Uit: Crazy Glue
“She said, ‘Don’t touch that.’
‘What is it?’ I asked.
‘It’s glue,’ she said. ‘Special glue. The best kind.’
‘What did you buy it for?’
‘Because I need it,’ she said. ‘A lot of things around here need gluing.’
‘Nothing around here needs gluing,’ I said. ‘I wish I understood why you buy all this stuff.’
‘For the same reason I married you,’ she murmured. ‘To help pass the time.’
I didn’t want to fight, so I kept quiet, and so did she.
‘Is it any good, this glue?’ I asked. She showed me the picture on the box, with this guy hanging upside-down from the ceiling.
‘No glue can really make a person stick like that,’ I said. ‘They just took the picture upside-down. They must have put a lamp on the floor.’ I took the box from her and peered at it. ‘And there, look at the window. They didn’t even bother to hang the blinds the other way. They’re upside down, if he’s really standing on the ceiling.
Look,’ I said again, pointing to the window. She didn’t look.
‘It’s eight already,’ I said. ‘I’ve got to run.’ I picked up my briefcase and kissed her on the cheek. ‘I’ll be back pretty late. I’m working—’
‘Overtime,’ she said. ‘Yes, I know.’
I called Abby from the office.
‘I can’t make it today,’ I said. ‘I’ve got to get home early.’
‘Why?’ Abby asked. ‘Something happen?’
‘No … I mean, maybe. I think she suspects something.’
There was a long silence. I could hear Abby’s breathing on the other end.
‘I don’t see why you stay with her,’ she whispered. ‘You never do anything together. You don’t even fight. I’ll never understand it.’
There was a pause, and then she repeated, ‘I wish I understood.’
She was crying.“
Etgar Keret (Ramat Gan, 20 augustus 1967)