17 Jan

Chapter 8: Page 49-50: Hunter, Prey and Threesome

champis

 

Chapter 8
Petter turns up the music inside the white Range Rover Evoque. The whole car is suddenly filled with Flo Rida and Sia’s voice screaming
“Hey, I heard you were a wild one”.
The mood exalts upwards and makes the girls join in from the backseat.
“Ooooooh ooooh ooooh!”, they respond.
The car turns into the parking lot at Tjuvholmen. They quickly get out of the car and storm towards Bølgen & Moi eager to consume expensive champagne, excellent food and a beautiful sunset. They grab hold of one of the large tables outside. Chairs are replaced by trendy red plastic benches covered with white sheep skins. The place is packed with seemingly successful people in a good party mood behind dark sunglasses and luxury brand clothes. Per Olav is quick to order a few bottles of champagne and some beers.
“Yooohooo!”, the girls reply as the cork pops and the liquid gold is poured into stiletto glasses. Laughter and loud voices mingle together in the radiant summer sun. The evening is beautifully lit up by high cheers and appreciation. Their sporty outfit seems to draw more and more attention as the guys starts to fill up with alcohol. And Per Olav don’t seem to miss a beat as he knows to keep the girls glasses always nearly full. Sara is on one side of the table with a couple of guys on each side and Per Olav is sitting between Silje and Elise just across.

As the evening grows darker, his hands grow hungrier. He starts to move them up and down both of their thighs underneath the table. If one of the girls is busy in a conversation with another guy, he quickly turns to the other girl. His attention wanders between them to make sure their both happy and eager. And as the number of champagne glasses rises, so does the party mood. Influenced by the setting and the rhythm of champagne, both of the girls starts to return his caresses underneath the table. A dangerous dance of arousal starts to evolve. The movements might be secretly hidden from the crowd, but the game is written all over their faces. The fiery eyes, the hungry smiles and flirtatious secrecy.

As they walk over to BAR down the street he displays his territorial powers through a good grip around both their waists. Both of the girls seem to enjoy his attention. They don’t look bothered at all by sharing him as the shot glasses lands on their table time after time, until a few rounds in. Per Olav starts to lose hold of the situation. Before he knows it Elise and Silje are arguing loudly over his favour. He laughs at them and mumbles something about being sexy when they argue. But when it starts to get out of hand, he interrupts.
“I like both of you. How about a threesome?”, he asks playfully.
They go silent while the question lingers in the air. Is he joking? The girls examine each other with intoxicated bloodshot eyes.

Is it supposed to be a joke, or does he really mean it? Elise looks puzzled over at Per Olav. He returns her gaze with a satisfied smile and an attitude confirming the cockiness of his suggestion. The fiery passion she got familiar with last night has returned. But this time the lightning desire in his eyes is also directed at her girlfriend. He seems to desire them both. She couldn’t have been that bad in bed after all if he’s willing to continue, she concludes while being a little bit annoyed that he desires her girlfriend more than her. A man likes to hunt, she remembers. And since he already had her as his prey yesterday, her choice tonight will probably wind down to accepting his offer for a threesome or tolerate him desiring and possibly spending the night with her girlfriend alone instead. Suddenly it’s no longer a competition between her and Silje, but rather a question of whether she’d like to join the game or not. In the light of her last thought, Elise decides to not give up so easily. She starts to laugh to ease up the tension and throws the ball of the game over to Silje. Is she going to reject the proposition about a threesome by seeing it as a joke, or is she going to accept? Elise stares intensely at her while a deep arousing beat pounds in the background with Usher’s voice singing:
”If you want to scream, yeah, let me know and I’ll take you there”.

… to be continued…

Jenny Lane

17 Jan

Kapittel 8: Side 49-50: Jeger, Byttedyr og Trekant

champis

Kapittel 8
Petter skrur opp musikken i den hvite Range Rover Evoque’n. Hele bilen fylles med Flo Rida og Sia’s stemme som skriker: ”Hey, I heard you were a wild one”. Stemningen øker raskt, og jentene synger med fra baksetet.
“Oooooh ooooh ooh”, stemmer de i.
De svinger inn på Tjuvholmen, parkerer og stormer mot Bølgen & Moi for å nyte edle dråper, god mat og solnedgang. De kaprer et at de store langbordene på utsiden, og Per Olav er rask til å bestille et par flasker champagne og noen halvlitere med øl. Stedet syder av tilsynelatende vellykkede mennesker med mørke solbriller og dyre merkeklær. Jentenes sporty antrekk for enda mer oppmerksomhet når guttene begynner å få litt alkohol innabords, og Per Olav vet å holde glassene deres fulle av champagne til enhver tid der han sitter midt i mellom Silje og Elise. Hendene hans beveger seg stadig vekk oppover lårene på både Silje og Elise. Er en av jentene opptatt i en samtale med en av de andre guttene, snur han seg raskt mot den andre. Oppmerksomheten hans vandrer fra den ene til den andre og tilbake i en runddans, og litt etter litt i takt med antall glass champagne, feststemning og humør begynner begge å gjengjelde kjærtegnene hans under bordet. Når de beveger seg noen skritt bortover til BAR, har han en arm godt rundt begges hofter. Både Elise og Silje nyter oppmerksomheten hans og ser ikke ut til å bry seg om å dele inntil shotglassene kommer på bordet nok en gang. Per Olav begynner å miste taket, og før han vet ordet av det konkurrerer Elise og Silje høylytt om hans gunst. Han ser på begge og flirer av hvor sexy han syntes de er når de krangler. Til slutt avbryter han.

”Jeg liker dere begge to jeg. Hva med en trekant?”, spør han lekende.
Det blir stille mellom dem, og spørsmålet blir hengende igjen i luften. Jentene gransker hverandre med sløve blikk og boblende rus. Var det ment som en spøk, eller mente han alvor, undrer Elise og ser bort på Per Olav. Han smiler tilfreds tilbake med en kroppsholdning som tilsier at han mener hvert ord. Den lidenskapelige ilden som hun ble kjent med i går, er tilbake igjen. Men det lysende begjæret i øynene hans er denne gangen også rettet mot hennes venninne. Likevel ser hun at det er like mye rettet mot henne. Hun kan ikke ha vært helt dårlig i sengen hvis han er villig til å fortsette, tenker hun. Samtidig ergres hun litt over at han også begjærer venninnen. En mann liker å jakte, tenker hun. Og siden han allerede hadde henne som bytte i går, blir nok valget i kveld å akseptere forslaget hans om trekant, eller finne seg i at han heller ønsker venninnen. Plutselig var det ikke lenger en konkurranse mellom henne og Silje, men heller et spørsmål om hun ville være med på leken eller ei. I lyset av de siste tankene bestemmer Elise seg for at hun ikke gir opp så lett, og begynner å gapskratte for å løse opp spenningen og hive ballen over til Silje. Vil hun kaste vekk forslaget om trekant og ta det som en spøk, eller vil hun akseptere? I bakgrunnen dundrer bass og eggende rytmer til Usher stemme der han synger ”If you want to scream, yeah, let me know and I’ll take you there”.

