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Saturn’s Return

It used to be obvious that Sunday comes after Saturday but she has long been living in an indistinguishable flow of days in which each one is potentially a work day. Remember to honor every holiday, the heretical thought crosses her mind. In Mútna you can’t move a finger on a Sunday. Not to mention help anyone with a divorce.


She will spend tomorrow differently: sleep until ten and then call Vanda to go out. They will have a pleasant brunch. They will go see Klára. Hopefully she will have recovered and won’t throw anyone off the saddle. If it rains there is an interesting event she stumbled upon on the web – Bratislava Secret: Black Madonna. She will lift her spirits with her. If not in a mosque, how Kristína can do it in Dubai, then in a catholic shrine in Bratislava. Then they will go and have a glass of wine in an establishment with Vanda. She will announce to her that she has booked Paris.


She returns from the outing with an entire bottle of sacramental wine. It stands on the kitchen counter, already started. At eleven she knocks on my door. “Come in.” She leans against the doorframe with a glass of wine in hand. She has Winnie the Pooh pyjamas on and a joyful expression.


“Synaková said she’d pay.”
“Who is Synaková”
“One of those who owe us. Kuruc was unpleasant but mentioned some date. Horváth didn‘t pick up so I left a long message.”
Hair loosened from her ponytail is swirling around her head.


On Monday I don’t register at all when she came home. She must have closed the entrance door silently. She does not come out of her room until the evening. I am doubtful she is even there. At seven I can’t stand it anymore and have a smoke. Romana is sitting stiffly in the armchair in the cleaned up room.


“Want to go to the balcony?”
She shakes her head.
“Did something happen?”
She is silent for a long moment until she finally parts her lips.
“She fired me. Effective immediately”


The following days I don’t meet her around the flat at all. She doesn’t cook, doesn’t speak, doesn’t shower.


I am preparing tea in the kitchen when she suddenly exits the room. She stops in the middle of the room like a speaker at the Forum Romanum.


“Our grandparents survived the war, our parents the cold war. No need to make this a big issue. I sent out five CVs. One to Berlin.”


The following week, every time I silently pass through her room, she is sleeping. I don’t want to disturb her, I started smoking out my window. After a couple days I go in and take a peek anyway. I am starting to have concerns. She is lying on her side, lethargically observing me.


“Do you want the number for my psychologist?” I ask.
“Is that the only reason you leave the flat?”
I realize that it’s true.
“He has to be a wizard. I’ll try it.”


I don’t know if she contacted him. She disappeared somewhere for two hours. Maybe she just went to take out the trash to the other end of town.


An abrupt knocking on the door surprises me. I get a bit scared that in her absentmindedness she forgot to lock the door and some stranger came in. But it is her. Combed, nicely dressed, determined. She is holding an elegant suitcase on wheels. It occurs to me that she got a response from Berlin.


“Are you going to an interview?” Congratulations!”


“I am going home, to my parents. I don’t know for how long. Could you water the flowers for me in the meantime?”



Barbora Hrínová