I forgot which damn lockdown it was, the second or the third, but I thought fuck you I ain’t staying inside any longer, I’m gonna drink. So the first and best and only option was Sweden. Stockholm, the capital. Sweden had the different approach to the Covid situation, everything was open basically. Good, just what I was looking for. Like I wrote after in my mini-rap to summarize my Sweden trip, they tried to dam me in Amsterdam, but I’ll be damned.
The lockdown was coming next week, so I booked a flight the week before, and the couple weeks before I had been pre-gaming, some dates, and prolly, knowing women, and the game, some flakes lined up.
But as I grow older I don’t really care that much about women, themselves, it’s the chase, the thrill, the expectation. The adventure, coupled with debauchery, and booze, and late nights, and long walks in the dark, all jacked up, from booze, while smoking, contemplating, frustrated, but secretly, somewhere deep deep down, enjoying, somehow. Fury just racking up stories. That’s all.
My alarm woke me, I rose fast and did a quick ten minute meditation, instantly, like a reflex, to get me all buzzed up for the flight. Had to have my wits about me. Couldn’t sleep the night before so I was sleep deprived, and wired at the same time, buzzing with adrenaline.
I did what I did what I’d normally do when partying. Drank a red bull, and a pre-workout, some creatine and ashwagandha. Basically supplement myself awake.
And I was hacking my brain with binaurals, to get me to a brain state, that is more awake, which would usually, and organically cost a human a couple hours to get to. Didn’t have that time, so I cheated, and now I was at 24 Hz, beta wave state. Almost go time.
I primed myself with some mindset affirmations and some journaling, jotting down notes, thoughts, senses and sensations, and basically some cliff notes for this story which I didn’t know I was gonna write, or wanted, or needed.
I was awake as fuck, the binaurals did the trick, and the airports was ghost town as fuck. Covid. I had to go through customs. So I was privileged enough to walk through endless empty corridors and halls. I was never one for company, and masses, and people, but the sheer sight of this solitude was utterly sad, and somehow shameful. Through walking past the shops, the tax-free, duty-free, and the restaurants, and bars, I realized it was part of the trip experience for me and they took that away. I didn’t like it but let go real fast and was bored then.
Customs was very quiet, and low staffed and I passed through without a hick-up. Then I was inside, usually here I’d browse bookstores and buy the latest Reacher, who always passes the airport test, reliable and a good read and thumping and electrifying and the flight would just breeze over and I’d be in Sweden. But no, no books, I should’ve brought my own. But like the character Reacher I like to travel light and so no books in the carry-on bag. And the whiskey stores were closed. Part of the fun is buying expensive single malt Scotch, with some duty-free off, bringing it to the hotel room, there, and then pre-balling, quite cheaply, before I ravage the night life. But no.
And the other part is sitting at bars, and drinking expensive beers, airports are expensive asf, and chilling with random people, with the strange but buzzing potential to chat up completely wild strangers you’d talk to once, and after, never again, but would never forget, strangely somehow.
So they robbed that off me, too, but I still managed to get my coffee. There was this Indian at a shop, pretending not to be open this early, loser was just lazy and busy cleaning or some weak shit, but I got my coffee somewhere else.
Now I was sitting and with a heated cheese pastrami bagel on my lap, too, because I was stuffing myself with lots of food at the time, and travel is just booze and food, and sometimes women.
The bagel pastrami was a surprise. Firstly I realized I never had one, in my life. Two, the sour, sweet savory combination of flavors was good. Sauerkraut, and pickles, the sour, and mayonnaise, the savoriness, and cheese and pastrami, giving that saltiness. I felt it was maybe a day old tho, or a couple hours it had been sitting, but I was hungry, or bored, and was filling my stomach, and giving my mind the pleasure of noting the flavors like I tend to do with almost everything.
I spilled my coffee because it was hot, and I didn’t mind, and nobody saw it, there were ample people at the gate. I was early, but there were some people, safely distanced away from me.
I was bored, and just journalled my journey. I had a lot of time, before boarding, fifty minutes. It felt like hours. Nothing to do. I got up and did what children would do. Imagine fun.
The whole ghost airport was my playground. It was empty and silent, creepy somehow too, like when you’re thinking you’re gonna get mugged, but it was inside and safe so strange. It was still that morning vibe, that weird buzzing potential of the morning, and still tomb dark outside. You had these conveyor belts, horizontal escalators, to make people move faster, from gate to gate, terminal to terminal, and now they were completely empty. Free for me to ride. I got on one or two, pretending to be surfing somewhere in Bali, I shouted even Wooo, in my head I think. The little pleasures in life.
That got bored damn quick.
What’s funny when I ordered the coffee I went full incognito, full in character, and spoke English. They thought I was just another tourist, like they thought basically my whole adult life.
The coffee had been weak, but started strong, smelt fragrant, but the heat had warmed me up, mentally too. The Red Bull was wearing off maybe. So the coffee helped me plow through those infinite fifty minutes.
I had set an alarm, which just went off. I’d set in case I’d fall asleep. Dunno if it happened, before that I missed a flight, but I missed a lot of shit, so old habit.
Still had time, and I made my last rounds in the empty terminal. I had a hunch that when things went back to normal, that this was gonna be the special occasion, by contrast, and that I’d never have this experience again. Again ample people in sight. I looked outside. The desolate runway. No planes yet. Green lights peppering the black outside, encasing the runway.
The place that served the bagel, I asked them beer, but they didn’t serve that at five am, and I was bummed out but not surprised and I shrugged. I did get a water.
Finishing off the journal entry, took a piss, after downing the bottle of H2O, take-off fifteen minutes. Go time, baby, adventure time. I felt content.
I decided to get drunk early, on the plane, which is always a good idea, or bad, depending how you look at it. I enjoyed a nice red wine, in a mini bottle. A Shiraz. South Africa. Label says, The first Shiraz grapes in South Africa were planted around 1890’s.
The Shiraz had two flavor components. First, sweet. Second, dry. Starts lightly sweet, that finishes very dry. Fury reckons, Dry to Sweet ratio is about seventy to thirty, or even eighty to twenty. A very dry dry wine. I didn’t get the point of dry wines tbh. Sweet is more delicious.
That said, I was enjoying it on the plane to Stockholm. All part of the experience. The flight was boring since I didn’t have a book, or wasn’t balling, so there was no in flight movie, and no mile high club women, to score. There were potentials, I think. My mind was calm, aloof, divergent tho, because of the low amount of sleep, Red Bull, pre workout, the sense of adventure, the mindset affirmations I did, and now the red wine.
All these tinglings were like little bubbles in the soda of my mind. Sparkling, jumping, shifting up and down, and maybe left, who knows. It was the high on life vibes, that’s all that mattered.
About the potentials. A nice Swede blonde, diagonally across the alley, in front. Fury just wanted her. Hoodie over her blonde hairs but still beautiful. Eight out of ten, without makeup maybe a 7.6. She was making notes on her phones while listening to music. Maybe a singer songwriter? Art Heaux ..
I was done journaling and the plane landed soon.
I arrived and there were no snafu’s. Breezing through customs, and then I came to this clearing, a big hall, the floor shiny and off white. With these little machines, ticket machines. Modern and blue and plastic and new. I needed a ticket from the airport to the city central, the center of Stockholm. Arlanda Express. The ticket was quite expensive. IF I calculated back to euros. Then and there I stopped doing that. Calculating back was an ancient reflex, and stopping it at the same time was a newer but also old reflex. This way there was more delusionary fun, and I was in my little fun bubble, balling, and spending, and not caring. Delusion Land.
I bought a ticket that was good for two rides. One way to the center, for my trip, and one way back, for when I would go home. I paid and it printed a nice black and yellow ticket. Shiny. Like a pokemon card, or yu-gi-oh. I still have that ticket in my wallet till this day. Not sentimental, just lazy enough to not take it out, and the small little tokens of trips always makes me smile, or give me something to think about, now and then, when I’m paying for something else.
I think I was on my phone then, or during the whole express. I told you I’d been pre-gaming, didn’t I? Well I had, and I was checking which of the girls were DTF, and I just had a hit. The fish bit, and for THIS night a date was secured. Her name was, lmk think of a nice codename, Lana.
I affirmed, yes I am a mf p.i.m.p and this trip could NOT go wrong and I was affirming and delusionary and noted this down later in my journal, with Hooa.
The Arlanda Express was clean, fast, and spacious. Given covid, of course there were regulations, so you had these beautiful brown leather seats, almost like first class, really, now that I think about it, in other trains in other countries, but they posted stickers on them. Big poisonous yellow warning signs that said: Sit here, or DONT sit here. The only regulation they had in Stockholm was to keep your distance which nobody really did. Well, they did in public settings such as this Express. But man, that Express was so cool. Well ventilated, the air was fresh and that thing was fast. Then the train ticket dude came, well it was a woman. I asked her some details about the validity of the ticket.
She responded. In PERFECT English. Flawless. The reason I big this up is not to knock on the Swedes. But to shit on all the other Europeans I met. Geesh Louissss, she had zero accent. Her English was even more Bri-ish than mine (haha I have a slight accent that you can pick up on).
And the clincher, the buzzer beater, the cherry on top. There was no fucking mask. No cap. This was the reason I came. I could breathe in the fresh crisp air, in public settings. Hell, to the yeah.
Stockholm. It reminded me of Vienna, the capital of Austria. Nice big tall Gothic ancient brown buildings lining the main street to Old Town. Galma Stan. Sounded like a name. A swedish murican name. I laughed at my first own joke in my head, I was having a good time. It was still early in the morning. The air was crisp and foggy and damp. A bit chilly but not too cold. The night’s would be colder. I started walking towards to center, google maps in hand, and did I tell you about the cigars. I had two boxes, in two boxes in my coat, left and right. Seven or eight cigars total. Ready to lock and load and fire off.
I started walking and saw the front side of the Stockholm Central train station that thing looked beautiful and old and artsy. White with a gold facade and huge clock smashed against it. With a fountain in front, with a statue, and I thought this is the spot to smoke a stog. If you know me, finding a spot for a stog, can be quite the pickle and ordeal. Legit you shoulda seen me walk all over cities across the world saying, no-no-no to places and just pounding on and ultimately finding the perfect spot to light up. A bit like a dog in the park finding its perfect spot to take a shit. But pickier.
I whipped a PDR Small Batch Maduro, for fans, it’s light brown, robusto sized, with a white label on it, Dominican. I stood there by the fountain and before I toasted it, I was looking around for the perfect target. Someone who can make the photo, while I light up. There’s an art to this. You either want someone who’s artsy, and or fun enough, or is taking pictures themselves. They’ll do a decent job.
