Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
into his room to view his library, four-hundred books, let alone loan him any, and although the boy hopes for a change every single day, he would never imagine asking, out of the blue, never in his life, a man has his pride. He sits there in the parlour, having accomplished something. Done what’s important, something besides pull fish from the deep, dig up peat, stack hay in the barn, and now, while the sky quakes with the storm and ships fight against death, the boy feels as if he matters. He who’s been called a variety of names ever since his father drowned ten or twelve years ago, who forgets everything, remembers nothing, hardly notices anything, forgets and loses things. You would have lost it a long time ago, said the old women on the farm where he grew up after everyone died that was supposed to have lived, you would have lost it ages ago, that thing hanging between your thighs, if it wasn’t attached to you. He’s been called an idiot, an imbecile, a muttonhead, a lout, a plonker, a milksop, a wastrel, a wimp, a scoundrel, a poltroon, scum, and loafer, the language is rich with such words, it’s also easy to scold and humiliate, it takes neither talent nor intelligence, let alone courage. But it could be undeniably difficult at times to believe that a physically fit urchin, later an adolescent and young man, could take so long with some chores, could hardly remember anything that his hands were supposed to learn; he might have learned to tie a knot in the evening, and then came night and when he woke his hands had completely forgotten how to tie it. Chances are you’re just a dolt, an old woman said to him once, not out of malice, but rather, astonishment.
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