The Adventures of Morten Harket (not that one): Part 6

Part 1 – I’ve Been Losing You / Part 2 – The Blood That Moves the Body / Part 3 – The Sun Never Shone That Day / Part 4 – Sycamore Leaves / Part 5 – Shapes That Go Together

Lie Down In DarknessImage

“I’m tired,” grumbled Morten Harket as his wife shook him gently.
“Come on, dear,” she said lovingly. “It’s not like adult time lasted that long last night?”
“I know. But I had two Babychams. Maybe three.”

He sat up in the bed and rubbed his eyes, his chest fur curling in the nippy early morning air. “Why am I getting up?”
“You can’t lie down in darkness all morning,” she said sternly. “And you said you’d wash my car this morning. We can’t afford to go down to the garage to get it done.”

Morten muttered a brief rebuke before rolling out of bed in his tight Y-fronts. He reached out for his crumpled jeans, loose change tumbling out of his pockets as he pushed his left leg in to them. “Bugger.”

He pulled on a light blue shirt not realising it was inside out and stumbled downstairs, banging his knee against the bannister as he swung in to the hallway. His medium-length hair was sticking up everywhere, making him look somewhat like a thick-haired version of the guy from Hellraiser. The one with the pins.

He coughed up some Babycham as he poured boiling water from the kettle in to a cracked cup, missing the cup slightly and scalding his hand. “Bugger!”

Morten went out to the garden. The early-winter air grasped his throat tightly, causing him to catch his breath. As he checked that the doors and windows on the Fiat Punto were all shut tight he heard a voice from behind.

“Hello neighbour!”
Morten spun around, backward shirt wide open, unbuckled belt hanging from his hips, sticky-up hair unsure about what direction it should point.
“I’m Neil, your new neighbour. You look a tad rough, soldier.”
Morten looked puzzled and looked behind him expecting to see Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf covered in sand and sweat.
“Oh, right. Me?” Morten extended his hand. “I’m Morten.”
“What an unusual name?” Neil laughed. “Is it Belgian?”
“Belgian?” Morten said incredulously. “No. No. Norwegian.” He shook his head.

“Sorry,” Neil said smiling. “I just remember a Belgian band from the 80s who had a lead singer called Morten Hairnet.”
“It was a-ha. And his surname was ‘Harket’,” Morten corrected him. “And as it happens that is also my surname.”
“Really??” Neil laughed. “You don’t even look Belgian!”
“Norwegian!”
“You are?”
“No!”
“I recall their mid-90s struggle,” Neil said, curiously eyeing the curling fur on Morten’s chest. “They released a US-only promo single, ‘Lie Down in Darkness’.”

Morten turned to the car again before turning back to Neil. “I don’t recall it.”

“Yeah, it was a pseudo-rock track. Started off with a whistly-bit and was quite a tight little number.”
“Any chance of rating the track for me, Neil? People seem to like doing that when they discuss a-ha with me.”
“Probably 7/10. Give or take. Roughly.”

Morten turned to his wife’s car and then looked back at Neil. “You know,” he said, laughing, “I don’t even have a hose. Bugger.”

He turned away and walked back to the house, closing the door behind him.

Neil laughed heartily. “What a nice man. I’ve always liked Belgians.”

Morten stood in the hallway – grimacing at the bannister that he hit his knee off – and was met by his expectant wife.

“So…?”

“No joy,” he said, before performing an impromptu karaoke version of “Sailing” by Rod Stewart. “It was the a-ha curse again,” he said. “And we don’t even own a hose.”

“Never mind, darling,” she said, embracing him. “Next week we’ll buy a hose. Perhaps after we finally get those groceries.”

She took him by the hand. “Come on, I want you next to me…”

And for the second time in 24 hours, adult time commenced.

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The Adventures of Morten Harket (not that one): Part 5

Part 1 – I’ve Been Losing You

Part 2 – The Blood That Moves the Body

Part 3 – The Sun Never Shone That Day

Part 4 – Sycamore Leaves

Shapes That Go Together

Morten Harket stood at the bus stop across the street from his modest suburban home. Autumn was kicking in now and leaves of different persuasions filled the pavement. Not sycamore ones. Well, some were. And when I say persuasions I don’t mean that there were any gay leaves.

Ok, back to the story.

Morten Harket stood at the bu…oh, I’ve done that bit.

ANYWAY…Morten guitar

The bus was late. “Nothing new there,” Morten grumbled as he checked his watch for the fifth time in a minute. He glanced at the shopping list, bemused to find Smash on it. He hadn’t had Smash in years. But times were hard and savings had to be made wherever they could.

“Hello, Morten!”

Morten swiveled and smiled instantly.

