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  • Published 20130424
  • ISBN: 9781922079978
  • Extent: 288 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

TRUTH IS AS truth believes. When the piano needed tuning and the blind piano tuner came to the house, and sat down, and tuned the piano, and when he’d finished was given a cup of tea (in a plain glass cup on a plain glass saucer) and a piece of cake (on a plain glass plate) except if there wasn’t any cake, if we’d eaten all the cake, if my mother hadn’t baked a new cake yet, if we were between cakes at the moment, if the house was out of cake, then it was bought biscuits (on a plain glass plate), which my mother, when the blind piano tuner had been paid and had left the house, rushed into the kitchen, and washed and scrubbed and scalded in the hottest possible water, and then straight outside dripping wet to the back garden and quickly covered with soil, with dirt, to stay there a full day and a full night until it was deemed safe to allow back into the house what the blind piano tuner’s blindness had touched.

When I had, say, a certain sort of accident, my head in exactly the wrong place when the cupboard door I was trying to open suddenly opened and a lump the size of an egg sprung up on my forehead, my mother would first rub it with butter and then press down on it with the flat part of a knife, an ordinary knife, a knife we used every day for eating with at the table, and I don’t know if this made the lump better or smaller or go away altogether or it was just something she did, that is to say, proven remedy versus handed-down mother-to-daughter superstitious primitive peasant belief, but I certainly knew about that cupboard door, not to be trusted, a dangerous thing.

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