Sunday, 13 October 2019

ALS: 'Middeleeuwen'

Middle Ages

In the afternoon of 11 October I am sitting in the deathly still room, gazing out at the edge of the wood. The weather forecaster has said it will be rainy and blustery, but it is still, grey and dry. I stoke the stove with wood that I have gathered in the wood this summer. Everything is peaceful and tedious and as it should be. I have locked the door to keep out all reports of the world outside. Someone has said that somewhere or other a dangerous war has broken out, but I don’t want to know who and where. As the afternoon is drawing to a close, there is a knock at the door – the milkman’s son. His father is old and stopped being a milkman a long time ago, the trees grow slowly, the landscape is a quite unapproachable woman, the milkman’s son retains his name and is satisfied with it. His coming to my remote house has something to do with the role that I play in his life. For the past twenty years I have been a letter-writer. The first letters I wrote at his request were to a young woman from the village. She wrote back to hm, I answered. We wrote fourteen letters. He got married to her without her suspecting my efforts. He is going through a rough patch, the marriage is in danger, she wants to leave her husband. She’s already moved out for a trial period. He asks me if I will once more write his letters. I do so of course, I’m his letter-writer, I submerge once more into the Middle Ages.

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