1979. The wooden benches are hard on the five-year old boy. In the far end of the dark, smoke filled waiting room his mum and dad are getting passports for the long journey abroad. Or maybe just waiting for their turn and being just as bored and downright frustrated as the boy.
I wouldn’t know. I’m having a first go at public office boredom. Boredom is an egocentric, focused state of mind.
On the right hand wall, a little closer to the small perforated windows of the gloomy respatex front desk, a poster stares back at me. It has a real, menacing looking human skull and angry letters in orange and green. Perfect for brightening up a dull customs office.
“Rabies dreper” — rabies kills. It radiates darkness.
My dad is to study the art of book binding in Switzerland, and everything and anything that I look at in this impressionable period of my youth will be forever imprinted on my mind …
I can’t take mye eyes off it.
«They’re warning against a deadly disease», my dad tells, «rabid dogs. No cure».
Doesn’t matter. It’s got a cranium. That’s creepy and way cool.
I want that poster.
Some 15 years later. A boat trip, a voyage between southern Norway and the dry land and relative safeness of the west coast. Always seasick, always regretting, always accepting an invitation for repeat perfomance. By full sails and in rough weather.
We make errands in small harbours, for beer and to give the nauseatic one a break. Can’t remember which little town — Grimstad? — but it had a tourist office, closed down for season, a step down from the pavement.
And there it was! Rolled up on the doorstep, rattling in the wind. That poster.
Cut to present. «No, it won’t go on the wall». Not livingroom cool. Even the kids just shrugs. Not scary enough.
The little boy within still think it’s cool and special. And a little frightening.