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The Other Day


Dmitri Klisho

I woke up before the ring of the alarm.  Larry was snoring in his bed, making terrible grunts.  I could bet he wasn't sleeping at all, but he got up only when I was already finishing my breakfast.

His wet hair stuck out in all directions and there were fresh cuts from shaving on his chin.

"Where did you go after the match?" he asked. "We had a great time at John's, you know. I didn't see you there."

"I was there all the time," I answered. He came up to the window and drew the curtains.

"I didn't see you there," he repeated, having forgotten what else he wanted to say. He sat at the table and leant on it with his elbows, looked rough. He had a hangover, but I didn't feel like talking either, and just kept on sipping hot tea.  My roommate and I chatted without a stop for almost a week after we first met.  We talked about everything in the world, but then we got used to each other and didn't feel uncomfortable to keep silent anymore.

"Morning after the night before, you know how it is," suddenly Larry broke the silence.  He turned to me and started sleeking down his hair.  He looked really rough.

"I know," I said.

"Did you like the girl?"

"Just a beauty."

"...but you don't need it," I thought. "Yes, you mustn't need it at all, writing isn't like breathing, it's more like yawning: not so important, but you can't help it sometimes."

"And what about her hair?"

"Beautiful hair."

"Did you like her hair?"

"Beautiful hair."

"Yeah," Larry said.  He lapsed into silence, but the next moment he was all right.  That was just the way with him. He started to tell me about his new girl-friend. And then about football.  He smiled and played with a teaspoon."...they say it's abstract art, but sure that's a bad excuse."

When we somehow got on Nick, Larry even leapt on his feet to imitate the way he walked, which he thought very hilarious.  He didn't like his first imitation and thought he could do it much better, so he showed it some more times walking from the window to the door and back, leaning his body forward and taking a step just in time not to fall.

"Certainly.  You won't study today, but I gotta rush," I said.  Larry looked surprised for a moment.  "Got a terrible headache," he answered at last.  I drank up my tea and rose from the table.  "I'll come to the second period, if I feel better, all right?"

It was raining outside. The lecture-room was almost full when I came; I looked around and took my place beside the promising student.  His name was Jack, but everyone called him the promising student, not that he was doing great at the studies.  Actually, he was one of the stupid, but he was nuts about promising to improve.  He told you about his parents on the farm and how they've been saving money to give him a good education and how he hated to disappoint them and all that stuff.  Everybody knew the story. As he told you that he seemed to be angry with you for not believing him and got pretty nervous.

He was gazing in the window and noticing me said, "Hi, man."

Seeing him for the first time, it was hard to guess he had such a squeaky voice.

The lecturer was an old wrinkled man.  He talked very fast, but then stopped all of a sudden and it seemed that he was musing.  His jaws moved constantly as if he was going to spit, but he never did.

"Realism is when you have nothing to say, so you start retelling, you have no choice but quote. A lot of people have nothing to say, but want to be heard desperately."

When I came back, Larry was sitting at the desk.

"What are you writing?" I asked.

"A composition."

"What about?"


I switched on the TV and lay down on the sofa. That was strange. I tried to remember that guy, but it wasn't easy. He was dark and fatty, I recalled.  Actually, I saw him just the other day.

"Anything new?" Larry asked.


Usually he was quiet, but when drunk, he talked all the time.  No one listened to his gibberish.  He cracked jokes and laughed at them himself.  He beamed with joy and nearly roared with laughter.  I thought it was strange - saw him just the other day.

"By the way what are you going to write about?"

"Some stuff about literature." I said.

"Ah, yes, you told me."

Larry was deep in work again; he sat stooping and still, only his elbow jerked a bit, as he wrote.

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