I saw a dad, bald, with his son, snapping pics of the central, too. I picked him, he spoke English, with a heavy accent, maybe Irish, and he took my pick as I light the cigar. His kid looked at me. I smoked. I took it in. I took it all in. Not just the smoke and the flavors but the place I was, and during which time. The fact that I bought myself a moment of freedom, peace of mind to do whatever suited me, and that was the stog was a tribute for.
The draw was impeccable on this one, and the ash was pure white, if you’d tap it’d be powder like snow. The flavors released well even tho it was cold. It wasn’t windy so that wasn’t interrupting with the smoking experience. I left the central, and the fountain and the dad and the kid, and started walking, following this group at first, trailing behind, follow the masses, they always go to the centre.
We were walking towards this huge arch bridge. Stone arches, it was quite long, and this type of bridges you do not have in lands with no rock foundations. The arches have a horizontal force that needs to be taken up by a solid foundation, which is rock, and Sweden seems to have rock.
I mused upon this engineering fact as I smoked in the mystical fog, and decided upon a bench, right to the bridge, on the lower side, at the embankment, the river was gorgeously grey and blue and was saying good morning with all its heavenly glory and nature goodness.
The bench was damp but I sat down anyways. To my right there was another bench with another dude taking in the morning, and the slow sloshing of the water. The river wasn’t in a hurry, and neither were we.
I took it all in again, the mist provided quite Disney-esque allures to the morning that many a dames would fancy. I smoked the stog to ballpark the second part, which is halfway, snapped some pics of the distance, some islands, ominous but full of intrigue and potential fun, silhouetted in the foggy distance. There were these mansions, or houses, or castles on the islands.
I got up and started crossing the bridge. It was wide and had two three car lanes, traffic was slow, but evident. The sidewalk was broad and the side of the bridge had beautiful Gothic lanterns that fit the scenery and the aesthetic of the bridge’s design and the misty morning.
I walked to the middle of the bridge and stopped. Turned to my right and looked towards that slow impeding mass of dark blue water. In the distance there was another bridge spanning the river. With cars, driving there too. As I snapped a photo, another dude with one of those fancy camera’s was finding the perfect angle and morning light, yeah this was the spot.
I got a good hit of that experience and had enough for a while and powered on. After crossing the bridge, more tall Gothic buildings came, and it was clear I was entering Galma Stan. Old Town. The streets became more wobbly, cobblestones, quintessential euro oldschool style, and more narrow, more like alleys.
Down the mainstreet of Old Town you could see people gearing up for the work day, it was a Friday. People were off loading and un loading things from their truck. Opening doors of cafés and souvenir shops. Later I’d find out that there was a cigar shop on this road, muha.
I passed through the Old Town, and came near the water again. Stockholm has a lot of it. There was a huge bridge again, which I had to cross. After crossing I passed a metro station, a quite central one, and I entered a quite busy district, which led to a shopping street, and there was a Subway, haha, quite commercial, but there it is, and there was a big street which led all the way to my hotel.
I walked down this long boulevard, and saw bars, with tables outside, even tho cold, but it was there, and I was scoping the joints for the date with Lana, I saw a good one and remembered it. Because after this bar, there was a corner, and then straight left and I was at my hotel. It’d be perfect for a bounce. Drinks and then back to the room and bam.
I took a shower in my hotel room after paying for it, and I was early, but the room was already ready and I sat behind the table, after turning on the table light and journaled my trip so far.
Texting with Lana. Keeping her busy, and fired up, and seeing if she was still on. Deep down I wanted more of a connection type style, but there’s nothing quite like travelling to a foreign country, setting up a date and the thrills of that, and that can lead of that. Connections will come when they come.
I settled in the room, dropped all my shit, and then next stop, ofcourse, booze.
There was a booze boat. Seabird. Well, it was a boat with a good view of the river of Stockholm, from ther boozing, you could overlook the other side, see the colored houses and musuems and government building with that signature euro style architecture.
The boat was closed. Too early. What does a man have to do to get his booze?
I decided to do a dopa fast, no phone and no tw but the phone had to be utilized for picture taking which triggered me to check my phone. I was offline, and didnt tell a soul I went to Stockholm.
I was getting bored as I was alone, and it was cold and this hill was long, and empty, and the dopa withdrawal was apparent. Had to quench it with booze.
At the top I came at an intersection and to my right there was a small shop, a bar. Sophie’s Café. It was open and I went inside and said the word for beer in Swedish, thought it was a fancy type of liquor but it was not, it was just beer, and in the end the old woman behind the counter didnt understand me, the pronunciation, so I pointed to a bottle behind her and she said, Ah Eriksberg.
I took the bottle and went upstairs and it was quite quaint. Cozy. Four people or five were there. And a monk in an orange robe, with earbuds in, meditating, looking outside, and down, the way I came.
To my right was a dude finishing up his meal, and to my right a woman who was going for seconds. The space was cramped and she tried to pass by my table, right next to hers, to get to the buffet which was behind the monk. Lots of yummy stuff but I was not hungry and had just sat down, with the beer and contemplated on the situation.
Covid. Zeitgeist. Bars closed. But not here, and that you dont know what you miss until its gone. I enjoyed myself as I looked across from me. A beautiful mature Swedish woman, in a pants suit, doing business with two other Gentlemen.
I just drank and journaled and listened to smooth modal jazz and watch the monk meditate.
Later, the business people and the dude left. Young girls came, to attack the buffet, it was noon and lunchtime, and the woman in the corner had left. Also a family came with cute little girls who were lively and energetic and funny as hell. Lots of comedians, saying inaudible stuff in Swedish. But the acting out, the sounds said enough. I smiled and one girl smiled back and she kept looking and mustve thought who is this Asian, maybe I was the first Asian she ever saw.
I finished my beer and left. The girls still joking and their dads laughing and the monk meditating.
The boat mustve been open by now and I went back down the hill again, to the riverside and the boat was open. I went up the ramp, and there were some people already there and the floor was felted.
The ambiance was good. Over the tables there were these gorgeous red orange heat lamps, that not just looked good but gave warmth. It was cold so this was perfect.
I talked to the Chinese woman, the bar owner, also the mother of the guy who was standing at the entrance, doing chores, who had one hand.
The Chinese woman was charming, flirty and asked what I was doing here, all kinds of basic shit but she meant well, the energy was there ans then it was when I found out about the no smoking policy.
I had frikking Cubans in my pocket ready to go. She even buttered me up, for the top terrace, stunning and beautiful and with booming speakers, music, but I legit thought the f for use is that when I cant smoke?!
I ordered Vodka Red Bull, and took it to the first table in sight, a meter away from the counter, and looked towards the colored artsy buildings, across the water.
I took in the morning calm and got a nice buzz going on because I hadnt had anything to eat so the vodka did a solid job on me.
I ordered another drink, dont know what it was. But it was Scandinavian price, and I drank it long, and gently, nourishing it as I gazed at the cool houses and the calm blue water. Life was good. And I was free. For now.
After, the Chinese woman ushered me up, again, I said sure, and passed the counter, on the left, up this small wooden staircase, to the second ‘floor’ of the boat.
It was really damn nice but abandoned. Ghost ship vibes, as the speaker hummed summer tunes for the long long summer of long ago, or that will never come, or should, and or maybe will, but now it was winter and dusk and getting colder, and colder as the sharp breeze cut through my black dusty coat.
I looked left, what a view. It was basically the same as the deck below, only the wind was there, orchestrated by elevation, logic really, views always are at heights.
It wouldve been a damn good cigar spot. Were it not for smoking forbidden signs and policies and the wind and the winter.
I breathed in the moment, then left, down the same stairs again, river on my right, then two lefts, passed the bar, nodding the Chinese woman goodbye, as I made a pitstop and after I left the booze boat.
I decided Id return. I didnt.
The date with Lana was heating up. And still on. One sympathizes, girls and their uber flakey ass nature.
Whats funny, and jarring, now and always in retrospect is that most people go to different countries, to eat. Or at least try different types of food and cuisine. I think I ate Subway. On the corner of that square, near the second bridge I mentioned.
Its never a priority for me I suppose.
I legit thought wtf did I eat but now I remember after looking at some photos, I had a pre date dinner. Hehe.
But what I did was to find a good bar to smoke my cigar at. So I went backed to the mainstreet, near my hotel because it was almost date time. So I saw this brown bar. I asked the guy if I could sit and drink, and smoke, outside.
He said no. To the smoking. Then and there he revealed the big epiphany. Fun stuff, really. No smoking, not just here, and it came crashing and colliding with an avalanche like momentum and crescendo on me, just like in the whodunnits murder mysteries when they reveal the killer, it all made sense now. There was no smoking in whole Stockholm.
Ah fuck. Well, fuck.
You could smoke on the streets, but not at bars or clubs or anything. Ah fuck.
So I just ordered a beer and journaled whilst remembering that Thai place I passed, right next to the Subway and I decided on a nice Pad Thai and Tom Yum Goong soup.
It was dark now and I had one quick beer in a bar by myself before I had dinner. It was happy hour so you got cheap beer, and I couldnt resist. I entered after I had just smoked a Joya de Nicaragua Antaño on the chilly misty dark winter streets of Stockholm. People were buzzing about, darting from bar to bar, or going home, after work, the golden lights were beautiful through the mist. Restaurants and bars and shops beckoning.
The bar was simple and full but there was a corner booth and I ordered what was on tap, Falcon, the bartender woman was hot and flirty and everybody wanted her this was 100% sure.
I just sat alone in this corner and observed Swedish life and people and got buzzed and decided there was not much gonna happen here except for the background chatter and bar tunes and my pad thai and date awaited.
As I got my food, which was delicious, way more expensive than the exact same dishes I had gotten in Thailand, but good quality, flavorful and exotic and filling, as I got it and was eating it, I was texting Lana, setting up the date.
There must’ve been something in the air, or the momentum I had created.
She was still down, and very much so. At one point she said, “Use condoms. No ass. No spanking.”
I agreed. But thought, We’ll see about that. About the spanking. Come on, you can’t stop me from that. As for the other two. Well, condoms, because to put it very lightly, and mildly, and non hostile, a woman who types like that will certainly have some experience, mileage, behind her. And ass. Nah that takes too long to set up and isn’t that nice.
The street where I was meeting Lana was dark. I had just finished the Thai food and stood outside. I decided another smoke, I was at three cigars now, would be perfect. I whipped out the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Best Seller. It would smoke between twenty and thirty minutes. It would be the perfect waiting buddy, as I walked to the bar, the date meet location. I got there ten minutes earlier. And kept smoking the stog. It was cold and misty and dark. I paced back and forth the street. Passing a local kebab, supermarket and park. I decided to make sure Lana was not a whackjob, I’d wait across the bar, across the street. To see who’d show up.
