“It’s me. Are you still there, honey?” He called.
After a time the lock released and Arlene stepped outside and shut the door. “Was I gone so long?” She said.
“Well, you were,” he said.
“Was I?” She said. “ I guess I must have been playing with Kitty.”
He studied her, and she looked away, her hand still resting on the doorknob.
“It’s funny,” she said. “You know – to go in someone’s place like that.”
He nodded, took her hand from the knob, and guided her toward their own door. He let them into their apartment.
“It is funny,” he said.
He noticed white lint clinging to the back of her sweater, and the color was high in her cheeks. He began kissing her on the neck and hair and she turned and kissed him back.
“Oh, damm,” she said. “Damn, damn,” she sang, girlishly clapping her hands. “I just remembered. I really and truly forgot to do what I went over there to do. I didn’t feed Kitty or do any watering.” She looked at him. “Isn’t that stupid?”.
– Raymond Carver, Neighbors (from Short Cuts, 1993)
Courtesy of the artist and La Plage, Paris
Photo by Aurélien Mole