1. Whatever Happened
I saw this kid in the cemetery down in Punta Arenas, Chile. I did the tourist thing of going to the cemetery there because it was printed in bold in the guidebook.
I stalked the perimeter for a moment, not sure it was open or how to get in. This reminded me of a tiger pacing in his cage at the zoo, although the symbolism is way off there. Life gets it wrong sometimes. Way to go, life.
Looking through the bars of the wrought-iron fence, I saw this kid. I think his friends were waiting for him in a car parked outside the cemetery.
This kid was clad from head to toe in skintight black latex. Well, not head to toe, but shoulder to toe I guess — I could see his head and it looked normal.
I just saw him flash past, not do anything too out of the ordinary. I should have warned you: This isn’t such a fascinating story.
I wondered if maybe he was a goth kid or an S&M kid, doing a photo shoot there, taking pictures of himself for Facebook or something.
I never found out. Whatever was actually going on was surely more interesting than this story was.
2. Aurora Borealis
Four couples were staying at the “luxury igloo” resort in Lapland, the part of Finland in the far north where you can see the aurora borealis.
They were the first people to stay there. Unless you count the Laplanders.
They were rich and carefree. There was a fashion photographer and a supermodel. There was a travel writer and her boyfriend. There was an architect who helped design the igloos, which were made more out of glass than of ice.
Four igloos were clustered around a wooden sauna building, which had an outdoor hot tub on the deck.
There were reindeer pelts on the beds of ice.
They were young and light-hearted. So they drank heavy in the long arctic night and converged on the hot tub at sundown, and the people in the couples traded places over and over in a kaleidoscope of shifting formations, wildly realized fantasies, and broken hearts.
I got in a fender bender on the way to work.
The other guy was so frustrated, at the delay, at the (minuscule) damage to his nice car, at the perfunctory calling of the cops and the exchanging of insurance information.
But I loved it.
I live alone, and the moment my car nudged his, not on purpose but perhaps subconsciously, was the first time I had come in contact with anyone in months.