The first day in Bucharest after a week on the island

It feels as if I were going through the long corridors of a mental institution. What is wrong with these people? I wonder.

The metro ride seems to last forever and I’m looking at people’s faces for a while, before getting out my book. A guy smelling of alcohol sits next to me and keeps falling asleep and over me. After two stops he is replaced by an overweight lady, who strategically places her big shopping bag full of groceries over my foot. I carefully extract it and she has no intention to apologize. I miss the cold politeness and remoteness on the fringes of autism of he Nordic countries.  Patience, my dear, I tell myself and go on reading the story  about a girl who has no friends and she can see and talk to ghosts.

I interrupt my reading to get off the train and find that it gets more bearable when I get into the park and among the trees, in a shaded alley, where I sit on a bench and enjoy the light being filtered by the leaf curtain. A girl gets up from a nearby bench, mounts her bike and rides off, the water in her plastic bottle fastened behind her seat sending rays of light to the tree trunks lining the alley. I miss my carefree bike riding, having only myself to think of. And as soon as I write this I my head I wonder if that’s even true. If indeed I ever only had myself to worry about and if indeed I miss those times when I longed for my travel companion and a family.

I take out my book, “Stories of the Peculiar”, and finish the story I started on my metro ride to the park. The girl in the story eventually falls in love with a living man, he loves her back, they move in together and have kids.

I am secretly hoping for a happy end, though I am afraid of a disappointment. That is why I don’t reject the possibility of a tragedy. It’s there, masking my hope for a happy end for fear I might look stupid (even to myself) for imagining pure happiness.

When I come to the end, after the ghosts of her dead parents and sister find her in her new home, having looked for her for a long time, and I read the ending

ending of story

I realize I do have a fear of happiness. When everything is fine I am afraid of things going wrong. I tend to be secretive about my plans until they have worked out for fear that spelling them out might spoil their chances of coming true.

I miss our holiday mood.

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