Der Milkman

The milkman wrote on a slip of paper: “Today, no more butter, unfortunately.” Ms. Blum read the slip and totaled things up, shook her head and totaled once again. Then she wrote: “Two liters (of milk), 100 grams of butter. Yesterday you didn’t have butter and they charged me, anyway,”

On another day the milkman wrote: “I beg your pardon.”

The milkman comes at 4 a.m. Ms Blum doesn’t know him. She often thinks that you were supposed to know him. You were supposed to get up once at 4 a.m. and meet him.

Ms. Blum is afraid the milkman might be angry at her. He could think badly of her. Her milk jug is battered.

The milkman knows the battered milk jug belongs to Ms. Blum. She usually takes two liters (of milk) and 100 grams of butter. The milkman knows Ms. Blum. If you asked were to ask him about her, he would say: “Frau Blum takes two liters and 100 grams. She has a battered milk jug and easily legible handwriting.” The milkman doesn’t worry. Ms. Blum isn’t going into debt. And if it does happened—it can indeed happen—that 10 Rappen too little is left as payment, he writes, “10 Rappen too little” on a slip of paper. On another day he receives the 10 Rappen without any trouble and on the slip of paper is written: “Pardon me.” “It is not worth mentioning” or “no problem” and he would write this on the slip of paper. But that would be corresponding. He doesn’t write this.

It doesn’t interest the milkman on which floor Ms. Blum lives. The milk jar is placed at the bottom of the stairs. He doesn’t worry if it is not there. A Blum that he knew played on the national soccer team and he had protruding ears. Maybe Ms. Blum has protruding ears.

Milkmen have repulsively clean hands, rosy, pudgy and pale. Ms. Blum thinks this when she sees the slips of paper. Hopefully he found the 10 Rappen. Ms. Blum would not like the milkman to think poorly of her. Also she wouldn’t like it if he got into conversation with the woman next door. But no one knows the milkman, not on this block. He comes to our house at 4 a.m. The milkman is the type of person who does his duty. The individual who brings the milk at 4 a.m. is doing his duty, daily, Sundays and work days. The milkmen are likely not well paid and likely are often short of money when the bills need to be paid. The milkmen are not at fault that milk is becoming more expensive.

And actually Ms. Blum would like to meet the milkman.

The milkman knows Ms. Blum. She takes 2 liters of milk and 100 grams of butter and has a battered milk jar.