She’s a part-time music teacher at a school in Mørkøv and the lead singer of the Kale and Burgers.
They play at silver anniversaries, birthday parties, street concerts, and port and city festivals—and they’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.
She’s given up her dream of a record deal, but her daughter just got one.
The daughter lives in Copenhagen, and that’s part of the explanation.
Nothing ever happens in Kalundborg.
Her boyfriend—who is not the father of the girl—plays drums, but in another band.
He’s a shipwright and lives on the Reersø Peninsula.
They’ve discussed moving in together quite a bit, but can’t agree on where they should live.
It’s pretty on Reersø, but it’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.
King’s Pub and the Sea Cat are nearby.
Through the years she’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 doesn’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, ‘Civil Twilight’ and ‘Milk & Other Stories’. His work has been translated into Italian, Swedish, and English, and his Pushcart-nominated short stories have appeared in a number of magazines across the U.S. His most recent novel is ‘Pendlerne’ (Commuters).
K.E. Semmel is a writer and translator whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, World Literature Today, ‘Best European Fiction 2011’, and elsewhere. His translations include Karin Fossum’s ‘The Caller’, Jussi Adler Olsen’s ‘The Absent One’, Erik Valeur’s ‘The Seventh Child’ and, forthcoming in 2015, Naja Marie Aidt’s ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’.
Editor’s Note: ‘Kalundborg 7:11’ is the first chapter from Simon Fruelund’s novel ‘Pendlerne’, and appears here with kind permission from the author, the translator and Gyldendal.