Download A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Book by Edmond Jabès PDF

By Edmond Jabès

Literature/Jewish reviews, tr Rosmarie Waldrop

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Example text

Do not worry Mister, all will be okay,’ he said, smiling at me. I thought my concern must have been written all over my face, so I relaxed my facial muscles slightly and began a conversation about the police, his rank and his equivalent in Australia. As we crossed the border I asked the Sub-Inspector to show me where the border markers were. He pointed to a raised boom gate jammed up behind a building and a clump of mango trees and said that we were now in no man’s land. I told him that the hidden boom gate had been impossible to see from the rickshaw which had approached from the other direction.

I dropped my head and took the jet in the back of my neck. I concentrated on each breath, as the pillowcase quickly become drenched, making it difficult to breathe. Then I thought of that boiling hot meal I had a few hours ago and how I had wiped my hands on the pillowcase and it occurred to me that this water would wash away those stains. Bizarre, but this was enough to make me laugh. I thought this situation was pretty hilarious, but my laughing stopped when I noticed that the water was getting pretty bloody high now.

Don’t worry, mister, you will be okay, I will not lock you in the cells tonight. Instead, I will supply you with a bed. Don’t worry, you will be comfortable,’ he said, trying his best to be reassuring. ‘Thank you, Inspector, but with all due respect, you have been telling me not to worry since we first met. You told me in the car that it would be okay. The Nepali police have been telling me that it would be okay and my Nepalese friends have been saying the same, yet I’m still here and all because I mistakenly wandered a few metres across the border.

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