nearly a caricature of civilized fashion.

"Did you have fun at the party?" the husband asked. They had hardly known anyone but us.

"Yes, we had fun," said the South African publicist, despite his having to perform his usual party trick of speaking Xhosa, with its clicks and stops. "But stop trying to change the subject. I can't believe you're going to South Africa. Don't you need an assistant?"

Unfortunately, my husband did not need an assistant.

The Swedish word for the day is resenär. It means traveller.

- by Francis S.

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