I should note that I don’t recall the details of the challenge that lead to the writing/illustrating of this particular series of events, but it appears to have happened so here it is.
I had been escorted to the gasque by a lovely young gentleman who knew that part of town better than myself, and it was daylight out, then. By the time I realized that I wasn’t going to have fun at the after party (because, let’s face it, flashing lights and thumping club music and drunks bouncing off of each other like pinballs and calling it dancing never really has been and never will be my scene) it was one in the morning and, quite incredibly, no longer daylight.
So I stepped out and started heading in the direction I remembered coming from initially, my hands tucked in my pockets and my head down. I walked for maybe three blocks before realizing…slowly…hesitantly…that not a single goddamn thing in my vicinity looked even the slightest bit familiar.
And, as Tahnis are prone to do, I began to panic. Only mildly at first, thinking that, maybe, if I turned right and pointed myself east and just kept walking I would eventually come to the street that lead to domkyrkan, a familiar street I could then follow to my bike. Little did I know (woe is me) that I chose a street to turn on that dead-ended without leading me to the desired destination.
Flustered and confused, the panic swelling in my chest like plastic wrap sealed too tightly over Tupperware in the microwave, I started heading back in the direction of the party, only now on a different street. I am not sure why I chose this course of action. It does not seem like the most productive course of action, and I am not entirely sure what I thought I was accomplishing by doing this, but I did it, and found myself in yet even more unfamiliar territory.
The hour grew late(r) and my panic began to draw prickling tears into my weary eyes. It was at about this point that I became weepy.
If I were in The Blaire Witch Project it would have been at this point that I would peered tearfully into my camera lens, snot oozing down my face, and desperately whispered things like, “I am so alone, and so scared. I am sorry. I was so wrong. I should never have stayed at the after party. It was stupid, and I know that now, and I just want my family to know that I love them.”
It was at this moment, after I had somehow managed to cross the river on a bridge I’d never seen before and when all hope seemed lost, that I saw it: Epic Fucking Domkyrkan’s awe-inspiring (unless you’re Lucas) towers piercing the night sky, illuminated golden in the darkness.
It was like I’d found God. I began to run, my feet carrying me like frightened pigeons towards those soaring towers where I would be safe from the unfamiliar streets and stumbling drunks (okay, maybe it was more like a brisk walk, head down and shoulders all hunched up like a certain celebrity of Norte Dame). From domkyrkan, the most noteworthy landmark in Uppsala by far, I was able to make my way back to my bike, at which point my trial by fire (or whatever) petered out into oblivion.
I was homeward bound, and could not wait to take a shower and pass the fuck out.