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For a few disoriented seconds I couldnt figure out what had happenedmaybe a bullet had ripped through the windowpane or the stompy upstairs neighbors were finally crashing through the ceilingbut I did learn the speed of my own protective reflex as I pressed the baby into my side and shut my eyes against the glass that bounced off my arm, my neck, my cheek.
Rounded bits of greenish glass covered the floor of the living room, crackling as they continued to burst into smaller pebbles for several more minutes.
I was sick, one of those tropical diseases Americans abroad think theyll never be the ones to catch, and not especially happy to be where I was, but this was the future out of all possible futures that had stuck.
Tired of firing up our miniscule oven in the abundant heat of February in the tropics, I had sought out and purchased the only slow-cooker within miles of our apartment, which had been difficult to effectively describe to the poor salesperson who helped me find it and extraordinarily expensive, I realized, when I did the currency conversion in my head.
We will be serving up Deaths in the Afternoon, aka the Hemingway, for your refreshment, but please feel free to bring supplemental libations, potato chip offerings for Jessa, etc. Friday May 6th 7pm Melville House 46 John St Brooklyn, NY 11201 F to York; A/C to High St./Brooklyn Bridge The explosion of tempered glass excites a particular blend of fear and fascination, the break propagating at many times the speed of sound, splitting into progressively smaller pieces that jingle and pop and leap at your legs, frozen in mid-step, long after the first boom has ceased to roar down your auditory nerve.
Its a familiar thought experiment for the habitual worriers among us, those who suspect that everything can be lost as quickly and haphazardly as it was gained.
It won both the 2014 Hans Fallada Prize, and the final International Foreign Fiction Prize in 2015, before the IFFP merged with the Man Booker International Prize into the megaprize it is today.