… fortsettelse følger…

Jenny Lane

 

13 Jan

Page 46-48: A Warm Embrace

klem

“It sounds complicated and difficult”, Ingerid replies skeptically. She can’t help thinking about the situation with Sara and Silje and the words that just fell out of her mouth in defence.
“It might sound difficult now, but with the exercises you’ve learned you’ll see that your awareness muscle will expand and sort of turn down the pace for you. It becomes almost like you’ve hit a slow-motion button. Time will seem to stretch itself as if it was bendable”, Per explains and laughs at the thought.
With bright shimmering eyes he continues:
“In this slow-motion time, you’ll eventually discover several levels of information”.
Ingerid gives him a serious and doubtful look.
“Don’t look at it that way”, Per responds in a playful way pushing her shoulder lightly.
“See it as an exciting Universe that you’re about to discover. Find the adventurous part of yourself, the one that is full of curiosity and eagerness. The one that dives deep into the ocean looking for gold and diamonds”, Per says with a theatrical voice totally in line with the pictures that are adorning the wall behind him.
Ingerid laughs and feels relieved by his humour and his knowledge of the path ahead of her.

“What got you into meditation?”, Ingerid asks curiously as the waitress arrives with two large cups of hot chocolate garnished with freshly whipped cream.
“Mmmm….”, Per replies and looks at the tempting cup in front of him. He takes a sip of the cocoa and with a cream-mustache he says playfully:
“Now, let me tell you….”
His comedic voice and silliness makes them both giggle.
“Sorry, I can’t seem to be serious for longer periods at a time”, Per replies and laughs apologetically.
But then he seems to take her question into deeper consideration. He pauses for a moment as his face melts into honesty. Then he starts his story:

“Some time ago, my dad died”, he begins gently.
Ingerid looks at him with sad and compassionate eyes.
“No, it wasn’t that sad. Or… The actual sad part about it was that I didn’t feel a big sorrow. I didn’t mourn his loss”, he adds.
“One is supposed to feel sadness and grief when a family member dies, right? But I didn’t feel it. It almost felt like it could’ve been just anybody who died” he says and halts for a moment to think.
“You weren’t close to each other?”, Ingerid asks carefully and a little afraid that this conversation might end in tears. She turns around and lets out a slight sigh of relief when she sees that the coffee shop isn’t filled with a lot of people in case of an embarrassing scene.

“We were both close and not close at the same time. I mean…. I think we had a pretty normal relationship. I saw him probably four or five times a year and we talked a little every time… But he was never the talkative guy. He never asked any questions. I think he might have been a little afraid to ask about something that could potentially upset me. And then I think he was never able to accept my sexuality. It alienated me I guess”, Per says thoughtfully like he’s still trying to figure it out and understand him.

Ingerid gives him a warm smile and nods. He looks up at her, returns the smile and looks down again. After a short silence he continues.
“Anyhow. That’s what caused me to get in touch with a therapist who recommended meditation. Since then I’ve taken several meditation workshops. In the beginning I did it mostly to try and understand my dad. Then I did it to try to understand myself. But then after a while I felt like words became redundant and that an inner peace was revealing itself instead. I realized that I could dig deeper and deeper in an attempt to try to understand, but that the digging could go on forever, giving me different approaches and answers every time. With that realization, an answer appeared. I could search if I wanted to for words that would give me some sort of answer, but it would never quench the thirst inside. Because what I was really searching for was deeper than words”, he says ending the story with a warm smile.

Ingerid doesn’t know what to say. Silence takes the space instead and lets his words sink in. They sit in silence for a little while before Ingerid feels an uncomfortable restlessness. She isn’t quite sure she understands the point of his story.
“What is about this peace that you keep referring to?” she asks a little confused and puzzled.
“Oh, if you haven’t felt it, I cannot explain. It has to be experienced”, Per says softly with compassion.
“By the way: There’s something you should know that they didn’t talk about at the workshop. There are two kinds of experiences of silence. One could be described as cold. As if time has frozen to ice. This silence or stillness is often referred to as shock. Out of body experience. As if disappearing into a black hole that sucks all life into itself. Emptiness without life if you’d like”, he says and inhales as if preparing for an attack or trying to defend himself from something unknown.

“Then there’s the other experience of silence which is warm. Ever expanding and full. Like a mother’s warm embrace. Nurturing. A stillness that feels good throughout your entire body and that makes you want to stay in it forever. Like an alive presence”, Per explains while looking like he’s enjoying a warm hug with every word he shares. He then takes a closer look at Ingerid’s face to see if she’s following.
“If you’re uncertain whether you’re moving in the right direction, there’s a simple technique that’ll point you straight back. It’s simply smiling”, he says and laughs while reaching out his hand towards the waitress in order to ask for the bill.

“I think I got a little taste of that at the workshop we went to”, Ingerid says with a slight uncertainty.
“I felt this enormous silence filling the room for at least a few seconds”, she continuous.
“Well, then you’re on your way”, Per replies and smiles.
“When you’ve first had a taste of it, the thirst for more will drive you onwards”, he adds while wiping his mouth with a napkin after a huge mouthful of the hot chocolate which is now starting to get cold.
“Drive me towards what?”, Ingerid asks puzzled.
“Nobody knows”, he replies with a huge smile and a wink.
“I’m going to a concert tonight with some friends. Do you want to come?”, he asks while paying the bill on the table.
“Yes, I’d love to”, Ingerid replies remembering the plans she originally had with Sara and Silje. Those plans are definitely out the window after what happened in the cantina earlier, so she might as well do something different.
“Who’s playing?”, she asks curiously while putting on her coat.
“Deva Premal & Miten” he says on his way out of the coffee shop.
She gives him that puzzled look again.
“They do old Indian mantras in a modern way… It’s sort of hard to explain. Again, you’ll  just have to experience it for yourself”, he says smilingly and laughs.
“Ok, I’m in!”, Ingerid replies with a big smile and gives him a long warm hug. They linger in each others arms for a while. Ingerid feels like she’s starting to appreciate these long hugs more and more. It’s like giving a little extra time to each other in order to really feel the warmth and the good feelings between them.
“So, I’ll see you at the Logen Teater at 8pm then” he says warmly and walks back to his enchanted flower shop.

