Near to the Wild Heart
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- HER FATHER'S TYPEWRITER WENT CLACK-CLACK... clack-clack-clack ... The clock awoke in dustless tin-dlen. The silence dragged out zzzzzz. What did the wardrobe say? clothes-clothes-clothes. No, no. Amidst the clock, the type writer and the silence there was an ear listening, large, pink and dead. The three sounds were connected by the daylight and the squeaking of the tree's little leaves rubbing against one another radiant.
- Leaning her forehead against the cold and shiny window pane she gazed at the neighbor's yard, at the big world of the hens-that-didn't-know-they-were-going-to-die. And she could smell as if it were right beneath her nose the warm, hard packed earth, so fragrant and dry, where she just knew, she just knew a worm or two was having a stretch before being eaten by the hen that the people were going to eat.
- There was a great, still moment, with nothing inside it. She dilated her eyes, waited. Nothing came. Blank. But suddenly the day was wound up and everything spluttered to life again, the typewriter trotting, her father's cigarette smoking, the
- She twirled around and stopped still, watching without cu riosity the walls and ceiling that spun and melted away. She walked on tiptoe only treading on the dark floorboards. She closed her eyes and walked, hands outstretched, until she came to a piece of furniture. Between her and the objects there was something, but whenever she caught that something in her hand, like a fly, and then peeked at it-though she was care ful not to let anything escape-she only found her own hand, rosy pink and disappointed. Yes, I know the air, the air! But it was no use, it didn't explain things. That was one of her secrets. She would never allow herself to say, even to her father, that she never managed to catch "the thing." Precisely the things that really mattered she couldn't say. She only talked nonsense to people. Whenever she told Rute secrets, for example, she'd then get angry with Rute. It really was best to keep quiet. An other thing: if something hurt and if she watched the hands of the clock while it hurt, she'd see that the minutes counted on the clock passed and the hurt kept on hurting. Or, even when nothing hurt, if she stood in front of the clock watch ing it, whatever she wasn't feeling was also greater than the minutes counted on the clock. Now, when happiness or anger happened, she'd run to the clock and watch the seconds in vain.
- She went over to the window, drew a cross on the window sill and spat outside in a straight line. If she spat once more now she could only do it again at night—the disaster wouldn't happen and God would be such a good friend of hers, such a good friend that ... that what? "Daddy, what shall I do?"
- "I already told you: go play and leave me be!"
- "But I've already played, I swear."
- Her father laughed.