“The Tiger” — Kafka

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“Bachelor’s Ill Luck” — Franz Kafka

 

Bachelor’s Ill Luck

It seems so dreadful to stay a bachelor, to become an old man struggling to keep one’s dignity while begging for an invitation whenever one wants to spend an evening in company, to lie ill gazing for weeks into an empty room from the corner where one’s bed is, always having to say good night at the front door, never to run up a stairway beside one’s wife, to have only side doors in one’s room leading into other people’s living rooms, having to carry one’s supper home in one’s hand, having to admire other people’s children and not even being allowed to go on saying: ‘I have none myself,’ modeling oneself in appearance and behavior on one or two bachelors remembered from one’s youth.

That’s how it will be, except that in reality, both today and later, one will stand there with a palpable body and a real head, a real forehead, that is, for smiting on with one’s hand.

“Bachelor’s Ill Luck” by Franz Kafka.