… to be continued…

Jenny Lane

13 Jan

Side 46-48: En Varm Klem

klem

”Det høres komplisert og vanskelig ut”, svarer Ingerid skeptisk og tenker på situasjonen tidligere med venninnene og hvor fort ordene bare datt ut av munnen på henne i forsvar.
”Det høres kanskje vanskelig ut nå, men med øvelsene du har lært vil du se at litt etter litt vil muskelen vi kaller bevissthet ekspandere og på en måte skru ned tempoet for deg. Det blir som om du nesten skulle ha trykket på en slow-motion knapp. Tiden vil virke som om den strekker seg, som om den skulle vært tøyelig nesten!, forklarer Per og humrer ved tanken. Med lysende og ivrige øyne fortsetter han:
”I den slow-motion tiden vil du etter hvert oppdage flere nivåer av informasjon.” Ingerid gir han et morsk og bekymret uttrykk.
”Ikke se på det sånn, da!”, sier han lekent mot henne og dytter henne lett på skulderen.
”Se det heller som et spennende univers du skal oppdage. Finn eventyrlysten i deg, den som er full av nysgjerrighet og iver og som kaster seg ut i det dype hav på leting etter gull og diamanter.”, sier Per med sin mest dramatiske teaterstemme helt i tråd med de overdådige kostymene på kunstbildene bak han. Ingerid ler og kjenner seg lettet over å ha noen å snakke med som er kommet et lite stykke videre på den veien hun så vidt har begynt å snuse på.
”Hva fikk deg til å begynne å meditere?”, spør Ingerid og ser nysgjerrig opp på han i det servitøren kommer med to store kopper med varm sjokolade og krem.
”Mmmm”, svarer Per og ser ned mot koppen foran han. Han tar en slurk av kakaoen og med krembart svarer han:
”Nå skal du høre her…” med en komediestemme som får de begge til å fnise og le. ”Sorry, jeg klarer bare ikke å være alvorlig så lenge av gangen”, svarer han og ler unnskyldende.

Så blir han alvorlig og begynner sin historie:
”For en liten stund tilbake døden faren min”, begynner han forsiktig.
Ingerid ser medlidende på han med triste øyne.
”Nei, det var ikke så trist det altså. Eller. Det var faktisk det som var trist for meg. Nettopp det at jeg ikke følte den store sorgen”, legger han til.
”Man skal jo liksom kjenne en stor sorg når et familiemedlem dør, men jeg kjente altså ikke det. Det føltes nesten ut som om det kunne vært hvem som helst som døde”, forteller han og stopper i en liten tankepause.
”Var dere ikke så nær hverandre?”, spør Ingerid forsiktig litt redd for at samtalen skal ende i tårer. Hun snur seg rundt og puster litt lettet ut over at det ikke er så mange i lokalet.
”Vi både var nær og ikke nær samtidig. Det vil si.. Jeg tror at vi hadde et ganske normalt forhold. Jeg så han vel fire-fem ganger i året, og vi pratet jo litt hver gang. Men han var jo aldri den pratsomme typen. Stilte aldri noen spørsmål. Jeg tror han var litt redd for å spørre om noe som kunne tas ille opp. Og så tror jeg at han egentlig aldri klarte å akseptere legningen min. Det ble for fremmed for han, tror jeg”, sier Per tankefullt som om han fortsatt leter etter å forstå.

Ingerid nikker forståelsesfullt til han. Etter en kort stillhet fortsetter han.
”Det var i hvert fall det som fikk meg til å ta kontakt med en terapeut som anbefalte noen meditasjonskurs. Siden den gang har jeg gått på flere kurs. I begynnelsen gjorde jeg det mest for å forsøke å forstå faren min og så meg selv, men etter hvert kjente jeg at ordene begynte å bli overflødige og at en indre ro tok plass i stedet. Jeg så at jeg kunne grave og grave i et forsøk på å forstå, men at gravingen kunne pågå i evigheter og gi nye svar og nye vinklinger hver gang. Og ut av den realiseringen kom svaret til meg. Jeg kunne lete og lete hvis jeg ville, etter ord som kunne gi meg svar, men likevel ville det aldri tilfredsstille tørsten i meg. For det jeg virkelig søker er dypere enn ord”, avslutter han og smiler varmt til Ingerid.

Ingerid vet ikke helt hva hun skal svare. Det blir stille mens ordene hans synker inn. Hun vet ikke helt om hun får helt taket på hva han sier. Litt forvirret spør hun:
”Hva er det med den roen?”
”Åh, hvis ikke du har kjent på den, så må den oppleves.”, forklarer Per mykt og forståelsesfullt.
”Det er forresten en ting du bør vite som de ikke snakket om på kurset. Det er to forskjellige grunnopplevelser av stillhet. Den ene er en kald opplevelse. Som om tiden skulle vært frosset til is. Denne stillheten betegnes ofte som sjokk. Ut av kroppen følelse. Som om man forsvinner inn i et sort hull som suger til seg alt liv. Tomhet uten liv, om du vil”, sier han og trekker inn pusten.
”Og så har du den andre opplevelsen av stillhet som er varm. Ekspanderende og full. Som en varm omfavnelse av morskjærlighet. Nærende. En stillhet som kjennes godt ut i hele kroppen, og som man har lyst til å bli værende i. Som er tilstedeværende.” forklarer Per som om han nyter en klem for hver eneste setning han sier. Han gransker ansiktet til Ingerid for å se om hun henger med.
”Hvis du er usikker på om du beveger deg i riktig retning, finnes det en enkel teknikk som justerer deg på rett vei umiddelbart. Det er så enkelt som å smile.”, sier han og ler mens han rekker ut hånden til servitøren for å spørre om regningen.

”Jeg tror jeg fikk en liten smakebit av det på kurset vi var på”, sier Ingerid litt usikkert.
”Det var i hvert fall noen små sekunder hvor jeg følte at det var en enorm stillhet som fylte rommet”, fortsetter Ingerid.
”Ja, da er du på vei”, svarer Per og smiler.
”Når du først har fått smaken på det, vil tørsten etter mer drive deg videre”, legger han til og tørker seg om munnen etter å ha tatt en stor munnfull av kakaoen som begynner å bli kald.
”Drive meg videre hvor da?”, spør Ingerid forundret.
”Det er det ingen som vet”, svarer han lurt og blunker med den ene øyet.
”Jeg skal forresten på en konsert med noen venner i kveld. Har du lyst til å være med?”, spør han og betaler regningen som er kommet på bordet.
”Ja, det kan jeg vel”, svarer Ingerid og minnes planene hun egentlig hadde i kveld sammen med Sara og Silje. De kom det nok definitivt ikke til å bli noe av etter hendelsen i kantinen tidligere, tenker hun.
”Hvem er det som spiller?”, spør hun nysgjerrig og tar på seg ytterjakken.
”Deva Premal & Miten heter de”, svarer han på vei ut døren til Barfot.
”De synger og spiller gamle, indiske mantraer på en ny, mer moderne måte. Det er vanskelig å forklare. Igjen, det kan bare oppleves!”, sier han og ler hjertelig.
”Ok, jeg blir med!”, svarer hun smilende tilbake og gir han en lang klem. De blir igjen stående noen sekunder, og Ingerid kjenner hun allerede begynner å like disse lange klemmene. Det gir tid til å ta inn den andre personen og virkelig kjenne på varmen og de gode følelsene mellom dem.
”Da sees vi på Logen Teater kl. 20”, sier han til henne i det han snur seg og går tilbake til blomsterbutikken.

