Head Dust


The playlist for NO RELATION by Thomas Pors Koed

Apparently books these days need a playlist.
Some of the stories in No Relation take their names from songs (but bear no other relation to those songs):
'Passenger' by Iggy Pop
'Broken Banks' by The Renderers
3. '
Hammerhead' by Snapper 
4. 'Frozen Car' by The Terminals
'Salivating' by Scorched Earth Policy
'Detective Instinct' by The Fall
'Spick and Span' by The Gordons
'Red Rider' by The Residents 


Man: Hello, hello. Oops. Can I join you? Can I sit down here?
TPK: There’s nobody there.
Man: Pleased to meet you. I’m ****. I’m a friend of ****’s.
TPK: Thomas.
Man: I know who you are. I know who you are: ****’s told me all about you.
TPK: Oh.
Man: And you’ve written a book.
TPK: Yes.
Man: A book of short stories.
TPK: You could call them that.
Man: Yes, ****’s told me all about you. I like short stories. I like them very much. I used to write short stories myself. I was good at them. Rather good at them. Short stories were my thing.
TPK: Oh. Have you had any published?
Man: Well, yes. The highlight of my career as a writer of short stories, it wasn’t a long career, was having one of my short stories published in the school magazine. That was a long time ago.
TPK: So you don’t write any more.
Man: No. No, not since then. And the other thing I wanted to be was a concert pianist. I had set my heart on being a concert pianist. A concert pianist and a writer of short stories.
TPK: But you didn’t become a concert pianist.
Man: No, I became an optometrist.
TPK: You’re still an optometrist?
Man: Yes.
TPK: Do you still play the piano?
Man: Yes, I still play the piano. But only in the dark. I only play in the dark. The music is more beautiful when you play it in the dark. You can hear it better. And you don’t get distracted by looking at things.
TPK: So you spend your days correcting people’s vision and your nights trying not to see?
Man: Ha, ha! Yes, you’re right. That’s absolutely right. You know, there’s a short story in that.
TPK: Perhaps you should take up your pen again.
Man: Me? No, my days as the short story aficionado are over. But there is a short story in it. You should write it.
TPK: Hmm.
Man: You know, I’m an optometrist. In my profession I deal with people whose sight is getting worse. One day I might go blind. I might lose my sight. It happens. That’s why I play the piano in the dark, when I can’t see, to prepare myself. So that I’ll have something if I go blind.
TPK: That makes sense.
Man: Well, I’m pleased to meet you at last. **** has told me all about you, and about your book of short stories, and now I’ve met you. And I can tell you are a person with really good people-skills. You are good at talking to people, you know, getting on their wavelength.
TPK: No. Not really.
Man: Then at least you seem as if you are. You can pull it off. You pull it off. Yes, I can tell you are a reserved person, a bit shy even. But you manage to really talk to people in a genuine way. That’s a very good thing.
TPK: I think it’s a persona.
Man: You know, I’m really looking forward to your launch on Tuesday, the launch of your book of short stories.
TPK: You know about that?
Man: Yes, **** has told me all about it. I want to be there, but look, I’ve just realised I won’t be able to be there. I’m going to be in **** on Tuesday, so I won’t be able to come along. Are you going to be reading any of your short stories on Tuesday?
TPK: Yes, I will have to do that.
Man: That’s a pity. I’ve just realised I won’t be able to come along. Look, I’m really sorry.
TPK: That’s quite okay.
Man: Well, I just need to go through there, out the back, before it’s too late. Can I leave my glass here?
TPK: If you like.
Man: I’ll be back.