Brane Mozetič
(translated from the Slovenian by Tamara M. Soban)

from More Banalities

old and wormy. The small window lets in the evening.
Misery. Across the room there used to stand a dresser.
On it, an old black-and-white TV set. Over the screen
there was a glass with color stripes that tinted everything
blue at the bottom, yellow about midway, and red all the
way up. Or maybe the other way around. He’d come over
to watch cartoons, they didn’t have a set at his place. Then
he’d stay on a bit longer, unless they shooed us both out.
When they forgot about us. On the screen, dark figures
moved about, well, yellow in the middle, and occasionally
a knife, which made it scary. We loved to watch thrillers.
We’d cower under a duvet filled with chicken feathers,
always white, I don’t know why. Through the lining
small feathers would escape. We’d quake and when he
groaned, I’d pull the duvet over my head. Shaking less
from the long fingers throttling some lonely neck than
from his proximity, from his hot body, from the tension
where to surreptitiously put my hand, until it took my
breath away when I accidentally brushed against his
penis. They were always too short, these thrillers. Only
much later did I notice that they never ended, that
they stepped off the screen toward me, entangled me in
their action, minus the color stripes. You and me in a
hotel room. True, you’re not throttling me with your long
fingers, you just keep pouring me vodka. You pour
yourself much less. You sway before me, rub yourself
against me, until I can’t hold back. You turn on the TV
and switch channels. The terror passes into me, and I
press close to you in bed.

return to SHAMPOO 37