I struggle. A lot. Sometimes more than others, but today was just not my day.
I’ve been attacked by insomnia. Having spent a lot of time in Sweden during the summers, the insomnia wasn’t horribly new to me. But it usually happens early on and fades. It’s getting darker now. Sleep should be easy.
So I’m grumpy to start with. Then I have to wake up to some sort of earthy smell in my apartment. I don’t live outside. I don’t live on a farm. Hell, I struggle to keep cacti alive. Dirt and I don’t really have a close relationship.
But that hasn’t stopped this smell. It’s been there since I moved in and it’s just getting worse. I don’t know what it is. Imagine shoving your head into a pot of soil. And sniffing. For all eternity. That’s what it’s like. Some people say they like the smell of fresh soil. Those people haven’t been forced to sniff it every waking moment in their apartment. I can’t isolate the source. I’ve scrubbed things, cleaned things, emptied things. Instead the smell just lingers.
Of course, when I bit into my peanut butter and jelly sandwich (toasted of course) and realized the bread was moldy, I thought I had solved the problem. Mold tends to stink. I had found the culprit. I had not. Instead, I had just eaten mold. Which is almost as good. This of course followed my ramen noodles exploding out the wrong end of the package and covering my floor in mini bits of noodle. You’ll notice that despite having lived in Sweden for over two years and actually having a full time white collar job, I eat like an American college student. A Swedish college student eats noodles with ketchup. Duh.
But in the end, these were just minor annoyances. Just like the old man on his motorized scooter in the bike lane honking at everyone at the bus stop because damn it they had better move. Minor annoyances. Today after work I had a less minor annoyance. Because I am an idiot.
I walked in through the door, cursing the smell I threw my stuff down in disgust in hopes of once and for all figuring out why it smelled so bad. I even sniffed the few plants I haven’t yet killed. That’s when I saw it. My fridge door was open. Suddenly the smell took a back seat to my idiocy. Who leaves the door to the fridge open for 11 hours? Me. Awesome. I wasn’t even in a hurry this morning. As a general rule I don’t close the bag of chips. I don’t close the bread sack. I do close the fridge though.
At some point I thought I would get old enough that I would be able to take care of myself. You know, not eat mold, not leave the fridge open. This is what you do when you’re five. Or 85. Not 25.
Now I have a fridge full of dairy products and condiments that will probably destroy my gut for the next few days. Because I’ll be damned if I throw anything away. If it doesn’t stink or look moldy I’ll eat it. And it turns out I’ll even eat it if it is moldy. Albeit not on purpose.
Welcome to Sweden. And learning to be an adult. At the age of 25.