My freshman year in college, I made friends with an exchange student from Iceland named Ivar. Ivar was fucking crazy. Ivar was an engineeering student.

One day I was walking to the laundry room with a basket full of clothes. Ivar heard me walking down the hall. He opened his door and grabbed me. “You need to see this.” Out of his room was blasting techno. Was I going to die?

“What?”

“THIS!”

“What?”

“THIS. THIS LAMP. I MADE THIS LAMP.”

“It’s... it’s a nice lamp, man.”

“It’s a project. I cast it myself. I fucking killed this. Do you like the music? Do you want to dance?”

“I have to do laundry.”

“That is okay.”

I FUCKING LOVED IVAR.

One time I saw him in the Spring. Her was wearing a cast and hobbling down to CVS “to buy condoms.”

“How did you hurt yourself?”

“Well, you see, I never went to Africa. Have you ever been to Africa? I went to Congo. When you go to Congo, people meet you at the plane. One guy met me and said he was a general. He said for money, he and twelve men would follow me. I said ‘what the fuck do I want with twelve men?’ He said that two go into a bar with you and ten stay outside if there’s trouble.”

Advertisement

One time I saw Ivar looking at maps of western Pennsylvania. I asked him if he was planning in going on a trip. “Yes. I want to find a bear and kill it.” “What will you do with it?” “I will find the bear and bring it back to Iceland.” By this time, we were at our dorm. People were around. I asked him, “what do you hunt in Iceland?” “Mostly deer. Sometimes seals.” The other students were staring; I couldn’t resist.

“How do you hunt seals? Do you club them?”

“Sometimes we club them. When the weather’s nice, I like to lay down on the beach and shoot them with a rifle.” DEATH STARES FOLLOWED.

Advertisement

The last time I saw Ivar was around finals. I was sitting outside writing, because I had a 25 page take-home final due in 36 hours.

Ivar came stumbling up towards our dorm. He looked... not well.

“Are you okay?”

“Cocksucker Russians think they can drink more than Icelanders. We drank a lot of vodka. I drank more. I think they’re dead.”

“Oh... Okay...”

Then he walked passed me and tripped and collapsed on the stairs.

He laid there for about five minutes. Around the time I decided to check if he wasn’t dead and if he needed help, he got up and pulled himself into the dorm.

I never saw Ivar again.

Ivar, if you’re out there, I love you.