The clock

by Gorun Manolescu
translation from Romanian by Zenovia Popa [MTTLC student]
click aici pentru versiunea română

When one lies idle, one makes a slip. Although I have promised not to do it again, I do it again.

When you told me „the University clock, …o’clock” or someone else told me, I do not know who or nobody told me, or I told myself, I was there.

In fact I was told to enter the passage, to sit at a certain table and to look into the front mirror.
I am there at the set hour with the coffee in front of me and I am waiting I have asked for another Nesti or Lipton I am playing with the cigarettes and the matches here smoking is forbidden but the air although transparent is as if composed of instantaneous fragments going one after another without breaks between them in an instantaneous continuity.

And the waiting lasts although you had come and sat at that table you are playing with a lock of hair that keeps falling shadowing your look I do not know how somewhat bored somewhat fresh somewhat absent but always there staring ahead at nothing your back turned to everybody and everything mirroring in yourself as if you are studying yourself carefully it is only an illusion.
I am impressed by that look and that silky lock of hair that keeps falling and you put aside in a mechanical reflex from your oval face as need be it seems to me a bit asymmetric but this is all your charm you are not aware of.

Here the film broke.

It is on again.

I was told I would find you there it is another day at the same hour in the passage I must sit at a certain table my back turned to everybody and everything to look only ahead not to turn my back to focus on the oval of your face where the bored but attentive eyes draw two indefinite shapes covered from time to time by the eyelids blinking rarely uninterestedly and absently what colour are your eyes?

I am there I am looking again at the clock that displays the exact hour that it has it seemed to me on the way here that I would be late it was a rush hour in the bus stop I went down the passage last time I had forgotten to take a book I could browse while waiting now I have it in front of me I just have to open it you are there my look stuck to your mouth your perfectly drawn full lips waiting they were left a bit half-open something seemed to trouble you it is only the lock of hair that fell on your face and you put aside by a reflex I know now so well.

When I left home hurrying outside it had started to drizzle last time it was sunny.

Your lips opened even more.

On the stairs it was semidark as usual and I had told the administrator to change the bloody bulb.
It seemed to me for a second that you caught my look in the mirror sitting in front of you as if feeling something a fine furrow cut covered your face it was an illusion your eyelashes flinched imperceptibly and nevertheless a wink a short interest made you change a little your head position. When I went down before going out I greeted again are you bowing again? Madame Nina told me who has a studio at the ground floor opening the door thinking that her visitor came in fact many of them covering her fat shoulders coquettishly with a sheer shawl she is wearing for the hell of it are you greeting the ficus again? Damn the administrator I told him to change that blind bulb I do not know how many times.

My impatience was useless of course I was not late like last time the clock displays exactly the hour it has to when I go down the passage.

My look goes down a little under the turtleneck you barely jump out of your fine skin when I rather feel it than see it really because now it seems you noticed me in the mirror in front of you.

No, this clock started to obsess me as if something inexorable happened if I overcame the time set up for at least a second when I hurry to go down I stumble although I had noticed well this chippy step of the passage I do not know how many times.

I start noticing the signs almost felt a slightly lascivious look, a slight blush a start that goes down your hard breasts under the sweater you are pulling intensifying your presence and not only do I notice all these but I also know you feel it too.

I slowly went down the ficus is at its place as blind as Madam Nina is at the studio door in front of the entrance your presence dazes me why did you not come? I have been waiting for a long time that clock stays there as stuck at the same hour.



The clock

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