TE21 Serbian Moments

Nikola Tutek

The Widower

They had nothing much to talk about. Richard was brought up practically in silence. Egan and Kate lived in a world of their own, and sheer physical presence was enough for those worlds to reach understanding. Their lives did not provide an abundance of themes they could talk about anyway. On the otherhand, theywereaperfectmatch in the bedroom. Katehad always beenagood-lookingwoman, even inhermid-fifties, and Egan never lost interest in that aspect. Richard never heard his parents quarrel; he never heard them engage in a conversation longer than an average shopping list. However, almost every night he heard that old full wood bed creak and then the funny sounds . Egan sounded like a horse, Richard thought. “Your bed is a horse,” Richard once said during lunch. He was fourteen years old at the time, and he took extra math classes. Egan nodded his head. “Eat your soup,” said Kate and sat on the side of the table opposite Egan. There was silence. Spoons clinking on the porcelain. It took Egan more than half a year to understand. He was sitting in his office and reading the newspapers. He sprung from the chair, threw the newspapers onto his colleague’s desk and ran off to the shop. He took four oranges and came to the cashier where Kate worked that day. “Trojan horse,” insisted Richard.

“Kate, listen,” Egan said but did not finish the sentence. After a few awkward moments of silence, Kate said to him:

“We don’t need oranges.”

“They’re for a friend,” Egan said. He paid and left. Later that day he called his high school mate, a carpenter who injected special glue into the wooden construction of the bed. It was white, and it was ejaculating from a plastic tube into all holes on the body of the bed. Egan found that process extremely satisfying. Maybe five or six years after that incident, the bed broke again, and Egan had it repaired one more time. That was the time when Egan had already started drinking. He was warming up his engines with light drinking, beer and cocktails for a couple of months, and thenhe lost it completely. Hedrowned in liquor. By the time he got sober, two things had happened - Richard was suddenly finishing his studies as one of the best students in class and for the first time, Kate’s results from the hospitals were really bad. “Lookathim,”Egansaidproudly,tappingRichard’sshoulder,“My engineer!” Kate brought the coffee. Only two cups, she wasn’t allowed to drink coffee anymore. Kate wasn’t prone to asking questions but now, in this new situation, she was probably worried more than usual. She didn’t know what was behind the next curve,



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