Rurik and Ragnar Finnborgson return to their homeland. The empty rocking chair
on the porch welcomes them, but how could they ever have shared it?
In the airport gift shop, the two brothers do not resist attack by the perfume sniper.
Jeepers, but they smell American. A munchkin rubs her nose and points at them. Her
woolen mother says, “Eat yer skin vitamins, there’s a good girl.” But the munchkin
whines. “Shut yer gob and buck it up, ya little weasel.”
Three hours later, on the long walk from the airport to the hotel, Rurik wonders,
“Why do our countrymen still make their houses like that?” and Ragnar wonders, “Do
they still make ancient weapons? Can they still weave?” Two punks with spiked hair
snicker at them. “How’s it hangin’, asswipe?”
Just then, Rurik and Ragnar notice the lovely cold wind and think of their friend
Dieter, so they buy paper, they buy string and sticks and they build blue kites. They
remember the very first time. Up, up, up went the kite into a very tall tree.
And they go to a nice boggy marsh because you don’t smell them when they’re
frozen and sure enough, there’s Pete. Pete seems to follow them around the world.
Everywhere they go, there’s Pete. When we come to the frozen land where there is no
Pete, we will know we are at the end of our journey. That’s what the brothers are
Each time the brothers try to speak to their persistent friend, they encounter the
friendly hedgehog tenor of his lackadaisical response and remember, simultaneously,
their father’s final wisdom; “You can only reach as far as your arm stretches.”
But soon enough it is time to put the candles in paper boats and play the accordion
on the icefloes for once again we are drifting north. The luminaries of the fjords are
waiting, ice is accepting applications, wavering lights are displaying their affection.
Because home is the scene of the real crime and the others only repeat the view.
Empty yourself out and something will arrive to fill the space.
Back then, we didn’t believe the weather had an explanation.
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2013. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily: Burrow Guide.