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Jens Stoltenberg's day

It crackles and crackles in the ear of the general
the secretary

he wakes up dazed and lost after a disturbing dream

and shaves carefully and tightens the grip on himself

like a thoughtful tie knot

and eat an egg in EU format

brown cheese on the table

herring in tomato and Norwegian crispbread

bends over the laptop

scroller VG, TheGuardian.com, NTB, DN and DB

and the currency calculator for fun

and sends a nice message to the prime ministers

in Norway, Denmark and Sweden and remember to congratulate

the monarch with the birthday

and ties his one shiny black shoe

he ties the other

a stabbing pain in the lower back

it is D-day it is B-day

it is the terminology of the military
industry

he must maintain with diplomatic finesse

it is the helicopter pilot he must thank

for the mission

and it is the white helmet he is to appear in

and the photographers he will turn his attention to

so that his boyish charm is noticeable

and it is the rotors he hears as if they came from a tunnel

as if the rotors are rotating up forgotten things

shots and killings and broken promises

Libya and Afghanistan in ruins

death and depravity

and he will look for excuses

democratic verbs

and contradictions must at all costs

be rhetorically possible and

it clicks like monkey screams

in the inbox on your mobile

is it Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G or iPhone 13

and from the back seat of the bulletproof Mercedes

through soot windows

he looks thoughtless and empty

an elderly woman with a yellow umbrella

walking slowly across the aisle

and her transparent shopping bag of everyday

purchasing makes him think – well, what was that now?

and he takes his beeping mobile

answers his secretary says calmly: I'm on my way – be ready!

He is restless on the heated leather seat

and the central nervous system almost glows off

heated energy

and he puts a chewing gum between his lips

the air feels cool it smells of a distant fire

or is it the war

and he draws the air deep into his lungs

where he takes the stairs to the NATO
building

which was Valhall itself

light on toe

and he greets the prepared and the unprepared

and places the office at the disposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

there are activities high and low

which demonstrates well-thought-out preparedness

they should all be in the basement

and the Secretary-General in his bomb room

there are dry biscuits and white wine for him and her

and he expects phone calls from the highest level

holds your breath exhaling

to hear his only one heartbeat

and what does he have in his pockets he thinks distracted

and the cell phone vibrates warmly as a consolation against the thigh

or is it from the inside pocket of the suit jacket

and where did he buy that suit?

bought it myself

is it the wife is it the secretary

does it matter

there is war in Europe

there are abstract boundaries in the airspace

of moving atoms

there are nuclear reactors and fire on the outskirts of everything

and pale women and dumb children with pink backpacks

stuffed animals and Grand piano

and the Secretary-General

reads expressionlessly over and over again a printed manuscript

it is a speech to the ministers

he processes the language

so it can turn off all lights

so that darkness can descend

over the burning Ukraine

and the Secretary-General sits

in his corner sofa in the protected

privileged residential zone on the outskirts of Brussels

has thrown the suit jacket enjoying a glass of red wine

while zapping through the news channels

and studies himself as Secretary General of NATO

while Europe is on the alert for military
industry

economy

thinks the economist in him

it should be in balance, he thinks

and he is fairly satisfied

and can take a well-deserved good night's sleep

stretched out on a reindeer-washed sheet

delivered from the Chinese laundry

and as during the day

as usual has been delivered via the back door

well protected by bulletproof guards

and a dog does in the distance

and the Secretary-General ends the day

as a calculation

where everything goes up

and puts

two red lines below its

ego

Terje Dragseth
Author and filmmaker.

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