My husband's nose changed first—a nearly imperceptible spot-the-difference puzzle on a face I'd known for twenty-two years. Through our kitchen's bay windows, the morning sunlight highlighted his ... [+]
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Translated by Wendy Cross
Despite everything, Henry Banner does have some faults. He can occasionally be violent, and he sometimes stays at the foot of my bed when I go to sleep, which makes me jump out of my skin when I wake up and see his icy eyes staring at me. Henry has many different moods. He may watch over me, which makes me smile. He may also really hurt me, which frightens me. Despite everything, Henry never leaves me alone. He is there at breakfast, but Henry does not eat. He is there at the office, but Henry does not work. He is there at the store, at the swimming pool, at the park, at friends' houses, to name but a few. The only place where Henry does not follow me is to the cemetery. He hates that. He hates seeing his own tombstone.
One lovely morning, Henry Banner was walking through the town center. He had already drunken a coffee and smoked a cigarette. Henry was in a jovial mood, he was wearing his best suit. The day was starting well. I met Henry Banner that morning, on the pedestrian crossing. My car still remembers it. Ever since, Henry has been pulling faces at me in the rear-view mirror. You have to say, he's got the perfect face for that now.