It starts at 8 o'clock this morning. I'm stuck behind the slowest people at the airport, at the bagdrop counter. I can't comprehend what the whole fuss is all about, when all you have to do is really just drop your bloody bag and get the hell out of there. But no, the people in front of me needed a lot of help with a lot of discourse that was simply interminable. Generally, I'm pretty good at managing my anger when my blood pressure goes up over incompetence and too many people around exercising it, for I have a safe mantra. I count down to the day I have to be in Norway on top of a mountain. All by myself. I always have such a concrete date in sight. So I say to myself: Norway, Norway, Norway in 10 days.
Meanwhile I'm on my way to Hungary for the conference on literature and psychology. I go to this one every year, and I already anticipate some analysis with some of my best friends—for free. For as it happens, this is the only conference that gathers the best Shakespeareans, for instance, with the best analysts. Most of the older, and regular participants are both, literary critics and psychoanalysts, and some of them don't mind performing some magic on you. Meanwhile again, while the plane taxis on the runway, it gets a flat tyre, and before you know it, I'm back at the gate with this message: sorry, your next flight to Budapest is at 9.30 tonight. A flat tyre? This is a first, on a plane, but I guess it can happen to everybody. However, I don't get off the plane so quickly, and I find myself cursing. Half of the 'Budapestans' are actually bound for Beirut, and their families are large. Very large. So you can imagine the restless hordes. 'Norway, Norway, Norway in 10 days' saves my day again. For a while.
So, stuck in Kastrup—it could be worse, believe me—what does a smart woman do? I go straight for the Georg Jensen jewelry store, and I'm intent on buying the necklace in the “Infinity” series. I've had my eye on it for some time now. And there we go again: I get stuck once more, this time behind a Japanese who can't make up her mind as to whether she wants the Infinity herself or the Moebius. She goes for the Moebius, and I exhale with relief. Imagine if everyone wanted the bloody Infinity. That would make me feel so common. And I can't tolerate the idea of infinity devaluing, even though, as I try to control my anger, I astonish myself with Cantor's story. Again. He started it. Devaluing infinity. I mean, imagine that! What are the odds? That someone not only thinks it but also proves it, that there are more infinities, not just one? And that some are more infinite than others?
Oh, this thought added to my Norway mantra, 'Norway, Norway, Norway in 10 days', begins to make me feel not only good again, but also quite special. I buy the pendant and realize that it has an incredible smoothness. Yes, I was right to get it, I tell myself, while rubbing its surface very vigorously and while also moving towards another favorite store, Illum, to boing-boing the Hoptimists—another good cure for the angered. I decide that although I'll make it to the final destination at 2 am tomorrow, I can actually stay pretty calm. Boing-boing, I go. I can even pretend that I don't notice that although cultures are different and thus we need to show some tolerance for the ones we don't like or understand, I don't get bothered by the fact that I really do believe, right now, that I must be the only person left on the planet with commonsense.
This realization started in fact already on the plane, when some major-time anorectic, who was having a major-time anxiety and attention-craving attack, tried to convince me that it would be better for me to change seats with her, and thus relinquish my aisle seat for the window. I took a good look at her, and there it was: the flash, the psychoanalyst in full vigor reading accurately through unreasonable demands, and consequently saying: I don't think so. Yes, of course, as always, and in spite of being right, a reversing thought also occurred, namely that the plane got a flat tyre as a way of punishing me for my lack of understanding. But then again, here I am, 11 hours later, with Infinity hanging around my neck, and being so sure of everything. More sure than ever. I'll think of the sure thing that is more sure than the initial sure thing later—just like Cantor—in Norway. In Hungary, I'll stick with the fried duck livers. Yummy.