Thursday, 17 January 2013

Of Snows, a Dandy and Two Monsters

Last night it has been snowing again. Heavily, noiselessly, inexorably. As a child I would have gone into raptures over the frozen present that Mother Hulda was sending down from heaven. As a grown-up I couldn’t enjoy it anymore. It’s true that the whole world looked peaceful and quiet under its thick white blanket, but also cold and hostile. Even next to the heating the mere thought of being out there made me shudder with cold and I decided to crawl under my covers to warm myself.

I fetched Bel-Ami from the chest of drawers beside my bed and plunged back into Maupassant‘s colourful descriptions of dandy life in the second half of the nineteenth century. The chapter was set on a hot summer day in Paris. Under my covers I could almost feel the suffocating air filling the protagonist‘s lungs! Bel-Ami’s continuing and eventually successful attempts to seduce the wife of his boss certainly added to it although today those scenes wouldn’t even shock a small child.

As time advanced my eyes got heavier and heavier. The words started to jumble in my mind and stopped telling me the story. I just couldn’t read any longer. I had to put away my book and turn off the light. Time to sleep. It was silent outside as if the whole world were on stand-by for the night. No traffic noise made it into the room. No voices could be heard. The snow muffled every sound. I fell fast asleep at once and certainly drifted into sweet dreams after my read although I can't remember.

It was a few minutes past 4:00 a.m. when I was roused from sleep. At first my mind couldn’t make head or tail of the noise because it was still drowsy, but the more my consciousness emerged from the depths of the darkness the clearer it got what was happening. A big snowplough was cleaning the streets from the snow of the night! Just a few minutes later a roaring sound of a snow blower upset my ears. The caretaker was doing her job despite the small hours and against all rules.

For heaven’s sake it was too early for such a monstrous gadget and too early to get up! I turned to the other side and tried to get some more sleep. Without success. I stayed in bed until 5:30 a.m. Then I got up and made myself ready for work leisurely. The weird thing is that I’m not tired at all. Maybe I should get up so early every day? NO WAY!!!!!

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