Uit: Snowed Under (Vertaald door Zaia Alexander)
“Postal clerk Erik M. Broda, retired for three weeks, though still working part-time, eagerly awaits his female superior Simona’s arrival, so he can give her a special wink as he slams his cancellation stamp on the wrong side of a postcard to Mainz. He doesn’t like the card. He has read hundreds of postcards like it in his career.
Whenever he doesn’t like a postcard, he stamps the postmark wrong side up. Bad postcards are like female superiors. They gab a lot and then forget the most important things. The most important things for a postcard are: first, the stamp, second, the postal code, and third, the signature. The signature is missing on this one.
He covers the card with his left palm, sohe’s just able to read the message, and pulls over a stack of thick envelopes in need of postmarking. The stamp hovers in his fist halfway above the desk. That way he can slam it down if Simona came in by surprise.
Ever since she started working here, everything has changed. Back then, he could be sure nobody
would disturb him.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a funny postcard for you. All they’ve got are ones with sunsets or with Rübezahl, the mountain spirit, on the front. At least they’ve got super yummy dumplings and pancakes and gorgeous wild icicles. I’m drinking lots of mulled wine with Evy. I’d love to know what’s going on in her head, like you always knew with me. Bet she’d like that. But I don’t. Say hi to C., whoever he is. You’re a lot happier, since you’ve been together with him. Laughed more last time. Would love to be with you again, but could it work after all these years?
The card makes him angry. There was enough space for a signature. What angers him most, though, is that the card had obviously been written by a man. He admires women. They are completely perfect beings, right from the start, they help him differentiate one day from the next; they give him a rhythm, like Simona with her irregular visits to his office. But he doesn’t expect precision from women. They’ve
overtaken us, he thinks, but they’ll never take over. He imaginesthey’ll just keep climbing higher than him in the future.”
Antje Rávic Strubel (Potsdam, 12 april 1974)