TE21 Serbian Moments

Nikola Tutek

The Widower

“I know what got into you. The same thing that got into all of you bastards that do nothing else in your lives except judge, demonize, and patronize other people. Get the fuck out!” Egan hurried towards the door. He took the cold doorknob with his hand. “You’re right,” he said, “And it’s terrible when you realize such things about yourself.” Egan got out. He stopped in front of the door and turned towards Gerda. She frowned, irritated by sunlight. Her skin was almost translucently white. “Again, I apologize,” Egan said and took his leave somehow in haste. By the end, they became more open to things. When Richard was just a few months before completing his studies, Kate decided to clean his room. In the drawer of his desk, she found a joint. Richard did not smoke, so she concluded right away what this thing was. She found Egan at the kitchen table and put the joint on the new tablecloth with a flowery pattern. Egan gazed at the little paper roll, and after some time he told Kate to bring matches. He was the first to inhale. Very soon the kitchen was overfilled with smoke and zipped with violent coughing. At one point Kate stronglywaved her hand, signaling “Please, leave now.”

her capitulation, and withdrew into the bedroom. Egan soon followed. A fewweeks later Eganvoiced his idea togo for a trip. A real trip, a longer one. To another country. Kate was delighted with the idea. They have chosen Sri Lanka. They’d never been there. The idea alone was exciting enough. Finally, Kate’s visits to Gerda the fortune-teller were a part of that new thinking style. Sure, Egan disapproved of Kate’s mingling with such people, but he played along mostly because by that time Kate already had her diagnosis. Egan often divided his memories on the time before and after Kate’s diagnosis. A week passed before Egan decided it made sense to come back. It was aWednesday afternoon; Egan rang the bell. Gerda was not particularly surprised, she pointed towards the room where the first incident took place. The room had changed. As Egan sat down, he noticed additional sheets of green velveteen hanging from the walls and a large picture of an eye. Egan gave it a long stare as Gerda entered the room carrying a tray with two cups of tea, a choice she had made without consulting her guest. “This is how the room looks on a working day,” Gerda said putting the tray on a smoking table dividing Egan’s and her armchair.

“I see,” Egan answered still consumed by the picture of the eye.



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