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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

don’t feel.


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