Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Comforted by its benign hum

The old woman, who was frightened of all machines, found a curious way of making the acquaintance of the refrigerator. She discovered that the fridge made a sort of animal noise, a low purr. It startled her at first, but then she imagined having a conversation with it and would sit beside it, feeling she was not alone. The noise reminded her of some kind of cat but since her last pet had been Captain, a dog, a soft thing as far as she was concerned, it represented a clumsy white version of Captain. On one occasion she spilled cherry soup in it and tried to wash it up because she was afraid of being told off. Iza went quite pale when she saw it, because of course she hadn't turned the electricity off first. "Look, my dear," said the girl. "This is not a block of ice. Never even think of cleaning it with a wet rag. Never mind if it leaves a stain." She pulled out the plug of the fridge and the purring stopped.

After that she no longer tried to make friends with the refrigerator and directed her desperate efforts to understanding how it worked, so that she might prove herself capable of operating it. The trouble was that Iza never had the time to explain and she was reluctant to ask the conductor's wife. She took much more care touching it now and simply sit beside it, comforted by its benign hum.
— from Iza's Ballad, by Magda Szab√≥.

Poor old woman. Poor fridge. It's like Iza unplugs it as a punishment for them both.

Mmm. Cherry soup.

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