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Dog

  His wife and mother-in-law could call him at any moment to relocate the table, open a stuck window, connect a broken pipe, or plug a dripping faucet. But he wasn’t home yet.
  At this time, he was usually already at home—he thought, and quickened his pace, thinking that the blind woman might want to go out and would need him to cross the street with him. But it never occurred to him that this could be a dog’s job. He never thought about it until he stepped on the zebra crossing, crossed the road, and watched the traffic lights carefully, and the thought rushed through his soul. Now he was thinking about it all the time, and the thought chased after him, as if walking side by side with him, clinging to his footsteps like a shadow.
  He looked curiously at the dogs passing by: a collar around his neck, a leash on the collar, and the leash in someone’s hand. There were dogs of different colors and breeds passing by – he didn’t know much about dogs and had never been interested in it. until just now. For the first time he was engrossed in looking at these little quadrupeds, and they didn’t look at him, as if they were just ready to go in a certain direction, always on the lookout for a pull, big or small, from the other end of the leash.
  A blind man happened to be standing next to his dog, and they were all waiting for the traffic lights ahead to change. He saw the blind man’s face buried under his hat, in darkness: the vitreous of his eyes was as cloudy as stinky water, his mouth was slightly open, and saliva remained at the corners of his mouth.
  Again, he felt that it was the dog’s job to cross the street with the blind. He had never thought about it like that before, until that day. Now, however, he always thought so, as if everything was clear. The blind man is him, why didn’t he notice it before? He, while blind, became a dog. Immediately, the world was filled with corroboration of this idea. For example, he never imagined that the reason he insulted the department manager was because he had been accumulating anger in his heart. That day, he finally understood that he acted like a dog. However, it is an angry dog. He howled, howled, barked, bit. Or at least open your teeth, ready to bite.
  All this ruined his career for the rest of his life. You’re never going to get a promotion in your life, the blind woman yells, turning her wrists. You’re a bit lucky to have done something like that and haven’t been fired. Are you dissatisfied, don’t know how to say it?
  Yes, he didn’t know, now it’s confirmed. He has learned to forget how to speak because no one listens to him. He is just a useful object for human use, which is put aside when it is used up. He always spoke very little and fast, as if he was afraid that people would listen and go out. Most of the time, people do listen and go out. He tried to interject a few words in people’s chat, but it was always too late. Sometimes people do seem to be listening to him, but suddenly they cut him off and talk about something else, as if he never started talking, and as if he wasn’t there at all.
  When he was transferred, none of his colleagues seemed to care, and no one wished him luck. It’s like a single piece of furniture in the office is going to be removed, and that piece of furniture is the same wherever it is placed.
  No one in the family asked him if he liked the transfer, and whether the new office was better or worse than the previous one. The mother-in-law didn’t ask anything. She listened to the blind woman’s questions and stared at him as usual, and the blind woman just wanted to know if he was earning more. When she learned that he was still earning the same amount, she was desperate, roaring that such a thing could only happen to him. To be honest, he felt the same way. He didn’t answer, and that’s what happened.
  He continued to receive the same small amount of money, while the blind woman would gradually take away his monthly paycheck and deposit all the money into her own hands. Before saving, the money was also in the hands of the blind woman or the mother-in-law. They both sighed and counted. Although they counted very hard, the money was always so little and never enough.
  Perhaps because of this, they never gave him Christmas presents. Although he likes to give them gifts, especially his wife’s obsessions, perfumes, scarves, expensive leather shoes – this is because blind women like to dress up, even though she can’t see herself in the mirror. For her, a new dress is indispensable, even if it’s just a trip to the market or a coffee shop. After all, she was born invisible, and life was too cruel, so something good happened to her.
  He heard his mother-in-law say to her: You have a good husband. He did everything he could, poor fellow.
  But he didn’t know how to fit into the world, the blind woman said. Look at Sinchas, who started from scratch and used to stand on street corners every day, leaning against the wall. Now, there are apartments, cars, and employees. Not to mention the shiny rings on his fingers.
