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Yet now he’s been complimented, which is no small thing

for one who’s been called many difficult names throughout

his life; words have influence, they can sink into you and

leave marks, get a person to believe various things about

himself; to receive such a compliment, and from these

women— the boy is quite close to sobbing. Another five

pages in a week, can you manage it?, asks Geirþrúður,

raising her wine glass to her lips, those lips that were kissed

today, and that kissed; then she was alive, in the deserted

valley, she existed, she burned, the birds were startled and

the mountains took note of her. Yes, says the boy,

convinced, confident, happy, I can manage it, there’s zeal in

his eyes, while outside the storm rages and the world

trembles. It would probably be safer to tie it down so that it

doesn’t blow out into the darkness of space. Andrea lies in

her bed in her basement room and listens to the storm, it’s

not her bed, admittedly, but Geirþrúður’s, as is the entire

house, she lies there and can’t sleep, tosses and turns,

doesn’t know how she should lie, how she should live, the

wind pounds the house, tears up the sea, which is dark and

heavy and restless, even the Lagoon, which is usually still

even when breakers beat outside it, is tumultuous and J.

Andersen’s ship rolls upon it frighteningly, its hold empty.

Lúlli and Oddur had worked tirelessly, along with others, to

empty the ship’s hold of sacks, bags, barrels, and they

succeeded, continual work, many hands, things are often

urgent here between the mountains, life is in a rush, or,

better put, people, not life itself, which simply exists, is just