from The Very Short Stories Series
It is of good augury that Marie Muskelberger found a ticket on the last plane for Reykjavik before Christmas, as we shall see, reading the following excerpt from her psychiatrist’s online diary, also known as a blog.
Some suggest that using false names on the internet is a compensation for Freudian repressions, lack of confidence, a weak personality, untamed frustration or physical complexes hidden behind digital photo processing software.
On the other hand, some might say it is good to use a pseudonym because people have this natural, animal instinct of correlating ideas with the brain, body and person, in general, that produces them.
Therefore any attempt of you, the reader of this narration, to suggest a resemblance with real characters is strictly prohibited, and might end up in a class action suit for intellectual harassment initiated by me against you all detractors. Without further ado, here it goes:
Hej! God dag! (Hi! Good afternoon, how are you!)
My name is Hans Tomas Olaf Krugman. You can call me Doctor Hans Tomas Olaf Krugman. I am a psychiatrist in the city of Norrköping, Sweden. One of my two favorite patients is Marie Muskelberger, a fellow citizen. The other will be mentioned in another blog.
Marie Muskelberger received a ticket as a gift, on the last plane for Reykjavik, Iceland before Christmas. She boarded the plane, took her seat, 13B, not by the window, close to the emergency exit and immediately fell asleep.
This was her dream:
She found herself naked from the waist up, on the cover of an old incunabulum (a book printed before 1501). She was a statue made of white pure marble, about 203 centimeters high. She was standing on the back of a huge gilt-bronze reindeer. The reindeer was playing the role of the plinth. He had a massive head, two enormous nostrils and a significant visible reproduction mechanism. Conversely, she had no hands and she was slightly bending to a side, from her waist. The first few centimeters of the buttock cleavage were as well visually accessible. Hear beady eyes were staring into the void.
Suddenly a meek breeze unfolds and gives life to her and to the reindeer. The reindeer darts out of the incunabulum and starts running amok, down a hillock. Marie Muskelberger yells and tries to keep equilibrium with no hands. The reindeer approaches the edge of a precipice. From the depth of the void a man appears, clambering up. It is Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén, the famous Swedish plasma physicist and Nobel Prize laureate. Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén was also born in Norrköping and he is well known for his work on the theory of magnetohydrodynamics. Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén is now standing between the precipice and the mad running reindeer. He wears a night gown and a night cap. He is holding a bouquet of briars and blackberries. He lifts his left hand and utters a Halt! with a deep baritone voice. The reindeer stops dumbstruck.
Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén throws the bouquet on the ground and the reindeer rushes and plunges his snout into the fresh plants. Marie Muskelberger looses her equilibrium and falls off the plinth. Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén rushes to catch her but does not make it in time. Marie Muskelberger hits the ground, rumples her draped legs and hurts the bulge at the back of her head. Entranced by the meek breeze she steps on the drapery and gullibly exposes her nakedness in its entirety.
Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén does not move a muscle. He is petrified by this display of beauty. He does not see missing limbs, he sees sheer divine beauty. Marie Muskelberger floats and comes to rest in front of him. They can feel the warmth of each others breaths. She touches the tip of his nose with the tip of her nose and says: This is how Eskimos kiss in Iceland. Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén replies: There are not many Eskimos in Iceland, in fact I don’t think there is even one. How come, she says, I have chatted with an Eskimo over the Internet and he said he was from Reykjavik, he was well-spoken. He might be from Reykjavik, Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén continued and lowered his eyes, but there is definitely something fishy about him.
Hans Tomas Olaf Krugman’s blog stops here. The rest that follows was the recounting of the subsequent story as remembered by Marie Muskelberger and her boyfriend, over a cup of tea, in Reykjavik where I met them a few days ago.
After Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén said that there might be something fishy about that Eskimo man, Marie Muskelberger tried to clench her fists with anger. She felt she was duped. But she had not fists. She stepped back from Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén, in frustration. Don’t leave, he says. I must, she said, they will soon serve the sandwiches.
As indeed happened. When she woke up, the stewardess was serving the sandwiches over the Atlantic. Next to her, on seat 13A, by the window, there was a man. Handsome, burly, his hands exceedingly hirsute, which could be a sign of a frequent overuse of his upper limbs. His face is glued to the tiny window. He is enraptured by the sight of the ocean from the sky.
