I saw Dirk before I met him. I saw him several times before I even knew his name. He was like a new word that, once learned, you heard spoken everywhere. Compelling attention. Mine, yours, anyone’s.
Jan is a virtuoso pianist, consumed by strange unwelcome music, sounds screaming through his head when he is meant to be playing other pieces. Something is going frighteningly wrong, then there are the memories of the most compelling friend he ever had, Dirk. Their abrupt parting was strange, and the confusion still haunts his thoughts. Every person from their past seems to have stories to tell of what Dirk has been doing, each of his successes, his failures and all are surprised Jan knows so little. The two were never apart, impossible to separate in the minds of their peers. There are moments through the years where their paths cross, but somehow, Dirk always vanishes again, inexplicably. The crumbs he throws to Jan never fill his belly, the confidences never tell the entire story of his adult life. Jan is too wrapped up in his career, his performances and plans to realize everything is not as it seems, that something is always absent from what Dirk shares.
Their friendship was heavy with intimacy, thrills and denial in the daylight hours. Even now, from a distant with the maturity and wisdom of the passing years Jan doesn’t understand everything that happened, or all the feelings knotted inside of him. Dirk was an event, able to charm and seduce everyone in his path, even stealing Jan’s girlfriend but more crucial, stealing Jan’s loyalty and affection. Dirk is a fish he either cut loose, or who got himself off the hook years ago. Jan keeps secrets from his beloved Lena, about his health, his past. But he can’t hide what’s happening forever, anymore than he can neglect to confront Dirk and the past they shared. But has Dirk remained suspended in time, the same person Jan loved so dearly, just waiting for his friend to find him again?
This is a novel about music, love, and the overwhelmingly blind confusion of ourselves. It’s a young man coming of age whom may be a virtuoso pianist but can’t heart the music of his own heart. Strange, how everyone else around us sees us far more clearly, understands our lives and the people we orbit better than we do. Time has teeth, can we go back? It ends with a gasp.
Publication Date: June 5, 2018