  Yes, my mother-in-law said, but I heard that he relies on drug trafficking and pimping. Listen, the blind woman said it was all bad talk and jealousy. On the contrary, the mother-in-law agreed that all they wanted was to sit in his place, in the place of the one who gave the order.
  There are those who give orders and those who are called, the blind woman sighs. The conversation between the two continued as if he wasn’t there to listen. In fact, they didn’t care whether he heard or not at all. There or not, it makes no difference.
  The blind woman began to tell the misery of life, besides not being able to see, she lived in that block outside the city, where only those who had no choice lived.
  Suddenly, he was angry because she was so ungrateful, but he didn’t dare to say anything. just thinking. She is blind, and despite that, doesn’t he marry her too? Didn’t he also bring home two women, not just one? Yes, he also accepted the man in his position to bring his mother-in-law, how many of them would do this?
  And those scarves, shoes and dresses? And how many pairs of socks does he have? What’s up with his suit and shirt? She didn’t want to know these things, let alone ask them. She even felt sorry for herself because she couldn’t see it. But he’s human too, so keep that in mind. Maybe she didn’t think he was human? Did she think he was just for her to vent his anger? After all, she was always furious because she thought she was blind and poor, fighting against the world. In front of her unpleasantness, what did he do wrong?
  So he cut back on the time he spent at home and started watching football or going to a coffee shop every now and then. Next, he plans to sign up for an accounting class at a night school, but the blind woman disagrees. She complained that he had left her alone and went after other women who weren’t blind. She refused to eat and fell ill. Later, her mother also fell ill. They had been bedridden for fifteen days, and he had to rush home every day to make dinner, and he had to save them the next day’s meal, even though the blind woman didn’t eat much anymore.
  Seeing that she calmed down a little and life returned to normal, he started taking a correspondence course in accounting. After dinner, he opened his books and notebooks at the dinner table and plugged in earplugs to avoid the distraction of the TV.
  But blind women always find excuses to interrupt him. She told him to pad the corner of the table; to lower the shutters to prevent the cold from getting in through the gap; to read her the subtitles of foreign movies. After three weeks, he threw his books and notebooks in the trash and went to a coffee shop around the corner for a drink. From then on, it became his habit to go there for a drink after dinner—in the days when the blind woman agreed. Because it wasn’t long before she filled him with complaints. He had to take her with him, it was his duty; she should not stay at home when he was entertaining with others, because she was not a piece of discarded rags. She goes with him wherever he goes, even the cinema. In the movie theater, he would keep telling her what was going on on the screen, despite the protests of the people around him.
  Sometimes he ran away, went to the cinema alone, made an appointment to meet this or that friend, and then listened to the blind woman scold him for a whole week. But in fact, he had few friends because she always filled his life, and because he almost gave up talking and lost the ability to talk. He was surprised to find that he couldn’t even laugh anymore. Instead of laughing, he made a little hissing sound, like a dog bark.
  Gradually, he lost interest in everything and no longer wanted to know what was going on in the world. He doesn’t even know what’s going on in this neighborhood, let alone what’s going on in this world.
  He had become a man with no social life at all, sitting on the sofa, staring at the TV in a daze – in the gaps when the blind women didn’t ask him to do anything. She called and he went. like a dog. Now he could see everything clearly, and he was angry again. Like that time, in the office.
  A dog will not bite its owner. Not to kill the master, he thought. But he is not a dog. This is the difference.
  He stood up and turned off the TV.
  Let’s go out, he said sweetly. Put on a nice dress. She asked, where to go? He just answered, it was a surprise. There was joy in his voice that he hadn’t felt in a long time.
  Come, he said to her. The pair crossed the road when the traffic light turned red.
  He grabbed her arm, right in the middle of the zebra crossing, and suddenly abandoned her. At this time, a car was coming fast, and she could not dodge any more.
  At the last moment, he was the only one who avoided. He fell, unscathed, just fell on the pavement and fell on his stomach, his face hit the ground, and he heard screams, chaotic noise, brakes—it was too late.

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