silver

SILVER WAS ON the north coast. I had never been there before and I wasn’t sure if it had been named after a precious metal or a popular folk musician. The city was located in the fjords somewhere between the Pakri Islands and Akureyri. The architecture revealed both Japanese and Nordic influences. The rooftops were angular, half Shinto, half Norse. It was dusk when we arrived by train and an orange sun was sinking into the cola-colored sea on the horizon. There were long piers along the waterfront. Vendors were out selling ice cream, painting portraits, and strumming guitars. I took a walk out to the end of one of the piers and climbed down a metal staircase. Then it began to rumble. This was another submarine, right beneath my feet! We began to voyage out into the harbor. There is something magnificent and a little terrifying about the stealthy and quiet movements of a submarine. Once far enough out from port, the one below me began to dive. The water levels rose quickly. The dark and warm seawater pooled at my ankles, then was at my knees. So this was it then, the big end. The submarine was going to go down and I was going to drown with it. Davy Jones Locker. I was somehow resigned to this fate, when the submarine suddenly rose again and returned to port. When I disembarked, I saw that the submarine captain — a certain Peter Townshend, the guitar player for The Who — was wiping his head with a handkerchief and pacing on the docks of Silver. “All my friends are dead! All my friends are dead!” There were tears behind his blue eyes. His face was pink from the moisture. I didn’t know what else to do, so I went and tried to cheer him up.

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