In the beginning of each new week we publish a story about the week that just passed at the LungA School. It is written from the inside and can be about anything. That’s all. This is the twelfth and last chapter:
I am outside. It is morning and I am walking towards the hostel that has been my home for the past three months. During the night the rain has made the snow disappear and left a glistening floor of ice behind for me to walk on.
I know that when I get up there the house will be quiet and dark – and completely empty. Because an hour before walking here I hugged and said goodbye to the last student to leave the town, just before he crawled into the small bus that would take him to the airport.
Never in my life have I seen somebody travelling with so much luggage as him. Speakers, a keyboard, two major bags, two backpacks, a camera bag, a pillow and some of the drawings and paintings he created while been at the school.
I teased him about it and realized that I am going to miss that and all his other oddities. I going to miss knocking on his door to wake him up in the morning, and I am going to miss his comments about me eating like his grandfather, when I eat of my knife instead of the fork at dinner.
Just like I am going to miss all the other students and their human oddities.
I am going to miss looking at their grumpy faces with my own grumpy face in the morning while eating porridge, drinking coffee and struggling to wake up. And I am going to miss their little specific sounds and grunts, their dancing to Beyoncé at all times, their stupid, internal jokes, their screaming in the hallway at night, their bravery, their Egyptian Rat Slapping, their feet dragging across the floor, and passing them the salt and pepper every second minute. And I am going to miss their presence in the sauna, their slowness when picking out vegetables at lunch, their discussion about feminism and pubic hair, their big white Toshiba, their smell of incense, their red faces after an hour of Lunch Beat, their hugs, their eternal cursing, their watching of horrible troll and zombie movies, their lateness at the morning gatherings, their laughter, the fighting over the best pizza slices every Tuesday, looking into their eyes, and the sound of them walking across the floors above me.
Actually the last student was supposed to leave and fly home to Reykjavik with all of his luggage the evening before, but the plane was cancelled due to bad weather. That is just how it is here. Nature rules. I am also going to miss that, miss being reminded that no matter what is going on, nature can decide to close of the road over the mountain with snow or create so much wind that the ferry can’t arrive.
I am reminded of this as I walk the last couple of metres to the hostel with my arms sticking out to both sides to keep balance and myself from slipping on the ice.
Once inside the hostel I turn on the lights and walk down to the end of the empty hallway to the laundry room where a hill of linings is slowly getting smaller. I open the washing machine, take out the clothes, hang it up and hug a new pile of dirty linings to throw it into the machine.
A smell of one persons perfume and then another person’s aroma seep up in my nostrils and I get a little bit nostalgic. I know that when I will take the linings out of the machine again in one hour and forty minutes the smells will have changed to the smell of wet lining washed in perfume free detergent. Then I throw the white linings into the machine and press start.
I walk to the kitchen to wait for the washing machine to finish and starts to wonder about if anything has changed during these three months.
Yes, my hair and beard has grown longer, I might have lost a little weight from swimming three times a week and it has gradually become colder and darker outside. But I have also felt like something inside me has changed to the better, even though I am not sure what it is. Maybe it is because this place seems more pure in all aspects. There is a lot less noise here, a lot less to distract you and your mind and steal your time and energy. Instead it gives you energy and reinterpret the way you look at different things. Like what is beauty. My understanding of beauty has changed, I tell myself, in a good way, so I look at more and different things and more and different people as being beautiful.
In some strange way it just seems as though my bones are finally coming to sit in their right places after having been dislocated for a while.
But as the time of my own departure from Seyðisfjörður creeps closer I start to doubt if anything actually has changed or if it is just because I have been living and breathing inside a magical bubble that is this school, this town, these people for those three months. What if the bones get dislocated the second I step out at the Central Station in Copenhagen and arrive at the place I consider my home? What if I will fall directly into the same hole I start to crawl up from when I decided to go here? What happens when all the people, all the money, all the influences, all the lights and all the noise comes back?
And if my look upon what is beautiful and what is not has changed, does that then mean that I will look at the things and the people I thought of as beautiful before going here as not being beautiful anymore? Or will they just stand out as being even more beautiful than previously?
I guess I will not be able to answer that question before it actually happens in a couple of days. Maybe I become the exact same person. Shave off my beard and try to create a career again. I really don’t hope so, I would rather be dirty and happy.
I don’t know.
All I know right now is that all the laundry has been washed and that I am going to miss the students.
Hey, I said, I am just going to miss you.
Yes, I am talking to you Giovanna, Alexander, Anton, Nina, Olav, Natalia, Metha, Snædis, Anna Margret, Kristinn, and Ingibjörg.
Even though you really irritated me sometimes and probably vice versa, I really hope that right now you are all walking around out there feeling proud of what you have done and created and gone through the last three months. And while I have your attention I just want to say thank you. You also helped my bones to get back to their right place again. Maybe they will get dislocated when I return home, but at least now I know that they can actually be where they are supposed to be and that is a nice feeling.
I would like to give you a good advice, seem really clever, you know, but I can’t, and I am sure you will all figure it all out yourselves. But just remember to be good humans towards other humans.
Now the school starts.