Iro Nikopoulou: The presents

.

______~1..

.

Iro Nikopoulou

 

The presents

 

08-Ro-Chronica_Polonorum_PAULINE PFEIFFER pushed with difficulty the last present, for the time being, into the small closet under the stairs. She closed the door with equal difficulty and puffed breathless. She hadn’t yet got rid of the extra kilos of her pregnancy. She had already started sending her correspondences to Vanity Fair, but she did not dare go by their offices, before restoring her silhouette to how it was before. She straightened the seam in her stockings and returned smiling in the living room. The joyful sound of the doorbell kept announcing new visitors. The maid was hurrying to open the door, and was taking their hats, their coats and the presents for the newly christened Patrick and then she piled them at the back of the living room. The next day, when Pauline began opening the presents, a strange surprise awaited. Almost half of the first five boxes revealed tiny shoes in various patterns and colours. Pauline put a record on, poured herself a gin and tonic on ice and called her husband. They continued opening the presents together and after the fourth pair, they started laughing and placing bets. In the end, the astonished parents counted twelve pairs of shoes of the same size for their beloved son, who started crawling towards them, as if he knew what was going on. They looked at each other’s eyes for a moment. And after one more burst of laughter which brought tears in their eyes, Pauline said that they could not use them all, because children’s feet grow more rapidly than the fresh radish they grew in their garden. The little one would only need maximum two or three pairs; “and the rest?”she wondered putting them somewhat mechanically all back into their boxes, “if I was a member of a charity organization for children, they would find their place,” she murmured, “but what could the unemployed in our club do with them?” “Very simple,” said her husband, grabbing some boxes, as he was exiting the room, “we will sell them and give the money to the club.” Pauline put three pairs aside and then closed the last box shouting, “OK, and how are we going to do that?” “We will put an ad in the newspaper,” came his hollow voice from under the stairs. “And what are we going to say then?” she shouted again, already biting a pencil. “Very simple, are you writing?”

       “I’m listening…”

       “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Bonsai-03c-GiaIstologio-04

Nikopoulou Iro (Athens, 1958). Painter, poet, prose writer. She studied at the School for Fine Arts and works and teaches Art in Public Education. Her first book: The Wayfarer’s Myth, Poetry, Athens, 1986. Her latest: In Greek: Riddle, (Gavriilides editions, short stories, 2013).

http://www.ironikopoulou.gr/

Ttranslated by Vassilis Manoussakis

Vassilis Manoussakis (Athens, 1972). Poet, short-story writer, translator. He studied English Language and Literature. He currently teaches at the University of Peloponnese in Kalamata.

Advertisements

Iro Nikopoulou: Pedicure-Petigree

.

Nikopoulou,Iro-Petikiour-Petigri-07

.

Iro Nikopoulou

 .

Pedicure-Pedigree

.

04-Bitaeautiful… and what breed did you say it was?” Magda asked, snorting a bit and without lifting her eyes from what she was doing.

            “Pekingese, my dear, Pekingese breed,” Diana stressed the words on purpose and let her right foot rest on Magda’s palm, who was rubbing it patiently while dipping it into hot water.

            When the brownish dog understood that they were talking about it, goggled its eyes even more, proudly projected its exognathia and looked balefully at the basin. Then it lowered its head, sniffed it and jerked its face disgusted. Magda was rubbing the furrowed heels of her client with a special pumice and at the same time she was looking alternatively with the corner of her eye at the fat chords of her veins in her calves, which were about to burst any moment now from the heavy weight and fill the basin with their blue juice trickling down her legs, and the furry whirligig huffing like a bellows and filling with saliva whatever it could find, scattering hair and dust all over the place. She was allergic to animals and she had told her so. However, every twenty days, since Diana was a regular client, the same scene took place with the insensitive lady carrying the small furry devil with her to torture her, even though she knew her problem. And now her nose was itching unbearably, but since her hands were covered in soap it was impossible for her to scratch. She tried to think of something else, she remembered an article she had read on Sunday “Postman” about buddhists who during their meditation, nothing and nobody can distract their attention. She took the small bevel and started removing the unnecessary calluses, while sighs of relief could be heard from the one sitting on the armchair, and she was also shedding the frazzle from the skin and… how she wished she could scratch her nose… what a terrible itch! She started smalltalk again, so as to forget it.

            “Pekingese, you said… very cute. And where did you find it?”

            “Don’t even mention it, those dogs cannot be found anywhere, my Lakis is not a plain Pekingese, it is an old and pure breed, from noble ancestors and he has a pedigree, that’s why I don’t trust anybody to leave him to and I always have him with me.”

            “Ah, OK,” said Magda and stooped down over the basin again, while the little typhoon was jerking its tail right in front of her.

            The deafening sneeze of the stooped Magda, created a slight tempest on the dirty water of the yellow basin and made the Pekingese hop up in the air and stay there hovering for a while like a furry ball, before it lands again all scared on the dirty mosaic floor and Diana eventually kick the basin along with her silver slipper to the other end of the store. Magda’s fingers tightened around the bevel following the convulsion of her body. This was a spontaneous and very quick reaction and the right little toe of Mrs. Diana rocketed almost simultaneously with the droplets of saliva from her sneeze. Curious Lakis skidded on the soap water to see what exactly had happened and hungrily snatched the little toe and disappeared hurriedly from the open window door of the store.

 Bonsai-03c-GiaIstologio-04

Source: First edited.

Nikopoulou Iro (Athens, 1958). Painter, poet, prose writer. She studied at the School for Fine Arts and works and teaches Art in Public Education. Her first book: The Wayfarer’s Myth, Poetry, Athens, 1986. Her latest: In Greek: Riddle, (Gavriilides editions, short stories, 2013).

http://ironikopoulou.gr/

Translated by Vassilis Manoussakis

Vassilis Manoussakis (Athens, 1972). Poet, short-story writer, translator. He studied English Language and Literature. He currently teaches at the University of Peloponnese in Kalamata.

.