The apartment seemed as if it was made just for me. I had a bed and two shelves. The apartment lacked bed and shelves but had everything else – tables, chairs, a sofa. My bed was exactly 1.6 meters in width – and the tiny bedroom a perfect match.
There were two things I didn’t like. The first, of course, was the lack of a dedicated bathroom. The shower cabin was in the kitchen and the toilet in a small room off the balcony. The second thing I didn’t like was the mirror in the bedroom.
It’s not that I don’t like mirrors. But in a room just barely big enough for the bed, with walls to all sides, there was something disturbing in having one of the walls as just one large mirror. It felt misplaced and odd like a lone, smiling stranger standing in the middle of a desert road.
The first night I was tired from the move, every muscle in my body seemed to be aching and my body was still sticky and sweating even after two showers and four hours since the last box. Still I first lay awake for two or three hours, rolling from one side to the other and hoping for the salvation of sleep. Continue reading →
It must have been around November of last year that I started feeding the pigeons. It was definitely winter and I remember feeling sorry for myself, that’s why I sat in the cold. And then, in the cold, I felt sorry for the birds. Most of them looked very thin, particularly the white one. They looked as if they were freezing.
My colleagues are rather unpleasant to me. They care about things like sports and movies and the previous and next nights of drinking while I rather spend my evenings quietly, maybe with friends and a bottle of wine or else alone with a good book.
No matter how sad or weird it might sound, the pigeons made me feel loved. Sharing my bread or couscous with them somehow seemed as if my existence and the dull days of spreadsheets and angry customer calls meant something. So since November, or maybe it was already October, I spent most of my lunch hours with them. Continue reading →
Every night the smoke comes back. I tried everything and still it somehow manages to squeeze under the door and into the room. It waves around the room as if driven by a strong wind. Then it collects right next to me. Always right next to me – always right above her.
For three weeks I’ve been watching her sleep. Her chest falls and the smoke inches away. Neshay’s chest expands the smoke inches closer to her face. And I lie there, next to her, and stare.
I don’t know when it started. I often wake up in the middle of a night with hunger pangs or tickling legs. Maybe that’s just the stress, maybe it’s the early signs of some sort of disease.
Three weeks ago was the first time I saw it but that doesn’t mean it started that night. The thought that the smoke could have been there for weeks or months, silently hovering right next to me and above her, drives cold sweat on my forehead. Since I know that the smoke is there I can’t really sleep at night. I fall asleep on the bus and in the office but at night my brain is frozen into a constant state of panic. Continue reading →
I was upstairs when the doorbell rang. Sydney was downstairs. I heard her footsteps moving towards the door and my attention shifted back to the screen in front of me.
I heard her say “Hi.” Then she screamed.
Her scream stopped before I had even pushed myself out of the chair. I heard something soft falling on the tiled floor.
My feet flew down the stairs. By the time I reached the front door I saw two men running towards a black van. They threw Sydney’s body in the back. The van started. I ran towards the car, screaming. The van started driving and they jumped inside.
Before the door slammed shut one of them smiled at me.
For a moment I ran after it, then the van turned a corner. It didn’t even have number plates.
I ran back inside to grab my keys and phone. The car started and a moment later I was on the road. Continue reading →