I was working down at the Sushi bar alone and busy rolling and squeezing and pouring this on that and aligning that with this when a guy comes in and his beard is so overgrown and tangled. He leans on the counter and starts to talk to me. He never orders a thing.
But he's a musician, he mumbles and he's looking for shows, what, here? I'm asking, but he doesn't give a straight answer, do you know where I can get shows anywhere or here or whatever. He doesn't know what he's talking about he sometimes interrupts himself, with faint giggles and Norwegian syllables. I told him I'm meeting a friend the next day to play some music so meet me at the church at 5.45. He writes it down on an old receipt. He writes down my name, and his, something Steel, something Norwegian. But we exchange a few more words as my busy body swims around the narrow workspace, and he leaves, then returns before realising he has nothing more to say, just nowhere to go.
I meet him the next day and he's been so enchanted with this waitress at the hotel he sat in to ask for shows. He takes me into the hotel and introduces me to her but we have nothing to say. He gets his hat and we walk to my friend's place.
He asked me what's wrong on the way there and I'm like, life's shit at the moment, whatever, so he talks about his life and how he was booted out his country for starting a court case against the educational system. It was hard to make head or tail what he was saying. And his dad called the cops. What? Why? I don't know, I was shouting, but he was in Bergen and I in Tremolt or wherever. How could he hear you then?
So he jumped on a ferry to the Faroes, plays some shows, and tells me how he's in love with a singer from there, and she sent him a wink on Facebook, I think she likes me too. But they never met, and he's only heard her voice from outside the venue, more shouting and singing across barriers, across distance and space.
From there he took a ferry to seyðisfjörður and played shows, hitchhiked west, sleeping in henhouses and ATMs - 'ATMs? how do you sleep in one of them?' He ignores me or says they're warm. Wait, henhouses? 'They have heaters' he's homeless I suppose, and now in Reykjavik he's playing at The English Bar and Dubliner the daily troubadour spot for wanderers looking to make money with songs told from behind an acoustic guitar.
And he played us some at my mate's place. One about his father titles 'the Viking king' - for he's a huge guy living in the middle of nowhere, all alone, this guy - listening across the country, it seems.
And a song about fuck the cops, and one in Norwegian, which was the most beautiful of all. But he got distracted and was talking about some yoga instructor he met the previous night and how she was a lioness and how she had just got up and walked away, cos he scared her off maybe.
I walked him a little way off and guided him down to his venue that night but that was it so far with Steel.