The Bushwick Sagas: When Adventures Come to an End

01/20/2010 5:36 PM |

The Bushwick Sagas
  • And then they ate putrefied shark meat.

The Bushwick Sagas—the tale of three young men from Brooklyn traveling through Iceland—have been long and bloody, filled with much sorrow and much joy. Today, they end, with automobiling and much drinking. It is safe to say that these travelogues, told in the archaic voice of the first-millenium Icelandic Sagas, are guaranteed to change the face of internet publishing forever.

VII. Lattermost Landscapes, Lessons Learned and Saga End

The borrowed wheeled vessel was Euro-small and Euro-light and also, unfortunately, Euro-teal, qualities that would make the traversal of windy, icy roads almost humorously perilous, as has elsewhere been mentioned. Nonetheless, in this very vehicle did Pál Able-Tongue, Rykkí of Archives and Daustyn the Composed set off to circumscribe themselves into the trails of the famed Golden Circle, a beaten-enough path comprised by spectacles of nature and history and variously monumental manifestations of both.

And so Pál Able-Tongue became Pál Able-As-Well-At-The-Wheel as he commandeered all day this slip-tended Euro-rip. And in case the ice and the winds weren’t enough to make every turn fun, such fun was heightened as one learned that some curves and turns in the roads were carved out by elves themselves. No more about that will be said to evade certain curses.

The grayness of day had broken through as the first stop was made at Þingvellir, in Þingvellir National Park. Here they beheld the setting and remains of the original Alþingi, the world’s oldest continuous parliamentary democracy founded in 930 AD and featured in many great sagas, as well as in this present one, Hundraðogátta Saga, which you are now reading, and so this is quite fitting.

One might note that the establishment of this parliament was to some extent groundbreaking despite certain distant precedents, and that as such its placement atop the very and deeply broken grounds that would one day be called the Mid-Atlantic Rift was fitting indeed. This is of course a beautiful truth about which a great deal more could be said.

The travelers then documented themselves atop the many wondrous chasms and crags of tectonic might, then forged on to the Lögberg, the Law Rock, where legislative bodies were once assembled and where the great Snorri, it is held, once held forth. And so on site and in homage did Pál Able-Tongue hold forth on the metaphorical curiosities of mid-oceanic magmatic slits, and on the nominal liminality of their saga names, meant to express in character and spelling a certain cultural split that found perfect context here. And so did Rykkí of Archives hold forth on the vestiges of saga forces that seemed to everywhere abound. And so did Daustyn the Composed hold forth on Icelanders’ incompetence when it comes to making Bloody Marys, and on how they should realize that there are other good Journey songs besides “Don’t Stop Believing,” though they seem to know only that one, for example. It was suggested that they like “Don’t Stop Believing” because of its relevance to the potential revival of their currency, and this suggestion was met with approval.

Then, whilst yet at the Law Rock, legislation proposed by Rykkí of Archives was passed with bold, unanimous approval. The new law states that upon finishing one bottle of Jameson, for instance, a new bottle must be immediately opened and shots poured for all. This then became official law as Daustyn’s flask of firewater, now dubbed Saga Water, was passed to one and all, though the designated driver partook not.

And so the Alþingi ruled much more than the imaginable collectives of many other things.

They stopped next at Kerið, a huge crater left behind by some as-yet ill-defined catastrophe, perhaps a post-explosion implosion or something of the sort. The Sugarcubes once played a concert in its icy pit, apparently. This seemed to make perfect sense.

They next stopped at Skálholt to view ruins of medieval bishoprics and the huge stone sarcophagus of one Bishop Páll Jonsson, who did in various ways, over the centuries, blow up the spot.

Gullfoss was next with its mind-jarring and body-blowing and body-freezing waterfalls, its double cascades, where Pál Able-Tongue was quite nearly blown quite far away because he thought this, too, would be a great place to do handstands atop rocks. He had certain fun; his idea was certainly stupid.

