Vlada Khmel

W1 takes a gulp of water. pause. W1 adjusts the position of the glass on the table, then pushes it away from herself. only then does she swallow and take a deep breath. 

and here i am at 23, and i come home late. she’s sleeping. i go to the bathroom. i lock the door using the hook, take my clothes off, step into the cold bath, pull the curtain and turn the water on. the water hits the cold bath and the closed curtain, making a lot of noise. i stand in it and i think, it’s so nice that she’s asleep, god, so nice that she’s asleep, that after this day at work i can just stay in the bath in silence, no “sasha i’ve told you it was going to rain!”, “was it really so hard to take an umbrella?”, “you know how much hot water costs?” no “blahblahblah”, just the sound of water. 

and so i stand thinking about all of it, and i realize i’ve forgotten to take the watch off, and the dial’s on a metallic bracelet covered in white gold – a birthday present to myself. i mean, it’s not a good idea to get it wet. so i take off the watch and pop out from behind the curtain to put it on the washing machine, and i see a knife sticking out of the door. like, literally, a knife in the crack between the door and the side-post. i’m standing there stunned for a few seconds, then i pretend to wash up so that it doesn’t seem like i’ve stopped or noticed anything, and i keep staring at the door, the hook on it and the knife. and the knife goes down till the hook, and disappears and pops up again, this time under the hook. then i turn the water off, and the knife again – 

W2: you have been to rome??

W1: (takes a deep breath) …disappears. today, of course, i wouldn’t turn the water off – i wonder what she would say in her defense, something like “but why do you lock up – what if you slip and fall, how am i supposed to get you out of there?”

pause again. W1 drinks more water. the glasses with water are big.

W2: was it really so hard to take the coat away from the couch?

W1: …and throws her stuff onto the coat – the bag of food, her purse, car keys, everything. i say, no, it isn’t, the coat isn’t bugging me, the dirty stove is, and so i clean it, but the jacket with a torn hanger isn’t bothering me.

W2: the loop

W1: what?

W2: on the jacket, the hanger loop comes off 

W1: so, i say, the jacket isn’t bugging me – that’s why it’s still here. so she demonstratively pulls the jacket out from under her stuff so that everything crashes onto the floor, and leaves with it. i don’t know what came over her, but alright, maybe she’ll calm down. the next day i go out – and i’d lost my key somewhere around the house a few days earlier, no big deal, but we had to coordinate, so that someone is always home and can give the keys to the other. so, i leave in the morning, we barely see each other, she just closes the door behind me. and i call her in the evening,