I was just poking around in his chest of drawers, not looking for anything in particular. Wallet, watch, rings, handkerchiefs, undershirts, tie tack, loose change. Everything was here, neatly placed, waiting to be used outside of this hulking piece of furniture.
When I said it that way, it did seem like he was storing feathers in Fort Knox.
But the object was gone. It had just arrived nine days ago, and already it was gone. I didn’t get the chance to figure out what it was. And now I’ll probably never know. I certainly won’t be asking him about it.
As soon as she walked into the room, I felt my whole body tense up into a knot. I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed.
I’d been watching her for months, preparing for this moment, anticipating the possibility in my mind like a nomad casting a tent in the shadow of a smoking volcano. I couldn’t believe how nervous I was.
She finally noticed me, noticed me noticing her. She drew closer, gently caressed my neck, and smiled.
“Tell me everything,” she said. “And then, when Dmitri is through with you . . . then you will tell me everything else.”
Listen, listen—just be quiet for a minute, okay? I have to tell you something.
I know you’re upset. You have every right to be. I shouldn’t have said that. I didn’t mean for it to come across that way. Of course I didn’t mean it that way.
If I could, I would build a tunnel to the moment right before I said it, knock myself out, hide my body temporarily in the closet behind the winter coats, come back out to the kitchen where you were, and just kiss you on the neck and keep my big mouth shut.