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DANIEL’S BIRTHDAY

The wind is taring at all the tiny cracks in the warehouse conversion that is your home. In your loft room I hide under your massive duvet listening to your chest moving up and down to the wisps of cold air from outside. Four days from now it’s your birthday, and I won’t be here for it. You’ve said it doesn’t matter and I believe you, but I’m pissed off and feel guilty for missing it. Daniel,-Clapton-2015I try to slip out of your grip and out of the bed to go prepare breakfast because I know how much you just want to sleep. But I’m clumsy and your mattress too soft so I wake you and you pull me back into the warmth. And I’d much rather be there than frying some fucking pancakes pretending to be a housewife. You laugh at me and instead you end up by the stove with me sitting on the counter beside, eating raspberries from the packet. Your laptop is singing out rough tunes from some American basement band and the bacon is jumping from the heat. Seeing your face when you open your gifts just proves my point, that we cannot possibly be growing old. A-strong-sense-of-insenseNot having a British telephone contract feels like a good thing today. There is no 3G and it’s almost like we’re on holiday as the bus takes us down to central London. First up is the exhibition We Could Be Heroes capturing youth culture in West from the 1920s and onwards with probably the most beautiful pictures of teens ever. Then the contemporary art exhibition A Strong Sweet Smell of Incense at Pace Gallery celebrating the rich art scene in the 60s with names such as Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, Basquiat and other dudes with so many pretty things. Like this neon sign quoting a journalist describing the drug raid on the Rolling Stones’ crib in 1967 getting caught using all kinds of illegal substances. It is stunning. Meat-Mission,-HoxtonThe damp air is too much as it rips our jackets open, cutting through all of our layers and far down to our skin making us shiver. We agree that we’ve had enough of holidaying and jump the bus to return east to the burger restaurant Meat Mission, located in an old church. Daniel,-Meat-Mission-March-2015Because what’s Daniel’s birthday without some greasy burgers and whisky? Clapton,-March-2015Clapton-March-2015At home we lie in your bed for some time, just drinking beer and playing music but it’s not long before friends start to drop in one by one. Danielle,-London-March-2015Like my beauty queen Danielle. Jared-and-Saboune,-London-March-2015Soon we have friends occupying every bit of the livingroom and spilling into the kitchen and down on the street. I stand in the kitchen drinking some dodgy mix of pineapple soda and tequila from a plastic cup that one of your tall male friends has provided me with. Daniels-birthday-2015From across the room I can see you invested in some wild conversation, hands gesturing in the air and a guttural laugh escaping as you lean so far back you almost fall of the sofa. The song you queued for me comes on and you scream to catch my attention. You are such a fucking weirdo, and I love you. Katja,-London-2015All of a sudden my classmate Katja stands in the kitchen. Even though I invited her it’s like discovering a Christmas ornament at the Easter table, seeing her among all my London friends. My brain just don’t seem to grasp how she could even enter my parallel life but it’s beyond lovely nonetheless. We climb up ladders and share ales on window panes as I introduce her to everybody. Daniels-bday-2015The neighbour complains so many times that nobody even bother opening the door after a while. Instead people shout out the window for her to join us for some cocktails, and tonight it’s just funny even though it won’t be tomorrow. The police still don’t show up, because England is just as lawless or untameable as always. I barely see you apart from when we bump into each other by accident in the hallway and you kiss my neck and I can feel your cold leather jacket against my naked skin. At 5am people are still not leaving and I don’t ever want them to because nights should be endless. Unfortunately I’m not my 19 year old self dancing away at after parties at 11am any more. Instead I help you kick the leftover friends out on the muggy pavement so that we can climb up your ladder, leaving sticky footmarks and crumpled cans littering the floor, and crash. Growing old doesn’t feel all too bad when there are celebrations like these.     Linn   See also my Friday in London.

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