… fortsettelse følger…

Jenny Lane

11 Jan

Why die young?

Stay Connect

I hear your voice, I hear your desperation, I hear your longing, I hear your heart… Your beating heart. Screaming with every beat.
Even if the beating has gone numb. Even if all desperation has died into despair and carelessness…
But I still hear you. I hear you. And I care.

Yes, I know you’re trying to pretend that nobody sees you, but if you only knew how we’re all connected, you’d know that there’s nowhere to hide.

I even see that deep down inside of you there’s a smile hidden underneath your seriousness. A curiosity underneath the dullness. An aliveness under the appearance of death. Why hide? You can still be different. You don’t have to buy into what everyone else believes in. You can still do it your own way.
Just stay and connect.

Screaming for change isn’t everyone’s path. Silently withdrawing is saying just as much. It’s just as loud. Believe me, I know.

This world might not be what you want it to be. It might not be what you’ve dreamt of.
Yet…
You might not see it yet. Especially not if you give up.
Without you, this world you feel and see in your heart is even further away.
So hold on…
Hold on because one day you’ll see a way to contribute.
One day you’ll meet more people like yourself.
One day you’ll discover you’re far from alone.

All you precious souls out there, silently and resentfully waiting for a new tomorrow… Look beyond your limits. Reach out a little further. Get to know someone new. Reach out to reach in. Connect out to connect in. Or connect in to connect out. Either way. Connect and stay.

And know.
One day.
When you’ve reached bottom, when you’ve seen enough darkness, you’ll come to a place of peace and find joy in sharing, participating and playing again.

So now, stay.
Start today as if there’s a whole new world out there. Begin today in a brand new way.

Stay.

Loving you limitlessly, endlessly and unconditionally,
Jenny Lane

 

11 Jan

Page 43-45: An Ocean of Possibilities

count

Chapter 7
“Hi, you’ve reached Per Hallsteinsgjerde. How can I help you today?”
Per’s voice is light and happy when he answers the phone and soothes Ingerid’s ears like balm on dry skin.
“Hi Per. It’s Ingerid from the workshop”, Ingerid says with the phone tightly squeezed to her chin.
“Hiiii Ingerid! How are you doing?”, Per answers lingering on the “i” as if hugging it while smiling widely. Ingerid feels the warmth spread throughout her entire body and it almost makes her swell up in tears again. What’s happening to her these days? The mood shifts go up and down as if she was entering menopause or something.
“I need to talk to someone who might understand what I’m going through”, Ingerid replies barely able to restrain herself from crying.
“Aaawh…” Per says with a compassionate tone.
“Meet me at the flower shop, and we’ll go and grab a coffee somewhere”, he continues.

Per’s flowershop is located on a side street to Torgalmenningen in Bergen. The façade of the building is decorated in a French countryside style with ornaments carved out of grey concrete. A few worn out wooden boxes with beautiful pink hydrangeas and purple lavender perks up the pavement and entices customer to enter into his fairytale flower boutique.
Ingerid walks up to the door but hesitates to enter. Per sees her through the window and responds with a few hand gestures signalizing he’ll be right outside. The rain is pouring down as it often does in Bergen. While waiting Ingerid tightens the mustard coloured scarf around her neck and kicks her legs together to avoid freezing too much in the cold fall weather.
Per exits the shop and quickly slips under her umbrella with a firm grip around her waist and says:
“Come! Let’s go somewhere and grab a nice hot chocolate. We have to indulge a little to endure this weather!”
His voice is light and warm. A lightness in contrast to the heaviness she feels inside, which is exactly what she needs right now. Someone who can stand outside of her dark bubble, lift her up and push her forward into the light. Even though she doesn’t know him that much, he seems like the right person to do just that. So far he hasn’t disappointed.

Per looks at her underneath the umbrella with a warm smile and squeezes her even closer to his body several times on their short walk to the coffee shop. The most wonderful thing about Per, is that she knows that all his warmth and love towards her is simply unconditional kindness and nothing more. If he’d been heterosexual she probably would’ve gotten suspicious and analysed his body language with a negative connotation. Knowing that he’s gay makes it easier for both of them to relax and shower each other with full support and loving kindness. Or more accurately, it makes it easier for Per to shower Ingerid and for Ingerid to receive. There’s not so much showering going on the other direction yet, but Per doesn’t seem to mind. He’s shining with a carefree life energy that seems to effortlessly exude out of him.

“I wish I could be just as relaxed and joyous as you are”, Ingerid admits to Per underneath the umbrella.
“You are going to soon, Sweetie. It only takes a little effort everyday. If you look at your brain as a muscle, you’ll see that it simply takes a little bit of exercise, time and compassion. And don’t forget, you’re on your way already! A: You’ve just recently discovered that it’s a muscle, and B: you’ve just learned a few exercises. With a little training, you’ll see the fog lifting a little bit day by day”, Per explains as if he was her fitness instructor.
Ingerid knows he’s referring to the exercises from the workshop they went to, but nevertheless she still finds it slightly difficult and abstract.
“I’m not so sure if I’m that good at it. What if I continue the way I’m doing right now, which might be wrong, and then it doesn’t work at all. How do I know that I’m doing it right? How do I know it’ll work?” Ingerid asks with frustration hidden behind every word.
“As long as you’re doing the first task which is to simply return to focusing on your breath, you’ll eventually discover you’ll be able to maintain the focus for longer and longer periods at a time, until the concept of time disappears entirely. That might be the first evidence. Other things you’ll perhaps start to notice is that you might become aware of a consciousness in the background. Especially if you find yourself in a situation that pushes you to the limit. All of a sudden you may experience a new insight, a voice, a vision of a new direction or choice of reaction in that moment”, Per explains further while opening the door for her to the coffee shop “Barfot”.

Ingerid shakes the umbrella, stamps her feet on the floor mat, loosens her scarf and takes off her woollen hat in the little entry hall. The coffee shop and restaurant is warmly decorated with beige leather benches and terracotta colored brick walls. A few sharp looking bar stools in black leather and metal up against the worn out brick wall gives a hip and urban feel to the place reminiscent of New York. They walk towards an empty leather bench and take their coats off.
“What did you mean by the last thing you just said outdoors?”, Ingerid asks redirecting the conversation back to the topic that seems to incessantly pop up like an emergency alarm authoritatively demanding attention.
“The stuff about the awareness of a consciousness in the background when you’re pushed to the limit?”, he asks rhetorically.
Ingerid nods and gets into a comfortable position on the soft leather bench. Per sits down on the other side just across from her, orders two hot chocolates from the waitress and continues.

