The Bread in the Oven

At midnight he was watching a French film of a married man like him who had two children but then fell in love with another woman and thus stooped into conflicts. The unlucky man was quietly aggressive to everybody but felt qualms of conscience as well for he didn’t know what to do. Finally he decided against his will to return to his wife and forget his new love. He enjoyed watching the film and he felt a strong need to fall in love again.

In the morning his wife complained about some bad pain in her knee. The next day he accompanied her her to an orthopedist he knew before. The bone specialist immediately diagnosed meniscus and suggested an operation as an outpatient. According to custom somebody had to pick her up after the operation. He offered to go with her. After the operation and when she regained consciousness the operating doctor said: we didn’t know but you have another more serious problem which is a torn cruciate ligament. This problem seems to be old and you should experience some kind of instability while walking from time to time. He added: this will involve a stay in the hospital for at least a week or two and a rehabilitation period of three months.

A taxi took them home and the doctor advised coming back the following three days for examination. He went with her but now she could walk with care without crutches and suggested cooking his favorite food. She then asked him whether he wanted some bread warmed in the oven. Of course he didn’t refuse as bread was always part of anything he ate.

Soon she dished her best on the dining table. But as usual and after they had finished eating she remembered the bread in the oven: Oh damn it, I forgot to take out the bread. This was no surprise to him as it was a permanent habit with her but she replied determinedly: why didn’t you remind me? Why do you always leave it to me? After all it is your bread. He didn’t answer but gripped one of her crutches and hit her as hard as he could on her operated knee. She fell to the floor and lost her consciousness. He picked her up, phoned a taxi and took her to the hospital.  He told the doctors: the oven was on and my wife suddenly fainted. I think it has to do with her knee operation and the heat of the oven.


Bremen, 3 October 2011