ÖVERSÄTTNING: FRANK BERGSTEN
Tell it from your point of view, they said, as if I had a
place of my own to view the world from - try descri-
bing what happened that night, and I said I couldn’t
remember due to my diagnosis. I began the story
about the clerk at a second-hand bookshop in Vester-
bro who worked topless. Where I bought the copy of
the ugly duckling. But they didn’t want to listen. So I
said: then I’ll tell you something “exciting”, that night
you’re asking me about I was home lying in my bed
watching a show on HBO, Orange is the New Black.
I wasn’t doing anything else, oh yeah drinking beer
and playing GTA.
Can anyone confirm you were there, was anyone there?
No, I was alone. I’m a loner, a type of guy who
doesn’t long for others - fear actually that someone
will find out what’s going on in my apartment, what I
do and what I think.
Then one of them said, she with the policeman’s
cap, that if I didn’t tell the truth I couldn’t expect
anyone to believe me. Then we could be sitting here
for a very long time. Perhaps in an old movie if she
hadn’t been a woman, she’d have lit a cigarette and
offered me one.
I sat quiet. If I went on I’d be responsible for
something I never did. Finally when the clock ticked
past four I said, okay, I had my mum with me.
Why didn’t you tell us before, what’s mum’s
When I told her mum died of a stroke three years
ago she looked up. She followed me in the elevator
to the entrance. See you, she said, as if I was insane.
When I went home it had turned yellow on the trees,
the ground was dirty with leaves and soil. It could
have been October, maybe early November.
My son doesn’t love me. When I was younger
I couldn’t stand spoiled kids. He didn’t have to do
anything - I did everything: breakfast, lunch, dinner,
made his bed and when he grew older he got my
money. In one year he spent everything I had saved
every month throughout my whole life.
Then he became ill, got cancer, no one except
me believed he would make it. He recovered - a
miracle the doctors said. I believe it’s because it never
crossed my mind. Now he’s living in New York where
he always wanted to live where I’ve never been; I miss
it much what I did. I don’t know who I can tell that to
but I wish I was needed.
A good day he can take care of himself.
The nurse wrote while she was talking. It was the
big hospital. In the corridor between two buildings I
was stopped by a man who tapped on my shoulder
and said a name, someone else’s name.
Doctor John, I want to know what’s wrong with
me! I told him I had no idea, I’m also sick. - But you’re
a doctor, right? He pointed at my white coat. - This
is no doctor’s coat, I held up a sleeve, it’s a hospital
I knew he didn’t understand. One wall in the long
passageway is made of glass, bright light like a dream
about eternal light - nurse, could someone please
come? where should the invisible be?
My God, look at you, said my wife when I came home,
have you been rolling around in mud, get in the
shower immediately. Like putting keys on a keychain,
you just want a door to open. I didn’t answer, just
got undressed. I had slipped, lying down without wanting
to get up.
Hot days without rain
The ticking in heaven before it exploded
In times like that we were moved to safety
We never took care of the bodies
When I went to Sweden
no one knew I was coming
What everybody already knows -
the humiliation, the shame
Then I was lying on a couch for three months
watched TV don’t know what I was watching
barges in a Flemish landscape
twelve doves from a dovecote
they fly beautifully
out of sight
I asked to serve abroad again
In Timbuktu I was hit by
a bullet. Someone wanted to kill me.