The Bushwick Sagas: The Young Men Go to a Hot Spring and Get Drunk

01/14/2010 3:44 PM |

Bushwick Sagas

In part four of our pageview-whoring Bushwick Sagas (in which three young men from Bushwick travel to Iceland and tell us about it in the style of the original Icelandic Sagas) there are hot springs and lots of booze.

IV. Other Items Ineffable, Cathartic Baths and Firearms

In the early morning of the yet dark day following the heavily poisoned night that preceded it, Pál Able-Tongue woke up to the stars that had yet to rest and made his way around town in the nether-depths of midweek. It was a splendid morning, blustery yet mild. Nearly no one was around. He set out several hours before dawn.

Yet to his surprise, those hours leading to dawn passed with great ease and great speed. He strolled up to the cathedral and around the surrounding trails, then deeper into backstreets in search of residences and squares. Sunrise was incipient as he circled and ambled, and as it grew and matured he thought to round off his route at the shore. Dim sunlight peeked sheepishly through clouds with sheep-like fleece; some of the light seeping through was pink and some blue, and so the sky was handsome and well-gendered in its innocently narcissistic self-visions in the water.

Pál Able-Tongue took in these sights with a tender heart and a pleasantly busied mind as a tender corner of his liver reminded him of preceding nights. ‘There are limits, chieftain,’ it seemed to say. This caused Pál to wonder what in the name of all of Christendom and all of Valhalla could possibly be uttered by the well-buttered livers of Daustyn the Composed and Rykkí of Archives.

‘Perhaps they’d have nothing so decisive to say to their corporeal masters,’ he thought, ‘for all they might say is, “Let’s face it, there’s nothing to say”.’

This led him to think about other things ineffable. Things like the Northern Lights, for example, as has already been said by way of saying scarcely little.

A mere several hours later, another item would be added to that list.

A most remarkable discovery. A momentous indulgence. And something entirely, egregiously strange.

Denuding, even, quite nearly.

Such were the remarks of Pál Able-Tongue, Rykkí of Archives and Daustyn the Composed as they marched through the cold winds and rough terrain of Reykjavik’s inner hinterlands. At the time, they were wearing only short pants made for wading, and they were carrying towels, and they were without shoes and socks, for those were locked up in lockers.

And so it was that they entered certain alien, vast, profusely steaming baths of heavily salinated waters gathered pool-like in great pits carved out of lava rock and lined with silicate muds, the entirety of which is the result, they had learned, of clean-energy industrial by-products that just so happen to rejuvenate one’s skin, refresh one’s humors, renew one’s spirits and really, and quite stickily, re-tousle one’s hair. The water glowed brightly in hues of electric blue, its flankings those unmistakable, those newly terrestrial, those exquisitely red-black, pockmarked stones of volcanic activities and explosions and out-flowings over-pourings past.

The immediate lands and even the lands all around, it seemed, emanated enough acqueo-sulphuric vapors to suggest that the future primitive was not only already upon them, but that it had in fact returned to salvage their souls. Or their livers, at least. “Because let’s face it,” said Daustyn the Composed, but he then left further commentary to perish right there. For one could say little about it even by saying rather much. Besides, there were sauna-caves to enter and hot waters to enjoy. And so such caves did they enter, such waters did they enjoy. Pál Able-Tongue wondered how much misbehaving he could get away with before getting them all thrown out, but he limited such tendencies to acting like the hot-water waterfalls had pounded and left him drowned. This made for great fun and games, to this they all agreed.

But the place was better and more glorious than all fun and all games. It is called the Blue Lagoon. One should duly take note. And one should spend many hours in its fluids.

These three voyagers became holistically raisined.

But the bathing did end and a return to the hospice did follow. And so it was that hours later, when Daustyn the Composed was asked to comment on the qualities and particulars of the whale meat on which he had just finished dining, he finally got around to finishing a modified version of his statement from earlier by starting anew. “Let’s face it, friends. It was fishy yet meaty, marine-like yet gamey, which seems altogether proper for the flesh of a sea mammal, for example.” Pál Able-Tongue and Rykkí of Archives thought that made wonderful sense, but Rykkí of Archives was clearly hoping for a longer, more detailed, more labor-intensive description. For instance, no mention had been made of the whale’s possibly sturdy character and clarity of mind, something Rykkí would have liked to consider.

Yet such sturdiness of character and clarity of mind, not to mention great friendliness and non-xenophobic nationalism is what Pál Able-Tongue, Rykkí of Archives and Daustyn the Composed did later find in a friend of one of Pál friends. This fine fellow, a native of fine Iceland, will here be called Nameless Anonymousson. He came by the travelers’ quarters to partake of certain liquids.

Partaking was done. Stories were told.

Nameless, for example, described how his favorite saga character is one who is well known to have written poetry at three years old, to have killed great enemies only three years later, to have become an infamous drunk by eight years of age, and to have crashed on his own incredibly soon thereafter great feasts by way of diluvial vomiting aimed at the party-throwers who had left him off the guest list.

Pál Able-Tongue, Rykkí of Archives and Daustyn the Composed listened with rapt attention and considered, each on his own, the potential applicability of such heroism in their Centotto drama, in their Hundraðogátta Saga. In this very one.

And so Nameless went on with such stories, later, at a bar, and a great friend of his soon joined the mix. They spoke of their travels to the south and the east, to India and Pakistan, to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, to various Other-Stans and Silk Road lands, and they recounted the grand trials and tribulations of such journeys.

At some point, obviously, the recreational and jovial and über-superfluous firing of easily-acquired automatic weapons, such as Kalashnikov rifles and AK-47s, was brought up. Travelers and locals alike found these tales most intriguing, for they all share certain soft sentiments for all varieties of relics of that allegedly coldest of wars.

On that note, another local, this one a friendly though fear-inducing Icelandic horse of a fellow, joined the festive banter to denounce and decry the politico-economic ecology of post-communist, post-internationalist, meta-global, latter-capitalist enterprise. This seemed a quite timely topic. But since it also seemed exactly like the socio-adjectival contemporaneization of what one once called Viking-like endeavors, political poetics and trade-related tragicomedy, not many more descriptives need be piled thereupon.

And so other things as well were told and shared, admitted and learned, noted and maybe somewhat cloudily processed. But they will not be here stated, for certain things must forever remain shrouded.

For able-tongued or note, one is sometimes at a loss for words. Or would be better off not saying them, at any rate.

Even if only relatively and in the environs of mixed company, let’s say. And about that, to be sure, nothing more should be said. Definitely not here and not now.

Except, however, that as the night’s mixedly raucous activities wound amiably down in the after-hourly hours of a certain bar’s celebrity-famed quarters, it seemed once again certain that Pál Able-Tongue, Rykkí of Archives and Daustyn the Composed would indeed return home with a sense of sobering of not fully sober cheer and repose, and that that same sensation might actually be far more sober than their saga-likened selves had yet remotely been.

Nothing more should likely be said about that, for much like auroral lights and blueish-pink sunrises, it is less than likely to last terribly long.