I woke to the sound of a brilliant church bell. I had been sleeping for nearly ten hours. I was starving, fortunately Mrs. Robinson had seen to it that my kitchenette was loaded with food: fruit, bread, various sliced meats, dairy products and some dried soup mixes. Pepsi Max. As I ate, I pulled up the images of Billy that the crew back in Seattle had found. It was Billy all right, but wearing a traditional Icelandic sweater. He was in some kind of cafe or coffee house, the sign on the wall was written in Icelandic. The picture had been posted the week before. A woman with a severe blond hairdo was looking straight into the camera. The picture was captioned Helgi, Billy, Þora og Moi. French? Or just an affectation? I loaded the image into my iPhone and headed out.
Christ, it was colder that it looked. My Kelty windbreaker helped, but I needed something more substantial. Across the street from a small square inhabited by skateboarders I found a tourist shop selling sweaters. Evidently Billy bought his here- I saw the same pattern, or maybe they were the same all over the country. When in Iceland, do as the Icelanders do. I bought one, just before the shop closed. Mrs. Robinson was right again, I should have brought a sweater.
Wandering the streets, for a funky bistro. Just like being back in college. A lot of the places I walked by were swank, but as I went up the main drag the place at No. 22 Laugavegi looked funky enough, when I got inside I realized it was the same place as that in the photo. It was still early, the pace was nearly deserted as I walked up to the bar where the bartender nodded, as if he knew me.
It was what Billy always drank. Then it dawned on me. He thought I was Billy. The sweater must have cinched it.
"Yeah, Thanks." I slipped into the Billy impersonator role.
"You looking for Silu, já? She's mad at you."
"Yes, she's mad." I was acting like I knew what it was all about.
"She doesn't like it when you leave with another girl."
"Sometimes that happens." That was one of Billy's lines. He always said it with a broad smile. "Do you think she'll be back tonight?"
"Time will tell. Silu does what she wants. Listen to these words I say. You may be a big shot in the states but here, here you are just another tourist. Everyday, all year long, they come and they always go. Every Icelander knows this. Some of the women, they think you might be a ticket for them off the rock, but not Silu. Silu doesn't need you. Þora, Þora she thinks she needs you."
"Thanks for the warning."
I sat down in a corner, pulled out my phone and studied the picture of Billy, Silu and Þora. It had been shot on a phone and put through some cheesy app to make it look blurry. My hair was long enough. I'd have to comb it down and over my forehead a little more and pull the back over my shoulders, but I could still pass as Billy. At least he hadn't put on much weight. As I finished the beer a DJ was setting up in the corner.
I headed out into the night.