Wonderful, Wonderful Times

Wonderful, Wonderful Times by Elfriede Jelinek Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Wonderful, Wonderful Times by Elfriede Jelinek Read Free Book Online
Authors: Elfriede Jelinek
Tags: Fiction, General
People, on the other hand, are subject to laws because otherwise it would be every man for himself, anarchy. So says Rainermother to Rainerfather and so says Rainerfather to Rainermother. Rainer, however, has rather a penchant for anarchy, precisely because he knows the laws that govern the social life of man and despises them. Everything has to be destroyed. And nothing built up again afterwards.
    Out shoots a Rainer mitt to apply the tried and tested lever hold to Sophie once again, but she glides straight through him and says she has to get changed now. Yet again. I'll come with you. That's what you think.
    So he stays put. One of the countless errors of the middle classes is that they are soon demoralised when they venture out on their clumsy forays. When they have a real chance they relax their grip and do not even pretend to persist. The whisky's here. Help yourself while I'm gone.
    Rainer tugs violently at his cheap loose-fitting pullover, Sophie gives him the slip, yet again. This is getting dreary.
    His wretched brain wanders off to old and recent humiliations. Points in his deformed mind where the film is forever catching and sticking. Nothing of beauty. Only unlovely things. Sunday outings with Mother surface, trams smelling of damp socks, crammed with pathetic grey crowds of people of the kind a long war produces and cannot disperse right away. Off we go, to the Vienna Woods. Balaclavas made of unravelled respun wartime wool, baggy skiing trousers, brogues, and worst of all the dreaded packed lunch. Giving off a cheesy reek. Making you thirsty. But you can't go to a cafe or restaurant because it costs money, children can drink water, but there's no water anywhere to be found. Presently the cheese sandwich will be exuding its quintessence from beyond Mummy's cheap metal teeth and sending forth stench from her stomach, because she didn't chew properly. Chewing too much simply spreads the evil taste everywhere.
    The detested shelter where they have to wait for at least twenty minutes till the next 43 comes curving round. The end of the line. Neuwaldegg. Invariably packed in the middle of a pack of impoverished humanity. Often they save the fare and walk back along the Alszeile, at the end of which (isn't Mummy
    super) they are allowed a ride on the merry-go-round for the cost of the tram fare, which brings home to them all the more clearly the fact that they are children, a fact they want to put behind them. Nonetheless the kiddies, Rainer and Anni, shout and cheer, the poison of passing cars already in their heads and hearts. Not because it pollutes the environment (which has already been ruined by the War in any case) but because there is no capital to buy a car. And then there's Anni, grubbing in dog-dirt and wastepaper to draw attention to her serious emotional problems. Emotional problems are a luxury and are therefore ignored. She wants to be on her own in a swish car and not stuffed into a lousy tram (let alone with the family) where everyone is equal and you can't be special. If you were in a Mercedes, no one could come up any more and ask: What's the boy's/girl's name. Stroking your head with hands that quite plainly proclaim their owner a member of the worker species. And not realising that the infant they're patting already bears the poison of individualism in its heart. And is prepared to squirt it.
    Once, when she was being stroked by one of these mittened hands, Anni actually wet herself, and all the while putrid garlic breath was wafting across her and she was being talked to as though she were a normal child, which even then she wasn't. Neither normal nor a child. The hot urine trickled down between her thighs (that downward impulse), ate its acrid angry way into her hand-knitted woollen knickers, and relentlessly found its way out of the dismal Sunday scene, along the grooves on the floor of the tram. Drip drip. Down fall the maternal arms like clubs and thump and retire upwards again and then down

Similar Books

Stasi Child

David Young

Advanced Mythology

Jody Lynn Nye

All That Man Is

David Szalay

A Fighter's Choice

Sam Crescent

With This Kiss

Bella Riley

path to conquest

Unknown Author

Body Movers

Stephanie Bond