Chapter 23

The Monday-Thursday Adventure

Illustration by Paloma Agüera

I always look at her figure if I don’t quite know what to say. When I managed to come out of my blank thoughts, I turned my eyes to the body that occupied the space between her imperfect bun and the heart-shaped tattoo on one of her heels. Foam all over her hands, dishes, a lemon-scented dishwasher.

– You are all my archetypes – I exclaimed without thinking too much about it.

– What? – she answered without turning around, concentrating, and trying hard to remove the leftover food from the hardest corners of the deep plates.

In one tab, the notes, teacher’s notes, texts of great authors. In the other, a blank page with a story to write that I occupied only by looking at her back, the softness of her neck, the cheek slipping out of her pants.

– For a while, well… – I thought before continuing – forever, because it’s never completely gone, you were the shadow.

– That doesn’t sound good at all – she said wiping the holes between her fingers with a napkin torn from a roll of paper towels.

I typed some keys in the blank space of the second tab where I was trying to finish the homework for the Tuesday storytelling workshop. The first paragraph for fears (the shadow): of growing up, the 30’s midlife crisis, the 40’s midlife crisis (if I make it), a son who will be ashamed of me if I limp one day.

– It’s your turn to sweep, can you heat some water and bring a piece of chocolate?

In the cleaning cupboard I smiled at the sight of an old T-shirt turned into a dusty rag and celebrated that the nails, the ones that held and ordered the rest of the junk, were still in place after a weekend of deciphering an instruction book.

– Although you’ve also been my mentor – I added as I stretched the broom under the table, under the sofa as she lifted her legs – and if you leave them up, I’m going to start thinking you’re now being the archetypal trickster.

On the screen, already smudged by a few paragraphs, digital strikethroughs, misplaced ideas, I kept writing about cooking for two, talking, with her in the shower, sitting on the toilet, reading to each other in bed. I wrote endlessly about her shoulder, which held my forehead when I thought she was shadow or guardian of the threshold. And I thought I could close the text there, but looking at her always gives me the last word. Before lowering the screen, toasting with a good night infusion, and brushing our teeth together while looking in the mirror, she changed archetypes again:

– What if I’m your herald – she asked looking sideways at the tab of my notes – at least that’s what I try to be since I wake up.

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