In January I meet Ewa and she tells me she made a 2017 resolution to hang out more with me. I am flattered, but considering the proportions of emotional troubles we both are in, l tell her, as a joke, to reconsider the formulation of the resolution from hanging out together to hang up together.
If l knew that my brother’s best friend would hang up in June in his parent’s attic, l would not have made that joke. l am not superstitious, but for years now people have been talking about the universe not been able to differentiate between desire and the irony and sarcasm, so I don‘t know; I don‘t know.
In July my mom comes to visit us in Iceland for the first time. We travel together and we stay for two days in The Netherlands on our way home. She stays in the Hague with our son and friends and we head to Amsterdam. At the Red District l attend my first ever strip show. The girls are dancing in underwear in the middle of something that looks more like a cafe than a club. There is no island, no scene, just a bar. My husband pays 40 euros for a lap dance for me. I try to make the best choice for which stripper to choose. I don’t want the youngest or the most beautiful one to be juxtaposed to me that is a bit fat at the moment; unbrushed from the ride in the train; wearing her mom‘s shirt from the Yugoslavia times; a lot overwhelmed and surprisingly scared from how feasible sex actually is. Finally, I chose the not so luscious blonde. She is totally not my husband‘s type. The striper takes my hands and squeezes her boobs with my hands. They are cold. I have never touched other woman‘s breasts before, besides mine. From today’s perspective, I find it funny that my biggest worry back then was to protect my glasses from the stripper‘s body curving while pushing it into my face. The other things that worried me though, I guess were totally legit.
I cannot get rid of the haunting image of my brother‘s best friend smoking his last cigarette before headed to the end. The image followed me everywhere this summer. To the vacation in Cyprus, to our trip to Israel where my best friend got married. I didn‘t tell her what happened, and I was working so damn hard to exorcise the imagery so I don‘t associate my signing the Ketubah and my beautiful friend‘s beautiful wedding with a suicide. She does not deserve that. Finally, my soul finds peace on the trip to the USA at the end of July. Maybe because my anxiety pills were kicking in or maybe because there was no more place where my worries could go because the spring was fucking rough, or maybe because I shared what I was seeing in my head with my mom, and she said that she sees exactly the same: him smoking his cigarette into death. What was he thinking, what was he thinking?
I quit the job that I loved two weeks before Easter because the owner of the store I worked and studied this country‘s language yelled at me. Apparently, he has anger issues if he doesn’t get to run.
Running for me is not as troubling as it is to him. I enjoy it and don‘t get aggressive if I had not run. I run my second marathon in August. My time is not as good as before but is fine. Suck it Graves disease – an autoimmune I get diagnosed in June. Bring it on Life.
Bazillion other things happened too.
Made couple of good friends – thanks life.
Got published twice.
Had an amazing seven days in Germany before Easter with my best friend.
Baltimore – New York – Hamptons: Mark and Rob‘s wedding, saw Cats, Arundathy Roy‘s second fictional book came out – bought it in the Hamptons – what a fabulous life.
Got a second job – lost it too.
Started a company – didn‘t manage to run it. Wrote a business plan for another one.
Started a novel.
Enrolled to study Psychology.
Passed the Icelandic language test.
Passed the written driving exam.
Broke my finger – fixed it.
Broke my soul – found a new therapist. So, 2018, babe, what‘s up?