The neighbours chart time by watching the slow rise of our bathroom curtain. Its loose ends catch themselves on toilet rolls, on faucet handles, on toothbrushes. We take down the curtain, take it in another half-inch, or inch, and put it up again. And when the neighbours return to their windows they see that more of the opposite side of the fabric has slipped down the blank white of their near side, and they look down to check their watches, with surprise,  because the day has evaded them and the lowered curtain (the curtain’s lowering) means that it’s already dinner.

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