So it was around eight I saw a small spectre show up at the bar. She looked like Lana from the picture so I finished off Arturo Fuente and crossed the street, blunting the nub out.
Lana and I made eye contact in front of the bar. It was an instant hit. Warm and familiar and we were on, I knew it, felt it. I know enough about women to see when they’re into it, and when they’re not.
Lana was cute, and had latam vibes, more than on her photo, and she was wrapped up in lots of wintery layers, but her eyes shone and she had a bright smile, with white-ish teeth.
We went inside and I decided on a corner booth, with a table, isolated from disturbances. The waiter came and I ordered two red wines. We started talking. This and that. She was a traveller. Mileage. Smelt it on her. She was warm, and had that Latina Fire, but wasn’t 100% latina, because she did not come from Spain she said. But she knew Portuguese, but was not it, and I decided she was Brazilian then. Not that it mattered, unless you kept track and score.
We were flirty and the chemistry was there, so I just grabbed here by the middle and kissed her. She played shy and coy and said shit like, “I’m a lady.”
Placing both her hands, under her chin, like a plate, putting it on a pedestal, on display. I thought yeah whatever, nah, fuck my ass. I’m a lady, haha.
The wines were coming along nicely, and I said to her, besides the dirty talk, escalating, that my room was nearby, by design, and it was just a small walk away, less than five minutes, she knew what was up and said perfect. She was getting boozy, same as I and I said, I’m gonna order two more red wines for us, and after we go.
There was more foreplay and kissing, she smelt good and was super soft. She did this interesting move, coming closer to my ear, and making an orgasmic sound. “Ahhhh”
That was nice, got me in the mood.
What was really nice about her, was not per se her, but it was the fact that I had set this up, before I got on the plane, then got off, kept her busy, texting and escalating and agreeing and then being tourist all day. Boozing, and now boozing more, and I didn’t have to do a lot of effort to get her so far. Amazing. Nice and just fun times.
The vibe was there, I got up and paid, and we stormed out the place. We took two lefts and we were on the street that let straight to my hotel.
I was reminded, as we were holding hands and walking, about a line a friend of mine has said many times:
“There’s no greater feeling in the world than being in a foreign country and meeting a foreign girl and walking her to your place and knowing, this girl is mine.”
That feeling, albeit temporary, it was a very good feeling. I affirmed it. And felt it and just rode along in the moment.
At my hotel we rode up the elevator and started kissing. At my room, we kissed some more. The foreplay was long, really long, but in the end that turned out to the best thing about her, and us, surprisingly. Each girl, each session is different.
The foreplay was really good. The sounds she made, and the bodily, gyrating, twerkish movements. Horny and hot and memorable.
I (playfully, haha, depending how one, or you, reading this, slap, and what you mean by playfully) slapped her, and an earring of her fell on the carpet. The reason I know this is not that it was that memorable, I mean I had been boozing all day, my memory was hazy at best, but it was the fact that I was with another girl, the next after this one, that I had made the comment:
“Babe, take off your earrings, or I’ll slap it off again. Like last time.”
To which she responded: “This is the first time I’m wearing earrings. It must’ve been some other girl.”
I smiled and knew and retraced my steps, it was Lana, mustve been. The other girl said it was okay, but that moment was funny as hell, and some might’ve called it awkward but it was really funny tho.
So I spanked Lana. Hard. I’d follow along with the other two “commands” but the spanking was gonna happen. Especially since she had a nice asset.
So we undressed and on her body there were two tattoos. One was a Portugues song lyric that was paraphrased as, There’s no place like home, on her upper thigh. The other was a chest tat of a flower, that did nothing for me, other than the fact signal that I was right, that this girl has had some mileage.
It showed in her performance and the way she talked, in her Spanglish accent, which was hot.
We did the dirty.
After, we showered, together. She soaped me in. She massaged me.
For private reasons – I didn’t really like her. I enjoyed the date and the wines and the whole experience around it. But with more experienced girls sometimes they say certain things that does not get me in the right state of mind as to what the type of girl I’m dealing with. Legit sometimes an intellectual man has to shut his brain off and go along with the ride. Let’s just keep it at that.
She wanted me to call her an Uber home, because she had to work in the morning, so I did.
I kissed her goodbye on the street, in front of my hotel, as she left in the Taxi, and I never saw her again.
It was dark and cold and I was satisfied but somehow not and I popped a celebratory Cuban cigar. Montecristo open regata. I cut it and started smoking. It was so good and I kept walking towards the sound of party popping.
Post sex I was empty and satisfied but not satisfied and open and bored. So I kept searching for those kind of moments. I was on a party street, bars not clubs. The lines were long and people were boozed up and smoking, cigs, and there were annoying dudes bothering bouncers, just like anywhere in the world. There was one guy there, annoying, that I saw the day after too haha, some guys.
I went left and smoking my cigar on a bench. There I met Willem.
Day one Stockholm. Complete.
Willem was one of those socialites. I saw him from afar, the other side of the wooden bench, with his gang, his eyes bright in the dark, shimmering against the night lights. I smoked, he looked at me, and smiled. I didn’t smile back. But I was open, after Lana, and this is where my magnetic story capabilities come from. The night, a woman, drinks, and a smoke, then I connect. Well the kid looked at me first, and I got up, and walked to him. He had something like, Nice cigar! I didn’t know what I said next but we just vibed.
He had lots of smiles and an incessant, almost annoying, tic to constantly wink. He got away with it because of his high energy and smiles. He was open but his friends not so much, he introduced me to them, but they just wanted their Friday Night like usual.
Willem talked about joints, and parties, the Fridays, and also The Saturdays. He mentioned it was Halloween tomorrow, and I hadnt had a clue, but he told me where to party, he told me he’d go their too. He goes there every Saturday. Good clubs, parties. He didn’t invite me, that was okay, but it was clear that I wasn’t cool enough, but at least he gave me intel.
We talked some more, he talked about his divorced parents, he was open, man, and he talked about doing coke and being on it, couple days a week and even now as we spoke.
He wanted to join his friends, who had gone back in but he wanted to try my monte cigar first. I said sure, lemme smoke it till the end, and you can get a hit. I smoked and we talked and it got chillier and Willem got antsy, friends inside, smoke up, man.
I got to the end, he smoked it, it was his first, and his eyes light up from the hit. He said he didnt really like the taste that much, but that it was unique and strong. I just nodded and blunted the cigar out.
We went inside, and I didn’t know if I had invited myself along or he did, one of those awkward moments where I’m, honestly, to autist and socially indifferent to know the difference. But once inside he brings me to his table of friends. Other friends. Not his main ones.
Inside it’s a bar, not a disco, there are tables everywhere, full. Lots of people drinking. The music is loud. Inaudible but loud. Lots of cute girls and golden boys. I had my woman tonight, so I was legit in the abundance mindset but there were lookers and I’m always on the prowl.
At the table two dudes asked me where I was from and I said Amsterdam.
One guy said, “WOOOAH. You’re living the dream, man!”
I assured him I was not.
He mentioned, of course, the hoes, the joints, the blow, anything goes. I nodded along. The other dude at the table did kickboxing but had no vision in life. And had those lost eyes. I played the guru bit, I tend to do on occasion. Even in real life, nowadays. He smiled and nodded, and thought me a wiser sensei. But not cool enough, tho, haha, he had to join his other friends.
The antsy vibe, the youth that couldn’t sit still reminded me of my cousin. He was the same age as these kids and had the same buzzing vibrant fire. Like gotta do stuff man. In that sense, I am getting too old for this shit, but I like the debauchery, the haze and daze of the night life. The stories like I’m telling right now, and they told me, but I already forgot, in a sense, life lived. Wasted in one sense, but tapped into, fully, in another.
Willem had joined his other friends again, at the cool kids table, and I was actually fine with it and ordered some beer, after Willem had bought me one already and I one too, but there was nothing for me now, just sit and look at the Stockholm nightlife as I sat alone, charging my phone with my powerbank as I sipped my beer.
I had had enough already but something in my always wants more. This gut yearning stuck with me, even after I finished my beer and left the noisy bar.
In the night and in the cold walking away from the parties and the people and the drunks and the bars, I contemplated my life and was hyper empty.
What was I even doing in Stockholm? Women? Why wasn’t I focusing on my mission, the mission? What am I doing with my life? I wasn’t depressed, nowhere from it. But everything just made me think in this line of thought.
I thought, Find a good girl.
I don’t know, I wanted more and more and more. And right now, of Stockholm. The night, women, life.
It was cold and extremely late and there was nothing to do and I already had four cigars today but my pocket still housed one more. Montecristo Linea 1935 Dumas. It was to be my night cap. I smoked it walking back to the hotel. And in front of the dark glass facade, on the sidewalk, in front of the parked cars, in the desolate dark I smoked and smoked. The cigar wasn’t that good anymore. Chaining them is never a good idea. The cigar was bitter in the dark, it was my palate, but I had nothing to do and bored and wanted to fill myself up and up, with junk and nothing.
I finished the cigar, blunted it out on the pavement and went in and up to sleep.
The next day I felt good and fruity and wore my new Abercrombie baby blue polo my cousin had gifted to me in a box which was meant for the Salvation Army. It was still new and it looked good on me. Perfect breakfast attire. Went down the elevator. On the right was the check in desk and a couple feet and you were outside.
In front, with a tall glass facade (the theme of the hotel was glass and its name had glass in it, too) the breakfast room was separated from this side.
Through an opening you were in. To the right there were chairs and tables and in front a small bar. Which would’ve been cool, and busy, and nice to chat up people were it high season. The right was a bit lower, a rocky slope angled down there. The tables were handsome and the whole thing had a designer feel to it. You could look outside.
I sat to the left, with booths, and plants, and long tables and lamps which gave ambiance. Also closer to the buffet. There was everything. Eggs, bacon, bread, sausages, chia seed, fruit, everything. Coffee and tea I had first. There was also typical Swedish things. Meatballs, and pickled herring, two types. One normal, and one in mustard. I had both, and tried everything.
In the morning I reflected a lot. Re the questions that popped up last night, but also comparing this trip, and my trips before. Wroclaw, Poland, 2019, always pops up in my head. Finger cut, stitches needed, drunk, lost all my shit. It’s out there, another Fury classic. But besides the dumb shit I was just thinking about my independance. My je ne sais quoi. My internal validation, the calm, the swaggering through everything. It has been many a travels and they all left me, accumulating, with some lingering sense of being and wellbeing and subtle expertise, somehow.
I was gonna look for a nice nature spot, there were plenty, to pop a cigar, The Julius Ceasar, and meditate at the same time. When I was at Old Town I spotted this cool place across the river bank.
