The year it went wrong, the year I turned up, turned your life upside down… You wandered in beech forests, rolling the fine silky leaves between your fingers. Sat by ponds, by the sea, drinking the beer you always carried around in your rucksack. Beer tasted better there, didn’t it, tasted like it’s supposed to. CDs and graphic novels in the local libraries… you’d like to find and thank the person in charge of acquiring the music for the libraries in those days, wouldn’t you, and tell them about the debt you owe them… Coastal walks, surrounded by that special pale blue-grey light, the chill wind from the Sound. You sat on the beach by Elsinore castle, level with the cannons, staring out at the coast opposite: at another country, another language. Who were you, what were you in this your foreign home country? Someone sitting on the beach… The year you ceased to belong to yourself… To whom then? Me? But even I was barely there. We were stretched out, the two of us, like the clouds stretching out over the water, across the two coasts, blowing away, dispersing… You’d forgotten most of the language of this old new place, you spoke like a Kaspar Hauser, you were afraid to speak, you still thought and dreamed in the other language, the one that was to become ours. A private language, was that what we were forming, what was forming itself in us? Hardly, our words hardly belonged to us. Yet wasn’t that the year you first began to know language, to inhabit it even as it resisted you? Resisted you on the one hand and pulled you deep into yourself on the other, as you stuttered your way through one language and dreamed yourself away in another?

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