To my dear Swede.
I fold your faded Darkthrone t-shirt. I press it to my face and deeply inhale the scent of you. The material was against your warm skin a few hours ago. The smell makes me giddy. It makes me smile. It makes me want to sing. I want to cut off a piece of the material and carry it with me always.
There’s never a moment when I’m not grateful for our chance interaction, which led to this remarkable connection that we have now, this connection that sees us more or less synched with everything we think, say, do. Even our pulses match up.
I swear that the gods were looking over me when I was searching Metal Archives for new Swedish black metal, and clicked on the name Rimfrost. Then, went to YouTube and fired up one of your early tracks Freezing Inferno. I can still recall the goosebumps which quickly rose to attention on my arms. I can still recall the hair lifting at the back of my neck, as I encountered your voice for the very first time. I have lost count of the amount of times I watched your Live in Berlin video. I have lost count of the amount of times I skipped back to see a particular smile you did when the crowd wanted more, a particular ‘thank you’ that you shouted out, a particular flick that you did with your long hair.
Remember those first initial messages that we fired back and forth? Where we talked about tattoos and the North? When we realised just how much we had it common? You became my world so quickly through those messages, and I discovered a happiness which I had only ever read about. A brilliant, bright, beautiful happiness which left me feeling like the blood in my veins was dancing. I want us to print those messages off, read them back to one another, maybe frame a couple.
My head had been a dark place before we started communicating. Life was one frustration after another, with very little respite, very little room to breathe or gather my thoughts or like myself. But after a few days with your name in my system, I shrugged off my depression like a warrior shrugs off a sodden cloak, and I haven’t tied it on since. It’s the longest time I’ve been without my shroud of depression since the age of thirteen. This, my love, is monumental. Before meeting you I would never have considered coming off my medication, but now it seems like an entirely realistic possibility. You have turned my life into something I wish to savour.
With you I feel more myself than I have felt in many years. I have never before laughed as hard as I laugh with you. I have never before felt that I could be funny. But you laugh with me, and you knock away every single one of my inhibitions. I am all open with you, I keep nothing behind my hair, nothing behind my back. I tell you what my mind has told me, I tell you about my anxieties, I tell you about everything, and you give me the freedom to do so. Always. There has never been a moment when you have turned to me and said ‘not now,’ or ‘can we talk about this later?’ The time you put out for me is as valuable as the breath I take in, and I love you for this, I love you for the moments you turn to face me and listen with your whole heart.
My knowledge grows with every moment that I know you. You teach my hungry mind everything it wants to know, and I am always ravenous for your intelligence. I feel I am becoming more a part of Sweden with every new word that you teach me, every new food that you show me how to cook, every new Swedish habit that you help me to adopt.
Today I love my body with a fierce intensity. I love my arse and my breasts and my stomach. I love my face and my back and my legs. This body, which has been a battleground for much of my life, is now, finally, my temple. You have helped me to develop an honest vision of myself. You have made me want to preserve the goodness I have for as long as I am able. I want to be sexy for you. I also want to be sexy for myself.
I had the impression that you were a hard worker from the moment that we started talking, but it was only when I met you in the flesh that it became apparent just how driven you really are. And I was ecstatic. I felt as though I had finally found a man who would understand my drive and desire to accomplish my goals. Your passion to succeed fuels me with everything in my daily existence. I respect you, and I respect the hard work that you put in to being the best that you can be.
I have never met someone who works so hard. I have never met someone who works so hard with so little complaints. You move forward with what you need to do and get shit completed, and often make sacrifices to do so. You push yourself continually and this, my love, I find deeply, deeply inspirational. I feel so proud of you that it often feels as though my heart fills my entire chest. When I see you being a father to your little girl, I want to announce to the world ‘This is how to be a parent! This man is doing it right!’ When I see you practise your guitar in the spare moments that you have I want to announce to the world ‘Just shut the fuck up and listen!’ When you have your guitar in your arms, I can feel the energy radiating from you and I want to say to you, ‘just play and play and play! I will be waiting for you, ready to bandage your fingers when they are bleeding and sore.’
With you, I feel I am the best version of myself, and for this I am so grateful.
I love you now my Swede. I will love you always.