“Let’s say that a person accuses you for having done something you didn’t do. The usual way to react might be to speak up and defend yourself with all kinds of arguments and reasons. What you might discover after a while is that in the tiny fraction of a second right before you’re about to launch into your defence, you might see a sudden opening of opportunities. Like several choices spread out in front of you. At that moment, defending yourself with arguments isn’t any longer the only way to act. You can either react from autopilot or try something new. Suddenly you discover other ways of looking at the situation. Other ways to express your opinion. Other ways to express your voice, your body language. Other words and sentences. Other angles. Other perspectives. And in that moment, you have a choice. A selection of different approaches that enables different outcomes. And in that very moment you might be able to capture the cause and effect of every choice like visions of parallel futures. That’s when you have the real power of choice. In that golden moment, you’ll see which outcome you’d like to create from the situation at hand, and then choose the action from your enhanced vision that will most likely produce that result.”

Per examines Ingerid’s face thoroughly to see if she’s following. She nods, but not convincingly.
”When I was a little boy, I had a short temper and would easily blow up like an angry bull over simple stuff”, Per continues slightly laughing as he remembers a few incidents.
“At the time, my mother would always tell me to try to count to ten next time someone would bully me”, he says with eagerness and a light boyish smile.
“Wrapped in this little advice is the very essence I’m pointing at. Try to pay attention next time you find yourself in a situation where you would normally automatically react the way you’ve always done, and see if you’re able to stop and wait a few seconds… Just wait…”, he says and inhales loudly before he continues.
“…and see if there’s another way to respond to the situation”, he concludes and exhales with equal intensity.

…to be continued…

Jenny Lane

11 Jan

Side 43-45: Et Hav Av Valgmuligheter

count

Kapittel 7
”Hallo du er nå kommet til Per Hallsteinsgjerde. Hva kan jeg hjelpe deg med i dag?”.
Per stemme er som balsam mot Ingerids ører der han svarer lett, vennlig og fornøyd.
”Hei Per, det er Ingerid fra kurset”, sier Ingerid med telefonen tett inntil øret.
”Heeeiiii Ingerid! Hvordan går det med deg?”, svarer Per tilbake og drar ekstra lenge på hei-et så man nesten kan høre at smilet brer seg fra øre til øre. Ingerid kjenner varmen bre seg i hele kroppen og får nesten lyst til å begynne å gråte igjen. Hva er det som skjer med henne om dagen? Humørsvingningene går opp og ned som om hun skulle vært i overgangsalderen.
”Jeg trenger noen å prate med som kanskje forstår hvordan jeg har det”, fortsetter Ingerid og kjenner gråten i halsen. ”Ååh…”, svarer Per med medfølende stemme.
”Møt meg her i blomsterbutikken, så går vi og tar en kaffe et sted.”, fortsetter han.

Per’s blomsterbutikk ligger i en sidegate av Torgalmenningen. Fasaden er dekorert i fransk landstil med ornamenter i grå murpuss. Utover fortauet står slitte trekasser med vakre rosa Hortensiaer og lilla Lavendel. Per ser henne gjennom vinduet og signaliserer at han kommer ut for å møte henne. Det regner lett som det ofte gjør i Bergen, og Ingerid surrer et sennepsgult skjerf strammere om halsen og sparker beina sammen for å ikke fryse for mye i høstværet. Per kommer ut døren og smyger seg tett inntil Ingerid under paraplyen hennes, tar et godt grep om livet hennes og sier:
”Kom så stikker vi et sted og tar en varm, kopp sjokolade. Det fortjener vi nå i dette været!”. Stemmen hans er lys og ledig, varm og lett. Like lett som dagen er tung for Ingerid, men det er nettopp det hun trenger nå. Noen som kan stå helt utenfor i sin egen rosa boble, og løfte henne litt opp og frem. Av det lille hun har lært Per og kjenne, virker det som om han er den rette til det. Og så langt skuffer han ikke. Per ser på henne under paraplyen med varme smil og knuger henne stadig vekk tett inntil seg. Det er så herlig med Per, for hun vet at det bare er et hav av vennlighet og ikke noe mer. Hadde han vært en heteroseksuell mann hadde hun nok begynt å tolke kroppsignalene i feil retning, men med viten om at han er skjev gjør at de begge bare kan slappe av og heller overøse hverandre med søte ord og kjærtegn uten dobbel-forstand  Eller rettere sagt, Per kan overøse Ingerid. Det går ikke så mye den andre veien enda, men det ser ikke Per ut til å bry seg om. Han stråler like herlig av en lystig livsenergi som bare oser ut av han uten at han trenger å ofre det en tanke.

”Jeg skulle ønske jeg kunne være like komfortabel og livsglad som deg”, innrømmer Ingerid til Per under paraplyen.
”Det kommer du nok også til å bli igjen, kjære deg. Det kreves litt innsats hver dag. Hvis du ser på hjernen din som en muskel, så kan du begynne med å gi deg selv litt medfølelse og tid. A: Du har nettopp oppdaget at det er en muskel, og B: du har nettopp lært noen øvelser. Legg deg litt i trening hver dag, så skal du se at tåken letter litt og litt for hver dag som går”, fortsetter Per som om han skulle vært hennes treningsekspert. Ingerid vet han refererer til øvelsene fra kurset, men syntes likevel det er vanskelig og abstrakt.
”Jeg er ikke sikker på at jeg får det til så bra. Hva om jeg bare fortsetter slik jeg gjør det nå også gjør jeg det feil og så virker det ikke i det hele tatt. Hvordan vet jeg at det funker?”, spør Ingerid og kjenner frustrasjonen bak hvert eneste ord.
”Så lenge du gjør som den første oppgaven tilsier ved å gå tilbake til å bare fokusere på pusten, så vil du etter hvert oppdage at du litt etter litt klarer å holde fokuset lengre og lengre. Det er det første konkrete beviset. Andre ting du vil merke det på, som er litt vanskeligere å se, er at du kanskje vil begynne å oppdage en bevissthet i bakgrunnen hvis du blir presset i et utfordrende situasjon.”, forklarer Per i det han åpner døren for henne til Barfot. De rister paraply og ytterklær i den lille yttergangen før de går videre inn i en lunt dekorert restaurant med benker i beige skinn og mursteinsvegger. Noen stramme barkrakker i sort og metall mot de slitte murveggene gir et hipt, urbant miljø og indikerer en inspirasjon fra New York. De finner et ledig bord med skinnbenk.

”Hva mente du med det siste du sa på utsiden?”, spør Ingerid og leder samtalen tilbake.
”Det med bevisstheten i bakgrunnen i en presset situasjon?”, spør han bekreftende og Ingerid nikker mens hun setter seg komfortabelt til rette i den myke skinnsofaen. Per setter seg ned på den andre enden av sofaen, bestiller to kakaoer fra servitøren og fortsetter:
”La oss si at en person anklager deg for noe du ikke har gjort. Den vanlige måten å reagere på ville kanskje vært å høylytt forsvare seg med all sin makt og argumenter. Det du kanskje vil oppdage etter hvert er at i det millisekundet, rett før du skal til å gå i forsvar, vil det plutselig dukke opp noen valgmuligheter foran deg. Plutselig vil du kanskje oppdage at det er andre måter å reagerer på, andre ting du kan si, andre måter å uttrykke stemmen på, kroppen på. Det vil åpne seg en verden av muligheter fra et annet sted du kanskje ikke er i kontakt med nå. Og når du ser andre måter å respondere på, har du plutselig et valg. Du kan enten velge å reagere på den du er vant til å gjøre, eller du kan prøve noe nytt.” Per gransker ansiktet til Ingerid nøye for å se om hun henger med. Ingerid nikker men ikke helt overbevisende.

