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 THE LETTER

Martin Zlatev

web

Every day he opens the mailbox. At around 9:30, after the mailman has left, but besides the bills there is nothing. They told him it would come fast. Each day, after checking, he finds his mother sitting at the kitchen table, resting her chin on the palm of her left hand. "That's it," she comforts him. "Call. It may be something unforeseen; they said it was going to be a day or two. It's already the second month..." He grumbles and retires to his room. He doesn't want to bother them. They said it would come; that means it will come. His mother rises, wipes her hands on her pink dressing gown, and spins the kitchen around them: pans, stove burners, sinks, whirling circumferences that settle gradually and land in their places, and then she calls him with the same voice that tells the lady next door, "See, he's got a future, soon he'll move out to a roomier place, he'll leave here, he'll move away from the boredom, what does he need an old lady for?" and she calls him to lunch with the same motion of the hands that led her quietly down the stairs, that found it in the mailbox , that hid it in the pocket of her gown as she climbed back up to the kitchen, that ripped it, that unraveled it to threads, that hid the pieces at the bottom of the garbage can, under the egg shells, tomato and potato peals, that asked him, please, to dump the trash 'cause "the can is full, it's too heavy for me to haul down, and you know how hard it is for me with this back, with these heart problems..."

 

 

© Martin Zlatev
© Robert Dirlam and Emil Lazarov, translated
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© E-publisher LiterNet, 01.08.2004, № 8 (57)