Out Stealing Timber IV
Siri – the woman with the smile – is living in Theastuene for the summer. She thinks the house is haunted. She hasn’t seen a ghost but talks mysteriously about a presence. ‘Something disturbing.’ She wakes in the night convinced someone is weeping close by. But when she turns on the light there is nothing. She lies awake in the darkness and the sound of weeping is simultaneously near and far off. She can’t hear anything, but enfolded in the silence of the night is something on the verge of tears.
If I believed in such things I’d say she was psychic or clairvoyant, because that is partly how she sees herself, or likes to think of herself. I suppose it gives her some comfort. She’s not particularly spaced out, remember she’s been someone’s wife, she is a mother, and for much of the time she is quite normal. I’ve seen her swimming in the fjord. She has a sense of humour. Drives a car. I like her. There is a mutual attraction between us which I’m reticent to explore too far, I don’t want to get sucked into something strange, someone weird.
Here’s a story she told me. Her ex was a guy called Tor, worked for a while on the ferry between Moss and Horten, wore an orange jump-suit and directed the cars on and off the boat, but he lost the job after stealing a mobile phone from someone’s glove compartment. Anyway, this Tor, he would ask her who she was.
‘Who am I?’
‘You’re Tor’s wife.’
She would laugh. ‘No, Tor’s just someone I met.’
Then he’d beat her and in the morning he’d say, ‘Now you’re my wife.’
And she’d say, ‘No, you’re just someone who beats me.’
Must’ve been a huge relief to unload a guy like that. I can’t tell you more about him at the moment. I’ve never seen him. Siri said he is a big guy. I have to keep reminding myself that he takes a fifty percent share in the care of their daughter, their dog, and their car. Important to remember a man’s redeeming features.
. . . . . . . . . . to be continued
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