Have you ever
borrowed someone else's memory
told it like it was your own
maybe added some details you invented
to make it seem more realistic
as if it had happened to you personally?
Have you come home without saying hi to your partner
told her to get all this crap out of the hallway
even though it's 2 am
and the neighbors are sick and tired
of listening to your bickering,
whether the bookcase should be moved into the front room or not
and should it have black Ikea drawers, or green?
Have you ever blacked out in a cab without your wallet
after a Christmas party
just skipped work the next day
complained about back pain at the doctor's appointment
a pain that started last week
but kept getting worse
probably because of the freezing weather
or from helping your friend move recently?
Have you ever worked for the city
smoked a cigarette in shame
two blocks from the office
and wondered on your lunch break
why your colleague can stuff his face at Mickey D's
without your boss calling him a lard-ass
or a bad person
even though he's just as guilty of ruining his health
with his triple cheeseburger?
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror
and noticed those tiny pinpricks in your skin
sat back and thought "It'll be fine"
with dark circles under your eyes
waiting for the first tram of the day
the timetable so frostbitten
that you're not sure whether to just run the distance
or wait a few more minutes for the number Six?
Have you forgotten to water the plants
or to pick up some coffee from the corner shop,
have you skipped a big meeting
even though you agreed to it months ago
knocked back a few cold ones on the way home
even though the rent is due the next day
and you can't even afford a box of matches?
Have you ever been at the bank
talking to an investment adviser your own age,
lied about your plans to purchase property
even though in all honesty
grandma's inheritance has to be cashed right now
because you're pretty much up the river,
up to here in debt to all your friends
and even to the kind of people
you shouldn't owe money to?
Have you ever actually even considered
what it's like to be psyched
when the grocery store intern
lets you rifle through the backyard dumpster,
lay your hands on wrapped discs of microwave pizzas
that spin as beautifully as a Mozart symphony
and you're all ready on the couch
when you hear that familiar ding
and notice that this classic snack from 1985
looks quite a bit fresher than you
even though you're exactly the same age?
Translation: Kasper Salonen