Seeking Older, Well-Educated Gentleman

Kristina Lugn

[Putte is so wonderful.]

Putte is so wonderful.
Sometimes I have to slam my head against the door of the fridge and sometimes
I have to cut my nipples to bits with my mother-in-law's manicure scissors
and sometimes I have to throw myself headlong into the dryer in the middle
of a shiny afternoon.
But still he doesn't want to have intercourse with me.
Not under any circumstances.
Not orally, genitally, or anally.
Absolutely not as long as I keep this expression on my face.
He never has intercourse with women who think they can start
a new life after menopause.
It rubs him the wrong way, he says.
Intellectually as well as emotionally.
It's a matter of principle, he says.

[This is a home.]

This is a home.
The sofa is an important part of the home.
A person also makes a mark on a home.

Is the sofa still a part of the home
when the person who sits on it
suddenly dies?

Will the sofa then smell like memories
of the person who used to sit on it,
feeling alone?

Will the sofa, maybe, get a new home?
Will the sofa be able to convey
its experiences then to this new home?

So that the person who used to sit in it
in some way, actually,
becomes memorable?

Or do they carry out the sofa
along with the person and burn one
and then the other?

One and then the other,
that is, in separate rooms
so that the home shatters?

[Surely there are phenomena not]

Surely there are phenomena not
commercially viable
nor interesting from other points of view.

Surely there are problems that can't
be blamed on others nor make claims
on their attention.

Surely there's a sorrow
so felt
it's disgusting.

[God, so stupid to walk around]

God, so stupid to walk around
in an expanding city
thinking only about yourself!

God, so stupid to just
start pouting like that
in line for the pediatrician's office!

As if you weren't the usual
complete stranger
just like everyone else!

God, so stupid
to hold a funeral for those darling
guinea pigs
and those canaries
and those gold fish
and those snotty noses
and Aunt Sivangull
and poor little Signemor!

What's the point
of hanging your head all day
just because Assar
hitchhiked to Arvika
with a lovely girl named
Lola and a fire-eater
who's supposed to be a little

Everything you own and have
belongs of course to Assar
so it's not that fucking weird
that you do as well?

Lola's always helpful like that.
Of course that's not why
every single crooner loves her!

It's her kneecaps that capture them
It's her vegetable dyed armpit
that captivates them so
It's her breath that fascinates them
It's her way of slowly sticking a
cigarette between her lips and sucking
and then blowing a pale blue cloud
over the whole damn thing

At that point she's really so delicious
they have to get on their knees
and beg to taste a spoonful
Don't you get that?

And surely you know that Assar owns a freezer
So you've got nothing to worry about for god's sake

translated from the Swedish by Elizabeth Clark Wessel