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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 87 | volume XV | November-December, 2012



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 87November-December, 2012

Two Short Stories

Translated by Jason Blake

p. 1
Dimitre Dinev


Let’s Listen to the Radio

Radio was especially important during real socialism. It was the only instrument that let one come into direct contact with the West. To be able to feel like a dissident, all you needed was a good radio tuned to the frequency of “Radio Free Europe” or “Voice of America.” If three people gathered around a radio to split a bottle of schnapps, you could already speak of a resistance movement. Radio was a wondrous thing because, unlike schnapps, it made everybody feel like a hero. And everyone loved it.
    Sarko Kischev loved it, too, though his feelings had another story behind them. Until 1987 radio had played next to no role in his life. In the fall of that same year everything would change. Sarko left for Plovdiv to study agronomy and he rented a room from a retired primary school teacher. The walls of this apartment, however, were so thin that Sarko could hear his landlady in the next room, not just as she flipped through the photo album she was looking at, but even her quietest of sighs. None of this would have mattered much had he not met Weneta two weeks later. The closer he came to Weneta, the more important the walls around him became.
    One day also the last unseen wall between them fell, immediately followed by their clothes, and, as he had feared, this happened in his room. In the next room the owner of the apartment was at that very moment stirring her coffee.
    “You can hear everything here,” he said, breathless.
    “Turn the radio on,” whispered Weneta.
    From then on radio became a constant companion to their love life. They knew practically every programme. Sometimes they listened to music, sometimes the news, sometimes reports about the water level of the Danube, but also treatises on the successes of socialist planned economy with their laudatory words for all those brigades that had fulfilled their plan ahead of schedule. And so it was that whenever the two of them wanted to sleep together, they only had to utter a single sentence: “Let's listen to the radio.”
    The programmes influenced their loving play in a variety of ways. While revolutionary and partisan songs stimulated Weneta the most and made her more eager to experiment, more inventive and fiery, Sarko could go longest if he was listening to speeches by high-ranking party functionaries. Perhaps because

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