I wanna tell you about a girl… Thus begins the title track on the first studio album by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds from 1984, titled ‘From Her To Eternity’. If you haven’t listened all the way through this album, I am prepared to forgive you, as no-one is perfect. Besides, it is a very dark, gritty and occasionally downright diabolical album that might take some effort to get into. If you haven’t heard anything at all by Nick Cave I would encourage you to sit down and rethink your life choices. If you haven’t even heard of Nick Cave, I would advocate that the only benefit this world can derive from your existence would be as in the form of food for some endangered predator species. But that’s neither here nor there. I’m not opening this piece of writing with a reference to the gritty post-punk of the 80s in order to further the cultural education of our readers or promote the resurrection of eugenics, but do drive home the message that today, you, as the indirect object, will be told by me, the subject, about a girl, the direct object. This is in a strict grammatical sense, I might hasten to add, in order to avoid any allegations that this publication advocates viewing girls as objects, direct, indirect or otherwise.
But first, or rather, second, if we’re keeping count of digressions, I will tell you about what sort of people I usually encounter on a flight from Edinburgh to Oslo. Despite the fact that we, the Norwegians, each year pay an amount that could effectively run the state of Haiti for a year in order to attend university in the UK, we continue to approach your shores in numbers that haven’t been seen since the peak of the Viking raiding era. As it so happens, many of these are studying business at Edinburgh. Now, I’m all for innovation and entrepreneurship and all that, but it is my contention that amongst Norwegian business students in Edinburgh, you’ll have no trouble finding people who are provably nothing but spoiled, silly tits. Now on one occasion I actually spoke to one of these creatures, and in trying to break down my prejudices asked what he aimed to achieve through his studies. ‘Become a CEO’ he said. Well, nothing wrong with ambition itself, I thought. ‘Of what?’, I inquired, upon which he answered ‘Don’t know, not that important’. If I had two more fingers of whiskey in me at the time, I would probably have said that Sillytits Inc were looking for a head of their department of Ignorant Wankers and that he would be perfect for the job.
You see, that’s the problem with me: I don’t drink enough.
The point being, that I genuinely don’t give a toss about what my co-passengers on my homebound flights think about me. Additionally, during my nearly three years of flying back and forth between Britain and Norway, I’ve realized that flying is already a miserable experience so there’s no point going through it feeling all good and chirpy. Hence, I make sure to be well hungover everytime a journey approaches, preferably having enjoyed beer and spirits until closing time and then some the night before. Now, if you mentally add these factors together, you will come to the conclusion that when the author of this text goes flying, he intentionally does so intentionally looking like a bit of a mess and he is proud of it.
This, my friends, is where we at last reach the point where the girl who I promised to tell you about enters the picture. And believe me, this was a girl worth waiting for. I would try to describe her to you, poets far greater than I have tried capturing her essence in words for centuries without succeeding. If I were to make an attempt I would say that hers was a face that could launch a thousand air shuttles and that her beauty hit me with the force of a frozen salmon handled by a rampaging troll. Better to leave that stuff to the professionals, in other words.
That was but the first impression, however. As I’ve alluded to before, even though many of the girls I run into at these flights might possess some qualities that resonates with my conceptions of physical beauty, I still judge them to be too damn shallow to care about. This one was different. She possessed an air of something you don’t see nowadays: pure class. Whereas other girls go out of their way to show you that they know fashion, this one could effortlessly pull of an aura of style. There was something about the way she carried herself that emitted an aura of pure gracefulness. Her attire included a pair loose-fitting baggy trousers and an ear piercing, eliminated the concern that she would be a rigid, stuck-up bitch. In fact, I instinctively imagined her to be quite flexible. Not sure why, though, sometimes you just look at the manner people move about and you come to such conclusions.
Further inspection revealed that the object strapped to her back was in fact a guitar. Oh dear Lord, she’s a musician as well. Needless to say, I immediately understood that this one was way out of my league.
Nonetheless, you can imagine the joy I felt when boarding the plane and discovering that she would be sitting next to me, albeit with an empty seat in between. When she sat down, she started snacking on a cucumber, which to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what to make of but there and then I saw it as a further manifestation of the gloriousness of her character.
I harbored no illusions that it would be the two of us walking down the aisle in a couple of years. Nonetheless, my self-esteem would be greatly enhanced if I ended up registering on her radar at all, preferably not as a mere annoyance in her visual field. As I was looking pretty much like a pile of trollshit, I certainly had a significant challenge ahead of me. Then she pulled out Tolstoj’s ‘War and Peace’. I was just about to give up, as even though I’m no stranger to literature, having gone through my Cervantes, Bulgakov and David Foster Wallace’s postmodern epos ‘Infinite Jest’ and even understanding some of it, I figured that someone who casually pulls out Tolstoj for a bit of light in-flight reading would find my literary competence quite unimpressive.