Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

Michel Layaz

place for two or three seconds as is a smile’s usual fate, this smile turned into something else, probably in the way her upper teeth pressed down her lower lip, into a smiled reproach, perhaps, yes..., that’s exactly it, a smile with a hint of rebuke that could have forced my mother, who never lowered her eyes, to look away. But what did such looks matter to me! ... I now had a fishing rod in my hands. Like a star. A bag of pearls. I was its new master. Nothing else mattered. They could all forget me. They could start their conversations—about art, world conflicts, social injustice, poverty, the economy, good restaurants, coming vacations—I owned a fishing rod. No one could claim the contrary and no one could take it away from me. How could a bicycle, a pair of skates, a kite, a sword, a model racetrack compare? ... There are objects that wait for us, that suit us well. Maybe we don’t know, we can’t imagine, and without this couple I could have lived in total ignorance of this fishing rod and the pleasures it would bring. On the first night, I slept with it in my bed. I woke to look at it, to touch it, to make sure I hadn’t dreamt it, that this sorcerer couple had come to our home, that the woman’s hand had stroked my head, that the gift was real. If I had died that night, I would have wanted to be buried with the fishing rod, to have it accompany me to the place where uncertainties are banished, where destinies are resolved. The next day, at dawn, I was allowed to go to the river.


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