-Heard the news? said Haagen in the other end of nowhere.
I was walking down Havreveien at Manglerud towards my terraced house, mobile to my ear, sniffing the air like some child on the outlook for winter. There was definitely winter in the air but no snow to be seen.
-I soon will, I said.
-How come? said Haagen.
-When did you ever keep a secret for more than five minutes? I asked.
I stopped by the house where Paul used to live. The windows were staring empty at me, but I could imagine how Paul and Magne met here and made some of their first songs in the basement. How they walked this street as young boys with their dreams throbbing along with the rhytms of their longing hearts.
-They say a-ha will split up, said Haagen.
-So you have finally read yesterdays newspapers? I said. –May I send you my most deeply felt congratulations?
-If that makes you feel better, yes, said Haagen.
-Consider it done, I said.
There was a silence in the other end. What was he up to? And where was he up to something? Was he talking in his mobile in the chapel again? Sitting on the floor by the organ with his saxophone in his arms like it was a silly little dog? I had a growing feeling that he was going to be rude again, against me and God and a couple of other chaps from Manglerud.
-They say a-ha will give in on the top. But if “Foot of the Mountain” is the top, Mount Everest is the ground floor of Empire State Building, Haagen burst out.
-I’m glad you didn’t study architecture as you once was thinking of, I said.- An architect must surely now where to put the roof on a house.
-Never to late to follow a dream, said Haagen. –But this a-ha thing is only about the money, be sure.
-They deserve every penny, I said.
-I thought retirement at around 50 was for firemen and prostitutes, said Haagen.
-Wash your mouth! I said.
-What about a beer today? said Haagen then.
-I’m a family man now, Haagen. –I only drink beers in weekdays with an r in it.
-Ok. What about Saturday, then?
-Good idea, I said.