Solveig’s and Tobias’s voices from the kitchen: Tobias has a habit of stopping by in the evenings after he has been at his greenhouse before biking back to the residential housing for seniors where he lives up in the town center. He is stubborn about that bike, despite the fact that it is more than six miles and he is old, his legs are getting worse and worse. But if the road conditions are bad Solveig convinces him to let her drive him—not so easy, Tobias is woven of a stubborn cloth. But still: voices in the yard, car doors slamming, she will be back soon.
Or, other evenings, Solveig is watching television in the living room, the volume turned down very low, a quiet hum in the background. Sometimes Johanna gets up and goes to her, lies down on the sofa in the living room, her head resting in Solveig’s arms. Steep stairs, white houses
on television: women, men who are running up and down stairs, meeting in corridors, talking, talking and having relationships with each other. Johanna does not follow along, Solveig’s fingers in her hair, she is not thinking about the Marsh Queen then either, not thinking about anything in particular, or about the houses. The houses that Solveig sells, supplies in her business. Blueprints, photographs, sometimes Johanna is allowed to be at a showing. To walk through the empty apartments, through the houses, imagine, all sorts of things. Brochures about Rosengården 5 and 6 and 8, residential areas, all of them alike. Old brochures about the Winter Garden before it was finished, a special language in them. Kapu kai.
The forbidden seas.The hacienda must be built.
Excerpted from The Glitter Scene by Monika Fagerholm. Copyright © 2011 by Monika Fagerholm. Excerpted by permission of Other Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.