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￭ Escape Gates
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2013-01-31 | |
Elsa entered the yellow room in the back of the house. For the first time in her life she was alone there in winter. First she looked around and saw her own body in the mirror, dressed in black, trembling of cold and because the light bulb was about to fail. She opened her bag, took out a white candle, put it in a silvered candlestick and lit it. Then she hastened to fetch chopped wood from the shed to light the fire in the terracotta stove. It was the second time she made a fire by herself in that house. The ceiling had cracks all over, stained in brown and yellow by rain and snow.
She went out again and came back with a wicker basket filled with autumn apples and a razor-sharp knife. Elsa was hungry, but most off all she was sad; and when she is sad she needs to knit or to chew something tasty. She sat down on the bed, wrapped her cold feet in the woolen blanket, listening to the stove puffing, fighting to raise the heat up. She dozed off, woke up after a time, added more wood to the fire, leaned her back against the tiles, trying to warm herself. Took an apple, peeled it very thinly, ate it thinking about old songs and memories. Twenty years ago, in the same room, she fell in love with the man of her dreams, while she listened to the radio playing a song about a woman with her name. Elsa. She’s afraid now. Too many years passed over her memories, over this house where she is alone, on a dark street without electricity, exactly like in her youth, but then everything seemed warm and cozy, her parents were still there and she was only twenty.
Why did she come here? To travel, to remember, all these years she never had a minute for herself. She remembered her dreams, the fact that she wanted so much to travel to the sea, to watch the moonlight or the sunrise over waves at least once in her life. Her dreams were in vain, she could never have had enough time and money to reach the seashore. She stands and looks in the mirror again, understanding she was dreaming all her life. She goes to bed, anxious to see the sun rising there, to take the train back home.
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