Arnon Grunberg



“I’d like to buy 40 roses,” I said to the flower seller, who happened to be a man in his sixties. It was a warm day; the city center of Bregenz was rather empty.
The flower seller gave me a dirty look. “I don’t have 40 roses anymore,” he answered.
“Then make it 20,” I suggested.
He tried to sell me 19 roses, although there we clearly at least seven roses left in the bucket.
“Could you make it twenty, please?” I asked.
Hesitantly he took another rose out of the bucket.