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The Short Form

“Lukin's Bed”

Vivian Abenshushan

Excerpt

The fact is, far from decreasing, the number of divorces has multiplied and the diaspora of women has become increasingly unpredictable. Last winter was one of the worst ever, unforgivably cruel. Never before had every single woman left, absolutely every one, all together at the same time; previously, at least ten or twenty used to stay through the year, either because they lacked the energy to take flight or because they were entirely satisfied with their husbands. What’s more, we always used to be able to turn to the comfort of the girls in the brothel run by Mikaína—an extraordinary woman with huge hips whose statue presides proudly over the small square in the middle of our city’s central plaza. The girls only ever abandoned their posts after our ex-wives’ replacements had arrived during the rainy season. This was a small gesture from Mikaína towards her clients for which we gave thanks and then some, sponsoring the aforementioned square that bears her name.