”Da jeg var liten, hadde jeg veldig kort lunte og fyrte av sint som en okse for veldig små ting”, fortsetter Per og ler litt av minnet om seg selv.
”Da pleide alltid min mor å si til meg: Prøv og tell til ti Per neste gang de mobber deg”, forteller han med samme lystighet i stemmen.
”Innbakt i det lille, uskyldige rådet som så mange er vant til å gi og motta, ligger kjernen til det jeg snakker om. Prøv å følge med neste gang du blir presset og se om du klarer å vente ett millisekund…” sier han og trekker pusten inn høyt før han fortsetter:
”…og se en annen måte å takle situasjonen på”, avslutter han og puster ut igjen med samme intensitet.

… fortsettelse følger…

Jenny Lane

09 Jan

Page 40-42: Heated Game

cheerleaders

The boys are already out in the field warming up when the girls arrive. Sara waves to Per Olav who runs towards them as soon as he sees them.
“Did you get something nice to wear?”, he asks while smiling widely visibly happy to see them.
“Yes, we did!”, they all answer with excitement.
“Is there a locker room where we can change?”, Sara asks.
“You can probably use ours since we’re all finished and warming up already”, he says and points to the building next to the field.

The girls run over and storm through the door giggling with anticipation. With all the eagerness going on, they open the wrong door and find themselves face to face with half dressed med-students. With young and ripped bodies glowing like bright sunrays in their eyes, they quickly shut their eyes with embarrassment.
“Oops, sorry”, Sara stutter and closes the door almost as quickly as she opened it before all of the boys manage to turn around in response.

They walk over to the other locker-room nervously laughing and whispering about how HOT they thought the boys were. They lock the door to the locker-room in case some of the boys are pondering revenge. The worn down wooden benches are covered by men’s clothing. Half open bags and shoes are spread around everywhere on the floor. In order to make some room they need to push away the guy’s clothes while trying to figure out which item belongs to whom. They almost turn it into a competition by holding up one sweater after the other. After a few rounds they go even further into investigating by smelling the clothes to see if they can recognize the scent. Excitement rises higher and higher and by the time they’re finally ready to change into their own outfits they have long forgotten the boys in the other locker-room next door. They chat and giggle while they change into their new outfits oblivious to some of the boys peeking through the shower area. When they’re half naked in their tiny panties ready to slip into their new costumes, one of the boys gets pushed into the room. Roaring laughter echoes through the shower and fills the whole locker-room. The girls panic and try to cover themselves up by grabbing a few pieces. Embarrassed and startled, Silje orders them to leave the locker-room with an angry voice completely lacking of authority. The boys respond by mocking her voice and laughing even harder.
“You’re so childish!”, she adds while hurrying to get dressed.

When the havoc settles, the girls hurdle up again. The mood has changed into a more sober state with hurtful feelings shining through their eyes. Determined to turn the situation around, they chat about how they can use this incident to give them an advantage in breaking the guys’ concentration level out on the field later. Since some of the boys have already seen too much, they agree to push the flirty-boundaries a little further.

The girls run towards the soccer field in their sporty sexy cheerleader outfits. They look like they are taken straight out of a music video. They’re all about the same height with long blond hair nicely tied into cute ponytails. With matching clothes, shoes, big sunglasses and thick coats of lipgloss, they appear very glamorous and sexy. Several of the boys from both teams stop and stare when they see them coming closer. The girls shine brightly with pride and confidence as they wiggle their hips and shake their pompons. Per Olav and Petter whistle loudly and clap eagerly when they finish their little song and dance routine. One can almost touch their pride as they’re gazing over at the med-guys with clever devilish eyes. The game is on!

The girls take it up a notch, wildly enjoying their cheerleader role throughout the whole game by flirting with the boys on both teams at once. They lack nothing when it comes to attention and flatter as they walk and dance back and forth like sweet tempting candy in a candystore. Well protected by the daylight and the game at stake, they go all out with sensuality and play the boys up against each other. But the flirting turns into fiery desire which then turns into rugged jealousy. It slowly morphs into a battle between animosity and protection. The soccer game increases in intensity as the competition instinctively builds up more and more anger. Tension rises higher and higher with every close encounter, touch and muscle flexed. The adrenalin and testosterone skyrockets when one of the med-students throws a dirty comment at Per Olav’s face.
“You can keep those damn hookers to yourselves!”

“What did you say?”, Per Olav replies with red hot anger and jumps on him like a fired up bull. He pushes his shoulders with such force that the thin med-student falls to the ground. Several teammates get aggravated by the forceful movement and throw themselves into the fight. Before anyone manages to rationalize the situation, a huge fight evolves between the two teams. The judge feverishly blows his whistle but to no avail. The boys are already lost in bloodlust even though some are trying to hinder others. The field turns into a chaotic bloodbath as the girls withdraw to the sidelines in shock. Eventually some of the guys manage to separate the key fights enough to calm down the spirits.

Several boys are afflicted with bloody noses. With paper towels in their dirty hands they resentfully eye each other as they walk towards the locker rooms. The mood is as intense as a war zone with hostile gazes everywhere. Sara tries to break the ice by talking to Per Olav.
“Are you ok?”, she asks while carefully searching to meet his eyes that are fixed onto the red paper between his hands.
“Yeah sure”, he replies and wipes away some blood from his nose.
“What happened? Did someone do something? Or was it something that was said?”, she asks calmly with a soft voice.
Per Olav meets her eyes, but quickly looks away again.
“Just some stupid comment that I should’ve ignored”, he replies with disgust.

The intense silence that follows tells her not to ask any further questions about the incident. A few seconds go by without her daring to break his dark haze of anger. Sara slows down and starts to move away when he eventually breaks the spell on his own.

“We can’t let this ruin the party mood we had going! Let’s go grab a beer somewhere. You girls can stay dressed like that, can’t you? The guys and I are just going to take a quick shower and then we’ll be on our way”, he says loudly while nodding towards his teammates close by.

… to be continued…

Jenny Lane

22 Dec

Side 37-39: Leker med ilden

stockings

Kapittel 6
Elise våkner opp litt desorientert før hun skimter Per Olav ved siden av henne og begynner sakte å minnes kvelden i forveien. Hun blir liggende å stirre opp i taket, granskende rundt i sitt eget hode etter puslebrikkene som kan sette det hele sammen. Foreløpig husker hun kun stykkevis. Som en trailer for en kinofilm. Hun rekker ikke å tenke så lenge før hun kjenner varme kyss langs skulderen. Overrasket og litt skremt snur hun seg raskt til siden og møter det sensuelle, intense blikket til Per Olav.

