The Other Situations

Just before leaving the apartment,
she turned down the volume on the radio.
For one reason or another she never turned off the radio,
she just turned down the volume. In fact the radio was on
all the time, even when she travelled and was away for days.
This time she thought she’d turned the sound completely off
but it was still on at the absolutely lowest level.
A very faint sound came out of the radio.
If one placed one’s ear close to the speaker
and kept totally still, one could hear
news about a bomb explosion.

It looked like a rubber duck,
one of those yellow ones in soft plastic. Everyone agreed.
A classic, rubber duck. Even the sound it made when squeezed
was exactly the same sound that all rubber ducks are known to make.
The beak, the eyes, the soft plastic and the way it floated
on the water – everything was like a rubber duck
but it was not a rubber duck. Absolutely not.
It couldn’t be a rubber duck, it was completely impossible.
Everyone agreed.

On the table were a large stone
and two cups of fresh coffee.
The stone almost covered the whole table.
Both the cups sat slightly over the edge of the table.
They seemed to huddle into the stone to keep from falling off.

On the sofa lay three stones.
In each of the two chairs sat one stone.
All the stones were large and heavy.
On the table were five cups of fresh coffee.
In one of the five cups there was a little squirt of cream.
A little piglet danced in the middle of the table.
It was easy to see it was nervous by the way it danced.
It didn’t like the situation it found itself in
and wished it was somewhere else.

There was heavy rain as it brewed into a storm.
The rain battered the window pane.
The whole pane was covered in water.
The water rubbed away the contours of everything outside.
What was a bird cage could just as easily be a lorry loaded with wood.
Maybe the wood wasn’t fastened well enough and the wind might
blow it away, it might land on the rubbish bin,
which could just as easily be a crystal chandelier
that was a little difficult to switch on since
the electric generator was old.
It ought to have been renewed long ago.

There it was.
Right in front of her. «The untouched».
It was almost unbelievable and here of all places.
After all that searching. All she’d had to do
was stretch out her hand.