ever start breathing again after he has had a drink. Then he
breathes. Always. He breathes, smiles and leaves.
sits down. He looks at the gondola, sitting with the
telegram in his hand. I’m still in the corner, looking at him.
I’m sitting at the table, eating pasta.
It’s good, the pasta, isn’t it, Ballerina? says
. I look at
him. I know my mouth is full and the sauce is running
down my chin. I know, I don’t feel, because Mama gave me
the drops earlier, to make me calm, I saw her. I know I
is looking at his plate. Then I see there are
others around the table, we’re all here and I think it’s my
birthday. Josipina, Karlo,
, Mama, everybody is here. I
look at them. Then I put down my fork with pasta on it and
I hold his ear, Franc’s, my father’s. He doesn’t say anything.
He lets me pull his ear and he keeps looking at his plate
with pasta. Then I take Karlo’s hand and pinch him. First he
moves it away, then lets me pinch him. I watch Josipina.
Now I’m watching her and holding a fork. No one says
anything. Not even Mama, who is standing behind me and
eating pasta from a small pan. I see her. Mama likes pasta.
Sometimes she says: Oooh, it’s so good. And I watch
Josipina. She looks like Mama. Her eyes are like Mama’s,
like Elizabeta’s. Josipina, my sister.
She talks quietly. Mama says she talks like a sparrow, like
the birds sleeping in the tree top when it’s night. And