Friday night he had awakened suddenly after having slept for twenty-four hours without interruption. He had apparently fallen asleep with all of his clothes on. When he woke, his clothes were clammy with sweat, and when he stood up he could see that there was blood both on his trousers and on his T-shirt.
A little later, when he was in the bathroom pissing, he noticed that there were also spots of dried blood on the sink. He wondered where the blood had come from.
Flushed the toilet and tore a piece of paper off the roll to wipe the blood off the sink. When he looked in the mirror, he discovered that one of his eyebrows was split. But only a little, and the blood around the injury had long since dried—all the blood on his clothes could not have come from his eyebrow alone. But he could remember nothing.
When he had washed his hands and removed the spots from the sink, he took off all of his clothes, put them in the washing machine and started it, and took a shower. While he was in the shower, he thought he could hear someone sneaking around in the living room. He turned the water off and went in there naked to check, but no one was there, and the apartment’s entrance door was locked. He got back under the shower and turned the water back on, stood there taking deep breaths, noticed that his heart was beating much faster than normal—he thought it was pounding insanely fast.
While he was drying off, he felt pain shooting through his right arm. His muscles were taut and felt as hard as wood or stone; his fingers were quivering.
When he had put clean clothes on, he made coffee, turned on the radio. Felt restless. In need of a smoke, even though he had quit smoking years before.
Felt an uneasiness in his body—it felt electric.
He put a DVD on, Die Hard with a Vengeance, with the radio on in the background, but he could not concentrate on the film. He had a headache. He paused the DVD and got up from the sofa.
In the bathroom cabinet he found a jar of painkillers which he took into the kitchen. He wondered why his backpack was on the kitchen counter.
When he opened it, he found a quarter of a pizza packed in aluminum foil.
He took a can of beer out of the refrigerator and swallowed a couple of the pills.
He ate the pizza standing at the kitchen counter.
Afterward he was still restless. He went into the living room and sat down on the sofa, turned off the film and zapped through the channels.
On TV 2 News there was a report from a farm on the periphery of Aalborg, within walking distance of his apartment. Pictures of dead animals in a field, a maltreated heifer and a maimed wild boar, were shown.
When he saw the pictures of the animals and the field and the farm building with its three wings, which apparently constituted an organic farming operation, he suddenly remembered where he had been Thursday night before he had fallen asleep.
He had visited his little sister. They had eaten pizza, smoked hashish and taken amphetamines, and watched three David Lynch films: Blue Velvet and Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive. When he had been standing in the hall with his outerwear and shoes and backpack on, his sister had insisted that he take what was left of the pizza home.
“I would just throw it away anyway,” she had said.
“Then I’ll fucking take it home,” he had said.
“You’ve always loved cold pizza,” she had said.
She had disappeared into the kitchen and come back with the quarter pizza packed in aluminum foil.
“Turn around,” she had said.
He had turned around, and she had opened his backpack and put the pizza in it.
Because his bicycle had had a flat tire he had walked home. He had walked through the meadow, past the farm. The last thing he could remember was the smell of the free-ranging animals. The smell, and the feeling that someone or something was lurking in wait for him in the dark.
He switched the television off and felt queasy at the thought that he did not know what had happened.
He got up from the sofa and felt a terrific dizziness pulling his body down toward the floor.
He staggered into the bathroom and threw up several times.
Among all the empty bottles on the table lies the red cap.
The guy sits next to me nearly petrified, staring at it.
His bleached hair lies flat against his skull; it looks as though it is wet at the edges.
“Maybe you’ve had a concussion,” I say.
“That sure would be a drag,” he says.
“Maybe you should go to the hospital,” I say.
He nods, shakes his head, and keeps repeating that he would give his right arm to find out what happened.