Last night, I read "The Journey of Socrates," by Dan Millman, and I liked it a lot. This book kept me up until 2am, so I woke up late, like 11.
Karin had to work today, so Sven, CR, and I went to town to get some groceries. I like grocery stores in other places, because you learn a lot about locals this way. Most of the stuff is the same in America, but there were some things that stood out. Their melons were oddly shaped, for example. Honeydews here are oval, like a squash almost, and the cantaloupes were very small; like grapefruits. They have a lot of varieties of potatoes served in bins, and most of them are very small. The biggest potatoes I have seen here are only about the size of an average lemon, and most are the size of golf balls. There are still a lot of items one can get in a tube like toothpaste: caviar, egg, salmon paste, cheese, and pickles. But the tubes are big, and for any artists out there, they are very similar to the metal things oil paints are stored in, complete with large twisty cap.
We ate some early dinner, and sadly, it had a lot of egg and cheese in it (I think it was a broccoli quiche). Since it was the only thing to eat, I did so, but I got very sick afterwards, and I have been out of sorts ever since. I didn't make a big deal of it to Karin and Sven, but I was in a lot of pain from the egg. What made it worse was that we had a long car trip to the seaside afterwards. The pain was so bad, I actually passed out in the car, but felt better after I came to. It had been a very long time since I had a reaction like that, and it reminded me of the pains I went through during school before we discovered the source of the allergy. By the time we got to Spika... something, I was feeling good enough to walk.
We were visiting Karin's coworker Elsa and her brother Gunnar who owned a stuga by the sea. It wasn't right on the shore, there was a large island between us and the Baltic sea, but it was close enough to know you were on the coast. It reminded me a LOT of Solomon's Island (before the condos). The stuga was the same one Elsa and Gunnar grew up in since they were very small children. I didn't get to know Elsa very much, but Gunnar and I hit it right off. He spoke English very well, and was a mechanical engineer who worked at the local factory. He used to be a school teacher, but quit for the same reasons most teachers quit: lack of job satisfaction. He also fixes motorcycles, and has a few BMWs of his own.
Gunnar took us around the island, and showed us the cliffs, the local dance hall, and the church. Very cozy coastal romantic. My stomach was very out of sorts, but the sea air and the walk helped. The land in Sweden is so amazing, and Gunnar feels the same way. He also went on to tell me that they recently dredged the waters around the cottages so sailboats could come right up to the piers, but this caused the land to slope, and now all the stugas are starting to lean inwards towards the water. You can tell on the upper floor that the house is badly sloping. Also, ice chunks keep taking away the peirs each winter now that they have water to float on (before it froze solid and didn't move much).
I also spoke to Christine over mobile phone, and was pleased things are going well for her and Debbie in Vegas. Now she's NINE hours behind, which makes calling her even weirder. I couldn't speak to her frankly over the phone because of everyone around me, but I wanted to tell her how much my stomach ached. I miss her a lot. I am not used to sleeping alone. CR is homesick.
Afterwards, we did what the Swedes call "fika," which there is no good English translation, but its kind of the same thing like going to a cafe with friends and having some small things, drink coffee, and chat. The food was good, and my stomach, still sick from the egg, appreciated the fill to dilute the pain, but soon it became apparent that I was going to get very sick. Luckily, they had a bathroom on the stuga, but it was still being built and so I had to be sick with a composting toilet on a pier over the water. Not pleasant.
I spent the rest of the night feeling like I had been punched in the stomach by a very large man. I started to re-read "Stranger in a Strange Land," by Heinlein, and fell asleep to the thought of how much this book influenced fandom.
I don't usually dream about my mother. After she died in 1987, I had 2-3 dreams about her, and then I had 1 or 2 when I got married, and I think only 2 or 3 in the last 17 years. Most of them were watching her do something, and they were not interactive at all. She'd play some anonymous role or something. But a few nights ago, I was sitting at our kitchen table, and I think I was about 8. I tried to warn her about her upcoming life, and how her husband was bad, and how my life had been since her death, and she never got to see her grandson and everything. She wouldn't take me seriously. She laughed and clapped like we were playing some game and I was four years old telling her about dragons and monsters and being a knight or something. She treated me like a child, saying I had very fanciful stories about science fiction conventions and being married to a gypsy princess and working with computers, and how the Internet was a very clever idea and maybe I could write a story and color it with crayons and was the Internet invented by magical robots ruled by one of my stuffed animals name "Buny Buny?" Maybe I could add THAT to my stories. [Yes, I really did have a stuffed rabbit named Buny Buny]
I got angrier and angrier, because no matter what I told her to prove I was an adult, and that bad things were coming, she'd be like the Fool card in Tarot; being all "La la la" and dancing towards the edge of the cliff. It wasn't like she disagreed with me, it was like she ignored me, and whatever I said completely missed their mark and rolled off her like water off a duck's back. The INTENSE feelings if frustration and anger I felt as a child surfaced, and I hadn't felt them in a LONG time. I started screaming she was a drunk, and needed help, and I wanted a mother and I didn't want to take care of her anymore. I told her I did the housework when she was drunk so my father would not beat me and how I hid under the bed and got asthma because they wouldn't take me to an allergist and my lungs got damaged and I screamed and screamed and screamed, and she made faces like it was a silly game that had no seriousness at all.
Just like my childhood.
I woke up feeling insecure and then a wash of disappointment came over me. I thought I was beyond this, but apparently some part of me still has to figure this out.
The next night, I had a dream that my friend Chance had been brutally assaulted, and apparently she had been warning me about this, but I didn't see the signs. There was this complicated and nonsensical sub-plot of being beaten up by some cheesy stereotyped Mexican bandit named Laban (pronounce lah-BAHN), but the Heare family were mad at me for not telling them that Laban was after Chance, and they wouldn't believe me when I said I didn't know who Laban even was. "Yes you do," they said. "Chance kept telling you Laban was trying to kill her."
I wondered if these were related in some way. I wonder if my subconscious is telling me what the other side of my mother's argument might have looked like. Then there is the "I am" exercise one can use with dreams. "I am Chance. I am Laban. I beat myself up. I tried to tell myself I was going to kill me. I am the Heares. I am angry I did not listen to myself." Eh.