Saturday, May 19, 2007


Elizabeth just left to go home after sitting with me for the whole evening, watching me pack and scrub down every surface of my Danish room. This is the cleanest I have ever left a place, so I'm pretty proud of myself. My replacement moves in tomorrow and I want to leave him a clean room with spotless windows, plus a large blue IKEA bag, a budget guide to Italy and a book on the history of movies.

I'll see Elizabeth in little over two weeks' time, at which point we will reunite in glorious New York City and once again color isolate the world around us.

When I leave Copenhagen, the thing I will miss above all else are chicken sandwiches from Eat Me. Perfectly toasted Italian bread, a light smear of savory pesto, a substantial portion of sliced juicy chicken breast, tomato and green lettuce in harmony. I will miss eating it while walking, while sitting on a bench blocking pedestrian traffic, while typing at a computer. I will miss how ingredients drop out the bottom where a laptop keyboard usually swallows them. I will miss every excuse to find someone special to take with me up the three blocks from classes. I will miss the sweaty man who knows before I start the ky- in kylling what it is I want.

I'll probably also miss standing on a the train while it comes to a stop and the little wobble that results. I'll miss Tivoli and the shopping and the bad jazz band that played in the beer garden when we grilled burgers and zucchini. I'll miss the upright bass player who held a lit cigarette in his playing hand and didn't flinch when the ashes fell off into the strings. I'll miss the golden retriever at Valby who smelled like a sack of potatoes. I'll miss missing my train and watching the flickering minute cards. I'll miss the loudly rotating billboard signs and the ballet class where we talked about precision, speed and energetic bodies. I'll miss watching Heino show us his favorite ballet ever, called "Sophisticated Lady".

I'm not spending this hour ceremonializing anything. Instead I am going to fall asleep twirling my hair, like I do, between my fingers, not in chunks, but in bunches of asparagus or cooked whole wheat spaghetti. I'll miss my white apartment in Østerbro, too.

When I plan trips here, I usually start surfing the 'net like a pro at CTU. TYPING TYPING TYPING means that I'm getting something done. Man, Denmark would be an entirely different place if Frank had not lent me all those seasons of 24. From it, I have learned just how much I appreciate competence, which enables trust that when you give an order, it gets done. I also learned that if something bad jolts me toward duty, everything will be solved exactly 24 hours from that moment.

In 24 hours I will be in Virginia eating stuff my dad grilled. I won't have to summon any enthusiasm because it will already be there. It will be the same energy that propels me to learn to write something longer than a poem this summer. I'll miss my friends here a lot.

Last weekend we all spent another long night at Andy's talking to strangers. An old man played air guitar and yelled syllables. I spoke with a ragamuffin poet who talked about being high and sitting under a tree, staring at the leaves and the branches, until another girl asked him what he was looking at and he told her he was watching a Native American, can't you see it, and she said no, so he asked again and then she said yes. He talked about the power of words and our powerlessness with using them. He asked me what my favorite movie was and I made one up. Another old man with glasses grabbed me around my ribs when I got up to leave and, shaking me, told me "You are a spectacular woman."

I will miss Matilde chocolate milk and all the memory-making it lubricated. Matilde comes in boxes with a little girl in pigtails on the front. Matilde also has no expiration date, leading me to conjecture an inevitable trip to outer space in which Matilde will be the beverage of choice, seeing as it never spoils and probably contains ingredients indigenous to the great void. We'll discover planets that thrive on the life-giving properties of Matilde. And let's face it. When I'm in outer space, I will probably have a special edition blog for that trip, too.

I will be interning at the Glimpse Foundation in Providence this summer, living in a house with 11 other terrific boys and girls, located on the corner of a streetcar named Hope and tennessee Williams. Kim and Daphne made a list of things to look forward to, which rivals my list of things to miss from this foggy, wonderful semester. On the list are:
  • cheddar cheese
  • bagels
  • lasagna
  • meeting street cookie
  • flip flops
  • bralessness
  • unpoisonous tap water
That's a pretty thorough list. Of course, it's probably more representative of the deprivation they experienced in Russia, because I certainly had most if not all of those things while in Copenhagen. Probably more bralessness than the natives knew what to do with. Anyway, when I get home, I will have more to report.

But before I depart this dear study abroad blog, two pieces of news. Danny has just informed me that he has gone grocery shopping to STOCK UP for COMPANY (emphasis his). He said he purchased abundant meat. He must know me almost as well as my dad because I love meat. In fact, earlier today, Elizabeth and I found a restaurant in which to enjoy our "final Danish brunch". By the time the waiter got around to us and asked me what I wanted to order, I just ripped up the menu and shouted "MEATSSSSSSSSSSSS".

The second piece of news is that, unlike myself, who never got around to crossing out every item on my "To do before leaving" list, Elizabeth completed one of her central tasks: steal one of the hanging advertisements on the S-train. Coming home from my apartment, she saw her target. She tells me it is green and says Kan København blive mere WONDERFUL?

I submit that it cannot.


kathleen said...

one: i drank matilde chocolate milk while in copenhagen because i remembered both you and elizabeth saying i must try it.


those were some excited capitals since this is one excited kathleen (sitting in tealuxe in providence awaiting your return in excitement excitement).

kathleen said...

i forgot.
one of my main goals this summer is to learn how to grill like a pro. you'll be in on this.

dbow said...

i'll be grillin'; we can all grill

Michelle Kirstin Snow said...

judging by your lack of enthusiasm for matilde, I'm guessing you are one of the few who are genetically predisposed not to love matilde. it's okay, we can still be friends, as long as you still use it to water our summer garden.

Whoops, I mean MATILDE our summer garden. My apologies.

DBow is resident grillmaster. I can do grilled veggies and stuff with some measure of competence, but my burgers generally fall through the grills. I have a long way to go.