Reche Verlag Passau 2000
“A study, set in the theater milieu, of a seemingly empancipated woman whose life starts to unravel when she meets an unusual young man.” (Publisher’s description)
Alfred Hrdlicka illustrated Susanne Ayoub’s first book publication with nine drawings. The deluxe edition contains two additional etchings.
Rita Moorefield was basking in the applause of the premiere audience. She appeared in a long gown with a deep décolletage, trimmed with glittering sequins, which emphasized her already ample figure. Beaming, she waved at the crowd and even blew kisses.
“An unbearably silly goose,” Evelyn whispered in Niko’s ear.
“A stupendous bosom!” Niko observed. “Downright scary.”
“You don’t say! Maybe you’d like to get smothered to death by breasts like that?”
“No, no, your coconut macaroons are all I need.”
“Be quiet, you!”
It was harmless banter, and yet it left behind a moment of discomfort. We’ve been acting out something for each other that hasn’t existed for a long time, Evelyn thought. The young director was standing at the end of the banquet table next to the singer, his hands thrust deep in his pockets. She patted his cheeks, giggled, and flirted with him. With a clenched smile he took a glass of champagne from her hand and toasted with her to their shared success. It was clear to Evelyn that he didn’t feel comfortable in the operetta bliss that Rita Moorefield was staging here. She stretched her neck to look over Niko’s shoulder at him and hoped he would notice her glance.
Niko reached for Evelyn’s Hand. As if caught out, she turned toward him. He had suddenly grown quite pale. “Are you not feeling well?”
Niko shook his head. “Just tired. Are you going to stay any longer?”
While she was still hesitating, Herwig Paulsen freed himself from the singer’s embrace and approached Evelyn. His dark eyes caressed her like velvet.
“Just one more glass of wine, all right?” She answered Niko without turning her eyes away. “I’d like talk to that director. Maybe I’ll bring up my play.”
Translation Geoffrey C. Howes