The Royal Theater and the Portrait

The theft of patriotic symbols in foreign territory was, back then and still is, considered to be an international crime. It would not be a couple of police officers in a patrol car that would pick us up, should they find out what had happened at the embassy. Instead, it would be the Interpol coming for us any minute now.

766px-Philadelphia_Police_-_gang_with_vehicleWe all looked at my partner with a mix of fear and stupor and then we proceeded the do the calculations with the Penal Code in hand. My partner, we thought, would get three years and eight months, without a right to bail. Would he have to do those four years in a Swedish prison, or in a prison of our own country? We hoped it would be the former, since the prisons in our country did not have a very good reputation, and Sweden seemed a rather quiet, orderly country, where the crime rates were really low.

My partner, however did not seem to understand the gravity of the situation. He simply sat down at his desk and sipped on his coffee. At that time, my partner smoked pot; hell, pretty much everybody did. He seemed to think that life was simple and nothing would happen to him. He never understood why we all gasped, stared at him and pictured him in chains. Nor did he understand why my then girlfriend approached him and gave him a long, sincere, pitiful hug.

The next four days, weeks, months, no one came to apprehend my partner. To this day, the portrait of the ambassador remains hanging from a wall in the dining room at my partner’s house. Every time I go by to visit and see the portrait, I cannot help but feel that my partner is a sort of James Bond that moonlights as a stage director.