It was called Kastelholmen, it was a castle. It was on a mini mountain, elevated, it would give a nice view of Stockholm, I was sure. Underneath there were grassy greens, trees, leaves, lots of nature. Perfect.
It was a long walk past the water, you couldn’t just cross it. Passing lots of museums and buildings and trailing the riverbank. In the end I had to cross two bridges. The morning was crisp, but the sun was shining. It was a tad cold but not too. The morning was perfect. I was content and my travels were in full bloom.
Once I crossed the second bridge I got to the spot I had spotted on the other side. First I saw lots of vivid yellow leaves, from this tree which had a bouquet of yellow still in it. Some people took insta shots, I took a video. This was a handsome tree. There were multiple of those, as I walked alongside the water, now on this side, I was making my way to benches and small secretive spots near water I had sniped from the other side.
I found a nice spot, overlooking Old Town, and lit up the Ceasar. I smoked about fifty minutes in full trance, meditating, doing nothing really, except being, Zazen they call it in Buddhism. Old Town looked beautiful and colorful from this side.
The last twenty to thirty minutes I walked up Kastelholmen. It was sloped, and I had to be careful here. You slip, you fall, you die. It was a good thorough hike and I made a mental note. Good morning exercise. At the top, there was this castle. Mini, but closed, I think, and there was not much to do but sit on this broad rock. Grey and slippery with dew. There was a cross on it. I sat on the rock beside the cross, overlooking this huge body of water, and an abandoned carnival fair type of attraction themed park. Here I was truly gone. My mind just left me. I smoked, taking it in as a Native American Shaman would take some spiritual incense as he puffed and went to outer space. So did I.
I saw the clouds moving overhead, the sky diamond blue. The clouds moving signaled the turning of the world, and somehow of the universe. And I was this small cog, or gear, just turning along, and along, with no place amongst the giants, but still there and with the right place at the right time. Super floaty stuff.
After the moving of the big clouds, staring into the distance, far into the depths of Stockholm, and perhaps the rest of Sweden, the rotating of the earth, the cigar was done and I got up and descended Kastelholmen.
Now I went back to Old Town to get drunk.
The place was called the Ardbeg Stockholm Embassy. Which was amazing in so many way. First off, I found it by accident, just snaking through the little alleys of old town, wearing my feet on the cobblestoned roads. Secondly, it looked good, from the outside, it had a flag, and it was decorated with the Ardbeg logo. Now finally, if you don’t know what Ardbeg is, it was gonna by whiskey galore. Ardbeg is a Islay whiskey, from the South-West Region of Scotland, which is known for its peatiness, heavy smoke for those not initiated.
I went in and there were booths left and right, and couple feet further on the right was the bar. But was amazing that there as a surplus, a shitload of whiskey bottles lining the right wall.
I sat down on the right, in a booth, near the bottles. I got the menu from the waiter. And there were pages upon pages of whiskies to choice. Wow. Never seen that in my whole life. I was unsure what to take. Then, typically as for tourists, I looked to my right and there was a sign. Something something in Swedish, but it meant Whiskey Tasting. You could get four different Ardbegs, I didnt even know so many types existed back then haha, for a solid price.
I ordered it and waited, as soul and jazz music smoothly played. Lots of classics passed along that day, it was great pairing with the insanely good quality whiskey.
The waiter came back, with a plate, like a cheeseplate, wooden, but this time for whiskies, so a whiskeyplate, with four whiskey flights. It was the Ardbeg Ten, Corrywreckan, Ulgedail and Anao. Pardon my Gaelic spelling. But you can find these, and you should, as they are stunning. Sheer wonder. I journaled some of the nose and flavor notes and finishes, but I won’t bore you with the details too much.
The Ardbeg Ten I had had already and was one of my favorites, a classic.
I was notulating somethings that came to me in the bar, then, and had struck me when I was smoking the Julius:
“One has to wage a 100 year war, for a Peace one might not live to see.”
“To predict your future design it.”
I was at my second whiskey flight, all by myself, enjoying the roaring soul classics, ripping, the Arbeg Anao, when I saw Jack and Susie entering the bar through the door on my left.
They had the vibe. Jovial, on travel, on holiday, open, and in for a chat. These things go automatically, smoothly, and inherently, and in the end, looking back, magnetically too. The thing is Susie might have been with Jack, but she instigated it, with her eyes. Jack had said where do you want to sit, to which she said right there, which was to my left, after darting her eyes my way, thinking something along the lines, that guy looks cool, I was dressed in a burgundy jacket and baby blue polo, with handkerchief, easily the flyest guy in, that night, or any other for that matter.
So Jack and Susie took a seat next to me, and I was charging my phone, always am if you know me, phone battery old, dies quickly. The talk got started because I offered to remove my charger and Susie said it was okay.
We were in a good vibe, us three, and I sipped my whiskey as they ordered some whiskey too, tastings, and more, they were a professional couple. Workers. They had been meeting in different countries, because they lived in countries where there was a lockdown. Jack was into software and economics and big data. Susie was working for herself now, after long stints in HR. We talked about life and whiskey, Irish too, and about Switzerland where Susie was from.
I patted myself on the back since I wrote it down in my journal during the talk by saying:
“Sweden is the new Switzerland.”
That one ripped right through them, since it was true. I mean where else in the whole damn modern world would we have gotten our frikkin drink on, would we have met. Here. Sweden. Insane, if you think about it.
They were swell company so I let go of journaling the whiskey and just enjoyed it.
I definitely recommend the Anoa, it was a slight alteration on the classic Ardbeg. And the Corrywreckan if you’re looking for something with more body, a hit.
Jack told good stories and it was clear what Susie saw in him. Big smile on his face. Amiable. Bald and kind, intelligent eyes. Susie was mature and whipsmart, a doctor, and she had good jokes and could hold her own, in banter and in drinks.
It was my worldliness, and the fact I mentioned I was tapped in with top performers who use psychedelics that made Susie ask me for my business card, which I didn’t have, through the boozy bubble of lovely banter which had to end because it was getting late, and they, and I, had to get dinner now.
Susie gave me her business card, instead. She was really keen on that psilocybin. That made me smirk, and months later I did send her and Jack Christmas Greetings, that was the end of it, and nothing more came of the talk. While she and Jack were discussing dinner plans, I went to the bathroom, checked myself out in the mirror, yeah still G, and I paid my bill, I nodded towards Jack and Susie as I thanked them for their company, their talk, all the booze recommendations, even rattlesnake tequila, but mostly their time and company. It can be quite repetitive to booze alone. But to have wonderful people around is always a treat, especially on solo trips.
I went to get a burger. Outside it was already jet black. It was getting colder and faces blurred (I need glasses but never wear them). I snaked through the cobblestones alleys once more and stumbled upon a burger joint, didn’t hesitate, and got the menu as I sat down and ordered a cheeseburger. I also got a tall glass of ice water, because I didn’t order a drink, specially. I was sobering up a bit, now, the four whiskies had left a warm mark.
After the burger, I paid, and it was time to go to that damn Halloween party like Willem had said. But it was early. Fuck. So before, during my time in the hotelroom I lined up a couple bars, you could pregame in, perhaps, score, and get drunk a little bit. Don’t know. I always make a list and then go on a solo bar crawl. Something always happens. My experience hasnt failed me, so far. OR, it has, if I’d tell you my darkest secrets, haha.
I found this bar, Kavarna, near the district of my hotel, so I left Old Town and went back. I found the bar after walking through long streets in the dark. It didn’t feel unsafe, or anything, even though Willem had said he once had gotten mugged and stabbed near Ostermalm, which is where I was going for the Halloween party haha, there it was quite dodgy, which we’ll talk about later. The stabbing – I could relate.
Anyways Willem lived to tell the tale and so do I and here I was at this bar that had Covid regulations. Fuck me. It was btw near the small shopping center I’d return to, the next day. I just didn’t know it back then.
The covid regulations was follow a strict path, downstairs, fuck, upstairs they had huge halls, and long tables, medieval style, but it was early and quiet and downstairs was a contained type of party. The guy in the suit said sit here. I was to be sat alone, away from other people. Fuck. Lame.
And so I could order drinks at the bar, on my left and behind me. In the corner there were people sitting. They were to be sat there. Covid. The music was booming loud and there were some ugly people. Later one beaut walked in, but she was sat to far, and surrounded by five schlongs. There was one ugly not so fit (trying to be euphemistically correct in this whole piece haha) woman who was eying me, givin’ me the ol’ eye, but I was not having it, as I was smashin my vodka redbull and beer. I hadnt eaten a lot, so the drinks, and the vodka shots I had chased were doing their job. This was pre-game.
Well I had zero chance to score here, well that uggo, but the job was down, I was tipsy, so I went back to Old Town, as I walked across the bridge and scored a Red Bull Winter Edition, from a small shop at that centralized square thing. The Red bull had to be mentioned because it tasted like raspberries and it was extremely sweet and overly delicious. I always want more of those, but never got the chance too. Shit.
Well before Kavarna I’d gone to Oliver Twist and had a solo beer. The list of beers was impeccable here, and the waitress had made me wash my hands, Covid, and had sat me down, and came to me, gave me a talk, as to what I wanted and she recommended me an Empress IPA 6%. It was fruity and light to the mouth but still strong enough. The vibe was there but it was boring but the beer list was impeccable, again, I think I’m dropping the names of these bars, if someone is interested in the exact spots, haha. To be honest these stories remind me of old Roosh V stories, IYKYK, but with less sleaze to be honest, and more rapidity, and vitality, not more literature per se, I’m not that posh. But the angle and intent is different.
ANYWHO, moving on. AFTER Kavarna, I went to Viking Bar, the reason I went inside at all is, I was passing it and it was dark and there was this tall dark dude, talking LOUDLY on the phone. Complaining, defending, rebuttals, and managing expectations, and pleading. GF.
He looked at me as he wrapped up the call. He was raising his shoulder, arms out, palms up, pleading to me almost too, for some dumb reason, to which I smiled, I don’t know, literally, but we got to talking. He said the GF thought he was cheating, which he was not, not this time, not with this girl. HAHA.
He was a player alright, smooth and had a laidback vibe to him, but his English wasn’t that flawless. That was aight, as he led me in, and down the Viking bar.
It was huge down there. It was built like ancient halls of Vikings. Like a long mess hall. Where the warriors would dine. Or like Valhalla where you’d dine with Valfather and the beaut Valkyries, damn. The dude was sat to the left, and this long table with lots of other students. Lot of ethnic mixed people, some dark dudes, and one dark girl who was funny as hell. She was jamaican or something, but her accent made her extremely jovial and upbeat, like people from north Latam and the Carribeans have. And there was Isabella, the plump but cute Italian girl who’s IG I got. We were vibing. I was def gonna bone her, I knew it. Tbh I clicked with the things she said, it wasn’t just physical and somehow I liked her more than Lana. And there was this other kid who had seen a Jordan Belfort course and was talking to me about sales and he was tried to sell me a pen.
