It wasn’t like swimming through molasses, rather a pleasant diversion
from exertion, like a local anesthetic is a diversion from pain. The
day was sunny and brisk, with the wind out of the north. I just didn’t
go that fast, is all. It was a day for sailing gently along, like the
five parachutists I watched drifting out of the sky, their round wings
rocking them gently to the ground not five hundred meters to my left.
Would they want to proceed any faster? I certainly did not.
Janwillem van der Wettering’s Tumbleweed one of his better
Grijpstra-and-de-Gier mystery novels. There was a whole cache of such
I found in a spare room last month, and I’ve been reading them
serially, on the theory that if one is mildly amusing, five will
provide days of mild amusement, just the thing I’m longing for. I had
read a bunch back about 10 years ago, borrowed from the Brooklyn
Public Library. I had forgotten that they are crime novels that have
nothing to do with crime. Someone is killed brutally, then Grijpstra
and de Gier and their boss, the commissaris (who is never given a
name), talk to the friends and acquaintances of the victim and
eventually come up with a criminal, who in all books of the series is
uniformly urbane and sympathetic. Guilt is assigned, but it’s all so
existential! The crime just happened, just like the cops were there to
solve it, just like the parachutists fell out of the sky.