Page 73 - November 2020
P. 73

                                                                                       November 2020


              Standing  under  the  heavy  chandelier,  his  back  to  the  dawn,  ignoring  peacefully
              sleeping Emilia, he pondered that for a whole week now he had not left the house
              to go to the bank. That thought made him miserable. He had nowhere to hurry to,
              he had no reason to be irritable. Nothing was important, neither possessions nor

              honour,  not  even  that  pitiful  carnation  in  the  buttonhole  of  his  jacket.  It  didn't
              matter what colour suit he chose. His life had lost its rules. There were no pivotal
              points in the calendar which had helped him manage his time so successfully. Not
              even  the  thought  of  his  afternoon  meeting  with  his  friends  in  the  Carlton  Hotel
              could inspire him with any enthusiasm. He was looking forward to it, it was true,
              but surely that couldn't be his one and only prospect for the future.

              He suddenly made a move without first ringing for Mancika. Who knows whether
              he had any reason for not ringing or whether he just didn't want to wake Emilia,
              but maybe it was because it had gone out of fashion, or because Mancika was no
              longer among the living.

              Along the wall facing the window stood a row of heavy, dark wooden cupboards.
              Quite inexplicably, for the first time in many years, Dr. Grossmann went over to the

              one  in  the  corner.  It  held  all  kinds  of  memorabilia.  There  was  his  grandfather's
              glass eye, which Dr. Grossmann, when he was not yet a doctor, but just a bright
              boy, had taken from his forebear's bedside table, so the respected pharmacist had
              had to procure a new prosthesis. Here was his school-graduation suit, in which he
              had so incredibly quickly been transformed from a school-leaver to an adult and
              respected gentleman. There were a hundred useless items here that he had never
              had time for. He had gradually stored his busy life in this cupboard, so that one
              day the cupboard would bear witness to the averted face of an active existence,
              would reflect the soul of a thinker, hidden beneath the fame of a renowned money
              man. The only important things in his life that were not in the cupboard were his
              love  letters.  Those  did  not  belong  in  the  bedroom.  They  lay  at  the  back  of  the
              bottom drawer of his writing desk, tied up with a silk ribbon. As could be seen, Dr.
              Grossmann  devoted  as  much  attention  to  his  emotional  life  as  it  deserved.  Dr.
              Grossmann  had  an  appreciation  of  spiritual  values,  even  though  service  to  the
              economy,  nation  and  country  pushed  them  into  the  background,  into  his  little
              home museum, his modest corner reserved for memories. Even in the emotional
              sphere, Dr. Grossmann maintained order and style.
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