Jun 18, 2010 | Siglufjörður, Iceland
Jun 18, 2010

Bergþór rolled up on his bike.

"Out for a little ride?" I said.

"Just airing out the soul," he said.

"Is that the best way to do it?"

"I like to go hike in the mountains, but it's hard to find time — you know, I've got my obligations."

He tapped the lamppost with his foot.

"I heard somewhere that each kid takes away 25% of your ego," he said.

"You've got two, right?"

"Yeah, two," he said.

"So you're like half a man."

"I've never thought about it like that. But I suppose I am in a way. But of course there are many good things, too."

"You know, I'm always amazed when I meet old men and women," I said. "No matter what they've done in their lives — if they're the heads of big companies, great artists, whatever — they always seem to say their proudest accomplishment is their kids. They always seem to say that. And it's crazy because for me, at my age, I just can't imagine it. But they all seem to say it, so there must be something to it."

"How old are you?" he said.

"30," I said.

"Me too," he said. "Well, I just turned 31 a few weeks ago."

"I'll be 31 in August," I said.

"1979?" he said.

"Yeah, 1979."

He looked at the mountains.

"Well, I guess I better get back to them."

"Right, off you go."

"OK, see you later," he said, and he went away on the bike, almost the same as he came.