There was also a Vikings outfit you could put on and they took a photo of me. I looked stupid in the thing, but didnt care. You know, the whole gettup, the hat with the horns, the round shield, the hatchet, the pelt. All of it. We drank honey mead from a crystal looking glass, balanced in an iron spiral, which was aesthetic to the max. That drink was heaven. It was good. We also skulled some other meads and I stole Isabellas drink because she was talking to much and they were talking to much with themselves as some of the guys were trying to play Isabella and I didnt care.
I went to the bathroom, upstairs, up the stoney paths, and took a piss in a pot. Copper perhaps, oldschool, and aligned with the joint’s theme. On the way back I saw Isabella. Ah, there I got her insta, but not before I warmed up to her, and stroked her shoulder, and brushed her hair back, behind her ear. She looked submissive and down. I knew I was having her, tonight.
Well, I didn’t have her that night. They all had to take the train back to Uppsala, or something like that, it’s north of Stockholm, and it’s student town, I’d go there, where it not for Covid, and time, and whatnot.
But anyways we all paid, and they guided me to the subway, as they were gonna take the train. So much for Isabella. They all left, making lots of noise, hugging, and being young dumb kids, and it made me smirk, but I had halloween plans.
The Jordan Belfort dude had opened the gates of the subway, so I was riding dirty, and it was a one way ticket.
“This is how we do it in Stockholm.” he had said.
Bruv, this is how we do it everywhere, I thought, smh.
So I was buzzed up and the whole predrinking evening was fun and all, but it was now fucking LATE. That was dumb and I was gonna pay the price for it.
So I got to the metro stop Willem had said to go. Ostermalm. And yeah its a ghost town. Reminds me of Leicestersquare in London after everything is closed abd everybody already vomited and or hooked up and went home.
I started walking. Fast. Of course I got lost. Still some bars open, but local ones and locals were chatting up as they had their last drinks and smokes.
This wasnt it, this wasn’t halloween. I remembered when I found it. Like Swedish Time Square. One long ass street. In the middle and two tall buildings, on the left, and right. Bothhad very busy bars. I tried the one on the right first. The line was insane. Fuck me.
Waiting, and then finally the bouncer saw me. Alone. Not good club material. Since time primordial if youre just one schlong and not hot and young and a girl who looks good in tight yoga pants you aint getting in the gaff. Or you had to have such a dime, by your side.
So the guy said, Alone?
I made up an excuse, My friends are inside.
Instantly he rebuttaled, Let them come out.
He wasnt buying it. Seasoned vet. Narly look on his voice, burly and buzzcut. Ugly ass winter coat to finish it off. You got your classical bouncer.
I just shook my head and turned around and the place across the street.
They said, We’re closing soon.
What in the flying F?!
Yeah it was already 12 ish or later even. Thats how long I spent at the Viking bar, and then searching for this street.
I went in and got my last drink of the night. Just a beer.
The place looked like a food market hall. With lots of bright lights, a very high ceiling, and little stalls. With booze. Lots of long tables with yuppies. Shiny floor. Modern safe vibe.
I sat down.
My phone was dying. Less than 21% now.
No biggie. I had a powerbank. I whipped it out. And the usb cable. I plugged it in. I waited. The phone was NOT charging. I pull out the cable, plug it back in. I keep doing this a couple times. It does NOT help. It doesnt take. It’s not charging. My gut tells me this has happened many times before. Well, then it was the powerbank’s fault. But I had a hunch the cable was old and then it didn’t plug in straight. So in a make shift way, I had to force the plug in, KEEP applying pressure in a straight line, because the plug was dropping out, skewed, so my left hand kept applying the force.
After trying this ridiculous shit, and it was late and dark and everything was closing, it finally was charging. I nourished my beer with my right as I kept pressing the phone together with the cable with my left, and the flesh underside of my right hand. It was annoying, time gobbling, but it had to be done.
It was charging. Slowly. Because it kept falling out, and I had to keep jamming it in, and had to KEEP pressing and pressing, trying to find the right angle. Like fucking in the dark.
At one point the phone was 25%.
At one point my hands were tired and I just thought fuck it and the phone was dying. The beer I finished and this place closed off as the people were guided outside like sheep by the guards.
Outside you could see it was late. It was cold and dark and empty. The sheer signs of post clubbing. Whores were working. They were dark and came up to me couple times. I turned them down as I sat down on the bench on the square.
That’s where I met Franz. A cool swedish kid, much reminding me of Willem. High beat and super energetic. Too energetic. He was totally coked up. Oh, that’s why he reminded me of Willem. He didn’t offer me some, that was a bummer, not that I’d take it, but I’d like to be asked. It’s a thing, my thing, kinda, since it has happened often.
I was still tactical asf, and thought, yes, Now I had a tall Swedish young wing man. I told em we were gonna go to bars, and pick up chicks. He gave me the lay down of how Swedish chicks were, he was from a small town, outside of Stockholm, but he knew how pretentious city girls can be. I said uhu, I know, and nodded. Still this kid was good looking, not kidding, but he didnt know it, because he didnt have the juice and the thotties had kept shotting him down, haha.
Well we went back to the bar, where the bouncer had asked if I had friends inside but I left. This time a girl was standing in line. Making eye contact with me, or Franz. Not quite sure. But she did the classic “I’m lost bit”. This they do on purpose to hook up with guys.
I legit know this, because I saw her with two other girlfriends, right before she was “lost” and started chatting up me and Franz.
She was not pretty, but with enough alcohol in you, you’d take her to bed. I would, and I’m not even joking, or being mean, but the context was right there. And I’m talking about beer goggles, not about weird unconsented situations before someone thinks something dumb, she was about her wits and smart enough to play the game, play me and Franz and try to get laid. That was 100% clear.
I was tactical. I thought, I’m gonna take all THREE in the bar, and score hotter swedish chicks. I mean, I had an entourage now. Well no can do. The bouncer recognized me again. And something swedish, to the other two.
Franz was DRUNK ASFFF, blasted really, but still with those goofy eyes, and saying to me what they bouncer said.
“Yeah he said you lied to him that you have friends inside and now you have other friends.”
I thought fuck that guy. We went skirmishing for other bars. Fuck. In the meantime, the whole time I had to make a judgement call.
There was namely the conundrum of my dying phone. Which led me to three thought patterns, incessantly, and without playing over, and over, in my head.
One, my phone is dying, you should uber the f out of here.
Two, apparently Franz had lost his friends and kept asking me, Where are they, and where is this and this hotel. I believe he was just a couple feet away from the square where I met him, but he was being dumb, and to be honest he told me the story, all his friends were nicely coked up and just went and hit the hay, this guy was a night hunter like me or story chaser and just sauntered outside and got lost. I mean I could relate. Again, not the coke, but the getting lost and chasing the night.
Three, I had to uber this do-able Swedish chick out AND set Franz up with another girl.
Well NONE of the above happened haha, the thing is we, the three of us, were just drunk asf, walking down this looong as mainstreet, and all the bars were full and closed and or closing and didn’t let anyone in anymore. Especially not the weird assembled brady bunch, a drunk Asian, a not hot Swedish chick, and a goofy coke kid with a baseball cap.
So at one point I got sick of it all. The Swedish chick was also one of those thotties, not making it clear which guy she wanted, and just dicking us around, and neither one of us had kissed her. I had given her to Franz often, or said Franz she wants you. By that time of night, and the pressure of my phone dying and my sheer annoyance of it all, the booze and the time and the whores working, the cold, all I got fed up, it was like Franz I don’t care who sleeps with this girl, someone has to do it.
No one slept with her.
Well, not Franz or me, little do we know, because I took Franz aside and the girl disappeared. Thotty. Hunting for someone by herself in the middle of the night.
I took Franz and said yo, I’m taking the judgement call here, everything is closed, we aint partying no more. We exchanged IG’s and I did this to make sure he would get home safely.
I google mapped his hotel, and fuck me, yes it was a couple meters south from the square I found him tripping balls. I was right but I knew deep down that kid just wanted some fun. Which this story might have been. I don’t know.
I gave him directions, don’t know how much that got into his tomato red face and coke head but he was smiling the whole time and so was I, because this whole situation was strange, to say the least.
He thanked me for everything. And the next day I checked in with him and he got home safely, and we exchanged courtesies and I never talked to him again even though we said the usual bullshit we’d meet again one day.
Now I was alone and had given my mind a bit of peace, and the only conundrum was left was that I should uber the f out of here and that my phone was dying.
I didnt uber out.
I kept walking up and down the main street, playing drunk gutter and last man standing game. It sounds less worse than it sounds tbh. There was one bench I was smoking, and two hot swedish chicks (heavy beer goggles by now, so who knows, haha, memories are unreliable) sit beside me and ask me for a smoke or to bum a light. It’s going EXTREMELY well, then this junkey, this bum fucks it up by annoying the gf of the chick I was talking to.
I was like, MAN, way to be cockblocker. Seriously, bums have ZERO, even NEGATIVE game, if that exists at all.
At one I move to the end of the long street, I’m at a crossing now. From here, google maps had told me, I had to walk right, and straight ahead that I’d be at one of the big bridges I had crossed before, during the day, the time I went to Kastelholmen to meditate. But it was dark and I always got lost, which gave some friction in my mind.
I stood smoking on the corner of the intersection. Taking it all in. To my left, people were streaming out of the clubs. People taking taxi’s, some hugging goodbye, others still chatting and smoking.
The corner I stood at had a nightshop. People were buying energy drinks, snacks and smokes. I smoked outside. Watching. In the distance, across the street, in the direction I had to go I saw that one Swedish chick again, who was with me with Franz. She was talking to herself and certified in hindsight not do able and just walking around lost. Dont put your dick in crazy.
Meanwhile in front of me there was the usual spaz victim. Which I mean by that is ofcourse someone had to go lights out, and on the ground, and vomiting. Alcohol, drugs, parties, who knows. It was a girl, which of course triggered everyone to group around her and help her. I watched. Someone had called 911 already, and it was too crowded around her anyways, nothing much to do or to help. The crowd around her amassed lots of guys, and girls. Some of the vultures and hunters started chatting up the girls around her. I joined in of course. Nothing much came of it and my smokes were running out.
I finally got fed up with the whole night bullshit thing and decided it was time for my to leave.
No, not uber out. But walk home. So in the end, if my memory was somewhere right, I walked home 2-3 hours. Or it felt like that. It must’ve been longer than an hour, because as soon as I crossed the intersection, through this dark and creepy small part, through this ancient stone gate, I came to where the museums and beautiful buildings where and I saw the bridge.
