I’ve just had the best sailing time in my life in the North Atlantic, around the Faroe Islands. The islands in themselves have a smell that keeps you thinking of the great Beyond – you basically walk around while being in a constant state of swooning. It makes you think of silly religious revivals when people thought that they would get transposed at a touch, to where I have no idea, but transposed they all believed they were. There isn’t much religiosity left on the islands, apart from a regimented alcohol prohibition that no one cares much about in this globalized world full of traffic opportunities – let’s face it, I had no problem getting into the country a whole litter of Fernet Branca that I know goes very well with dried fish and lamb entrails that I bought on the ferryboat with money won in the casino, also on the boat. So, between eating, drinking, gambling, and smelling, once on the main island, Stroymoy, I also got to sail in a large boat, a sloop with sails from the 40s. The waves were high around the corners of the cliffs. I experienced an altogether different type of G-force created by the mighty boat hitting the waves, after the bow had been 10 meters in the penetrating air of the North Atlantic. This was not a hit and run, but a hit and glide. I thought I was going to die, but I laughed, I so laughed.

I was among the few on board who was neither cold nor suffered from sea-sickness. I used my adrenaline as an energy weapon against the wind which cut through you. I thought of salted energy. “Of course I’m not cold,” I thought to myself while watching the green faces and tormented bodies around, and I was convinced that this resistance had to do with Italo Calvino’s short stories in his Cosmicomics. “The Distance of the Moon,” “Games without End” and “The Form of Space” came to my mind. These are stories about captains and other good folk whose names, derived from mathematical formulae, throw you into interminable laughter on the spot and you are right there with Qfwfq when he tells you: “Climb up on the Moon? Of course we did. All you had to do was row up to it in a boat and, when you were underneath, prop a ladder against her and scramble up.” Captain Vhd Vhd, his deaf wife, and their daughter Xlthlx, can never resist the attraction from the moon – so they climb it all the time also to collect moon-milk. This is the time when the moon was close to the earth and the earth had not lost almost all of its energy, claims Calvino. I liked this thought. On my boat, it made me think of what name I would assume, the minute I would plunge into the cold water of the Atlantic, the minute the ocean would become a pink sky, the minute physics and smell would replace the desire to have the moon, and not just climb it: SQRT.


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