Cultural Institution Blesok • Established 1998
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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 31 | volume VI | March-April, 2003



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 31March-April, 2003

Bad Word

p. 1
Elizabeta Bakovska

     “Oh, if only I died too”, staring at the television, brooding, the grandmother sighed almost soundlessly. She was sitting on the couch in older son’s living room, with her hands crossed in her lap, wearing the same black scarf she wore when the grandfather died, on his funeral. The grandfather was a difficult man, that’s how he was, the grandmother had to listen to him all of his life yelling for this and that. Every now and then, he’d lose his temper: “It’s your fault, it’s all your fault.” After sixty years together, after wars and hungers, children alive and dead, the grandmother didn’t take him very seriously. She’d make a face behind his back and the grandchildren giggled, because they saw the grandmother wasn’t afraid of him, so they weren’t scared either. (The grandfather grew up without a father when he was a child, because his father had died young, as people died in those years of nothing, tuberculosis, hepatitis, appendicitis. His mother and his sister worked at other people’s fields, laboring for bread, the corn one that turned hard as stone in a day, so they’d soak it in water and eat it with a bit of salt afterwards).
     On the table in front of the grandmother, there was coffee, warm, fresh, sweet smell rose from the cup. The son made it and put it in front of her just a minute ago. Then he brought some Turkish delight from the kitchen on a dish for everybody to try. “Go on, take some, don’t just look at me, are you shy?’, he raised his voice a bit and entered the kitchen again, to make the second round of coffee, for those who took it with less sugar. (The son traveled the world for years, from one city to another. Postcards from Indonesia, America, Russia. One year he brought a radio that they always listed to on Saturdays and Sundays, the grandfather when there was football on, and the grandmother when Vaska sang. After fifteen years around the world, the son returned home and found a wife from the neighboring street).
     The daughter-in-law leafed through some papers, documents, bills, at the other table. She worked on her calculator and wrote down some numbers. She raised her head and looked at her still sitting calm and quiet. “Take some coffee! Are you hungry?” “Bless your heart, I’m not. I

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