Spurv i Regnen. Sparrow in the Rain

Today the chilling cold was accompanied by the rain and would not cease. The day wasted in a River View Suite, lethargy in the Borgo San Jacopo Restaurant, drowning in the light-tasting wines of the Fusion Bar rather than the southern bank of the magnificent Arno. The pattering followed and persisted every window passed or looked upon. I saw the sparrow outside at the bar, and only that one time. She was perched on the windowsill outside the bar, where the slogging raindrops tried to beat her down. But she was a distant arrow; rebellious, monstrous, flickering her wings outside and becoming a blur in the downpour as she crossed the Ponte Vecchio and flew towards the Uffizi. All day both of our thirsts were unquenchable, and I wanted to let her in like I had done before, but she was gone and I had not opened the window of opportunity in time. When one of the porters tired to make small-talk by asking if I was all alone in the suite, I gave him a scornful look that made him slouch his shoulders. The Family Suite; that’s what it was called. That’s what he’d said with that killer, two-faced Italian smile.

Then on the Ponte Vecchio the raindrops spiralled and looped around my hair. I was lost going across to find out if it had been the same sparrow from back in those oddly accented streets with impossible pronunciation. The rain filled the blue but greening water of the Arno… the aroma of petrichor, along with its soothing sound made me forget the rain and enter a desolate land of deep sinking silence. To be lost, however briefly, was a liberation from the chains of recognizable roads and the instagrammable walls and sights of old, ancient towns trying desperately to reinvent themselves. Outside the Uffizi I saw, or thought I saw her again. With her little, wet wings outstretched and immediately rising from one of the garden statues — Venus — after seeing me, she moved into a fluid trance and flew away. She pushed the rain away like a tired and departing God. Watching her rise towards the thick, thundering sky, I attempted to capture the rapture of her fixed ascension. Just the day before the sun had been out, shining on the Arno as it does on wonderful women and the men who in vain chase them. Now, once checked into the Family Suite, the sun is gone and there is only the rain. Always the rain.

— An excerpt from a forthcoming novel.

Rough draft of the manuscript.


Først Ord. First Words

Our first experiences as a person are unhinged and free from words and desires. Words create desires, linked to the nexus of fusing sentences that start out as thoughts. Experiences are monastic and solitary; no two people have the same experience despite living in the exact same moment. Example: pain. The first experience of pain is ‘owwwwww.’ That is pain. When does the word translate into and from raw experience? … Our parents take us to the doctor and say, this new word, “She is in pain,” or “He is experiencing discomfort.” We are prescribed a painkiller, sometimes even in the form of a placebo: a lollipop or a chocolate bar, and are sent back into the pool of experience. However, now we are armed with a word that expresses and balances one particular experience: owwwwww.

But what describes the unhinged, onomatopoeic experience of love, and who is the doctor of existence we must see? What would he or she prescribe counter-act it and kill it? If only there were some pill to take to balance the deafening silence of love’s onomatopoeic sermons; I would swallow that tablet in a heartbeat. Question: Is it for the same reason that adults do not explain romantic love to children? To safeguard themselves from these enigmatic and undefinable experiences? Answer unknown.


How absurd would it be to appear at the doctor’s office and say, “I'm in love.” Why you would be laughed at! But would it really be that absurd to consider such a trip? That absurdity, of showing up at the doctor’s office, would only coax truth. Truth that had obnubilated itself until the moment of that very absurdity. Love must be like suffering then, with only the one way to overcome and balance it.

— Unused excerpt from the forthcoming "The Romantic and The Vile"

Først Ord notes.