Saturday, October 10, 2009

blink



"Nicklas let out a beery belch that reverberated through the churchyard. For a short moment he wondered if she had gone because of the argument they’d had the night before. But he pushed the thought out of his mind again just as quickly as it had appeared. That couldn’t have been it. Amanda had sworn she had forgiven him when he had asked her that same morning. And yet now she had gone off with a bloke she didn’t even know … or did she?
Nicklas emptied the second can in one swill. The beer made him think more clearly, and it occurred to him suddenly how stupid he had been. Of course she knew the bloke. She had said his name … Kristian or Karl, or whatever it was. How stupid he had been. The little bitch had found someone else while he was out bringing in the trawl, thinking about her blond hair and missing her. And it had been so easy for her to keep it from him, because she always knew exactly when he’d be home. The two of them had been screwing. Maybe even in Nicklas’ own bed. He felt a rage coming over him. Of course that was how it was. Now there was a whole load of other things that fell into place all of a sudden: friends acting funny and giving him sly looks down at the pub. They’d know all along she’d been two-timing him. It was always the way. The whole bloody town always knew about that sort of thing before the bloke himself.
He should have seen it coming, he thought to himself. Infidelity was a curse in his family. His grandmother had been a tart. His dad had told him about how she had two of those white china dogs there were so many of in the windows of fishermen’s homes. When they were facing each other, the fancy man could see that Grandad was home, and could stay well away. But as soon as he had put out to sea again, she would turn the dogs to face away, and the fancy man could see it was all clear.
He had heard that his grandmother was sleeping with the dairyman. Grandad had never said as much himself, but his dad had told him so while they were unpacking the china dogs from the case when Nicklas’ mother had been clearing out the house after their deaths. And he had gone out into the yard and smashed the two of them against the flags.
“There’ll be no more funny business with them,” he had told Nicklas’ mother. “You’ll not have things that easy when I’m away.”
Nicklas had never known his mother receive visits from men, but his father was in no doubt they’d been there. He had once yelled that the only way Nicklas’ mother could have afforded her new woolen overcoat was by screwing the builder, just like they all said she’d been doing.
And now it was Nicklas’ turn. A new generation with a two-timing bitch who couldn’t keep an itchy cunt in check while her bloke was at sea. It also explained why Amanda had been acting so strange of late. Bad-tempered and sulky in front of the telly all the time. Not like before, when she used to sing and dance around the living-room for him. Now there were some mornings she just stayed in bed, lying there and pretending to be asleep, even though he could tell she wasn’t. But she buried her head in the pillow and was too lazy to get up.
Nicklas smiled bitterly at the thought of how down he had been when he had got back from the baker’s that morning with the rolls Amanda liked. Now he realised it wasn’t only his fault they’d started arguing. He may have lost control, but she was defintely the one who had started it, all the while she was making plans to run off with her little shite of a boyfriend. But she’d got another thing coming now. He was going to find her alright. If it was the last thing he ever did. He was going to find her and put her in her place and bring her back with a firm, loving hand to Hirtshals where she could once again be the sunshine that kept him warm. He was going to make sure that everything was going to be like before and that she never again would be tempted by another man. And definitely not by that lad she’d gone off with earlier that evening. That little runt was going to regret ever having set eyes on Nicklas Frandsen’s girl. He’d make sure of that.
He sat for a while longer on the bench by Br√łnderslev church, shaking his head at his own stupidity. Then he left through the gates, staggering slightly, and went by the filling station and bought a new six-pack of Special Brew for the journey."

Mette Finderup: 'Blink'.
Extract from draft translation.

(c) Mette Finderup and Gyldendal 2009
Translation (c) Martin Aitken 2009

1 comment:

Morteza said...
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