I was home free now. I mean, I recognized where I was now, but it was still a long trek. But I knew it was an hour or more because I whipped out a Cuban. A hoyo de monterrey epicure no.2. I smoked it fast, too fast, and it got hot, just like my mind and temperament. It was the perfect companion, scalding hot and smoking and puffing and fueling my mind as I walked along the inky dark riverbanks.
The huge and heavy mass of water surging under the bridge was beautiful and powerful and provided some company. I was pissed, but at the same time quite on lock, logical and bright enough to say to myself that this would never happen again and that I had my wits about me to find my way home.
I kept saying fuck, fuck, fuck out in the open and in the night but there was no one there to hear me. Not a soul. My feet were aching, it was a long walk, and I was wearing my leather dress shoes, and the ground was uneven cobblestones.
I got home safely and went in the glass hotel and slept well enough and the next day I had to deal with the dead phone issue.
I woke up and I was fucked. Not like the night before, Lana, but thoroughly and utterly fucked. My phone had died, zero per cent battery. ZERO. Zilch. Nada. Niente. Nichts. Fuck. You might say, Oh that’s alright you might manage, with all the other stuff.
Naw. Why? Because I had two nights, and three days left. It was now Sunday and I had that day and then Monday, and then Tuesday I ‘left’. In parentheses because I had to check in through my phone, my boarding tickets were on my phone. I was thoroughly fucked. Now if by some miracle I’d manage that by going to a Internet shop, checking in on some other pc, or using the desk at the Hotel, then I’d had to print the tickets, okay that might work, but I was gonna have to pay for it. (you might think why does Fury know all these options, well, it has happened in some form of another, multiple times, landing in the shit)
Well the paying for stuff was gonna be a problem, too. I had some money left on my card, but I kept refilling it, wiring it over THROUGH MY PHONE. Which was dead.
As for food, I was not gonna starve, because there was a breakfast buffet every morning in the hotel, to which I was walking to, when I was stressing the fuck out over the above. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.
Intermezzo: I just looked at my phone, which I’ve done for the last few chapters to jog my memory of the Sweden Tale, but oh yeah, there were no photos, because it was DEAD. haha fml.
I filled my plate up till the moon, with everything, eggs, meatballs, pickled herrings, and sobered up with coffee and tea, and whipped out my notebook.
I am not a whiny person, and I wasnt gonna start then. I was gonna solve this. Right then and there.
A tw fren, who has a maillist, called Kaz, had sent out an email once. Which was gonna be my lifesaver, at least in terms of mental clarity. And peace of mind.
Well brother Kaz likes to get in hairy, stressful, redlining situations. But he also likes equanimity, as he calls it, and peace of mind, and thus he had once sent out his complete mental framework, when he needs to solve a certain problem.
I just popped up in my head, which is why I had the notebook.
Now you can do it, too, tag along, if you have a certain problem in your mind, right now.
Take a blank piece of paper.
Draw a line, in the middle, now you have two columns.
On the left, write your problem.
On the right, write THE SOLUTION.
Completely overthink the problem to death, till you dive deep, all the way to the fucking truth and then from there find the solution. This enables you to think about any given problem ONCE, and just once.
The reason I thought of this framework, if it was gonna help or not, was the fact that I just wanted to eat my fucking food, enjoy my fucking vacation, the rest of the two days, without overstressing the fuck outta my mind.
Well, I wrote down the problem.
Need to charge.
From most expensive, to least expensive options.
Buy new phone. (yh I was desperate)
Buy new power bank (It was a new one tho)
Nah, surely it must be the fucking usb cable.
So buy new cable.
Find electronics shop.
There. Simply enough, right?
I closed the fucking notebook, had some piece of mind, and thought, im gonna drink my fucking coffee and go to the electronics store, after.
I finished my food in a kind of meditative process. Fully aware. Focusing on the here and now, every food sensation, the smells, the texture, everything. The creamy eggs, the grainy meatballs, the elastic herring. The strong liquid coffee and the bitter tea (I like it strong).
After, I got up and walked to the hotel desk and asked them for the nearest electronics store, they were UTTERLY useless. Def not locals so they knew jack shit.
They said try the long street where the hotel was located at. Yeah ofcourse, fml, thanks a lot, as if I wasnt gonna try that, myself. GEESH.
On the street near a garbage container I approach a Chinese guy. I ask him where the nearest electronics store is. He is also UTTERLY useless. However he tells me stores don’t open till ten. It was now around nine. Fuck. So I had to wait in agony.
I thought, You know what, before I get drunk in Old Town, once more I’ll just go to this shopping district, the mall that I saw earlier before I went to Kavarna bar, for pre drinking.
So I get to the big open square, in front of the mall, and there’s a huge line of homeless people, they’re waiting for they’re packages of foods and drinks, given to them from these little stands. It made me feel grateful for what I had. I still had decent clothes on my back and money in my pocket.
On this square why fuck me I saw this guy fumbling something in his back, it was his phone, that I couldnt care much fucks about, but there was an ORANGE CABLE sticking out of it. He was CHARGING his phone. You know when your life depends on something, and the universe gives you this insane gift? Well this was it.
I walk to him, briskly, but casually, dont try to jump em, and I ask em, Hey man where did you get that cable from?
I NEED one, I dont say this ofc, haha.
He turns around and says, Right there, man.
DAMN. Just my luck! I thank him, and go to where he pointed and walk into the damn electronics store. By now I’m alive, and I feel electric, and I’m part of the elements now, as it was drizzling and windy outside, but damn I’m alive, I know I’m gonna get it back right again.
I scope around the joint, until I find the section for utensils and electronic shit. I find cables. YES. Fuck yes.
However there are a fuck ton of options so I decide to go for help by the counter, which was also where you pay, and I walk towards one dude and he just points behind me. Oh, there was a machine, you had to press buttons, and it gave you a ticket with a number.
I walked back and got the ticket. And waited. The waiting wasnt long but was killing me since I was anxious and dying to get my cable. I tried to give my most friendly look but wasnt smiling.
My number gets pinged on this led screen hanging from the ceiling, I walk to the counter. Really handsome dude, big and strong and calm, with beard. I say, I want a cable.
He says, Which one?
I shrug, and measure it out in the air, with my hands, with my palms, chopping the air, like karate.
He types something in the computer, and turns the screen around. This. I nod and ask if it’ll fit in my phone, and he says, Yeah shit’s standard.
We walk back to the rack of cables where I was before and he grabs one and he walks back to the counter where there’s a plug. Electricity. He plugs in the cable first.
Then he says, Give me your phone.
NOW COMES it I fucking THINK.
I give my phone to him. He takes the cable. And plugs it in.
The white battery charging symbol APPEARS on the black dead screen.
I smile. I never smile. But I say to the clerk, Damn you don’t know how much I owe you, man.
He smirks and says, Oh if this didn’t charge, it’d be game over, huh?
I just nod and pay for the damn thing and kept the receipt, and later when I got home I couldn’t help but look at the damn receipt and think of the whole debacle, the whole story, all the shit, and then the glory and that handsome clerk, and then my damn smile, and then the glory, and my smoke outside in the rain as I charged my phone, with the fresh cable, in my power bank.
After visiting the mall, which was quite empty, but silent and cozy, for a toilet break, I left the square and went to Old Town again.
On the main street, I saw this beautiful old wooden door, which was open and sometimes it isn’t, but today it was and I went down the stairs.
It was a bunker type café, where they served millions of types of unknown teas and coffees.
I got a fat tall mug of Ginkgo Tea. I was seated at a round, low table, near a plug, was charging my phone. I affirmed, it was inside. I had shelter. No rain and it was warm. My phone works. It works. I was nourishing myself, and heating myself with proper tea. It fed my alcohol heavy brain, from days of drinking and late late nights. Trials and tribulations and now just a cup of tea. I affirmed. This was a moment of peace, a sliver of happiness. I wrote this down in my notebook. The serene effect of the moment was heightened by the sheer contrast with the nuances of last night, or this morning.
I looked into this candle in front of me. Stared at it, trance like. And went into deep meditation.
The past came up. It took hold of me. Like spider web, sticking to your skin. This girl. Slav. Couple months back. Then in an ocean of memories she drifted away again. The last couple days were brought into focus. The travel, the chill tunes in the background meandering along. Per usual, I thought of focus and productivity, and legacy and meaning and life.
Randomness appeared. The flame of the candle flickered.
“The purpose of fire is to burn. Such is the human’s.”
“The human body is like Fire. Gets consumed.
The inhuman spirit is like water. Ever flowing.”
I finished my tea and left.
I took a long walk to a nice spot by the river. I hurried, slightly, because sundown was coming. This place was supposed to provide a nice angle, to even the Northern Lights, in the winter, or another season, the timing wasnt right for sure, no lights, but it was gonna be a beautiful sundown the internet said.
I found the place, after walking back to Central Station, passing hotels and tall buildings and walked down, to this leafy area.
It was a park and kept walking and walking and passed this church. Or ancient building, through its main square, high and ancient and spiritual, and through the garden.
I found the spot, and sat down on the benches. It started drizzling. I was supposed to smoke this cigar I bought from the cigar shop on the main street of Old Town. But now the weather was far from ideal. I lit up anyways. The cigar was flavorful and burned well, even in drizzle, and then rain. Rain was in my mouth, mixing with rain and wind and the sundown was coming but grey clouds were in the air so I saw nothing.
I smoked for a while as people passed by and took in this foreign sight which was me. After, I stood up and walked back to the garden and walked around. I took in the jet black water and the lights, of Old Town, across the inky vastness.
I walked about, left and right, and looked at the statues. I climbed up some ledges and sat down in the cold and wind and rain and dark. I smoked.
It was already dark and night and time to drink. Before I came here I had smoked a nice Cuban, Trinidad Vigia, it was windy tho, which affected its combustion and flavor release. I had gone to the palace and met some children, doing sign language with their dad. Such a cute family. We watched the changing of the guards, much like at Buckingham.
Plans for the night I didnt really have, Isabella was flaky, the Italian girl from the night before so it was lone wolf time again. I found a buzzing modern looking bar on the corner of Old Town, and the bridge you had to cross to get back to the district where my hotel was.
Bar no.53. I walked in through the heavy wooden door, which closed slowly. It was quiet and everyone looked at me as I enter. Like a rider, a cowboy strolling in the only salon, and the piano stops and everyone looks at the stranger. I walked to the bar. The place was sleek. Shiny and marble floors, caramel light brown. There were chandeliers on the ceiling and there were tables filled with some handsome Sweden, women and men. It was a quiet night, you could tell.
