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Jönson was of the land, and his appearance reflected that more than anything. His height was not impressive but placed him well within the boundaries of his ancestry since the Jönson bloodline had always had to resort to ingenuity and innovation to overcome tasks requiring even an average reach. His hands broad with short fingers, calloused to withstand piercing ice and burning hot coal, to be sure, his beard akin to Schrodinger’s feline ambiguity, though neither the absolutisms of science nor their opposites were part of Jönson’s limited realm of existence. Not to say his world was any less than to what he aspired. It contained all the elements necessary to sustain every undertaking he could fathom even if there would never be any certainty as to which part of that life equation defined the rest. It would not ever occur to Jönson to have any thought of this. He was complete in his being and doing.

And thus, his wife’s latest pregnancy had left him with close to no emotions he could acknowledge, let alone articulate, and he had not spoken more than ten words at most about the circumstance. All of these were in passing to his brother, who, short, of a stocky build, brownish-haired and slouchy, had, as per usual, shuffled into the kitchen in his burgundy, concrete, and third-day snow colored home-knitted woolen socks through the backdoor, leaving his black clogs with heel caps outside to the left of the stoop for then to sit down at the small table and perform the for the county most conventional ritual of drawing hot coffee off a saucer through a sugar cube and his front teeth with a slight whistle on the in-breath.

“Frijda is gravid,” Jönson said.

“Will she keep it?” his brother asked.

“Yes,” Jönson said.

His brother took in another sip of coffee, reducing the sugar cube to a small pebble reminiscent of melted and then refrozen slush on the side of a country road.

“Not good, but yes,” Jönson then elaborated.

The brother put down the saucer with an air of acceptance than both the coffee and the announcement had come to its natural conclusion.

“I better get on,” he said, got up, carried the saucer to the sink, and continued out the same door from which he had entered a mere ten minutes before. Having stepped into his clogs and turned around, he said:

“I’ll let Karolina know.”


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