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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 35 | volume VII | March-April, 2004



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 35March-April, 2004

All Aunt Ljuba's Engagements

p. 1
Srbo Ivanovski

    “I never seen this kind of pattern,” her father said. “I know every sweater you’ve knitted, but I never seen one like this.”
    Although she did not lift her eyes from the red yarn that ran though her needles, Aunt Ljuba knew that her father was lying on his back and that he had placed his right arm under his head so he could more easily examine the boards of the ceiling.
    “So you're an expert on patterns now,” Aunt Ljuba taunted him. “I thought you didn't care about them.”
    “I know more about patterns than I do about grandmas,” he tried to joke, sitting up in bed. And then he got up. She felt the chill of his shadow passing over her head, though the sun did not enter the room because of the rich greenery of the vines. But this lasted only for a moment, because Grandpa Mone went to the doorway. Like a ghost. His gray head passed right under the flowerpots of blossoming violets, lined up in the recess of the wall directly across her window.
    Maria lives right above Aunt Ljuba’s room. The tiny, rosy Maria. So sweet, so delicate. And her husband, Captain Bodo. A while ago, as he came down the stairs, Mr. Bodo was trying to sing the melody he started singing earlier in the morning, the very moment he woke up. In fact, his tiny, rosy Maria claims that Mr. Bodo starts his morning concert even before he opens his eyes. “As if the melodies spend the night on the tip of his tongue. And as soon as he opens his mouth, they fly out like birds,” Maria says, but Aunt Ljuba can't figure out whether she is complaining or wants to emphasize the vitality and joie de vivre of her husband.
    Incidentally, Mr. Bodo’s singing is a special type, one that might easily be called unusual. He sort of whistles through his teeth, and the melody barely escapes his protruding but somewhat pursed lips, which quiver when the sound is released. It also seems that Mr. Bodo cannot imagine singing without including at least some element of the features of the more tranquil instruments, such as the flute.
    Today, when he entered the porch, Mr. Bodo smiled politely at Aunt Ljuba. “Good morning, Miss Ljuba,” Mr. Bodo said, saluting military style. Whenever he went to the well to wash, Mr. Bodo would descend the stairs bareheaded,

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