Magic Mountain

September 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

Last night. My son and I somewhere, at an old manor house; its huge kitchen has been turned into a café of some kind. Rhabarberkuchen is being served, together with coffee in Rosenthal porcelain. Maybe an old hotel or a sanatorium? A magic mountain?

Through the big windows the view of a garden. It’s more like a big field that a garden actually, because there is no lawn but just untended thick grass. Spread like colourful dots all over it, people lie on deck chairs which are standing lopsidedly on this uneven ground. They don’t care; they all sunbath and nobody talks. In contrast to the silence of the adults children are running and playing between these chairs, shouting and chirping, as happy as only children can be.

We look for a place to sit and the lady shows us this beautiful garden, but somehow I’m reluctant to take my place among these people. I’m relieved when my son decides to play somewhere inside the house.

Time goes by like time goes by in dreams, in seconds which could be hours, years, or different lives. I notice that all the people have left the garden and the lady has taken away all chairs but I’m suddenly overwhelmed by a desire to walk out into this garden before it’s too late. The lady stops me at the door and tells me that the garden is now closed to visitors. I beg and I use my son as an excuse: He hasn’t been out the whole day, in this beautiful sun… That’s unhealthy for the child… She won’t give in. My son is nowhere around to see anyway. I’ve lost sight of him. She looks deep into my eyes and I start crying. Uncontrollable sobbing. I sob in her arms. She holds me until I’m back to myself. Then she opens the door and lets me out.

The sun is going down. The garden is gorgeous and wild. But I soon find out it’s full of dangers. Under each deck chair there has been a hole hiding, a deep well where someone small, a child or a small-boned person, could fall in and disappear. Swarms of bees fly in and out. I’m not scared. I knew it all along.

My son appears at the door of that kitchen. The lady stands silent beside him. I run to take him by the hand.

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