Things to Do in the Rain—An Optimist's Guide to the Icelandic Summer

SKE English

It's been raining since I can remember—since anyone can remember, actually. All we know is that there once was a bright yellow thing suspended there in the sky and then it was gone: like Lebron James leaving Cleveland, but this time, probably, for good.

It's gotten so bad that I've heard stories about Icelandic children inquiring as to the meaning of the word: 

"Daddy, what means The sun?"

Such questions, which in normal times would have served as a surefire sign of mental retardation (or imbecility in early bloom), are met now with moments of solemn silence. Pursed lips. Long, dispirited sighs—as if the child were, in fact, inquiring as to the whereabouts of a recently deceased relative, and the parent, deeming it altogether too early to introduce the concept of "Death," must resort to changing the subject:

"Hey, you see that Brazilian tumbleweed over there, that's Neymar ... "

Personally, I've tried to stay strong; tried to cultivate a kind of inner sunlight; or, in less meditative moods—consoled myself by decorating an odd living-room lamp with yellow ribbons. 

"Look, it's the sun!" 

My feeble attempts at optimism—and comedy—seem, however, to have, at last, exasperated my sullen compatriots: 

"Stop trying to be so sanguine," they say: "It's not a good look on you. Come to think of it—neither are those clothes that you're wearing; you're too old for Champion and too ugly for Gucci."

But I refuse to waver. I am certain that the sun will come back one day (pale fingers crossed). Until then, I've made a list of hopeful activities in which the Icelanders may engage during this our sunless season.

1. Stand on the brink of a sidewalk at a major intersection and yell obscenities at the drivers as they splash you with puddle-water.

"Get fucked, you banana-headed poo-muncher!"

2. Have sex outdoors; who needs lubrication when your partner's reproductive organs are already wet like marine algae.

3. Go for a swim: No need to a rent a towel for 5.000 krónas if you forget yours—pre-swim, mid-swim, post-swim: "Motherfucker, you're wet."

4. Run an extension cord to the street and charge oblivious American tourists obscene amounts for temporary use of your blow dryer: "10 dollar blow jobs—what your mother charges is good enough for us."

5. Hand out umbrellas to the bums and then, observing from some lofty perch, snicker as they unfurl the brollies to reveal your secret, misanthropic message: "Water is not my problem."

6. Follow Rúrik Gíslason on Instagram—and then kill yourself: The rain may really highlight the savage beauty of Rúrik's person, but for everyone else it just brings out the suicidal tendencies.

7. Watch the Weather Channel. The forecast for Thursday the 23rd of July, between 18:00 and 20:00, seems promising.

Words: Addison "Raincoat" Williams