• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12
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Stuck with no more than spit

When she thinks of him, she remembers her shoe rubbing against her heel in Unter den Linden and stopping for Flammkuchen and Weissbier. She remembers the nearby statue of Frederick the Great that had faced west until the soviets rotated him to greet their victory from the east. She remembers a saxophonist playing Strangers in the Night to lovers in the daytime. And she remembers the letter, the one he pulled from his bag and presented to her as though he were a delivery lad going about his official business.

A letter. A letter of offer. A letter of offer of employment. Employment in Australia where kangaroos and koalas and parakeets bounce and slumber and squawk. That determined look of a child acting grownup, the one that says job done, there is no changing this. Bye. A letter kindly presented away from home so their four walls would not be tainted with the memory of its delivery. So kind.

And she was sure her heel must be bleeding and she was sure she would soon be bleeding and she was sure that if she could have had the child he parodied, then the kangaroos would be visited in a wildlife park, and Frederick the Great would be allowed to face wherever he damn well wanted, and the letter would be written in crayon and its envelope stuck with no more than spit.

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