domingo, 28 de maio de 2017


Short story by Brazilian author Diego Lops

Three o'clock in the morning and I sleep profoundly, after the vodka and the sex. I've had two dreams. I’ll only wake up at eight o'clock this Thursday, to the sound of the persistent alarm clock.

Next to me in bed, she, my beloved, leafs through the pages of a book she has taken from our home library. She looks away and turns to me serious, as if thinking of something puzzling I just said.

She turns off the table lamp. Little by little, her face, under the uneven light of the silent TV, is transformed. Her eyebrows point up and the corners of her mouth point down, her lips tightened. She cries for nine minutes.

She takes another sip of vodka. She goes to the bathroom to urinate. She looks at herself in the mirror. Goes back to bed. She turns up the volume of the television to disguise the irritating noise of my out of rhythm snoring.

She changes the channel. An angry televangelist. An old Woody Woodpecker cartoon. A clip of a band I liked in the 90s, but today I'm ashamed to listen in front of others. Another preacher, this one calmer. Without waking up, I grumble something she understands as a complaint, and lowers the volume.

She gets up again, goes to the kitchen. She opens the refrigerator and forgets her vacant gaze in the only light of the room. Ignoring the colors she gets the water bottle. She drinks a glass. Two, three, as if she wanted to drown some anguish. Goes back to our bed. She looks at my smooth face blued by the TV light. It’s a sales program showing a juice maker we will never buy.

She stares at me slowly, narrowing her eyes. Her expression goes from sadness to anger. She leaves the bed one more time. Sleeping naked, belly up, I remain motionless. She goes back to the kitchen. She opens a drawer and grabs a meat knife, which reflects her anguished dark eyes. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she removes the sheet and exposes my abdomen.

She wields the knife with both hands and rehearses the attacking gesture, standing still, and then backing away. The cold metal touches my throat. If I wake up now, what am I going to think?

She slides down the blade into the air, to the height of my softened yet still damp penis. My balls, exposed to the 17 degrees of air conditioning, seek a more comfortable position and rearrange spaces within the scrotum, which, wrinkling, shrinks. I dream my third dream, which I will never recall.

She looks at my face and wishes that I had a beard, that I had not been born, that she had not met me at that gym, that we had not made that trip to Buenos Aires three years ago, that she had not become pregnant with my child, she wishes she were not so jealous, that she had not bought that SUV that she has trouble parking.

She puts the knife in the drawer without cleaning it.

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