She took one of my cigarettes and lights it. I know that she is sad. This time as well I didn’t fulfil her wish. I left her alone to go to Durrës and I was not part of her joy.
– You were thinking about starting a novel, Demkë. The topic you told me about is very beautiful… – she tells me after the silence, with the lit cigarette in her hand.
I sat on the chair tired. I press my forehead with my hand and I say to her:
– I’m not starting it at all, Zeynepe!
Zeynepe is silent and I feel that she won’t answer me. Even if she does, she’ll blame everything on the reports. She takes out a new book out of the bag and leaves it on the table. Then she begins preparing lunch. I look at the book cover and sit pensively. Zeynepe, while putting the food on the plates, says to me:
– Demkë, you haven’t read a book in a while. You have so many books in Albanian, Russian, French… You used to read…
I am ashamed of Zeynepe as of a stranger. Others know that I read. The truth is that I totally stopped reading books. I read only reports and decisions and I only use the books to find quotes from Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong. I need quotes for the papers and the documents I prepare.
– You are right about this. The issue at hand is that my reading conditions have become difficult. Everyday obligations combined with some other circumstances limit me and I’m forced to deal with a number of other things that are beyond literary creativity – I tell her mechanically, without thinking.
She stands up. My words astonish her.
– Demkë – she says – you’ve forgotten how to speak!…
– Today you astonish me with your unexpected behaviour.
– How can I not be astonished? You say: “You are right about this”. You didn’t speak like this before…
I return to reality. Without being aware, I’ve talked to my wife in the language I use to write the reports… I tremble, but I restrain myself. I don’t want to show weakness I front of my wife.
– Don’t take me seriously. I’m joking.
– You’re not joking, Demkë, you’re not joking! – she says and leaves the plate in front of me. Ah, Demkë, you’re forgetting the Albanian language.
While having lunch, I think about my life, about comrade Zylo and strangely enough, about Araniti too. Something will certainly happen among the three of us. It’s not possible for it not to happen! The course of events will be moving along another path. Will I deal in reports all my life? What if Araniti was in comrade Zylo’s, he wouldn’t have humiliated himself and asked me to write reports!
– No can do! – I yelled with the spoon in my hand.
– Demkë, what’s happening to you? – said Zeynepe worried.
– Nothing important! I’m thinking.
She approached me worriedly and said:
– Demkë, take a report!
I looked at her strangely:
– I take reports every day!
– Ah, Demkë! I’m talking about a doctor’s report! – she signed.