It was an evening in the beginning of June and three days to departure. I went through my belongings, packing and clearing out all day long, and as the sun set I was still sadly restless and before I knew it I was on my way to Rose’s house with Ekelöf in my pocket.
She threw a graduation party. There were people on the patio: family, friends, always these unnecessary people surrounding the necessary ones so that I can’t get close to them. But I stole a few minutes with her on the porch.
Of course I couldn’t display my ”true self.” I was restrained and muted and gave in to clichés. But, then again—that’s me, too: one of my innumerous ’true selves’! Right there and then, in the cool Californian June evening in the space between two long stories, this strange face was my fate.
I wanted to reach her! So I read Euphoria aloud in Swedish, her dress swaying in the wind from the swinging screendoor.
I said ”I like you” and waited for that famous reply from the Swedish song. Rose fingered her bottle of beer while the rain sprinkled gently in the mildly glowing summer twilight. She gave me a hug, saying we’ll meet in Sweden.
The screendoor slammed, then closed.
As I walked home not only the rain wet my cheeks. An American blackbird (rather white than black) sang our song to the beat of a thousand aroused flowers.