Welcome. In this small, northern town, the darkness overwhelms… The darkness permeates everything. This is a place where the sun never rises, the moon never falls. Residents pop D-pills (among other things) daily just to get by… If you can call what they do "getting by". Depression is by far the biggest killer here and very few can escape it.
The town has a somewhat ghostly, ethereal feel to it. The black skies, the snow covered, fog filled streets. The maize-glow from the windows. Locals call this place Durénnmørk, even though that is not its 'official' name. Durénnmørk means, appropriately, 'dark place' in the old language and almost everyone who lives here calls it by that name. Many people live here, and yet everyone is alone. Nobody ever leaves. Sure, people do go from time to time – they 'travel', but they never leave permanently. They always return at some point. One way or another. So it goes…
Residents generally live quiet, solitary, and relatively mundane lives. I guess it's not too different to many other places in the world. One of the few escapes they have permitted themselves, from an otherwise pointless life is Lonely Outlet magazine. The biggest publication around.
I first arrived in Durénnmørk about seven years ago, whilst on my travels through the North. Initially, it seemed like any other small, snow-laden town. People were friendly enough, if a little cautious. But there's something inexplicably compelling about it. Nothing I can quite put my finger on – all I know is that I was consistently drawn back. In the following years, I made return trip after return trip to the dark place, until I eventually settled down here…
The Lonely Outlet, founded in 1986, is a local multi-media, variety pop-culture magazine covering just about any and every topic that might interest someone. Video games, movies, books, music, food, Japanese culture (it's the IN THING right now!) and more besides.
The Outlet is not really about that stuff though – it's about the people who write it. Their deeply personal, super-subjective™ experiences with said media. Their stories of love and heartbreak, happiness and despair. Inside its pages, you will still find the usual assortment of news, reviews and so on, present in almost every other relevant periodical… but not an article goes by without their own fun, silly, darkly humorous, or poignant stories being interwoven, in some way.
Most other journalists aim for near-pure objectivity. Apparently, the folks at Lonely Outlet missed that memo…
In mid-2018, I decided that the Lonely Outlet deserved to be read by those outside of Durénnmørk. As such, I approached Lorenzo, owner and editor-in-chief of the Outlet and offered to translate the magazine into English.
Lorenzo is a kind and idiosyncratic fellow who, despite recent hardships, has a generally positive and jovial disposition. He's the sort who always makes you feel welcome, in any situation. Knowing that I was a budding writer, he looked me in the eye, placed a hand on my shoulder and responded, "Well, if we're going to translate this thing, I'll expect you to write original content for us too. Welcome to the family." And so, I found myself under Lorenzo's employ – the official LO translator and "story editor"… apparently.
It's been a very long, trying and at times, awkward process – setting this whole thing up. Anything I write, naturally, needs to be translated into the native tongue. At the same time, I also have to translate any material from the magazine into English. Additionally, I've also taken it upon myself to (occasionally) translate older material from the archives, for your reading pleasure. Previously, the Lonely Outlet didn't have any sort of web presence at all, so this is also a big moment in its long and strange history. For the first time ever, the magazine content will grace the pages of the world wide web. It's a lot of work, but I hope it's ultimately worth it, and you, dear reader, find something of value.
But enough talk… why not try it for yourself? You're here anyway and with that blizzard outside, you'll probably be here for quite some time. Come, sit by the fire; who knows – perhaps you, like so many others, will never leave?