Nina Tomorrow

With some anxiety, I will hear the door being opened and feel the cool air from the corridor of the building, and she will come in with distrustful steps that hesitate along the hall, her purse hanging from her shoulder will drop to the floor as if accidentally, her keys will splay across the table with a dry clatter, and, from the sofa where I am sitting, I will follow this procession signaling her arrival and I will sigh from a mixture of tedium and horror


upon which she will look at me askance and I will feel the pinch of humiliation, as if that look reprimanded me for my temper tantrums, my lies, the crazy things I did and now regret but do not apologize for and, although feeling exposed, I will pretend to be indifferent as I wait, since her eyes will soon return in search of something she knows does not exist, and I will continue to listen to her footsteps going to the kitchen, the bottle on the sink, a glass filled, and I am sure that I will imagine her drinking it in an exaggerated pose, a quick gulp, her eyes closed, her head back, and I will be surprised as she crosses the hall headed for the bedroom, to where I will follow her in silence, and in silence I will sit on the bed, my back slumped, my hands hanging between my legs, and I will sense her taking off her shoes, her feet stepping lightly on the carpet, and she will draw near carelessly so I do not have time to flee from that obsessed gaze looking at me, and I will merely say, frightened,


because, although I am not afraid of her small arms, her swaying waist, or her agile, confident legs that carried her here, I will be intimidated by her knees that are suddenly around me as she mounts on top of me with her half-opened mouth next to my face, her hands grasping my neck, tracing paths through my hair and, pulling it backwards will force my face toward the ceiling in pain, and she will smile vivaciously before her mouth finds mine in a kiss that is not intense but anguished

(—that is how she kissed

I will say it and repeat it when that empty bed will drive me crazy with nostalgia)
and suddenly she will spread out her hands, forcing us apart, her bright red nails ready like a weapon pointed at my chest and, at that instant, all the fragility of my body exposed, my eyes closed in a prayer as I anticipate the rapid click of the trigger and, in that brief interval, with regret confused with fear, nothing will move on the face of the earth until the first shot, but she will merely smile loudly knowing I surrendered and, in a movement as sure as it is slow, she will hold me in an embrace and I will fear that I cannot match the pleasure she demands, my body suspicious of its own abilities, tormented by the vice of trapped reasoning, the more I fear the more I desire her and the more I desire her the more I fear, an impasse that I will cover up by taking her by the waist and nuzzling anxiously in the small space between her neck and ear, while, in her typical way, feigning innocence, she will notice my vacillation and, between rehearsed caresses, will try to take a straight shot, her hands spread out pushing me away, and that will be enough to leave me prostrate on the bed seeking shelter in the sheets, then her on top of me violently, her mouth open in a long sigh (a smoking gun enchanted with its own power) and she will feel satisfied for making me sensitive to the slightest touch, causing her to fall to my side tormented, her eyes closed with heaviness, feeling defeated by something that I will interpret as contrition for being with me and this will piss me off


she being distant no matter how much I say

“What happened?”

no matter how much I shout

“What the fuck happened?”

and I will shout in a foolish outburst of courage because I need that body that incites and escapes me

“Go away, Nina”

yearning for a freedom I do not want and therefore apologize

“Forgive me”

and then a silence that she will break with confusion by saying

“I feel what I don’t understand”

with a hopelessness that I will almost believe, because she will produce tears and her trembling hands will cover her mouth, and I will run the risk of interpreting what she does not understand as vertigo or absurdity, not contrition

“This thing I feel”

she will be speaking to no one

“What I feel and cannot bear”

but I will outline my consolation, touched by something I also do not comprehend, and she will attack me, afflicted, and I will be surprised when she bites me and says


and I’ll let myself get lost in that tearful mouth


with words and bold kisses alternating, creating a commotion, and with sly timidity biting me on the lips

“Come, be patient, and fuck this thing that is growing inside me”

(that’s how she kissed)

and she will whisper without hope

“Because I can’t bear to nurture this dead thing that insists on being born”

and that is what will happen, since, sitting here on the sofa, I hear the key in the door now and I feel irritated by the cold air from the corridor that overtakes me with anxiety.

MAURÍCIO DE ALMEIDA was born in Campinas, State of São Paulo, in 1982, and graduated in Anthropology from the University of Campinas (Unicamp).

He co-wrote two plays: Transparência da carne [Transparence of the Flesh] and No meio da noite [In the Middle of the Night]. He also contributed to two anthologies: Como se não houvesse amanhã [As if There Was No Tomorrow] and O livro branco [The White Book].

His first book, Beijando dentes [Kissing Teeth], received the 2007 Literary Prize granted by SESC (Social Service of Commerce).

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