Even though I was young and innocent and full of dreams, however, I was also somewhat realistic. I knew that my books wouldn’t make me rich and famous immediately (what I didn’t know was that I also wouldn’t write any books the next few years – I still haven’t). So I decided that I needed an education. A solid job, which should even be one that I liked, so that I could fill my days until my big break came with something meaningful. The education part has taken its time, but I am getting there. And I wouldn’t be without it. I have grown as a person, I have gained experiences I otherwise would not, and I have a whole new range of strings to play on as a writer now than did I all those years ago.
And yet there are a few things that I came up with back then that I still consider funny or brilliant enough to match anything I have ever written since. For instance, I have several times found myself marveling over a (sadly) long-forgotten inventiveness when reading stuff I wrote years ago. The grammar, language and style bothers me to the bone, but 17-year-old Cruella had a fresh way of seeing the world that I only rarely manage to recall.
One of the things that really triggered my creativity when I was 17 was my partner in crime, otherwise known as Amalie Skam (very funny if you know your Norwegian literature, I can assure you. As is Cruella Collett, by the way). We used to write collaborative stories of various literary quality. We invented new words and actually, even a religion (this would be the origin of Digressionism). Ah, those were the days.
Ms. Skam and I are still friends, but we rarely get together to invent religions these days. However, I haven’t forgotten one idea we concocted when we were young and innocent and full of dreams. The idea was that in my books there should always be a female glaciologist. You know, a scientist who does her research on glaciers. Why? Don’t know or can’t remember. But that was it. A hidden glaciologist as a secret message.
Thus, my surprise and amazement was considerable when I came across the following document in my Middle East files in US State Department archives:
It clearly has nothing to do with the Middle East (any glaciers down there would melt in a flash). Either it was put in my box by mistake, or it was put there by intent. I would have been inclined to think the former, but keeping my lost connection with Cruella at 17 in mind, I soon realized that it just as well could have been the latter. In fact, all the evidence is suggesting that this is a hidden message, and that it is a hidden message to me. Just look at this:
But the problem remains. What is the hidden message? Could it be that the universe is simply telling me to rediscover my inner 17-year-old?