“Joanne! It’s been a long time,” he said, extending his hand.
“Oh, enough with the hands,” she said, getting him in a bear hug.
“Look at you!” he said, smiling.
“Look at you!” she exclaimed.
“Oh, no,” he said. “I’ve put on a few pounds.”
“I know,” she nodded. “I was about to say that. You look pudgy.”
“Oh.”

He glanced to his left but still no sign of the bus.

“So I haven’t seen you since…”
“1994,” she said, finishing his sentence. “Yeah, I remember that night.”
“Me too,” he said, sounding distracted. “So, how is life for you?”
“Great,” she said, flashing an obnoxiously-sized wedding ring in his direction. “Married a doctor, fantastic complexion. Huge salary. And you?”
“Yes. Married about three years ago. Yeah.”

“I’ve got three kids,” she smiled, taking out a sheaf of pictures so heavy they would undoubtedly squash an unprepared boy scouts division. “Yep,” she said, flicking ridiculously fast through a collection of banal shots of kids in various embarrassing poses including, oddly, one where they created a human pyramid. You?”

“No, no. We have tried but no luck yet. I’d love a child but…”

“And what do you do for a living?” she said, cutting across him.
“I’m between jobs at the mome…”

“I’ve opened my own coffee shop. It’s doing really well,” she emphasised. “Of course it’s uptown – not in this area,” she grimaced, eyeing the passersby with the sort of contempt held for common criminals.

“That’s my house over there,” he pointed. “It’s not a bad area here but the badgers have an attitude problem.”

She looked at him oddly.

“Do you remember the night we broke up?” she laughed. “What was that song that was out at the time? Do you remember the guys were singing it to you when they found out your name?”
“Yeah,” he nodded, glancing in hope that the bus was pulling up. “It was ‘Shapes That Go Together’.”
“That’s it!” she shouted. “Your name was the same as the band’s singer! Oh that was classic.”
“Classic,” he said with a false smile, driving his hands further in to his pockets.
“When I heard it at the beginning I thought ‘Ooh that’s a bit of fun!’ I liked the vocals and it had a cute melody. Bit of a 7/10 song I thought.”

“Very pleasant,” he agreed. “Brings back vivid memories of that night alright.”
“I heard a live version of the song about 2 years ago would you believe. Oh, my husband – who is quite a rich, successful doctor – is a big a-ha fan. Anyway, he had this great version live from Oslo. A few notes are off at the beginning and Morten’s vocals are a tad raw in parts but the electric guitar part in the middle is funky. Probably worth an extra point at 8/10 if this was some sort of strange scenario where one had to rate songs.”
“Right.”

“Oh,” she said, snorting. “That’s the night you proposed to me and I turned your down! Ahhhh, you were so cute! You’d bought that beautiful ring. I still have it by the way!”
“I never did get that back, did I?” Morten asked, knowing full well what the answer was.
“Ahh, well you were very good to give it to me. But you were like totally obsessed with me. Sure didn’t you walk 25 miles to hold me that night…”
“…just to find you had moved away.”
“That’s right!” she laughed. “I had moved in with my new boyfriend a month before but hadn’t told you. Ahhh, and you took it all in good spirits. But seriously, Morten, I mean I just couldn’t take those jokes about your name all the time. It was never going to work.”

“You know,” he said, looking at his watch, “I have to go.”
“It was great to see you,” she said, grabbing him in a hug. “You’re a lovely bloke. I’m sure you’ll find that job, get a better place to live and lose weight soon.”
“Thanks,” he muttered as he turned to cross the street back to his house.
Morten turned the key in his front door and was met by his expectant wife.

“So…?”

“No joy,” he said, vaulting the homeless waif in the hallway. “It was the a-ha curse again,” he said, tears filling his eyes as the memories flooded his brain.

“Never mind, darling,” she said, embracing him. “Maybe next week we’ll be able to get some groceries.

Come on,” she said, taking him by the hand. “Let’s see if our shapes go together, you and I.”

And with that, adult time began.

The Adventures of Morten Harket (not that one): Part 4

Part 1 – I’ve Been Losing You

Part 2 – The Blood That Moves the Body

Part 3 – The Sun Never Shone That Day

Sycamore LeavesImage

Morten Harket stared out of his bedroom window at the sycamore leaves gathering on the street. “What if a-ha had written a song about these leaves?” he said, half-joking. “I wonder what sort of situation I’d get myself involved in this week.”

“Would I walk by a street sweeper shouting stuff like ‘7/10 for the studio version! 8/10 for the NRK version!’?” I bet I would.

“Darling?” came a voice from behind him. “Come back to bed.”

His wife lay there with just a mink coat on. “Maybe next week you’ll be able to encounter that road sweeper.”

“I know,” he said, turning towards her. “I just can’t stop…thinkin’ ’bout it.”

She smiled. “Why don’t you fill me with unease?”

And they indulged in some ever-popular adult time.