Erna had won the Walking into a Bookshop Slowly Contest. It had taken her three hours and thirty-five minutes. Proudly she received her prize, a set of fat book-volumes. After the ceremony she headed home, slowly reading the first book as she went slowly along. After about a week she settled on her sofa and by then she had finished as many as 333 pages.
Eberhard had not joined the contest. He had been a spectator. Eberhard had watched Erna for three hours and thirty-five minutes on end, knowing she was going to win, as she was the only one still walking after an hour. All the other contestants had been on the point of nervous breakdown when at long last – after three minutes (which you must admit is still pretty slow for a two meter walk), after thirty-two minutes or fifty-six minutes – they set foot in the bookshop, where they were welcomed with coffee and a consolation prize. Erna, on the other hand, had just carried on walking. Her progress was barely perceptible, but she did walk.
Eberhard was intrigued. He had often observed the hands of the clock, hoping he could see them move – because move they did. So why had he never been able to catch them at it? The fact was he had never seen them shift, neither the big hand nor the small one. They moved by stealth. They were too quick for him – or too slow, rather.
And now Eberhard had admiringly watched Erna make headway without any noticeable movement. What an outstanding woman she must be! She was like the hands of the clock, she was like the moon coursing through space, like the starry heavens tilting with the seasons. When he patted her shoulder and congratulated her warmly, she said:”
o m u
De huisdichteres, het moet gezegd, is de poëzie steeds vaker ontrouw. Voor haar optredens met de Vorlesebuehne (een enthousiast, voornamelijk Utrechts prozacollectief) schrijft ze korte verhaaltjes en sketches, waarvan ik er zojuist een heb vertaald met het oog op de internationale uitgeversmarkt.