Sheâ€™s a part-time music teacher at a school in MÃ¸rkÃ¸v and the lead singer of the Kale and Burgers.
They play at silver anniversaries, birthday parties, street concerts, and port and city festivalsâ€”and theyâ€™ve been doing it for more than fifteen years now. The band stopped practicing long ago, and they only see each other during the week if they bump into each other in the supermarket or down at the Sea Cat.
Sheâ€™s given up her dream of a record deal, but her daughter just got one.
The daughter lives in Copenhagen, and thatâ€™s part of the explanation.
Nothing ever happens in Kalundborg.
Her boyfriendâ€”who is not the father of the girlâ€”plays drums, but in another band.
Heâ€™s a shipwright and lives on the ReersÃ¸ Peninsula.
Theyâ€™ve discussed moving in together quite a bit, but canâ€™t agree on where they should live.
Itâ€™s pretty on ReersÃ¸, but itâ€™s a long way from everything.
From her apartment in Kalundborg she can at least watch the ferries come and go.
She can hear the train.
Kingâ€™s Pub and the Sea Cat are nearby.
Through the years sheâ€™s come to resemble one of the refrains that people know how to sing along with: small and chubby with dark and curly hair.
It doesnâ€™t bother her.
Her boyfriend likes having something to clutch onto.
He still stares hungrily at her breasts when she removes her blouse.
Simon Fruelund is the author of six books, including, in English, â€˜Civil Twilightâ€™ and â€˜Milk & Other Storiesâ€™. His work has been translated into Italian, Swedish, and English, and his Pushcart-nominated shortÂ stories have appeared in a number of magazines across the U.S. His most recent novel is â€˜Pendlerneâ€™Â (Commuters).
K.E. Semmel is a writer and translator whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, World Literature Today, â€˜Best European Fiction 2011â€™, and elsewhere. His translations include Karin Fossumâ€™s â€˜The Callerâ€™, Jussi Adler Olsenâ€™s â€˜The Absent Oneâ€™, Erik Valeurâ€™s â€˜The Seventh Childâ€™ and, forthcoming in 2015, Naja Marie Aidtâ€™s â€˜Rock, Paper, Scissorsâ€™.
Editor’s Note: â€˜Kalundborg 7:11â€™ is the first chapter from Simon Fruelund’s novel â€˜Pendlerneâ€™, and appears here with kind permission from the author, the translator and Gyldendal.