Once in the night I dressed my brothers, doctor, I was six, them three and two, I dressed them and we went out onto the street. I had to lead them off so they wouldn’t be swept away, too, by the breaker wave...
But who today can judge? Whose fault it is that we have forsaken each other? Who cast this spell on us that, sitting over a glass of beer, we read each other’s lips like the deaf for the lost words of fraternity and solidarity?
Sometimes, I look at myself and feel vertigo. Who are all these contradictory people who, just by habit, I call “myself”?
After his first stay he left with some kind of hope and even someone waiting for him. Now the world on the other side of the white walls seemed more inhospitable than the barren landscape within him.
It’s a table, and more than that it’s a hideout, an impregnable hideout. He’d be happy to see someone dare rise, approach, and address him: “Sir, I’ve had enough of you, get up, scram.”
I am the revolution in flats where glass cabinets with Bohemian crystal are moved into entryways so that the crystal may endure the revolution. When there’s shooting, the crystal rings softly, but endures.
The stars. Flickering lights in the darkness. I taught myself to recognize them. The Moon was a mute confessor who knew my secrets and innermost wishes. I had millions of plans and yearnings, but they were invariably conflated into one wish: I wanted it to be the end. The end of the war meant Mom would return home.
Oh, so much free time in a strange city. Torrents of a language I don’t know, an ocean of strange people, not to mention the strange empty spaces those people leave in their wake.
But Táňa was already standing in front of the ballot box with the state coat of arms, erect again, and in the fingers of her right hand she was holding white panties, directly above the opening in the box for the ballots. At that moment, a soft bounce sounded through the silent room.