Today, as the number 4 comes crashing down on top of the number 3 in the 1970s vintage radio alarm clock that is my life, I've been pondering my existence and other deep shit. I've come to the conclusion that the key to my having a satisfying life is to be happy at whatever geographic coordinates I find myself at during each and every moment, as opposed to wishing that I were somewhere else out of regret or anticipation.
In practice this means sitting outside and squinting in the chilly sun as the ferry I am taking makes its way through the icy Stockholm archipelago, instead of sitting inside reading with a scowl until I make it to my destination much sooner than the boat's captain said we would arrive. The water is all ice floes, big and small, with only periodic stretches of open water held impossibly still by the ice so that the reflection is nearly flawless of the sky and the black outlines of stone and trees that are the islands. It is, in fact, so beautiful that I nearly miss my stop altogether and come running out just as the ferry is about to pull away from the jetty.
It also means that when I decide to leave my husband behind at his insistence, alone and sick and grumpy, I should enjoy the company - A., the TV producer, C., the fashion photographer, various random and not so random teenagers - and shouldn't spend the weekend worrying about him even when I call and he sounds awful and I know he isn't eating properly and I decide to go home early but discover that the only boat of the day has already left and that I'll just have to take the first boat the next day.
Of course this be-happy-at-your-geographic-coordinates advice only works provided you are not stuck in some kind of hell that you have never had nor ever will have any chance to change without superhuman effort of some sort, which come to think of it, is a major part of just about everyone's life, on and off.
On second thought, this all sounds like some annoying and nasty Panglossian gloss on life. What's wrong with wishing you were still in bed as you wait for the bus on a rainy March morning, huh? Fuck it all.
So, tell me 44 is a good number, a special number, a great age to be.
I hate birthdays.
The Swedish phrase for the day has been supplanted by a Finnish phrase for the day that is in fact mostly in English: management by perkele. It means management by fat sick bastard. Or maybe management by fucking asshole. Take your pick.
- by Francis S.