It’s like that speck of shit on the slope of the toilet bowl that sticks there for days. Through many flushes it lingers, even resisting attempts to dislodge it by pissing on it. Then one day it’s gone. Forever.
Just like my life, Albert murmured, reaching for the toilet brush to attack the latest brown spot but hesitating now that, in his mind, it’s a metaphor for his own existence.
Then the telephone rings.
It’s a salesman, he can tell from the overabundant friendliness of the How Are You?
What an annoyance.
Albert quickly realizes the guy isn’t a native speaker, either, his grammar is rough, maybe a scammer, but he waits, lets him start his pitch before interrupting.
Excuse me. Can I ask you something?
Of course, the voice says with Eastern European gusto. How I can help you?
Would you tell me, Albert begins, and pauses, breathing into the phone so it’ll be audible at the other end, What color underwear are you wearing?
Across the distance there’s electric silence, and he can almost see eyes look up, double-checking in disbelief the question’s translation. As if written on a blackboard inside the guy’s forehead.
Then the call clicks off.
Albert smirks as he puts down the phone. Such small victories make fleeting time sweet. And remembering the speck of shit, he goes back to brush it away, too.