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5.4. Messages

The next day she was still with me.

I had some weird gramophone records that would impress even the most black-clad at the time. Boastein's «I have my own hatch», «The elephants have arrived», with The electric kitchen from Trondheim, «Ich habe keine Angst» with Helge Gaarder and Guri Dahl. You have probably never heard about any of them.

It did not impress her.

Instead, she put on Smokie while I tried to explain why the record was in my collection at all.

She danced!

She was happy, really proper, authentically happy.

She managed to invite me out on the living room floor, and there I stood rocking next to her, as I thought dancing among the hip and cool was supposed to look like in 1986. She didn't care how the cool danced and instead danced as a child would dance. A girl child. Not violent, not too much.

Without shell.

As «Living Next Door to Alice1» approached the end, she slowed down and looked thoughtful.

«There's something about that song,» she said.

She had listened to the lyrics and heard the Smokie vocalist vent his grief and longing for Alice, his secret love for twenty-four years that was picked up by a limousine and suddenly disappeared.

She stopped entirely now and looked quite serious.

«There's something more to that song,» she repeated.

«I do not know what it is, but there is a message. I understand that people are fans of Smokie. It is more than just the music,» she said.

«My God. Yes, yes, yes!»

I didn't say it out loud, but my mind rejoiced.

She did precisely as I always have done and always do. She picked up clues, messages, connections. She analysed everything with her whole being, searching for the true meaning.

She listened to the music that way.

Somehow she must have experienced something similar to myself. She, too, must have an injury from childhood. Like me, she had developed a more intense, accurate, and sensitive watchfulness than usual.

I have never met a human being who takes in music and everything else this way. Not so deep, so entirely. Only Alma.

I looked at her questioningly, not realising what secrets «Living next door to Alice» might be hiding. She was sure of her case now but could not explain what she was sure of. She had stopped dancing and was grave.

Then she threw it away, a smile reoccupied her face, and she focused, first out into the room, then she looked at me as if she discovered me anew. She returned after being away for a moment. We went back to the couch. I wondered what she perceived. We sat on the couch, and I kept wondering.

Another huge hit at the time was «Nikita2» with Elton John.

Nikita is a Russian male name. Elton John sings to a man he loves on the other side of the Iron Curtain, but the video on MTV shows a woman. Clever.

She was the one who said it was our song. It was the second time we had danced to it. We clung to it. I held her when she said that. It was in the basement of a nightclub. There were just a few people around. We had danced into an empty corner to be by ourselves. We used to do that, keep away from people.

The funny thing is that both songs are about the same thing: Two people who live in separate realities and can never meet.

These are minor incidents.

I remember them because I watched her observe and interpret things the same way I do. The result is her own, but we share the method. We are constantly looking for patterns.

«It is tiring.»

She often said that something was tiring.

Too much to analyse?


Something else made it difficult, and I suspect it may have been when she did not feel seen, not understood.

I, too, get tired sometimes, not because of being in continuous processing but because I am unable to convey to others what I see and know.

The «others» do not have the apparatus to understand.

I struggle to be understood, but it's useless. The complexity of what I know is too great. It is highly frustrating and increases my separation from people.

She must feel the same way.