It is time again.
My dear friend Evi left this world fourteen years ago.
She was only 29
Every year I write this letter to her and let her presence consume me.
A letter I would write to my friend had she move to the mountains to live inside of a tree forever, allowing me to send her one letter every year.
The letter alters with the changes in my life. Making me aware of how much I have.
Making me appreciate the gift of life.
That gift she no longer possess.
I take her with me in my head to my favorite places and I read my letter to her.
I drink with her and listen to her favorite songs.
Then I try to remember her laughter. And when I do, I smile and let her go.
I hope, all of you out there, who knew her, or were once her friend, her family, her lover ... are thinking of her today and are celebrating the beautiful creature Evi was! Because she was. She was beautiful!
Let us drink to her name!
Because as long as there are people who remember … people never die …
I add this corny video I made for her all those years ago.
It's all I got left of her and it's full of my love for her. Playing the song that will always remind me of her.
Till the day I go.
Since you've been gone, I've started my life all over from zero four times!
Remember how we always spoke of new beginnings? And how scary it felt? And how you'd like one day to move to Sofia with your son? It can be done. Multiple times so it seems.
Since you’ve been gone, I moved in with some guy, then moved out, learnt another language and rode a water-coaster.
It was scary.
All of it.
Since you’ve been gone, I got engaged once. I got betrayed thrice. I got let down and brokenhearted ... numerous times.
I thought I'd die.
I find it all so trivial now.
Moved out. Moved ahead. Moved on.
Since you’ve been gone, I've written about 7 to 8 thousand verses.
Some about you.
Since you’ve been gone, I learnt how to swim, rode a children's roller coaster, walked on frozen lakes, pet a spider, touched a bumblebee, pet a cricket, started drinking my coffee black, saw dinosaur bones, tasted peanut butter, saw the skeleton of a blue whale, laughed with all my heart twice, brought a stranger home, traveled to Lapland, stepped beyond the Polar circle twice, seen the Norwegian fjords, got a reindeer ride with a Sami shaman, saw a fox in my neighborhood, came across a cow herd (again in my neighborhood), run 15 kilometers, walked into a green lake and danced on the soft green fluff for an hour, outed myself (you always knew) and obtained more sex-toys within 6 months than in my entire life. You'd love my whip collection.
Since you've been gone, I've changed my hair to red, wrapped a man in plastic, killed something, riding my bicycle in the summers ( I have now 3), I've quit smoking and started running (it's been 11 years now). I've met my brother thrice. I started playing the violin again. And quit … again.
Since you’ve been gone, I have talked to 19 strangers, I barbequed in the snow, I played in real dungeons, I saw Elks up close and petted one of them (it was oily), lost count on my roadtrips, drove a truck (for a couple of minutes), went to car festivals and had an encounter with a mouse.
I began enjoying the sunlight and warm afternoons. I started drinking red wine and craft beer (who knew?), I met a girl from Bulgaria who made me think of all the things you've told me about Sofia.
Since you’ve been gone, I learnt how to cook, bake apple-pies, knit, tend a garden, and I am still collecting rocks. You used to laugh at that.
Since you’ve been gone, I have fallen in love ... well now that I think of it ... only twice ... and have lied to you once.
Since you’ve been gone, I've watched countless movies. Never bought a television. Discovered more music, made more music and stopped hurting myself.
Since you've been gone I've been making a great effort not to give up.
You know I lose interest if I have to do only one thing at a time.
But I don't think I can run all the while taking care of a cactus, knitting a scarf, taking pictures, polishing a rock and tasting a beer ...
Running drunk with a cactus and a set of knitting needles in one hand and with a rock and a camera in the other … sounds a lot like a nightmare.
Photography though is still my constant. And it reminds me of you. Your pictures. Your dark room. Your experiments. Your camera. Your plans. And I have the need to show you what I see through my lens. And sometimes; sometimes I do.
Since you've been gone, I've learnt to appreciate daytime and gave up coke (well, the large amounts anyway) I went to school again, I've had two jobs. The second one I loved. Till I hated it.
I've quit the idea of learning Spanish. I saw no point to it without you.
I never danced like "that night" again. That summer night in the park, that smelled of jasmine and haschish.
I never saw Manu again.
Since you've been gone, I've met P. in Athens twice. The one time we drunk to your name a whole afternoon, I then got on her bike and she drove me home drunk.
