There’s another man, too, and a woman. Who are these people? The two others are sitting on a bench or on something by the wall, also wearing plain clothes. All three of them are wearing plain clothes, no white coats to be seen. The walls are as white as the ceiling. Or rather, whitewashed walls. A church. That’s what this is; it’s a church. Things aren’t moving too quickly up there. But what am I doing in a church? Now the organ has begun to play in there. The notes’ thunderous roar penetrates the thick walls. A door stands open on the other side. The door out. Both wings have been flung wide open, the light falling in. I have to be careful not to look that way, I can tell. But the air feels nice. I could use a bit more if it, I’m sweating — come on, more air. A sinking feeling in my body, cold sweat dripping from my pores. A beer, a beer is the only thing that would help now. Just the thought sends a shooting pain through my diaphragm, my intestines, my stomach is turning inside out. I just manage to turn my head away before I vomit — or not quite: before I, after some pathetic gag reflexes, regurgitate a bit of sour bile up onto the floor.
The man’s arm is still resting behind my back, the walls are waving. I have no strength, cannot ….
“It’s okay.” The man grabs more tightly around my back. “Just lie down, like that, yes. Nothing has happened … Maybe you just sat up too fast. An ambulance will be here shortly…”
Ambulance?! I don’t want any goddamned ambulance. Which is also what I say to him — at least what I try to say to him. But it’s as if there’s no connection to my mouth. I can’t get it to move, have no strength…
“There’s some water right here. Do you think you can drink a little … whenever you can … no hurry, we’ll be right here … ”
Here — where? In the church? A hand rests on my shoulder again, his apparently, firm and calm. I don’t have the energy to do anything but let it sit there. Its light weight feels comforting, calming. The woman who was sitting on the bench before comes over with a little bucket and begins to wipe up next to me.
He is risen, He is risen! He has opened heaven’s gate …
The song weaves in and out between the notes of the organ, or maybe it’s the other way around. Arching above me, like arches under the arches. I’m not dead. I’m in a church…
I just really needed to fucking sit down. Just a little longer, I said to myself, while people were professing and renouncing all around me.
It was just sitting there, completely white in the middle of all that green. Bells were ringing and ringing — although I wasn’t sure if it was coming from the church or inside my head. Probably the latter. The church was sitting in the middle of nowhere. Who would they be ringing for? The cows? Then I saw some people moving around over there. A lot of them, actually, swarming from all sides and disappearing into the church, as if they’d been sucked into a hole in the white wall. I was still more or less sober at that point. But in pretty bad shape, on the other hand. Had been traipsing around for quite some time, didn’t really know where I was. Maybe still at the bottom of Uglebølle. Or maybe I had come up, it was hard to say, the landscape still felt like it was bobbing up and down. In any case, the church was on some kind of hill, and it looked so … I don’t know what the fuck, so white and innocent, almost like a toy, sitting there between the fields and the sky. As if it couldn’t help it. A place to sit down, I thought. A refuge. A clean, white space where you could sit and rest your legs a little, find peace from everything for a while. Maybe even achieve some kind of forgiveness, as it were. Yes, I thought, maybe not the worst place to start if you wanted to begin a new and better life. And you could also get a little sip of communion wine. On the other hand: I sure as hell wasn’t going to go up and get down on my knees along with a bunch of holy assholes. And it would sort of necessitate that, I guess.
… We are free from sin’s dark prison, Risen to a holier state …
“Do you faint sometimes?” Glasses is still sitting by my side, his face frowning seriously. He’s probably in his mid-forties. “Do you suffer from any illnesses?”
“Fain … ?” The word — or something like it — comes out of my mouth. My voice sounds strange, almost non-existent.
“Yes, you suddenly fell inside the church …”
Inside the church? That’s a lie! But obviously it isn’t, unfortunately. Some unclear images are stirring. Slowly it begins to dawn on me: that interminable section when you have to stand up, the Creed, or whatever the hell it was. All the others were standing right up, so I really had no choice but to just get up off my ass. I even tried to mumble along with the words a little. I guess it couldn’t do any harm. Maybe it would even be good for something. I really wanted … well, God knows what I wanted. That some higher power would show up, would come down and make everything all right. Lift me out of this goddamn hole I had fallen back into. I just really needed to fucking sit down. Just a little longer, I said to myself, while people were professing and renouncing all around me. Just hold on a little longer, it will all be over soon, and then you can sit back down. But my body wasn’t listening; instead, it started shaking from within. The words dragged on, every syllable, every single vowel stretched out until eternity, as if it was necessary to make it all last as long as possible. I had to grasp the backrest on the bench in front of me. If I just hold onto it, it will pass … Or maybe just slouch down a little … I can’t remember any more.