To Whom It May Concern,
I write on these napkins with the last of my strength and a little IKEA pencil. I can only hope someone finds one before it’s too late.
We came for curtains and a Billy bookcase. I watched as my wife, my beautiful wife, filled up the cart with 49 cent spatulas, 59 cent dish towels, and 89 cent glasses (“tumblers, dear. They’re called tumblers.” “Whatever. We have plenty of…tumblers…at home.” “Come on, they’re only 89 cents”) and I knew that only the sweet release of death or at least a cup of coffee would make this Swedish hell any better, so I bid her adieu (“are you positive we need 8 spatulas?” “Party favors. Christmas. I’ll find a use for them.”) and attempted to navigate my way through obnoxious young families with two carts AND a stroller left in the main aisle while they shopped, old folks who might have thought they were at a theme park, the determined couples who thought that by watching reruns of Trading Spaces they were master interior designers, and, strangely enough, not one IKEA salesperson.
Nerves rattled and stomach rumbling, I pushed my way through the crowds, following my nose, hoping that it would lead me to the sweet, caffeinated water of life, but I instead found myself at the scented candles. I tried calling my wife, but the damned Swedes seem to have something against cell phone reception.
I started going a little delirious. Was I really here? Was this a dream? Was I dead and hell was a Swedish discounted home goods store? Maybe this wasn’t IKEA at all. Maybe this is what Sweden really looks like and I was kidnapped by Swedish terrorists and drugged and here I am in Sweden and I’m going to get tortured by the government with 49 cent spatulas.
I walked in circles, never once finding the exit, the entrance, or any sign of my wife. I knew in my heart it would be a long time before I would see her sweet face again. Exhausted, I sat down on a Gråtrunka chair, right between the Sniglar bed and the Rövhål lamp and, soon after, I fell asleep.
When I awoke, it was morning and the throngs of people had already arrived, searching out the greatest deals on pillows and rope lighting. I was starving at this point and, by the grace of God, or Thor, or Odin, or whoever the Norse god of home furnishings is, I found the café.
Coffee in hand and gravlax in my stomach, I renewed the search for my wife. I scanned every face in the crowd, but to no avail. For three days I did this and, on the third day, I came to a horrific realization: the people, the confused, zombie-like people who clogged up the main aisle. They weren’t looking for Pattar dressers. THEY, TOO, WERE LOOKING FOR THE EXIT.
I ran up to one semi-lucid looking man of about 75. “How long, old man?”
“Twenty years, son. Twenty long years. We just wanted a salad spinner and a laundry basket. I miss my wife. I miss steak. I’ve been living off meatballs and lingonberry soda.”
“I’m going to get us out of here, pops. Just you wait and see.”
It’s been ten days for me. Longer for the others. So, please, if you find this, if you’re reading this, there are hundreds of us, trapped in here, looking for the exit and our loved ones. Please send help. We gather at 9 and 5 by the Karlstad and Kivik sofas and do a headcount to ensure we are all still alive. Please find us here and GET US OUT!