Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
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101

sometimes when I lie and look from my bed at the window,

with the chestnut tree outside, I think Josipina is up there

with the birds sleeping in the tree.

And I watch her. She smiles and slowly picks up some

pasta. Mama says Josipina is educated, that she’s a teacher,

but Giacomino said she should stay at home and look after

the children. Poor Josipina, Mama says sometimes as we

stand by the window, looking at the place where Mama had

the best day in her life. The first day they were married,

Giacomino hit her. Josipina cried, says Mama, because she

was happy to have married Giacomino, but he didn’t know

she was crying because she was happy, and he hit her. Poor

Josipina, says Mama, she’s never cried since. And I watch

her. I think I haven’t seen her for a long time, only once

when Karlo took me to her, because mama was tired and

Elizabeta was ill. I know Karlo took me to her. I see her

small apartment, I see Giacomino lying on the bed without

clothes, reading a book. I hear Josipina tell me how he has

read that book a few times already, then I hear her tell him

to get dressed, then I see him get up from the bed and I see

something dangling between his legs until he puts his pants

on. Then I’m there, I know, in her kitchen and her children

are with me, two boys. Mama says they’re the same age as

me, that they’re my nephews and that they never come to

visit. Mama says she’s their nona and it would be nice if my

nephews sometimes came for a visit.