Hej! God dag! says Marie Muskelberger.
Oh, I am so sorry, you were asleep… I did not want to… Excuse me, I am Theo Nerman. Call me Theo. I am from Norrköping.
Wow! A Norrköpinger! I am from Norrköping too.
My whole family is from Norrköping, continued Theo Nerman. My grand-grand-father Ture Nerman was from Norrköping. He was the founder of Swedish communism. He was a teetotaler. I am a teetotaler myself. Are you a teetotaler? What is your name?
I am Marie Muskelberger, you can call me Marie. I am not a teetotaler. What is totalitarianism anyway? The absolute rule of the accountants. Why let them do all the totals? What, I can’t add? I can’t do a squared root?
Well. Marie. Teetotalers practice teetotalism. Tee-totalism. That is the total abstinence from alcoholic beverages.
Oh… I see… I thought you can only drink tea.
No, we drink tea.
I’m sorry for my ignorance. Theo. I just don’t like accountants.
Marie Muskelberger takes a big bite from her sandwich. Theo Nerman does the same thing.
So, your family founded communism in Sweden.
Yes. They did.
Are you proud?
Not exactly. I’m not a communist. I’m just a teetotaler.
They laugh briefly. Marie Muskelberger takes another big bite from her sandwich. Theo Nerman does the same thing and they chew in silence until Marie Muskelberger interjects with a confession:
I had this weird dream. I was Venus de Milo. I had no hands, I was standing on the back of a reindeer and Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén saved me from falling into a precipice.
Wow, that’s quite a… scintillating, yes this is a good word: scintillating dream. Did you know that Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén was born in Norrköping too?
Yes, I did know. My psychiatrist has a picture of him in his office.
He does? What’s his name?
Doctor Hans Tomas Olaf Krugman.
Unbelievable! He is my psychiatrist too. What a coincidence. Flying over the Atlantic with a fellow patient. This is exciting.
They are both dumbstruck. They look at each other, in silence and bite their lips to refrain their utter surprise until Theo Nerman breaks the ice.
So, what did you say your business was in Reykjavik?
I didn’t say.
I am going to see an Eskimo girl I’ve met over the internet. She totally grabbed my pique.
An Eskimo in Reykjavik? There are no Eskimos in Reykjavik.
Really? How do you know?
Emm… Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén told me.
Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén told you. That’s funny. Theo Nerman lifts his chin and puts the back of his head on the pillow. He laughs vivaciously and unhampered. Marie Muskelberger interjects his laughter with a sudden confession:
I am going to see an Eskimo in Reykjavik.
Theo Nerman swallows his joy.
Yes. I’ve met him over the Internet.
Yes, he said he plays in a rock band. He also said that he has a small garden that he rakes it at least three times a week. He looks a little scruffy, has no enmities, he’s a pacifist, even that his house looks a little lewd in the pictures.
I don’t believe this. The girl I’m about to see plays in a rock band, has a small garden that she rakes at least three times a week. She was though kind of pithy about herself, but still, another coincidence. What is going on?
Do you think somebody set us up?
Theo Nerman scratches his forehead and does not have an answer. He is as dumbstruck as the reindeer in Marie Muskelberger’s dream.
You know, Doctor Hans Tomas Olaf Krugman has pictures with Eskimos in his office.
Do you think he could have…? That he…
He might have… He put me under hypnosis.
He put me too.
Marie Muskelberger frowns as she is hardly trying to give birth to an over-sized thought. She struggles, she clenches her fists, she pushes hard. A droplet of sweat in pain loiters on her forehead.
It’s him! The Doctor! He made us fly to Reykjavik!
I’m such a jester!
No, Theo, you’re not. I’m not. Hans Tomas Olaf Krugman Dastardly is. He duped us, he tricked us, he even bought us tickets to Reykjavik.
Yes, he bought us tickets to Reykjavik!
He set us up! It’s all his plan.
I’m so glad I’ve met you Marie.
Me too, Theo, me too.
Hey, would you like to have a tea with me in Reykjavik, I’ll call up a friend, he lives there, he’s a writer.
Sure, that would be lovely.