The bartender was cute, curves, a bright broad smile, cheekbones, energy and light in her eyes. Magda her name was. It was almost six now, I had time for a cocktail before dinner.
I ordered Vodka Martini.
“We dont have that,” she said.
I tried to order Bond cocktail and be cool, but you’d be frikking suprised how many bars DONT make it.
“What do you have?” I said. Magda pointed at this laminated rectangle in front of me. I read and ordered an Espresso Martini. Which was similar to be honest, only with the stupid coffee taste in it. And some coffee beans as garnish. And chocolate. I was sweet and nice and strong but not really my thing.
Magda and I got to talking. I had noticed she wasn’t really Swede and she had said no and that she was Moroccan. My follow up had been if she talks French and she did. Which was bingo, since I do to, and we got to talking. She was smiling and laughing, and it was prolly bartender patter and social fakeness, but there was a warmth there.
I got her contact at one point and thought I might go for a coffee with her, the next day.
In my head I had fantasies I could swoop Magda right then and there, for a late night drink, or a late bite to eat, and then to my hotel, but I had a vibe it wasn’t happening.
So I had one last drink before leaving. Laphroaig ten years. I pointed to the shelf. An unopened bottle. Magda waved towards it, this? I nodded and she took it off the shelf, and took of the plastic thingy, and then she made the cork popped. She sniffed. Made a face. I laughed. Laphroaig. Extremely peat, smokey and with character.
She looked at me. You sure? I nodded and poured me a glass. I sipped and it was like returning home. Warm, and with medicinal body, and a peat lingering finish.
I drank the night away, and it was dark outside now and I paid my tab and left Magda.
We never did go for coffee.
For dinner last night I went to that Thai place again and had Pad Thai again. Told you when travelling I dont really care that much for trying new types of foods.
And in the morning I had the exact same type of breakfast for the last time tho. It was Monday, and technically this was my last day. Tuesday I’d had to take the Arlanda Express back to the airport and leave.
After a coffee or two, I stepped outside my glass hotel and whipped out a Cuban. Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill. I had bought this yesterday not from the cigar store on the main street of Old Town, but one that was a small walk away from the center. At the rim of Old Town. An old man owned the shop and the shop was extremely small. You entered, you saw the counter and that was it. I walked to the old man. I asked which cigars he had.
He began talking, like telling an old fable to his grandkids.
“I have this exquisite nicaraguan. My father le bijou 1922. It—”
“—I had it,” I said.
haha, I cut em off, I just wanted smokes, not banter. You could tell he knew his shit tho, that was evident from what followed next.
“Ok,” the old man continued, “I have Cuban cigars. Cohiba. Hoyo. Romeo y Julieta.”
“Had them all I said.”
“That’s all I got.”
“You know what gimme the romeo.”
“You should try this one. The short churchill.”
“Why, I’ve had petit churchill, wide churchill, and the normal long one. What’s different about this one?”
“This draw is superior. Better than the other ones.”
“Ah damn, didn’t know that I’ll take it.”
He also gave me some cedar wood, to toast, and you could hold it at the foot of your cigar, it would give the cigar an extra sweet taste. He was the first cigar merchant who ever offered me that. We had a small talk about cigars, and he had an intimate timid smile on his face. Like kind old men have.
That romeo I was smoking this morning as I walked to Old Town again. I went into a nice juice shop, Joe’s Identity, and got me a cool green healthy cucumber spinach juice. The woman was hot. She was blonde and young and had a smile from here to Tokyo. I sat down and drank my drink and after I walked away to Old Town again.
There I wanted to get some Ginkgo tea again but the gate was bolted with chains. I tugged on the door but it was closed from the inside, tightly. I bought a cigar, a Cuban, a Punch corona and smoked it. Yeah the romeo was already done, so I just got a new one. I bought some other cigars, too. For the meditation session later. The final one.
I crossed the street and entered this coffee shop. It was small, and a square if looked at a construction plan from above, and I sat in one corner of it. I got me an espresso and just sat down and took in the coffee shop vibes and silence and notulated.
At around two I was down with all kinds of juices and coffee and Old Town, so I made way again to Kastelholmen, for my last meditation session. As I was hiking up the small hill, to the castle, it struck me that a good meditation spot, ideally has the following things:
-well lit, strong available natural light
-wind, there was a small breeze
-bodies of water, I could see the ocean
-clouds in the sky, drifting like white paint blobs on a canvas of bright blue
-a huge vastness, I could see whole Sweden from up top
-some buildings in the distance
Well the meditative spot today was slippery, due to dew, and the rock I was about to sit on was dangerous as fuck and I slipped. I FEARED for my life. If I fell down and hit my head I was dead. I thought damn let’s never do that again after I regained my footing. Then I SLIPPED AGAIN, I was really free at that moment really, like death does, and you’re so in the moment and you let go of every distraction and survival, your body and mind and the thing in front of you is all there is.
Well, that was another type of meditation, but I went to sit on my rock and whipped out La Furia cigar. I joked that it was my own cigar brand but it was not. The cigar smelled like candy and had a cute dark blue ribbon on it.
The smoke lasted long and it was fragrant but quite mild. Long enough to last me through my whole meditation session.
As I sat the thoughts drifted in and out like the clouds above. So into the moment. Head clear, I am humming. Then I did some alternate nostril breathing along with normal meditation.
The session lasted an hour, and I went down the hill, carefully, and there was this vibrance to the air, the light. The air was crisp, the colors too. So vibrant. The oxygen had given me some form of a high. Free drugs.
Everything seemed like it was being taped, and being fast forwarded.
When your mind slows down, everything else moves so fast. This is trance.
Meditating on your vision is teleporting to the future.
Once stopped, you come back to the present, with future insights. This is time travel.
These were my insights and the way I felt as I walked back to Old Town. I had a huge desire for whiskey then and decided it was the perfect time to go back to the Ardbeg Embassy. One for the road kinda thing.
It was afternoon already and I got five different whiskey tasting this time. Secretly I hoped to see Jack and Susie but alas it wasnt meant to be, I sat somewhere different this time. Another booth, perched to see the entrance, more scenery, across the bar, and it was on my left.
I had the Glenlivet 18 yo, it was good and the nose was fragrant with vanilla, cream and toffee. The bartender had put the glasses, from left to right, the five, from most cherry, to peaty.
I sipped and listened to the classic hits, and across from me said a guy with his gf who knew jackshit about whiskey and it was really embarrassing.
I had a call with a business friend who got me up to date on cases and sales and techniques and we were loud and I laughed hard, loudly. This annoyed people and they moved away to another booth.
After the call, and during, I had glenburgie 15 yo, longmorn 16 yo, Aberlour A’bunadh, and finished off with the delicious fresh salty peaty Ardbeg 10yo.
After the booze I got extremely hungry and my stomach was empty so I hurried, I went looking for elk, but the speciality restaurant was closed, so I chose to go the Vapiano, a pasta and pizza style chain restaurant popular in Europe.
But before I did that I smoked a cigar, a La Preferida. The draw was amazing, succulent really and the smoke was buttery as hell, I made a note to buy one for my way home.
And before I ate my last meal, the pizza, at Vapiano’s, I ate another. I think it was the foodie who got a kick in me, or trying to make the economy stay afloat, or bored, or all the aforementioned. I found a pizza place, local. and I looked at the sign outside and was smoking my cigar. The wind blew in the cigar smoke, through the open window. A guy came out, dressed in white, you know classic pizza maker attire. Or chef style.
He looked left, right, then made eyecontact, and in the dark and windy cold he mouthed an “ah”, as he closed the door.
Couple minutes later, cigar done, blunted out on the pavement, I went in. It was petite and cozy and there was no one there. I walked to the counter and ordered a pepperoni pizza. They were smiling, happy, maybe I was their first customer of the whole day. It had been a slow day, that was for damn sure.
I sat down to the left, in a booth, and the table was made up with a cover, red and white checkers. Classic style. To my left I could see the guy making the pizza, homemade. Spinning the dough. Flowering it. Spreading the sauce, putting on the toppings. It gave a nice twist to it all. And I was hungry and this was the meal, after all that whiskey I had. Those are extra delish.
The pizza came with a smile, it was hot and thin and he gave me cutlery and just one napkin, I remember. There was ample toppings but it was just enough and the pizza was flavorful and it was tasty and gave me enough to keep going. I wiped my mouth on the napkin, paid and left the smiling pizza makers.
At Vapianos, the girl receiving me was in a rush. “Almost closing time, sir.” On one hand I understand her, I’ve worked restaurants. On another, bitch chill down, I’m on holiday and this is my last meal.
She explained me how it worked, with a plastic card, to which you receive the meals, and later you go back to the check in and scan and it registers and then you pay for what you got.
I sat down, or was sat down, completely isolated in a corner, good cushioning tho. But zero ambiance. This girl was annoying. Her briskness, the place she sat me, everything. This wasnt the type of place to tip, or not, or I wouldn’t have tipped her, and made a show out of it.
My table was empty and without cutlery, and other tables had these little basil plants, a whole bushy thing. I went to another table and got me some. The girl stopped me, patting the air, stop sign, and saying no no I’ll get it. Then get it to me annoying little shit.
She did. Then I got up and ordered a pasta carbonara, at the ordering place on the right. To the left, a small walk, was the bar, and I ordered a tall beer, I was thirsty.
My food got made quickly, and I took it to my isolated place and drizzled the pasta with lots of basil, I killed the whole poor plant. I drenched that shit in lots of olive oil, lots and lots, and was washing it all down with beer.
The girl gave me one last warning they were closing up. I had to down the beer. Smfh. The pasta was long gone, but sometimes a man loves to just sit around and take in the foreign sight, the good looking people, but what can you do.
I went outside in the cold and walked around a bit, till I came to an intersection. Straight ahead was an alley, dark and narrow. Back was where I came from and to my left and right ran the street that I visited before actually the day I met the students at the Viking bar, this is where the metro station of Old Town was.
At that moment a person ran towards me, and took a right, a left for me. Around the corner. It was a woman. She hurried a bit, and hid behind a wall. She out of sight, for the people who chased her. Three men. I could see her clear as day, and their chasers. I was perfectly away from the spectacle, while being able to view the whole thing.
My first gut impression was that she was a drunk woman. Later I’d find out she wasnt. Nothing normal about this sitch. Heck, I have a nose for crazy, I even had a miniscule thought floating around to talk to her. But I just kicked back for a bit.
The three men who were chasing her were talking in Swedish. Couldnt understand. I just listened to the tonality. It wasnt anger. Hate. More like a form of distress, duress. Confusion. Flustered. Annoyed, maybe. Some of the men were shaking their head. Looking left and right, trying to find her.
