For the sauna!
Last night was different.
Something happened to me, lately. that is. I am no longer such a responsible person, always being the one cleaning the house in the morning after the party, making sure people don’t go too crazy, being the grown up. F..k that.
Now I go along with everything.
So, imagine this: in the middle of the night, as a low enforcement employee, you do your usual rounds in these peripheral, strange villages, sometimes inhabited by social recluse, hermits etc. on top of the smashing majority of completely normal people. 99.99% of the time, besides the usual “drunk people fighting”, nothing happens. Especially not in a Thursday night.
Well this time is probably not that different... You get a call that there is this guy jogging with a bicycle on his back who is singing happily, yells left and right with no apparent reason and looks dangerously offensive to people’s common sense.
That was me.
We did a late grill, with Johan and Laura, and we got a bit tipsy. While eating, I said “I never went to a sauna.” . That triggered the rest of the evening. Johan’s uncle has a sauna, 4 km away, in a different village. He quickly calls his uncle, past midnight, and he urges him to prepare the sauna. Then we start fixing two bikes. We are 3 and in Sweden is illegal 2 people on a bike. But we leave anyway. Johan is caring Laura on his bike.
500m later, I get a flat tire, of course. They don’t notice and keep going. I start walking, bike aside. After a while a get a phone-call “Where the f..k are you?”. Well, I yelled after them for 5 minutes “I have a flat f..king tire!”. So where could I f..king be…
Anyway, 500m later, I meet with them and we start discussing solutions. Johan solution was “We drop Laura in this ditch here, on the side of the street, alone, we go back and we fix the other bike. Then we come back”. And hopefully we pick Laura from the ditch, if she is still there, that is… Details, of course.
I kind of totally disagreed with that option though. The ditch was not deep enough. Laura really liked the idea though… Still, I insisted that we should find a better solution. But, too late. I got a “f..k off” from Johan, who took the bike, with Laura on the back left… “Pick up the bike on your back and try to keep up, if you don’t like my ideas!” they said.
Took me like another km to get used with the bike, on my back, but after a while, it became a part of me, like an accessory. I couldn’t even notice it anymore. I was thinking about how it would be to spend your daily routine like this, with a bike on your back, braving through life, blaming the flat tire. I was jogging, singing and yelling, feeling alive, with one goal in my mind, to get to the damn sauna. It felt good, strangely relaxing... Cars were coming slow behind, I was smiling at them, and they were accelerating quickly after…
I was just f..king friendly with them!
Then I went live on Facebook, describing the experience… I am not sure you want to see that. Further on, Laura and Johan were waiting for me, so I had to cut short my deeply philosophical conversation with my bike companion, on the subject of “Does beauty require thought?”, and join the real world.
While taking a break from jogging, by walking, I hear a car behind me that actually stops. I felt back then there can only be for two reasons, and unfortunately both were ending up in my imagination with me getting locked up in a cell somewhere. But, f..ki it all. I got nothing to loose and I’ve got initiative.
I’ve turned towards them. It was the police. They were looking at me like I was the third guy that night. Not surprised at all. Before they could do anything, I approached the window and starting talking, in english. They did not ask me anything…
“I know it is probably weird to see a guy walking with a bike on his back, in the middle of the night, but look, I have a flat tire”. Meanwhile, I was gently squeezing the tire of the bike. “The thing is that we really need to go to a sauna, and that guy there (Johan was nowhere to be found and Laura was 100 m back somewhere) promised he will take us to his uncle’s house, which I have no clue where it is. I never been into a sauna, I am very curious. You have to understand that. Also, this is totally not my bike, it is my sisters’. She does not live in Sweden, she is nomad and she really likes that. I can tell you more. If you want, just confirm with your head. Anyway, she decided to leave the bike to us. It has some problems, like brakes not working and a flat tire. See, I need to carry it on my back.
You might also thing that I am drunk, but in fact, I am not. If I would have been, I wouldn’t have been able to carry this bike on my back. It is a fact and it is true. I mean there, try it! It ain’t easy.”
They were just watching me, slightly amused, but serious. But then, suddenly Johan comes from the bushes, and starts talking to the policeman in Swedish. Laura joins as well. He says to them that we were all three biking and then I got a flat tire. And the police lady was like “But, you are three people and two bikes… ?”. Laura quickly joins the conversation “Johan was carrying me…”. Did I mention that is illegal in Sweden?
Johan loudly denies everything, his hand crossing his heart and all, and then explains that that we have just arrived at his uncle sauna and it is all fine. The police people were unconvinced, but there was nothing they could do. As weird as it was, we were doing nothing wrong and there was no proof for 3 people ridding two bikes.
Also there is no law against a bike riding his owner.
Irrelevant though, since everybody completely forgot about me and the bike on my back. Before the police left, I was already in the bushes. I remember turning off the lights on the bike and disappearing into the night… Well for 30 seconds or so.
…I was still not drunk. The sauna was great. A bit weird since I am shameless and went naked in the sauna without giving a damn about the other 2 girls than joined us later, which I just met… But apparently is ok in Finland, so they were not that bothered. I had this vague idea that I am in Sweden, but it was too hot inside. You might wonder if things happened, but there was nothing sexual about two guys and three girls in a sauna. Of course, Laura was in the sauna too. It was a humid, burning, refreshing sauna. My first ever, at 40 years old.
The bike is safe off my back now. We walked back home, again, after the sauna. My skin looked really good and I was hungry. Not too hungry ’cause Johan’s uncle is awesome and he fed us as well. I am also more alive then ever.
You should try it!