There's a sweet melancholy at arriving back to the pavements of home after a week on an island filled with lazy late dinners, the sky at midnight still rosy around the edges, the cats bringing mice into the house and making the women scream and jump up on chairs even though the mice were already dead (it was like a parody, I never knew that women actually do jump up on chairs when mice appear on the scene; is it something they learn, or is it instinct?), eating a tart made from blueberries picked in the front yard, reading novels on the terrace and pausing constantly to look at the various sailboats and ferries crisscrossing their way over the sea, playing hearts and being bad winners and poor losers and taking turns entertaining the red-haired baby of the captain and his wife, the accountant.
The city was practically empty when we arrived home. Late afternoon, an overcast summer Saturday afternoon in July and everyone who could had long ago left the city for the month. But we were back, a bit dusty and sad and relieved to be at home.
It is nice to not have to sleep under mosquito netting, no matter how romantic it is to be tucked away with the husband behind white tulle like a couple of country princes in a tiny pine palace in the woods.
The Swedish word for the day is ö. It means island. Simple, huh.
- by Francis S.