Then on to Geysir, the great geyser whose name makes all other acqueo-sulphurous-steam-spewing holes in the earth, let’s call them geysers, merely eponymous, for he was first thusly named. Alongside Geysir exist many of his variably sized siblings. One is named Strukkur, and he is in fact quite active, once blowing his load far and wide when so summoned by an arms-raised Rykkí of Archives. This was noted and appreciated by all. Also noted and appreciated was that the thick air in this field does densely stink in its phantasmagorically vaporous beauty; and that thereabout the ground is well marked with great pocks like a certain Edwardian Olmos of James; and that there one sees many a natural version of those steams that ever-emanate from so many steel-topped metropolitan holes of men.

Also noted was that great sheets of beautiful ice are produced alongside these steaming holes by way of runoff and drivel, and that these lovely sheets make for very long, very frictionless runs-to-slide on one’s feet. One therefore reenacted the ice-sliding beheading of Þráinn by Skarp-Héðinn from the famed ambush scene in Njál’s Saga. This was enjoyed by all as Strukkur busted greatly his wad. Saga Water was passed around. The Euro-tyke-car conductor declined.

Such were the primary beholdings in the latter hinter-landscape explorative section of this saga. And since such sightings were, along with various already-mentioned others, among the primarily desired moments of this great journey, this journey’s story, this saga, can hereby begin to unwind.

The travelers made their darkly iced way back to town, where circling through mini-streets to find miniature yet proper parking blew more than Geysir and Strukkur in tandem. Then they parked and cleaned up and partook of poisons and went out.

They then attended the long-awaited opening of Ragnar the Great’s and others’ excellent exhibit in Reykjavik’s harbor-homed city museum. Bjór there was quite cheap; this was duly noted and exploited. The crowd was somewhat exotic and quite chic. No more about that should be said.

Then after-parties in one place led to after-parties in various others, for runtur was everywhere underway in full force. Yet since enough about that has surely already been said, one might here only add that in the course of this revelrously climactic runtur night, many new friends were made, some fortuitous and some awkward, and that certain such makings were made deep into the night, and that only at some point the next day, which did actually somehow barely exist, did these things hilariously albeit queasily begin to make any form of remotely recountable sense.

But it was all in good fun and of good consequence, for good luck was still with them for some inexplicable reason, inexplicable much like certain bizarrely counter-causal concatenations of strangers and circumstantial amusements. Who, they’d ever wonder, were some of those people?

Yet matter it didn’t, for after a long day of great marvels and a long night of the same, one thing they did learn or at least determine anew is that certain people, like certain geological oddities, can be demystified yet remain only partially explained.

That is surely well enough known, so nothing more will be said. At least not here, and at least not now.

For all that remains to be said here and now is that the lattermost Icelandically sojournal hours of Pál Able-Tongue, Rykkí of Archives and Daustyn the Composed were pleasurable and passed with satisfaction and cheer; and that the Höfði, the site of the famed Reykjavik Summit between Reagan and Gorbachev was visited and revered, such a telling setting for such talks so nearly atop the Mid-Atlantic Rift; and that the harbor was explored once more and that more culinary curiosities, such as cute birds and rotted shark, were consumed. And more strolls were taken, and one partook of more partakings. And one partied through the extent of one’s long final night. And at some point the son of some parliamentarian, let us call him Someone Parliamentariansson, was discovered quite comatose on one’s couch, awoken eventually by blastings of Bach and makeshift strobe lights. He did, however, suggest a great place for brunch.

And so hours later did Pál Able-Tongue, Rykkí of Archives and Daustyn the Composed board yet another transatlantic vessel of flight. And though their tickets did not indicate Saga Class, they traveled with an awareness that their saga, this saga, was in a class all its own. This proud awareness was soon compromised to some extent when two of the three were detained for questioning in customs and passport control, but no more need be said about that.

And so it was that under the light drizzle of a temperate night the travelers arrived safely and happily at their homestead, Centotto, in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

And so did their saga, the Hundraðogátta Saga, there end.

One Comment

  • I love the tone of both sarcasm [soooooooo New York] in Iceland and the tone of whimsy and play…heck I think all adults should go out and play…I like the dipping of one’s toe in the ridiculously stinking geysers that have so much energy the Icelanders still do not know how to harness it; not to mention the thermal earth, steaming but not quite cooling down…this saga is worth a chapbook-size treatment complete with pix….