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Damn it all. The boy receives a letter in which he’s asked

about his heartbeat. As if living isn’t enough of a trial.

He wakes up each morning just before six, reaches out and

grabs a book, poems to read as he emerges from his dreams

into the delicate morning, connecting night and day,

dreams and waking with poems, there may be no better

way for a person to wake up. Yet the questions don’t go

anywhere, what is he supposed to do with his life?, does he

love Ragnheiður, whom he’s met twice since returning from

his journey with Jens, a journey that went all the way to the

end of the world, through gloomy weather, through life and

death. The first time, they met on the street and she looked

at the boy as if he were nothing, and even a little less than

that. The next day he was about to enter the German

Bakery when Ragnheiður stepped out with Danish pastries

for her father, Friðrik, warm pastries were practically the

only luxury he permitted himself and Ragnheiður the only

one who was allowed to buy them, and then she wanted to

get to know the boy, I heard you nearly killed yourself on

your journey with the drunkard, how could you ever think

of dying before I left for Copenhagen? Jens is not a drunk,

he said, feeling mildly dizzy, her eyes are somewhat wide-

set, those grey eyes that can be cold as frost, as the blood of

a cod; between them dwells my fate, he thought, nothing I

can do about it. This is a new sweater, she said, yes, he said.

It’s beautiful, they know how to clothe you, you’ve got

dandruff on your shoulder, said Ragnheiður, brushing off

his right shoulder.