15 October 2008

F columns / Thomas H Johnsson

I love Landskrona where I, most often, live. But sometimes it gets too small, too calm, too lively, too boring. That’s when I go to Copenhagen. It doesn’t take more than an hour by train, you can’t go by boat anymore but taking the train is just as good as well. Don’t know why I don’t go there more often, I should. I blame it on not having enough time, but I know that’s too easy of an explanation.

I have a lot of things going on right now. I have to make time for Nothing. That Nothing is important. I accidentally eavesdropped on B and V some time ago, outside the backstage area of the rock club The Tivoli in Helsingborg, they had played, and I had showed some images. It was night and quiet, the kind of quiet you get after a concert when the club has closed up. B’s voice: - If you’re going to phone Thomas you need to have a reason, you don’t phone him just to have a cup of coffee.

I don’t know if that’s the kind of reputation I want. Don’t think so, actually like going out for coffee and I am actually a social-minded person, but with a great need for solitude.

There was a time when I went to Copenhagen at least one time a week. At least during the warm periods of the year.

H and I had borrowed a boat and anchored it in Christianshavn, just by Christiania, it was before the drug clean-up reform. Here we lived. In central Copenhagen on o boat on the canal. It was summer and we were the salty sailors who held parties seven nights a week. Slept in daytime and lived at night.

The following story is retold word-for-word and takes place in a club where a glass of wine costs 700 Danish krone (but a lot more than wine is included, mind you). We’re hanging out at the bar, each having a Hof (ordering a Hof nothing more is included, but it costs 80 Danish krone). As always, H is more than moderately intoxicated but quite relaxed. A girl who was not a virgin turns her warm bosom towards him and asks if he can buy her a glass of wine. H looks up at her with foggy eyes, thinks for a moment, and says:

-Why don’t you by me a glass? You probably make more money than I do.

That’s when it was time to leave, and later on the evening ended quite drastically. It makes me think about another time, I a similar area, with the same protagonist, but in Paris. A story far too long to be retold here.

We also got some work done back in those days. I remember one idea about a full day with the family in Copenhagen for 500 Danish krone. Like a fieldtrip guide in the form of a reportage. We strolled around among historic sites and free-of-charge museums, H wrote and I took the pictures. I the reportage you were supposed to get tips about where you could get a decent lunch. We found a deli where we got some wine, cheese and bread. We sat down by Söerna, the sun was shining, couples were making out, the birds were singing and life was wonderful.
Suddenly H says:

-Do you know what we’re doing right now?
-Err…no? I ask and take a sip of the wine.
-We’re working, he says with a grin.

We weren’t handling any big money in those days, but we got by, things always worked out. We had a good time and I don’t remember us ever going without food. If life got too small, too calm, too lively, too boring we went to Copenhagen. There was always time for that then. There should always be enough time for Copenhagen. There should always be enough time for that Nothing.

Text and photos ©Thomas H Johnsson
Invited by Fredrik Skott and Lina Nääs.


©Fredrik Skott