Sunday, September 26, 2004

The night bus that runs from the far suburbs into the city is full of desperately glad teenagers and powdered and rouged little old ladies in low heels and glassy-eyed immigrants under the influence of something untoward and lesbians with toy poodles. Everyone seems secretly worried that if they look back, they'll turn into pillars of salt, or be sent back to hell, or have to live the rest of their lives under the unnatural lights of the bus, or that something else nasty and epic and biblical will happen. I certainly felt that way, my legs all tense, my arms crossed tightly across my chest, talking in a low voice with the husband every now and then as I looked out the window, full of wist.

We'd just been to dinner for the birthday of the husband's nephew.

I merely let loose a tremendous sigh of relief when we got to Odenplan, deciding that the ground was too filthy even for me to kiss.

I think I was around 12 or 13 when I realized that I was meant to live in the city, any city in fact. (Well, maybe not any city, although surely Houston or Phoenix or Orlando don't really count as cities anyway, they're just sprawl.)

I'm a terrible snob when it comes to cities.

The Swedish word for the day is förort. It means suburb.

- by Francis S.

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