• Illustration by CLAUDINE O’SULLIVAN


    Written by Karin Ström by Sandra Myhrberg

    I want new streets, emptiness, freedom, filth. I want to pretend to be someone else. Jean Des Esseintes, Kurtz, Aubrey Beardsley. I want to sing like Nico. I want to be a cliché. I left my things at home. Everything that reminds me of who I am. I want to go too far. I want to fall, descend. I want the sweetness of giving in. I want romance, loneliness, boredom. Or just a nice view. Somewhere I can have a conversation with myself.
    – My body is not wrong.
    – You know what is right, even when you don’t know why. It is not for you to elucidate, only listen to. It evolved.
    – I follow the rules of science. I follow the path of least resistance.
    – It’s a moral grammar, like the unconscious rules of language, like musicality. It’s coded into your proteins.
    – Nature has no conscience.
    – But you are not nature.

  • One Year Later

    Written by Jörgen Axelvall

    After 15 years in NYC I made my move to Tokyo
    On March 11 2011, at 2.46 pm I was landing at Narita Airport
    Or trying to land that is
    The now infamous Tohoku Earthquake struck at the exact same time
    The landing turned into what they call a “touch and go”
    And without a word from the crew we set course for Nagoya
    I knew this from looking at the flight map on the display in front of me
    After 20 minutes the captain announced that there had been an earthquake
    All major Tokyo area airports were closed
    And Nagoya Airport was already getting congested
    from diverted traffic
    Maybe Osaka, with Japan’s second largest airport, the captain said
    I had some selfish little thoughts,
    not aware of the devastation on the ground
    I worried about having to move around
    with my filled-to-the-brim bags
    Another 20 minutes and the captain told us we were going to Yokosuka Military Base
    This is close to Tokyo and close to where we where at the moment
    The captain explained honestly and sincerely
    Coming from NYC we simple don’t have enough fuel to keep circling
    Or to make it all the way to Osaka for that matter
    Then, a flawless landing with calm and relieved passengers
    Military Bases don’t want to deal with civilians so we all had to remain in the plane
    And wait for refueling and some airport that could accommodate us
    During our four hour wait the single landing strip started to fill up
    Big planes from all over the world
    We got reports of the magnitude and the tsunami that followed
    And we started to worry about our loved ones on the outside
    Mobile phones were shared and passed around
    The network was unfortunately not working very well
    After what felt like a very long wait,
    the neighboring big planes started to depart
    One by one, all heading to Osaka
    Being first one in, meant being last one out, since we where cornered
    Shortly before our turn came, Haneda,
    Tokyo’s second largest airport reopened
    We made the 25-minute flight there
    Got off the plane, through immigration and claimed our bags
    I started smoking again
    Tokyo’s infrastructure was closed down
    No trains no subways no highways
    Camped out on the floor watching the news
    It was a long night
    Got fed delicious fresh rice balls when daylight came around
    Got hold of my boyfriend who had been in a train when the earthquake struck
    He had walked the tracks to nearest station and spent the night there
    Been reading magazines in a convenience store
    He was on his way to meet me
    About 30 hours after scheduled landing time we finally embraced
    And then things started to move little by little
    Together we got on the bus and made it to our place of rest
    To the Nakameguro neighborhood where we have been living since

    This is my personal story with a happy ending
    For many more there was no happy ending
    I didn’t lose anything, just gained an experience
    My thoughts and love go to those who had real losses
    As we all know there was, and is, a serious aftermath
    The Fukushima nuclear power plant
    I will talk about that some other time