Thursday, July 04, 2013

My life as cycles (II)


  The next cycle was the next two years until my first London visit. Autumn 1981 I made it through one short and ultimately sweet military service. It lasted ten days until they realized I was allergic against being ordered around, that I would always be a security risk. I was dismissed after ten days, in such a decisive way that it was clear I would never be recalled or even join the civil part of the service (which have always been a sham anyway), not even during war. If war ever comes to Norway they will detain me and possibly shoot me, if they get the chance, but they will not recall me…
  It was such a rush. I was high for months afterwards, during the entire long winter. I had beaten the system at its own game and I was ready for more. Resistance was possible. A recruit hating the very idea of war, of militarism, one they would love to break and make to confirm escaped their cold clutches, their dead, bony fingers. I was ecstatic!
  I terrorized my hometown with excitement that long, cold winter.
  No military service? Another negative nick on my CV and my nine to five career prospects…
  That didn't really dawn on me at all and it certainly didn't bother me.
  July 19, 1983 I arrived in London for the very first time, and it changed my life even more. I confirmed for myself during those seven days and nights what I already knew: life is so much more than we are told. I experienced the world that short/long week.
  I continued to earn money through poker playing in the upcoming years, not much, but sufficient for me to not need a nine to five job. The next cycle lasted two more years. In September 1984 I visited London for the second time and it was even more an experience than the first time, sixteen days and nights of wonder and joy. In May 1985 I won the national Double-or-Nothing competition, and earned enough money to pretty much, within limits do whatever I wanted. During the next three years I didn't really use much of that money. I could travel to London and elsewhere without using them, and I did, several times. I became a Traveling Man.
  It wasn't until June 1988 I decided to spend more of them. I traveled to London for what was meant to be a month, but that ended up being five years, five of the best in my entire life.
  I met witches and rebels and the mothers of my children. The first Witchnight was celebrated June 21, an event of infinite magnitude we have repeated and done our best to repeat endlessly since. We moved into an old house with lots of room, an act straight out of my books and lived out our dreams.
  And then some… I know I will never be able to properly describe it all, put it into words.
  We began doing magick, began playing street theater and I wrote on my novels, novels I ended up dragging around half of Europe in an old suitcase. They were in jeopardy and suffered horrible hazards several instances during that time, but survived. I still have the originals of Dreams Belong to the Night and ShadowWalk in my possession to this night.
  We didn't earn much money on our art, so we had to take various jobs. Fate and greatness intervened again and most of us got jobs as vacuum cleaner salesmen. This was expensive, industrial vacuum cleaners. We traveled around to various offices and companies, to places where we had an appointment and it was mostly nice work.
  One reason for that was our employer. He was almost too good to be true. He treated us as human beings and not slave labor, and then he truly began his genius approach to business:
  When we had enjoyed several successful weeks and sold lots of industrial vacuum cleaners he gave us a few extra days off.
  And then:
  «Hey, guys, let’s spend the weekend in France, my treat».
  The first time we scratched our head and quite couldn't believe our good fortune, but it repeated itself many times. And the thing is: his actions inspired true loyalty in us. He still kept most of the money he earned, but more than any other businessman or «boss» I have ever met he gave us an undeniable feeling that we were valued. We weren't his slaves, but his true associates. He became very successful.
  And I realized, to my astonishment, that I was good at it, too, at selling stuff. My big forte, if anything is honesty, I think. I never try to make a given product better than it is, don’t even attempt to stretch the truth.
  Unfortunately for us, not for him he sold the company and started sailing the seven seas. Things never became the same after that. We quit after a few months with the new management.
  I returned to Norway in 1993 with a considerable sum of money in my suitcase, though. It was meant to be a short, very short visit, but my mother grew ill, very ill and I stayed to help my father out with her. It wasn't pleasant, wasn't pleasant at all. She died in 1995, after suffering constantly the entire time, hardly even alive at the end, making her passing a «blessing». He followed her into death in 1997. Before I knew it four years had passed. My father had found a kind of peace in his last years, and we had come to a kind of understanding, one that hadn't been there earlier. We hardly quarreled at all the last few years.
  I kept writing. I never stopped. I had long since realized that it was one of the few things that gave my life meaning.
  My first computer, bought in 1995 revolutionized my writing, made the very process easier, making it easier to focus on the «purity» of creating. In the midst of death there is life.

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