It all started with the wind – when Margarita told her husband about the wind. He had not yet shut the front door of his house, arm stretched downward toward the handle, eyes gazing into his wife’s eyes. It was as if he could remain forever in this pose. But then he howled. It was astonishing. For a few seconds they remained motionless, looking at each other as if needing to be reassured by the other about what had happened. Until Margarita broke the spell. Casually, almost tenderly, as if nothing had happened, she rested her hand on her husband’s arm to keep her balance and, with the other, gently pushed the door shut, while, with her right foot poised on a soft cloth, she wiped from the floor the specks of dust that had just come in.
“How was your day, darling?” she asked.
And she asked it less out of curiosity than to reestablish normality (given the circumstances she did not expect an answer, nor did she get one). This routine evening question was like a coded message: Everything is okay, regardless. Nothing has happened, nothing new can happen.
Having finished wiping the floor, she let go of her husband’s arm. He walked away rapidly toward the bedroom, and she felt as if a butterfly, held by its wings, had escaped her fingers. He had not wiped his feet as he walked out of the room. This meant that he was furious. He was obviously overreacting. After all, it was not as if she had asked him to throw himself naked from the obelisk. But she said nothing. Using her own floor cloths, she wiped off his shoe marks. And decided not to go into the bedroom. On the verge of doing so, she turned toward the kitchen. It was better not