My plans change for a third time in two weeks, and I take advantage of a strange confluence of activities to remain in Reykjavik. There is too much going on to relate, but the movies or the possibility of a movie crops up again, in many ways. The country is about to plunge into a very anxious period, of several years, perhaps, and I can just sense that creativity is a terrible gamble at the moment. Art that is not practical, in general, attracts a sturdy Scandinavian scorn, in my biased opinion, and I am hopelessly invested in the artistic impulse. So I wander around the city and visit my friends with an open desire to express what I see as a piece of art. No problem. Except I wander into a piece of art in the form of a young model named Maya Nelson Wolfsdottir, who was born on a farm and has "the architecture of dreams in her face, and the athletics of escape in her limbs," as I have just written her. I start to channel all sorts of expressions through her, with photographs and then video, but let me just relate one small sequence that has left me in the role of both James Mason and Peter Sellers in Kubrick's luminous 'Lolita': There is an accountant in one small office on an abandoned floor in my building, and he listens to Beethoven or to his menopausal wife sobbing on his cellphone, nurses his badly swollen prostrate, and comes to his door whenever he hears us galloping through the hall. He is alone, but unable to admit to being lonely. And Maya Nelson is trying to translate some lines of mine into Icelandic when she runs into a problem with:
" . . . pheromones are leaking from my eyebrows . . ."
In a flash she is out the door with the script and knocking on the accountant's office, where she asks him for the proper words for 'leaking' or 'sweating,' and of course reads him the entire line. She sees him looking at her magenta bra in open-mouthed astonishment, thinks for a moment, and then devastates him by saying, "I don't need help translating pheromones or eyebrow, just want to know what you think about the word 'sweating' versus 'leaking,' since Blue wrote 'leaking' but I think 'sweating' is better." He has not recovered since this encounter, and nor have I, and the architect and I stand in the hallway together linked by this private humor of sexual semantics. He is shaken by the bra and her long neck, I am sure, but for me the shock is more sentimental than sensual, since I am realising that she has outgrown 'Lolita' -- she is more woman than girl, I must admit -- while I have not.
There is a movie here. Could be made in a week. And this is just one of many possibilities. But I have better things to do and so does she, we remind each other, like parrots. Is the idea good enough to transport beyond her presence? This is the test for me.