”Heisan!”, sier han med litt klein, barnslig stemme og lener seg litt lengre inn mot kroppen hennes og fortsetter å kysse rundt skuldrene og inn mot brystet.
”Hei!”, svarer hun tilbake litt usikker på om hun skal gjengjelde eller ikke. I edru tilstand virker ikke spenningen like sterk, men hva skal hun ellers gjøre? Reise seg markant opp av sengen og gå? Jentene hadde jo avtalt å være der en hel helg. Hun vil nødig forårsake dårlige vibber i huset. Dessuten ble jo avgjørelsen allerede tatt i går kveld da de konsumerte hverandre med heftig, lidenskapelig begjær. Å gjøre det en gang til kunne vel neppe skade noen, tenker hun mens hun snur seg rundt og borer stumpen inn mot hans harde manndom. Han responderer raskt og ettersom han ligger litt lenger foran henne i løypa, presser han seg inn dørporten som bare så vidt står på gløtt. Det kjennes nesten som sandpapir der han tvinger seg inn, og hun kniper leppene sammen for å ikke hyle. Heldigvis trenger han ikke trykke mer enn fire ganger før døren åpnes og han slipper inn. Full av iver kjører han i vei i et forrykende tempo mens han holder tak med den ene hånden på hoften hennes og den andre på hodet. Kroppen hennes slenges frem og tilbake som en vaskefille og hun stønner for å late som om hun nyter det, selv om hun egentlig føler seg forvirret. For bare noen sekunder tidligere hadde hun ligget rolig og stirret opp i taket, mens nå var hun som en bamse som holdt på å bli ristet i filler. Men det er for sent å komme seg ut av dette nå, tenker hun.
”Skaden er allerede gjort, så da er det bare å nyte det som er igjen”, sier hun til seg selv mens hun forsøker å la fokuset gli ned til det varme våte. Likevel orker hun ikke tanken på å se ansiktet hans, og gjengjelder i stedet begjæret ved å øke tempo på hoftene. Han reagerer øyeblikkelig, strekker seg raskt mot toppen og når klimaks noen få sekunder senere. Endelig ferdig, tenker hun i det han snur seg vekk fra henne, ruller over på ryggen og stønner et lettet sukk mens hun blir liggende sammenkrøket i fosterstilling.

På kjøkkenet står Sara og Silje og leter febrilsk i skapene etter alt de ønsker å sette frem på bordet for å skape en hyggelig dagen-derpå frokost. Rundt omkring i stuen ligger det fortsatt noen gutter henslengt i halvsøvne på de ulike sofaene. De to jentene tusler lett fnisende om hverandre der de tisker og hvisker om gårsdagens hendelser. Elise rister av seg de ekle følelsene fra morgenstunden med Per Olav, suger inn energien fra jentene, tar på seg søte-masken og hiver seg inn i leken.

”God morgen!”, sier hun lett med et sjenert, lurt smil som de alle vet hva betyr.
”Aaah!”, utbryter Sara og peker på henne med det samme lure smilet i øynene. Hun nærmest løper bort og gir henne en klem.
”Hvordan var det?”, spør Silje med lav, hviskende stemme skulende bort på sofaene med de sovende guttene på.
”Hot n’ Sexy!”, svarer Elise triumferende og ler sammen med de to venninnene. Per Olav trasker rolig inn på kjøkkenet i avslappede joggebukser og en t-skjorte og spør lurt:
”Hva er det dere jentene ler av da?”.
”Ingenting!”, svarer Elise og søker samhørighet med Sara og Silje som bekreftende rister på hodet mot Per Olav etterfulgt av lure smil og blunkende øyer seg i mellom. Per Olav smiler lurt tilbake og går mot guttene på sofaene for å vekke de. Full av oppblåst selvtillit og fandenivoldsk lekenhet, tar han en brutal oppvekkelsesmetode i bruk. Han fisker frem iPhonen sin fra joggebuksen, skrur maks volum på høyttalerne i stuen, finner frem til en sang på Spotify og trykker play. Ut av stillheten drønner Skrillex’s ”Kyoto” og guttene nærmest hopper opp av sofaen.
”What the fuck!”, roper en av kameratene ut i sinne og irritasjon.
Per Olav ler rått og snur seg mot jentene for å sjekke temperaturen på ”tøffing-termometeret”. Jentenes kropper lener seg både forover og bakover og ansiktene er vidåpne i gapskratting. Ti av ti, tenker Per Olav stolt og fortsetter leken og kjekkingen med guttene.

”Blir dere med til Tullinløkka i dag? Vi kunne trenge noen cheerleaders til treningskampen mot legestudentene”, spør Per Olav og ser bort på jentene mens han dulter Petter lekent i skulderen.
”Ja, still opp med dusker og hele sulamitten! Hadde vært eid om dere hadde klart å distrahere medisin-gutta!”, sier Petter med stor entusiasme.
”Ja, det skal vi nok klare, eller hva jenter?!”, svarer Sara og ser lurt på Silje og Elise som nikker tilbake. Utenfor stråler solen varmt i det friske sensommer været.
”Da må vi bare ta en kort shoppingtur først for å få tak i noen korte miniskjørt og matchende topper”, legger Silje til og blunker til Petter.
”Fett!”, svarer Petter tilbake med smale, granskende øyne. Det syntes lang vei at han allerede fantaserer om hvor hotte de tre lekre damene foran han kommer til å se ut i det sportslige, sexy antrekket.

Etter en rask tur i noen få butikker, har jentene funnet sine antrekk for dagen. På overkroppen har de valgt ut trange, hvite tanktops med sorte pushup bh’r skimtende igjennom. Deretter korte tennisskjørt med sorte og hvite striper, og til slutt svarte knestrømper i hvite og svarte høyhælte Nike Dunk sko. I tillegg har de klart å finne hvite Pom Pon dusker til alle tre. For å holde varmen under kampen har de kjøpt inn ingredienser til å lage Appletini. Fornøyde med de vellykkede innkjøpene og oppspilt på å studere en ny jaktmarked med legestudenter, finner de kjapt frem til riktig trikk og setter retningen mot Tullinløkka.

… fortsettelse følger…

Jenny Lane

 

19 Dec

Page 34-36: Seeing the world from a new perspective

The weekend goes by quicker than Ingerid had anticipated. She realises there were other reasons to why she had attended the workshop than what was understood at first glance. An immense gratitude for daring to take a leap of faith and journey into this unknown territory filled with new people, new thoughts and new activities, infuses every cell in her being. A feeling that makes itself apparent to all of the attendees especially at the last session when they’re asked to describe what they’re grateful for. Tears of joy and gratitude run down their cheeks until there’s nearly not a dry eye left in the room. Even Karoline, Kjetil and Sigvart are moved.

