Finals week is upon me, and of all the things I would like to be on me, this is the least preferable option. I woke up late Monday, and enjoyed the holiday from the 12th floor lounge in my pajamas. There I worked a feverish four hours of final-paper-writing. And to applaud my commitment to academia and my own personal integrity, I took the rest of the afternoon off, and spent it reading in Rittenhouse.
I wasn’t even there for a hot minute before a godly-looking man came up to me and asked me my opinion on his painting. I don’t think I even really looked at his painting because this man was fucking beautiful. A perfect smile, blue-eyed and light haired, which is totally not my bag, but I want it like Fendi.
(I don’t own a Fendi. I don’t have a bag in my possession that cost more than $15, but it sounded good so I’m rolling with it… like Mercedes)
I said that the lighter leaves painted in the background make him look almost glorious, that the details, though obviously difficult, were beautifully executed. I thought this was a very astute observation until he said:
“Well, it’s a woman”
“The statue. It’s a woman”
“Oh. So it is”
He tells me about the sculptor and we bullshit a little. I deduce that he’s Norwegian, which would explain his sexamaholic accent and he works for some Norwegian firm here (read: employed). And I say, “Oh Norwegian. My family is Swedish.” This is 25% true.
And he remarks how beautiful Sweden is and I say, “Oh, I know.”
This is about 50% true. I don’t really know what Sweden looks like, but 25% of my people came from there so it must be okay.
“I just got back from there”
THIS IS A COMPLETE LIE: 0% true. I don’t even know why I said such a thing. I was so mesmerized by this European-ness that I wasn’t thinking at all. The fitted shirt, the peeking chest hair, his canvas slip-ons. To boot, I think I started imitating his accent.
“That’s fantastic! Where did you go?”
And then I realize that I don’t even know the capital of Sweden, nor can I think of a single city, because I’ve never been there. Ever.
“… That’s in Denmark”
“Yeeaaah, but that’s where we flew into and then we drove”
“Yep. Swedish… countryside”
“I love the Swedish countryside!”
At this point, I’m mortified, but three kids on a skateboard roll into our legs, cleverly distracting him from my floundering. Looking back, I think this was an omen that I would have lots of babies with a successful handsome Scandanavian man, just like Daddy wanted. Besides, I’ve dated musicians and poets and those didn’t work out so well, and certainly no one’s ever painted me a picture.
He gave me his number and name, Arne (pronounced Ar-nay) and we parted ways. And he said something to me in Swedish, but I didn’t understand because, again, I’ve never been to Sweden.
When I got home, I consulted a map and it turns out that Sweden has lots of cities, including its capital Stockholm, and it’s right next to Norway, where he’s from. Also there’s a big fucking ocean between Copenhagen, Denmark (which is on an island) and Sweden.
A big fucking ocean you can’t drive on.