12th July 2022


6 minutes read

Ágnes Gurubi

Another God

translated by Thomas Cooper

12th July 2022

6 minutes read


You wake up at dawn. The worst time of day, when you miss him the most. Alack, but one hour mine. You are eager to see him again, to hear him speak to you again. To tell tales of his childhood, of your father and his mother. She was a beautiful woman, indeed, you imagine her to have been beautiful, a warm face, like his, a soft embrace and cascading hair.

You are eager to see him again, for him to be in you, for you to lie side by side in silence.


You walk in through the door, come, he says, and he sets out for the bathroom. Take off your clothes, he says, and he opens the door to the shower. You stand next to him. Turn, he says, and he washes your back. Spread your legs, he says, and he puts the showerhead between your legs. The warm water caresses you. He doesn’t touch you, only kisses you as if he were kissing a woman for the first time. He is fumbling for your breasts, like a newborn blindly, hungrily fighting for its mother’s milk, sucking, suckling at your nipples.


He should not spend time with anyone else, neither before nor after. This you ask of him. That this day belong to you, the two of you, and no one else.

And you promise not to let anyone but him touch you.

No one. The ticket collector on the tram will not so much as graze your sleeve when you show him your ticket. The cashier will not touch your fingers when she gives you your change.

Is there anybody out there?


You are standing in front of his door.

You toy with the thought that perhaps the two of you could even be partners, equals, but he wants to be your child, your oppressor. Your captor. Your prison guard. To lock you in a cage, and you’d be his prisoner, or perhaps you’d play the part of his mother, and he would be the temperamental little boy who stomps his feet and wants to suckle at your breast, and after he has sucked out all the milk, he’ll suck the air out of you too. You could be partners until death do you part, but in this life, you are not his partner. You are just a woman, a woman with bluebottle flower eyes and wheatear blond hair, a woman who smells like violets and honey, watermelon and grass, black tea and Mr. Bubble bubble bath, a woman who is beautiful, who is intelligent, the most dangerous combination, he says.

Twenty-one grams. They say that at the moment when we die, our bodies are twenty-one grams lighter. That’s the weight of the soul. It was the twenty-first when he first embraced you. It was raining outside. There was a warm summer shower. Suddenly, it began to pour. The sun was still shining, there was a rainbow in the sky, two rainbows, you were standing next to the bed in your black dress, strip, he said, come here, lie down next to me and love me! He wanted you to be on top. Suck me hard, he said, that’s when you’re the most sensual, give me your saliva, your breath, the air you inhale and exhale, everything, he whispered in your ear, you can do anything, I’m yours, he said, take me.

You gave him your womb, but he wanted your heart.

You’ll eat from the palm of my hand, he said, peck at the crumbs I scatter in front of you. He gave you a glass of water, and the two of you stepped out into the corridor. He was wearing a yellow jacket and green pants.


You’re sitting naked on the bed, the heat is stifling even in the dark bedroom. You went running by the river in the early morning, your muscles tense, the sweat dripping down your neck and your back. You were happy. After fifty minutes, you stopped. The sands along the bank were full of mosquitoes. You undressed. You leave your sweat-soaked t-shirt, sports bra, and shorts on the bench and go down to the water half-naked, wearing nothing but a pair of panties. You sink up to your ankles in the mud, and by the time you plunge into the water, you’re covered with mosquito bites. Stepping quickly, you lunge into the water.

You don’t want to slip quietly into the ripples.

You want to hear the drops splashing around you, your feet squelching as you leave footprints in the mud.

Yes, you want to leave some sign so that everyone will see that you were here.

You press your wet palms to your chest, you splash the water on your face, you dive down and swim deeper and deeper, ever deeper, into the pitch blackness, where man has no place and the air runs out. You dive down again, you swim underwater, you fill your lungs with air, you dive down, you swim, you come to the surface, bubbles all around you, you have reached the pier.

It stands lonely, abandoned. Not a fisherman to be seen. You cling to the iron steps, look at the green moss and the white bird droppings on the planks, lie on your back, look at the pale blue sky, the fluffy clouds, and you think of him. You’d like to bring him here. At night, when the starlight shimmers on the water and the full moon shines white on naked bodies in the dark.

You see his face, you see the afternoon when you lie naked next to each other, your faces on the pillow, distant from each other, as if you were light years apart, in another galaxy, not touching, only your eyes flowing together, the baby blues and the warm brown, he asks you to touch yourself and you do, you do everything he asks, little by little your body begins to twitch, usually, you would close your eyes, at the last moment you would turn your head away, he doesn’t let you, he turns it back, he leaves his palm on your face, don’t turn away, he says, you heave a quiet sigh, is that what you wanted, you ask? That?

Yes, he says, yes.


written by

Ágnes Gurubi

More about the author

Issue 02


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translated by

Thomas Cooper

More about the translator


Another God by Ágnes Gurubi
In this novel excerpt, a woman involved in an affair ponders the ways in which the shadows of the past hang over the cravings of the present.