I can’t use the internet in my new home. It’s on a little USB stick that my computer doesn’t recognize and my phone is stuck in airplane mode with all the cellular data off so I don’t rack up a bunch of ridiculous international charges. While I can say that not having internet is very liberating and frees up a lot of time, I can also easily admit that the situation makes me feel pretty isolated. Henry has lent me his computer and phone often and yesterday I finally got the chance to call home.
Henry worked on some stuff in the background as I loudly gabbed with my mom in a way that only comes about after spending 24 years with someone. We laughed, caught up and talked about things that Henry tried to not looked freaked out by (“So do you guys even like each other anymore?” “Henry, you have to make sure she doesn’t get hangry; she gets really mean.”). Hearing a familiar voice left me feeling lighter and warmer and led to a long conversation about what sort of things he and I were hoping to do with our futures after I hung up. Since we were on the mom roll, he called his mother and discussed the concerns he had brought up to me this week about being in Denmark. They had a good talk and my heart broke a little listening to his mom talk about missing her sons (sometimes when my mom tells me how she feels after we all leave, my heart breaks into a million pieces and I feel terrible). I had somewhat intentionally not spoken up during their conversation but she sent her love to us both and he got off the phone seeming to also feel a little warmer and lighter. ((thanks moms – we love and miss you))
We hopped on our bikes, fueled with motherly encouragement, and rode towards the school to complete Henry’s weekly assignment to create a mask out of acquired items. I rode behind him, trying to maintain composure as he stopped at random intervals to look for supplies. I asked him to warn me before he did something stupid (like jump across traffic on his bike without warning) and was greeted with several “Something Stupid!”s before we arrived.
He got me hooked up to the internet and I set up his computer while he wandered back out for more supplies. About 40 minutes later he came back, triumphantly carrying some couch cushions and badminton balls (balls? are they called something else?). We set to work creating a giant mask; Henry seemed very willing to take my suggestions and we listened to a really weird playlist while individually sewing on every “tooth”.
The whole thing took about three hours; I’m very proud of the result and very happy to have the memories of laughing over the absurdity of what our lives were in that moment. If anyone had asked me what I’d being doing at 24, I never would have guessed that I’d be helping build a giant dumpster mask out of couch cushions with the man that I love on top of a badminton court at a clown school in Copenhagen, Denmark—but I’m really glad that’s what happening.
((The mask was later named Sofus, which is apparently a popular Danish boy’s name))