She was RIGHT there. It was kinda funny, and I made note to tell this story, often, as is ritual for me.
The men didnt move to my left, they just stayed put, or they wouldve found her.
They turned around and walked back up the same alley they came from.
The woman was aware of this, and started looking from behind the wall. She saw me. Made eyecontact. This is the moment I knew she was crazy.
She started shouting, in the air, first just mumbling. Then she started throwing a fit, shaking. At one point she threw herself on the ground. And splashing like a Magikarp from Pokémon. Mind you the floor was stone and it was windy and quite cold. Yeah, she was gone.
And this wasnt your regular drunk, I’d seen those, couple days back even. But she must’ve taken something, dont know what it was and never will.
I took in the scene for a bit. Started running calculations in my head. I dont like to be involved in eery shit. Hairy stupid altercations. Gotten me in trouble, and sometimes all by myself, just enough. I waited and thought. Good thing then a sweet woman, they always love to standup and help and fight for justice and what not, passed by.
First, she did the whole talking to the victim bit. The crazy wouldn’t take. Second, she called 911. By now lots of spectators where at the crossing, the metro station, and observing this woman lying on the ground, and the other coaching her, and trying to make her stay awake, long enough for the ambulance to come.
I waited, and took it in. I moved away, a bit, away from the crowd. But stayed closed enough to observe. The ambulance came, did the talking bit, and she wasnt responding. She had gotten worse, more delirious and wasnt even responding now.
What made the mystery more strange for me. The men came back. They looked at her. Talked Swedish. Couldnt understand. Then they left in the darkness.
Lord knows what happened that day but I just left and the woman was with the medics now.
I couldnt help myself and went for a beer. It was beside Bar 53 the place Magda worked. It was shady ass bar, and looked creepy, and was perfect for Halloween. It was super silent and I checked with the counter, they were open and they’d be open for a while. Till midnight.
I ordered a beer, and went in back. It was an open room, with lots of booths. The decoration was tacky and halloween themed again. I sit down, by myself and to my left there is this shady ass mofo. Skinny and scrawny. He’s talking with this girl. Dont know there was something about her vibe. They were prolly doing it, but she had to go home earlier today.
I sat alone and drank my beer. The guy made eye contact with me. Come sit with us, he said. I thought sure why not. I’d regret it much later.
This guy opens his trap and starts talking. This is when the guy spills all his secrets. I found out why I thought he was so shady.
He is a drugs dealer.
During the whole conversation he asks if I want something. I say I’m good. Couple times, really. This happens to me a lot, during travel, festivals, going out in clubs. Often, no joke.
This guy tells his whole damn life story, and I keep a frikkin eye on him, I do NOT miss a frikkin beat. He gets me on edge. Because he tells stories of crime, and degeneracy and no good shit, and how his life was bad, boo-hoo. I kept looking at him. Smirking. Sipping my beer. I sipped. Slowly.
I vowed, if the beer is done. I leave.
I asked, How long you staying around? Politely implying that I’m gonna leave em soon. Time constraint, mentioned.
He says he’s gonna be here all night. That ruined this bar, for me, because there was gonna be chances this joint might get popping.
He says he wants to fo for a cigarette break. Thats when I finish my beer. Get up and I say I’ll tag along and leave. The guy is said, wants company, and prolly to sell his freakin drugs, or maybe he wants to rob me, after shivving me in an alley, or wants a place to crash. Who knows, who fuckin knows.
Tuesday was really my last day and I had to go to the airport. I meditated, affirmed, showered and headed for the central station.
The day before I bought a couple cigars to bring home but I couldnt wait so I smoked one. AJ Fernandez, New World. It was flawless, amazing construction and mild, a proper way to wake up, and nice for the brisk walk back to central station.
Along the way, the usual route, in a narrow street, lined with coffee shops a guy dressed sharply, but not that fit, made eye contact with me. He raised a small object in his right hand as he looked at me. It looked like a stick. When I came closer, still smoking, he had a smirk on his face, a twinkle in his eye. Like riders have when they nod when they pass each other on the road. It was a Cuban cigar, a Punch Corona, in a green tube. The same one I had the other day.
He was botl. Brother of the leaf. We chatted for a bit. He was a bar owner, a bar I didnt visit. He smoked Cubans, only. He was a snob. Self proclaimed. We exchanged contacts on IG and he and his friend entered the coffee shop after a small chat and I kept walking.
The cigar went out, and I put snus in my mouth and sucked on it. It’s these little pouches with tobacco in it, you see Scandinavians use a lot. It’s like dip, but less strong, and with a wrapping around it.
I was quite early at the train station, had time to kill, so I bought a turmeric shot from a store, and sat down. I dicked around a bit on my phone. I caught a hot lead. Literally. A young, hot, swedish girl. We started talking. She was game. No joke. I’ll spare you the texting, but she lived thirty minutes away.
I checked the time. I still had left a huge margin of error, a buffer, for me to go to the airport, make it to check in and get on my plane in time.
I had between one and two hours. I kept texting. Then I started thinking, If I pull her, where am I gonna take her? I had already checked out of my hotel, so I had to go to her place.
I texted her.
She had roommates. Fuck.
I whipped out my phone. There were plenty of hotels around the train station my phone said. Outside, going for a brisk walk, and a bit of air, I could easily find them, after a while.
So I waited. I walked closer to my Arlanda Express and took a seat. I texted. She was slow to respond and I knew I was forcing it to hard but it would’ve made a cool story.
Then there was less time left. Between an hour and half an hour. I thought. I thought back to all the days, and my state of mind, and what I really wanted. I took my bag and got up and walked to the Arlanda Express. Which was the exact same as last time, well air conditioned, with a train dude, who spoke flawless English, and made the second mark on my ticket, and the Express was roomy and I sat by the side, looking outside through the window. It had a charger. I charged my phone as I rested my hands on the table. Resting a bit.
Later the girl would text me she was busy that day, doing shit with her friend.
The airport, much like my hometown’s, was a ghosttown. Covid. It was truly sad to see, there was not much life to it. I brisked straight to my gate, after checkin and customs. I was looking for a smoking lounge.
Which I found. It was these neat little thing in the middle of the terminal. It looked from outer space. It was oval shaped, from above, had a roof, and you could see through. You’d walk up, it had a slide door, you slid it open and stepped in. The sign inside it said it could only contain four people. You slid the see through door closed. There was a table, grey, to rest your hand on, and it had an opening for your ash. You were meant to smoke up, the smoke would be sucked up by this state of the art ventilation. Good shit, really.
I whipped out my other AJ Fernandez. My last. This was the same New World, but the Maduro. And man, this was one of the best I’ve ever smoked. And I’m hitting two hundred cigars at this moment of my life. But it’s a good one. Nice and creamy and chocolatey and coffee, but most importantly it burns flawlessly.
Then the smoking booth gets crowded. Couple guys come in. We chat a bit. It’s like that elevator crowded kinda awkward haha. Small brisk manly words are exchanged, with the accompanying head nods. We talk covid, how it’s bullshit and we look at the sign. It says four people. One guy makes a show of it, and looks around him, there’s not much space. He is less than one feet to my right. We chuckle about the absurdity of some rules and the chaos and the nuance. I joke along.
One guy asks where I’m from. This big bald Russian. Amsterdam I say. He says, Shit crazy. Everything closed. Even hookers.
I think, How does he know?
I dont say anything. Instead, I joke: “Hey guys, no fucking anymore these days. Covid. And remember, if you do, wear a mask. If not double. And you cant hit missionary anymore. Only doggy.”
They all fucking roared with laughter. All four guys smoking. They slowly left and I was left smoking my cigar.
Then a thin lite Russian dark haired older woman entered the booth. She averted my eyes and smoked thin elegant cigarettes. She was handsome, she aged well. Good genes those Slavs.
Without much talking, or anything at all, she left. She made way for this huge bruiser Russian dude. Yuri.
How do I know his name? Well this guy started yapping. Damn he could talk, haha, it was funny and all well meant tho. Quite amiable, and touchy.
I buttered up to him super fast. I just said I had a Russian friend called Avtoritet, that made him warm up faster than snow in summer. Russians like that. Social proof. He opened up about his days of past, where he worked, Estonia, or was it Latvia, and he used to box, he made miming gestures. And when I smoked and looked away, he fake punched my head, smiling.
He said, No look away. He was hundred per cent right, and his fist looked bigger than a comet, and it was battered and he was old. He was making funny faces, through the glass, towards the mature Russian woman who had just been smoking inside with me, too. Yuri was smoking now. She was his wife. She was a teacher. Always had been. She was a good woman, Yuri said. He joked a bit about women, how bad they are, how bad his woman treats him. I joke back a bit, shit talk, men talk, and what not. It was good times. The cigar is depleting. Almost done now.
Then this other guy comes in. Russian, too. We start talking. Smoking. Yuri talks some more. Speaks inaudible stuff. Russian. Cant comprehend. The Russian translates for me. Quite humorous stuff. Apparently Yuri is some fixer of the sorts. Wet work. The guy says, Literally translated. He says he can put guys under the ground. It kinda means like he can get anything for you done.
I smile. The Russian leaves. Yuri stays. We exchange phone numbers. He makes a big deal of writing his name correctly. After, Yuri whips out a small glass bottle. Jack Daniels. He says he needs it to fall asleep. That, and a good woman. He’s not wrong, I know.
He lifts the glass, after cracking it open, want some?
I think, nah, I’ve been drinking so much. I ought to take a break. Then I think about the trip, all the days, all the people I’ve met. The good times. The days in times of Covid. I think of Lana. The wines. The passionate kissing. The dark cold night after. Willem. The banter, the inclusion, for a bit, the exclusion after. The lone beer. The lone cigars, the meditation. Then the other people I met. Jack and Susie. The Ardbeg, the whiskies. I think about the Viking Bar, Isabella and those other students. I think about Franz. That coke kid. I think about the brother of the leaf I met on the street. And now right here, in front of me, you have Yuri. This what this was all about, wasnt it? Being amongts people drinking and making memories and forging stories.
I grab the damn drink and take a good sip, and give it back. Instantly Yuri hoists the petit glass bottle and shots it completely gone. Ahhhhh, he makes a sound of satisfaction.
Yuri has to go. He leaves with a smile, after giving me a firm handshake.
The cigar is at the end, and Im taking it all in. The stories I made, the people I just mentioned and met. The fun times, the drunk times, and the dark. I smoke. Then I think of nothing but the moment and the ending of the cigar, the nicotine and its buzz.
I grab my bag and go through the gate. On the plane, the whole way, I take my time, find a way to summarize my travel story. I write a rap, poem thing, for my instagram. It has a catchy title, and theme, and its fit for a story like this.
I call the poem Never Waste a Good Crisis.