ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7 Blesok no. 44 | volume VIII | September-October, 2005
Blesok no. 44,
Life is a Dream
It’s for the third time in my life that I’m carrying someone’s cross. I’m the first one in the procession. Next to me there is a gravedigger, a very young guy, who leads the way. I’m dizzy with the heat. I think of cold beer. Is it inappropriate at this moment? I watch the tombs. Marble is expensive, I think. Some of these portraits are quite successful. Here’s my technical education teacher… and the former mayor… Finally, we reach the open grave. Above it, there is a small stone plate, with two egg-shaped porcelain photographs. His wife is on one of them. She died some twenty years ago.
He’s on the other one, only very young.
Grannies know their role well. They must’ve had a shot before, to oil their voices. I prop the cross to a fence and I move away from this entire circus.
I light a cigarette.
He was a distant relative, but a neighbor as well. Emil Pavlov, the Spaniard. He lived alone in a two-storey house across from ours. A widower, no children; a former clerk at the oil refinery. After the second heart attack they sent him to disability retirement. Despite the prohibition of the doctors, he continued to drink. He destroyed himself permanently.
I used to spend a good deal of the day at his place since I was a kid. My folks didn’t stop me. I kind of liked his chaos of books, records, comics, erotic magazines. On the walls, there were strange veneer collages that his father made, an icon of St. Nicolas, a huge poster of Bijelo Dugme and posters of Lennon, Demis Roussos, Indeksi. He had a band of his own when he was young. He played at dances. I watched him with long hair and an earring on photos. When he returned from the army, he made a trio with two other friends and played Mexican songs that were so popular back then. He taught me how to sing: Malagueñas, Granada, Mama Juanita, Besa me mucho. He had a bunch of singles that we played on his Tosca.
Spain was his dreamland. He knew everything: area, number of inhabitants, climate, all about the Civil War, good deal of Lorca’s and Machado’s poetry. He said that one day he would sell the house and leave to some Andalusian village.
… I’ll walk barefoot on the hot sand. I’ll wear white pants with the legs rolled up,
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