Outside at the door there was somebody, who had good eyes. But what was it he had his good eyes on? On beautiful, beaming, sparkling eyes for example. That way he saw her beautiful eyes. And he made eyes at her. She didn’t want to look and closed the curtains. But the one out there waved, with one, with two arms. Then he waved with a paling. That wasn’t necessary, she had understood that broad hint. She secured her front-door with the chain, thought about alarming the soul rescue service, but instead she opened the little window beside the front door.
Listen, could you please leave our fence in peace!? We’ve got a calm home, my daughter is just feeding the pigeons, my husband comes back home rather soon, then we’ll have supper, and what will the neighbours say, if your are pulling out palings and waving them around wildly? Are you a wild one?
Yes, said the man, what are you asking for? Don’t I look like?
Well, you look like, and you are wild for sure, but that frightens me.
Oh, I didn’t want that.
And then he became quite tame, he was allowed to come in for a moment or two and munched biscuits from her hand.
Listen, my husband is about to come home. Anyway what shall I tell him? It’s probably better, you’ll be going, isn’t it?
Well, you tell him everything. There was nothing going on, wasn’t it? – Wasn’t it? Well, okay, I’ll better go then.
And he went off. Yes, in fact! She has to know, whether she likes, that he is making eyes at her.
When she couldn’t see him any more, it was a relief to her, but in the same time she was so confused and as well a little deceived. What is the meaning of all that? A man like that can’t just come just like that and get me mixed up and make my life a whole mess? There are no men with palings in my paradise. But in spite of the paling he hasn’t been unpleasant to her. She had to consider such a lot of things, that she nearly got a migraine. Probably the man had got a tablet against headache with him?
So she ran after him, and, because she had to hurry up, she even didn’t put on her shoes, didn’t leave a message for her family – what could have been the message anyway? Maybe: I am just running after another man? No, she wanted to keep that to herself, she doesn’t yet know what‘s the meaning of all that. Well, she got a clue about it, must be something along these lines, something erotic, but she even oughtn’t think about that, she has got a man, one man is enough, and if not, doesn’t matter, after all she is married, and besides the man she has three sweet daughters, a nice home, a Chrysler Jeep Cherokee and a garden grill. Just a headache-tablet is missing.
At first it went quite well, with bare feet, quite nice on the smooth asphalt. But then there was metal on the road, that hurt, und she turned back.
Besides that I’ll probably find the tablets in the bathroom cupboard near my anti-wrinkles-ointment and with my eye-beaming-drops. But dead end street. Nothing. So she got her jogging-shoes, in the meantime the man had got such a large margin, also because of his long legs. She took the key, locked the door und started running.
Am edge of the forest she caught up with him. Completely out of breath she asked him:
Could you take my key?
That wasn’t alright with him, couldn’t she look after herself? Well, she didn’t have a pocket in her trousers and needed both hands, to held his hands, she wanted to dance with him in the last sunbeams. And somehow while dancing they both slipped und reeled on one of these tricky sunbeams directly to enchantment.
No, no, that’s wrong, he would have probably liked it, such a little stopover in enchantment. No they just hold their hands, and he kissed her, und that was quite nice too. And that was the first time for her by another man. In 22 years. She could have never imagined that she would able to get kissed by somebody else. Because she had already a man, who kissed her as well.
And then she said:
That was quite pleasant. But now I have to get back home.
On the way back she met her husband in the Chrysler Jeep Cherokee and he looked suspiciously at her, as he had never looked before.
Oh, she had a bad time, at supper she wasn’t able to get down a bite, even the ketchup got stuck in her throat, and when her daughter slapped on her back, she had to vomit everything, all her longings, her unfulfilled hopes, her buried dreams, her unfaithful thoughts. But nobody from the family wanted to examine that, that was much too disgusting. Thanks heaven. Or looking at it the other way too bad, because it would have opened at least the eyes of her husband. She quickly fetched a cloth and put all the undigested stuff in a bucket, to get rid of in the loo.
Just leave it, Marlene, I’ll do that for you, said her husband and took the bucket.
No, no, please, I do it by my own. That I’ll do myself.
At night she couldn’t sleep.
Next day she took her daughter to riding on the paddock at the forest’s edge. No, not at the forest’s edge. Never at the edge! Edges are dangerous! There she could plunge down and who knows, whether she is landing softly. Don’t put your daughter at the forest’s edge, put her to the riding place, where the horse droppings are collected, where you‘ve got a strong fence and where a woman in despair might call for the riding teacher, he has got a strong, long whip.
When she came back home she couldn’t get inside the house, because the key, the key was still with that man, she had held the hand of. She climbed through the narrow, small window, next to the front door, probably she had forgotten to close it properly. She almost got stuck, that narrow it was.
Oh, she had a bad time. She was stealing in her own home like a thief. Yeas, hadn’t she stolen everything from her husband, the whole treasure they had collected in 22 years? (….)
Stefan Kuntz: Key (extract), Koeln, Germany 2001 All rights reserved to the author.
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