Since you've been gone, I became more compassionate with my father. Till I lost him too to cancer ... He died in my arms.
Since you've been gone I have been really sad and I have been quite happy.
As I write this letter now, I am rather happy.
I have given up on "forever", but I'm still in the game.
Since you've been gone my mother had 4 manic episodes. I wanted to study psychiatry because of it, but I gave up after 4 books on the brain functions. I wanted to studdy arctic biology, mainly so that I could move to Spetsbergen, I never did. But it's never too late is it?
Since you've been gone, I came back twice.
Once to bring my mother home, to live near me.
She is now living here in Stockholm in her own flat with her tuxedo psycho cat and her poems.
The second time, I came to bring my father home... to die near us ...
He is now buried at the same cemetery with Garbo. He would be pleased to know that.
I pass that cemetery almost once a week. But since his death I've been there only 7 times. The one time was the funeral. The last was All Hallows Eve 2016 ...
Since you've been gone, I've met N. online. He made me cry and smile. He made me remember so much about you. He told me the other side of the story ... He brought me close to you, again.
Since you've been gone, I've had that star T-shirt on 9 times. Remember that stupid t-shirt?
It always reminds me of you ... and that "sandalwood day"!
That day we stayed up all night ...
That 48 hour day.
When, the night turned into morning ... into afternoon ... into evening and into night again.
With no sleep and no food. With lots of coffee and cigarettes...
I haven't had a day like that with anyone... Anyone!
That "day" Evi damn it!
When you told me everything.
The day I slept in your bed.
I remember lying in your sheets looking at your pointy leather boots with the silver buckles placed nicely by the mirror on your dresser.
The mirror reflecting your room, your makeup case, your trinkets and beautiful studded belts.
I remember your black fluffy dress in the corridor ...
How I would have loved to see you in it...
Since you've been gone, I think I have seen your face on the street, in movies, in my dreams, so many times, even if I wanted to I couldn't forget it.
Since you've been gone, I have been less and more.
And can’t forget to remember your voice.
Since you've been gone I haven't seen Siouxsie. Not once.
And I still haven't watched the Mylene DVDs you gave me a year before you were gone.
I would have to let you know if I liked them or not and ... you won't be around to tell you.
And I remember you saying: "Watch them. Don't forget them in some drawer or throw them away..."
But now I don't know where I've put them.
Since you've been gone, I've seen the little mermaid in Denmark, I bought alcohol in Finland, "lost my heart" in Norway and travelled in vast distances in north and middle Sweden. I've walked half naked in a parade in Stockholm, I visited a silver mine, I obtained a human pet, spent New Year's Eve in a Dungeon twice and started eating bacon (yes, this was unexpected).
Since you've been gone, I have recorded 7 songs, drove a lawn mower, saw a wolverine, got a violin, got a ukulele and bought a guitar.
I saw farm animals up close, met 36 cats, 4 dogs, an iguana and two snakes. I don't own any. Yet.
And as the years go by and technology evolves with giant steps, I am still reminiscing our endless hours on ICQ and you trying to teach me code on mIRC.
Since you've been gone, I've read too many books to count, I've met countless deer, I saw the milky way while lying on a frozen lake in the middle of the winter up in Norrland, wishing you were there pointing with your long fingers Cassioppeia.
I almost saw the polar lights in Stockholm, one (almost) total eclipse of the sun, two supermoons, petted a naked cat, bought a bathing suit (still haven't swum in it though) and I saw swans flying thrice!
My dear friend ...
Since you've been gone, I have worked a lot on my anger. I still don't suffer fools, but I've learnt to pretend to be kind.
Since you've been gone I've become more of a misanthrope, yet more empathetic.
I’ve become more friendly but less of a friend.
Since you've been gone, I have become more compassionate, yet less tolerant.
Since you've been gone, I have finally become an adult. But I will always be a child.
Since you've been gone, I have missed you like no other ... yes, except my father.
Since you've been gone, I have been talking to you … more often one may think ...
Since you've been gone, it has been 14 years.
It feels a lifetime ... it IS a lifetime ... yet it feels like yesterday I spoke to you on the phone ...
Since you've been gone, I've wished so many times that I could ask you:
"My dear friend, how have you been, since I've been gone?"
I miss you, I love you, I wish you were here.
Yours truly and for always,