August 7, 2005
I think I pulled a muscle laughing tonight. Alec was re-telling a bizarre dream he had about shaking Prince Phillip’s hand and an actor in a wheelchair spinning around in circles, and it was just hilarious. I’d even heard it already, but something about the way he tells stories just makes them so funny that I can’t stop laughing. I couldn’t catch my breath and I think at some point I injured myself, because now whenever I start to chuckle I get a shooting pain in my ribs. Figures this group has a killer sense of humor. We all have some hideous bruises from ice climbing and maneuvering the drain rocks, and my hands are starting to crack from the work and the rain and the dry heat. My body is falling apart, but I’m having the time of my life, and I sleep so well at night.
August 9, 2005
A group of us went to the Hótel this evening to remember what beer tasted like. It was actually a pretty cool place- a tiny upstairs corner with a few couches and chairs, dimly lit (in part because some other tourists were watching a movie projected on a curtain), but comfortable and fun. We sat around and drank and chatted and laughed, and the evening faded into night. Eventually all the other guests slipped away, and one of the bartenders took out an acoustic guitar. She went to the other side of the curtain and we quietly followed, and she sat down on a stool with a pile of music and a microphone. She was practicing some songs for an upcoming performance at a work party, I think. We were still feeling kind of silly and tried to convince Alec to go up and sing Ace of Spades during one of her water breaks, but he wasn’t feeling it. The girl started off with “Stairway to Heaven” with her slight accent and soft voice, and it was beautiful. She sang a few songs in Icelandic, but also some songs I knew by Dido, Jewel, and a really nice version of Sweet Child O’ Mine. I found myself sitting there in the warmth and darkness with the others, closing down this hótel bar and listening to a pretty Icelandic girl sing a Guns ‘N’ Roses song, and it felt perfect, in that ephemeral, never-again way.