Love and gratitude. Two very powerful emotions which everyone in the group agrees to dedicate more space to in their daily lives. A group of strangers that didn’t know each other on Friday have during this weekend formed strong bonds which make them feel like they’ve known each other for years.
When Ingerid grabs hold of Per to wish him good luck on his road onwards, a particularly warm feeling arises in her belly. Per’s eyes softens as he throws his arms around her in a warm hug. He then grabs her shoulders, looks her deeply into the eyes as to touch the depth of her soul and says:
“We’ll keep in touch, Ingerid!”.
The words come out with an underlying mixture of promise and command. Ingerid smiles while two teardrops run down her naked cheeks.
“Yes”, she utters barely heard through the sobs.
He squeezes her tightly again and holds her until the crying stops. A calm feeling descends upon her as she leans her whole body into his, her head resting on his strong shoulder.

They remain in the same position for a long time. Probably five or ten minutes, which would normally be considered an outrages amount of time for one hug, but they don’t seem to care at the moment. They know that everyone around them appreciates the warm and loving silence. What anybody else thinks about their hug, whether they think it’s lasting too long or being too intimate, doesn’t really matter right now. What matters to both of them is the gratefulness they both feel in sharing this special moment with someone who understands and is open to sharing feelings without words or descriptions. With someone who is able to stand and hold the space for another in need until the wave of emotion have rushed in and left again with a peaceful warmth in its wake.

The trip over the mountains back to Bergen gives Ingerid a little breathing space to work through the experiences over the past weekend. The wind grabs hold of her motorcycle clothes and shakes her soul like a laundry machine. It reminds her of the meditation exercises where she constantly had to shake off the thoughts in order to refocus on the breath. Her senses seem to have become sharper during the course of the weekend. All of a sudden she appreciates more than ever the high mountains in the background and the beautiful wildflowers in the foreground that dares to grow forth in the most vulnerable of all places.

The Ducati glides steadily through the winding landscape. Effortlessly climbing up mountains and easing down valleys. When the bike reaches the summit of a mountain the magnificent landscape of “Jotunheimen” opens up with a 360 degree view. Ingerid takes her hand off the steering and raises her back to take in the full scope of what’s ahead. Breathtaking beauty is beaming at her from all angles. In the absence of her right hand on the throttle, the motorcycle slows down accompanied by the recognisable hissing sound from the exhaust pipe notifying her to take a break like a trusted companion. She sees a viewing spot just off the road and decides to stop. She climbs off the bike with her eyes fixed on the horizon. Just across the parking spot a huge rock stands out. It seems to be the perfect resting bench. She fetches an apple from her pocket which she grabbed on her way out of the lodge and eats it while enjoying the view and the silence.

But the inner peace doesn’t last long. A desire works its way up to the surface. A longing of wanting to share the experience with someone. How is she going to tell her friends about the experiences this weekend? Would they be able to understand? Were there any simple ways to explain it to them? Or maybe she should just keep it a secret? Would they recognise that something had changed? Had she changed? Or maybe she would just glide back into the same daily habits of days filled with lectures, studying and partying?
A shiver runs down her spine. Her old life all of a sudden seems so empty and unfulfilling. Meaningless.

She stares out into the open sky and to the mountaintops that peaks like soft waves on the horizon. Her gaze rests into the wide landscape like an all-seeing eye. Seeing everything and nothing at once.
But the silence doesn’t feel warm and open like it did in the lodge. It feels rather cold and stiff. A noticeably change in nuance.
Then thoughts bursts forward along with the truck she hears approaching from afar.
“What now? What will happen to the plans she had for her future? What is she going to do? Where is she going to go? What is going to become of her?”

The feeling of fear grows further as the truck grows closer and closer until a crescendo of black heavy diesel fog fills the air and forces her to take refuge at a higher ground.
When the darkness disappears and air settles, she returns to her bike. “All I know”, she says sighing, “is what I don’t want to do”.
She doesn’t want to study law anymore, and she doesn’t want to become a lawyer. And with an inexplicable sadness she gets back on the bike and speeds through the mountains to confront her life at Dragon Mountain in Bergen.

Ingerid walks with heavy footsteps towards the cantina to meet her friends. Sara and Silje are visible from far away. They sit nonchalantly nearly laying across the table, laughing and discussing with loud voices. The bright light from the large panoramic windows behind them nearly blinds her as she approaches. Even though she’s physically close to her friends, the distance between them feels uncomfortably far.

“How was the weekend workshop? Was it good? How did it feel to get to know “the loosers?”, Sara asks while giggling ironically and looking at Silje for support.
It’s obvious they’ve been talking about how silly they think the workshop seemed. Ingerid feels irritated by their prejudice and hurt by them talking behind her back. Without much thought she blurts out:
“It actually gave me a lot! You might think you know the answer to everything, but maybe you haven’t looked at yourselves much in order to know if you’re really doing as well as you think you are. I don’t believe the happy façade you’re trying to maintain at all times. It’s fake! You probably have a few ghosts in your closet too that you might not want to reveal! Or that you might not even be honest enough to even know of!”, Ingerid argues with a sharp tone hard enough to cut through steel.
The ambience quickly changes from sunny skies to thunderous clouds.

“Have you completely lost it?”, Sara replies and nods towards Silje as she gets up. They both give her a disgusted look over their right shoulder as they walk away from the table. Ingerid is left alone.

Surprised looks and harsh glances surround her from all angles like stabs of hostile malaise. Social borders have been crossed leading them to protect their territory with utmost ferocity, treating her like an outcast of the pack. Not a single person approaches her with sympathy or compassion. Not a single person gives her a friendly smile. Not a single person dares wants or knows how to react differently than the others, and she knows now that she’s alone. Utterly alone at a crossroad of unknown futures.

Ingerid grabs her bag and walks to the study hall. Tears well up from inside as her body boils over with emotions of anger, betrayal and shame. With a sunken face she walks towards the space she has partially claimed as hers throughout the whole semester. She takes one law-book after the other down from the shelf above the desk and drops it into her bag. They fall like heavy bricks on top of each other. She doesn’t bother to stack them neatly. She just wants to get away as soon as possible in order to avoid even more confrontations or dramatic humiliations.

Why couldn’t she just keep her mouth shut? Why did she have to provoke others to the extent of becoming an outcast? Why did she have to put herself in a position of being wrong as others thought they were right? Had she been exposed to a form of brainwashing that she wasn’t even aware of? Maybe something was wrong with her after all?

Shameful and embarrassed she leaves Dragon Mountain as if she had been stoned and tortured. Confused and lonely she knows of only one safe haven to go. Her own little apartment which awaits her like a mother with open arms. She hurries in, closes the door and throws herself on the bed filled with soft pillows ready to receive her cries and muffle them into silence.

… to be continued…

Jenny Lane

New_Vision