ICELAND Day 1
“I thought you said JFK, nigga if you would have said Newark I would have said no…”
The John Lennon Memorial
“Well, if we get stuck here you better hope no ones really into chinese food…”
This was my idea of breaking the ice with the Asian girl from Seattle after our tour van got stuck in the mud on the side of some desolate road. It was nearing midnight and we were on our way to see the ultimate glow stick in the sky also known as The Northern Lights. The Duty Free whiskey I purchased earlier had done it’s purpose. The air felt like 32 degrees under a comforter and my shy astonishment was replaced by a childs wonder. Kara and I chased each other around the stalled van pretending to be astronauts faking the moon landing. This must be where they faked the moon landing! The other tourist either set up their camera’s for what was gonna be a shot of a lifetime or hovered around the van taping into whatever they may have learned in the scouts in order to get the tour moving. I was just amazed at all the darkness surrounding me, the far city lights faintly resembling a line of cocaine next to Yoko Ono’s straw of a memorial. Nah this had to be some werewolf shit. It was bad enough this was my first trip abroad but to get eaten by artic moon creatures on the first night?!
I ask how often do people travel on this road and the driver answers from once an hour to once a week. I start telling even more bad horrible jokes to mask my snowballing uneasiness. My sarcasm is not translating well in Iceland. Everything I say or do is welcomed with an awkward pause and a deep breath. Fuck it. I’m convinced our driver is drunk and we may all die on the crater side of Iceland. I’ve seen True Blood. Our driver is now showcasing his best Murphy’s law assortment of comedic material. Now I know he’s drunk. His Polish Archie Bunkerness distracts me from my betraying nerves. maybe it was the weird 36 hour day. Maybe it was the muscle relaxers I took, landing six hours before we could check into our hostel room, or the fact that everyone is whiter than white except the Asians who look more and more like Aliens. Where the fuck am I? The darkness is now expanding and closing in on me at the same time.
“Look towards that way…”
Our driver points in the direction of the John Lennon memorial. There it was, faintly illuminating the heavy night sky… The Northern Lights. This was nothing like in the movies or post cards but for a cloudy midnight sky in Reykjavik this was perfect for me. I grab the girl and kiss her under this fascinating cosmic vail. I start to think of my mother and my son and our society as a whole and our infinite connections with God and his eternal majesty. I AM SOOOO AT PEACE AND IN LOVE, I’M CAPTAIN PLANET!!! My girlfriends eyes roles to the back of her head as I invoke the God Thor and the Pyramids and oh look I can see Alaska through the window in the log cabin of my mind…
This is it, the moment I’ve been dreaming of since I could understand what was being said on those Voltron and Transformers after school cartoons …
“Eh this is nothing, we pick bad day, the tour company will give you another try another day…”
I could have sworn the driver burped at the end of that moment killing sentence. He’ll forever be in my sincere graces.