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from the August 2011 issue

Main Character

A Man. Here he is. He has height and breadth. And something in his eye. The man picks his eye. He picks at his eyelashes, eyelid. On the whole the man has face. It could be described. How should we describe the face. It’s round. Or it’s rectangular. It’s not triangular. And yet. It’s angular with soft bends. It’s round with markings. The man is in any case freshly shaven. His face is a baby’s bottom. And yet. Not.

Here is the man. The man with a face. And a name. The man has a name. Probably a good name, but we don’t know it. We can call him whatever we feel like. Mads or Mikkel. Mozart. The man doesn’t obey, he doesn’t react. Maybe his name isn’t Mads. We could call him the main character. That’s what we’ll call him. Rightly so. The man has had our undivided attention. He’ll keep it a little while longer. Here is the main character.

Here he is, the man. Of average build, a face with hair on top. We call him the main character, he’s on his way somewhere. From somewhere, in between. Appropriately he whistles a tune. We observe the main character. A tarpaulin that clatters in the dark. He’s moving, striding up toward the streets. The main character puts one leg forward. Then the other. And so on. He appears to be moving with no trouble beneath the lamp lights. He puts his legs in front of each other rapidly. Faster. He gently eases the weight from his heels. The main character starts running. He’s running. Ahead somewhere is a bus stop.

From Hovedpersonen. Published 2009 by Jorinde & Joringel, Copenhagen. Copyright  2009 by Frederik Bjerre Andersen. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2011 by Morten Høi Jensen. All rights reserved.

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