Peer continued to live at Herr Gabriel’s house. He was soon there two years. He did not know his voice had come back. He thought of the theater and people still talked of the theater. One day he spoke with a woman who had went to the theater. She spoke of how the madame went down and the madame went up. Peer wasn’t sure what play she had seen, but he finally understood. The woman was speaking of the curtain. On the curtain was painted a muse. The curtain would rise and fall between the scenes and so at the close of each scene, the madame came down.
Peer learned very much from Herr Gabriel and drank up the knowledge of the city. As the new year passed on, all gathered to drink punch, and they all said, “Down comes Madame.”
When is this kid going to grow up? Peer should be thirty by now.
The woman in the story kept saying, “Ahbe dahbe,” which means nothing, unless she was saying Abu Dhabi, or it’s dialect and that was how she was saying, “Up, down.” The Danish words for up and down are “op” and “ned” respectively. So if you go to Denmark and your name is Ned, and you tell people your name is Ned, they’re going to constantly think you’re depressed because you’re going around saying, “I’m down.”
Peer passes another year, but learns to roll with it. Years go by and it’s not that big of a deal. Just as the curtain fell down upon the stage, the curtain falls down upon the year. The passing of time becomes more real for Peer, even though he may not want it to.
I kind of like the idea of a stage curtain falling upon the end of the year.
How will Peer’s next year go?
Will he ever get to do what he wants?