So I got this birthdaycalendar from my grandmother Mary and I don't know where she got it from, if she had it for a long time or if it's something my dad found on a flee-market. It's in Swedish as you can see, with some old sayings attached to each date and names of other famous birthdaychildren. It can't have been a book she used, since my birthday has gone completely unnoticed. I scanned it from that day and the following week. It's printed in 1895. Whoever had it has however scribbled down two names, on January 20 and 21. I just picked it up yesterday when I was moving around some furniture. Took in the wooden table and chairs from the balcony so that they wouldn't get completely ruined by winter, and put out the pink plastic sink that is going to be used as a flowerbench next summer. I got stuck for a while reading the pages on different dates that mattered. I think she showed this to me once or twice too, because of Oskar II, the Swedish king that was born on January 21th 1929. I probably told this story many times before and perhaps I shouldn't tell it again. I regret not filming her when she told her stories, because writing them or trying to retell them isn't the same thing. She was an excellent storyteller and got so engaged herself while she was at it, spoke with emphasis and gestures in her own special manners. Anyway, Oskar II, she mentioned him a lot, because one day....
" I was lying in bed reading when I suddenly saw a dim light on the door to the closet. ( then she showed with her hands the size of the apparition) I couldn't stop looking at it, because I didn't understand where it came from. The blinds where down ( as they always were in the bedroom) so it couldn't have been a car or something from the outside and it was not coming from the lamp either. Then a face emerges. ( she gasped for her breath) It looked like someone from old pictures of kings and queens, with medals and a funny looking hat. ( she showed how the hat looked with her hands above her head). I thought it would go away, but it didn't, so I finally asked:
- Who are you?
And he answered, in a regular mans voice, nothing strange or funny:
- I am Oskar II.
Then it faded away and everything went back to the way it was before."
My dad wouldn't stop teasing her about this.
- Mary had a secret lover in her bedroom and is making up this story to cover up for it.
- No , it's true, it really happened. Believe what you want.
- You just dozed off and it was a dream.
- No. ( the way she said no too..) I got up just after, wasn't sleeping at all.
Well, this became something she mentioned many times and something we used to tease her about on a regular basis. If she found something relating to the name Oskar then we got to hear the story again, or if someone else had some odd experience that they shared at her kitchentable, we got to hear it again. So one Christmas, when me, my dad and my son went to buy her a good chair for the kitchen we found the perfect one. The Oskar- chair. It was my son who saw it first and showed it to my dad.
- This looks comfortable, and not too expensive either.
My dad looked at the name and started laughing.
- This will be perfect! You heard about Oskar, right? She will love this.
- No, I don't think I have..
My son foolishly said.
- You will son, you will, she will tell it right away when we get back home, I promise.
And she did tell the story while my son got to assemble the chair for her.
I still have it, mended with dutchtape after Vilma the cats scratching sessions. I can't really get rid of it, or maybe I should. When she was sitting in that chair and talking to me many times after that, she often said.
- This is Oskar I, so now you know that, the next Oskar you meet will be Oskar II, then you will know that you have found the right person.
I have scoulded my grandmother many times after her passing for this. I have met two Oskars since then, the first was a kid who lived next door for a while and the other one was a doctor who put his thumb up my ass. If I have to chose between those two I'm hoping the kid will grow up fast and be perverted enough to like very very old women, but that's many years away. Or maybe there is an Oskar III? Oskar IIII? "May the fourth be with you.." ...it's a common name I have to give her that, at least she tried to narrow down the options a bit.
Maybe it's an Oscarwinner? Hm...maybe I will win an Oscar for my great acting skills or for some other artistic achievement? Director perhaps, because of the chair.
Or just a new chair. I have a new chair, but it's not really new, and it's not an Oskar, but it looks similar, close enough?
Just rambling the night away, I have studies to tend to, a painting to finish and socks to knit.