Slovenia/ Yugoslavia

The Young Nurse from the Future

/ by Martin Amanshauser

On the morning of June 13th, 2000, I forget to close the door of my icebox. It remains open for ten hours. This day was once nothing but 'today'; time has made us older, and on your face — yes, I mean you — a hideous wrinkle has formed: between your nose and your upper lip. It is a harbinger of those wrinkles that are going to cling to you and make a saggy monster out of you, with which, in the fifties of the twenty-first century, a young nurse will be engaged in battle. Your future nurse will regularly have to use a disinfectant to remove the light brown liquid that seeps out of the crack between your buttocks.  

 

Her boyfriend will sometimes ask her why she's so lost in thought."'Oh, it's nothing," the young nurse will say. 

 

On June 13th, 2000, the door of my icebox remains open for ten hours. Just as open as my apartment window. It's ten p.m. before I get home. My liter-and-a-half bottle of ginger ale is warm. Unnerved, I turn on the TV. Slovenia is leading 1:0, then 2:0, then 3:0 against Yugoslavia. It's the last game between two countries, one of which once belonged to the other.  

 

The doorbell rings. A neighbor boy asks with sad eyes if I've seen his cuddly little dog Wolfi. No, I haven't. Right now there's not much happening in this story. Feel free to go to the mirror to examine your new wrinkle. Then, when the Yugoslav Mihajlovic gets the red card (60th minute), I fall asleep.  

 

I sleep for two hours. In my dream, I'm thirsty. I'd like some ginger ale. I open the icebox. I scream. There before me lies the little dog Wolfi, frozen to death. The football game has been over for a while. On TV, horses' hooves clop across the sand. Presumably, Yugoslavia lost 3:0. Experience shows that in games where one of the two teams has an advantage of three goals and one player, nothing much else happens.  

 

The young nurse pushes a pill between your lips. You have trouble swallowing. I dread going back in the kitchen. I'm tormented by the thought that little Wolfi is in my freezer compartment. It's possible the pup got in during the day through the open window (1:3).  

 

Do you see your wrinkle? I wonder whether, during the time when one incurs new wrinkles, one has lived, or is one just doing time? Sometimes the young nurse thinks about what kind of person you used to be, without a urinary catheter, at the beginning of the twenty-first century (2:3).  

 

Unfortunately, these thoughts come to her when her boyfriend wants to sleep with her. She turns over on her other side. The boyfriend is tender, but also a little impatient. The young nurse does not want to divulge what she's thinking about. She's afraid of the term "orgasm problems" (3:3). 

 

 

Football game on 13 June 2000, Euro Cup 2000, Belgium vs. Netherlands, Yugoslavia vs. Slovenia.  

 

Translated by Geoffrey C. Howes 

....
Martin Amanshauser

is an Austrian author, travel writer and translator. His latest book is called Typisch Welt, 111 Geschichten zum weiter Reisen (2016).


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