We stopped at a hot pot called Guðrúnarlaug in Dalabyggð in Western Iceland. I can’t remember the time of day. In the summer months there were twenty-four hours of sunlight. The hot pot was a burning pool on a hilltop circled by stone. A tiny house for changing rested beyond it. Thick algae floated on the water’s surface. I rubbed it between my fingers. Rolling hills led out to the sea. It felt like another planet. At some point, a blond headed boy wandered up, removed his shoes, and sat on the stone edge. I don’t know where he came from or what language he spoke, but he looked identical to me when I was young. We sat for a long time in silence. Me steaming in the hot pot, the boy dipping his toes in and gazing off at nothing. Eventually he put his shoes on and wandered off as quietly as he arrived. I watched him go. He walked softly and with the purpose of a much older soul. It sounds outlandish, but I’m convinced he was me. A younger me, stuck in a different time loop. He soon disappeared amongst the hills, or I simply lost sight of him. There was no one else around, no parents, and nowhere for him to have come from or to have been going. But something existed between us while he sat there that I could sense but could not see. A sort of mirror or a field. I wonder now, years removed from the memory, if the boy was ever there at all.
Wilson Koewing is a writer from South Carolina. His short fiction is forthcoming in Wigleaf and Gargoyle. His memoir “Bridges” is forthcoming from Bull City Press.