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They are six friends. Rather pleasant men. Two of them are quite intelligent, one is a bit mediocre, and the rest are fairly knowledgeable people. All the six of them look very good: well-built, but they take away their heads. They do have heads but their heads are on sticks.  They are holding the sticks but do not bother to raise them to the height of their shoulders. They put them wherever they like: at their chests, in front of their stomachs, to the left, to the right; and when they drop their arms, the heads remain hanging under their knees. They are cool men – wags. They sometimes exchange their heads. One of them has nice eyes and everyone wants to have them. Another has grown a moustache and this irritates all the others because it is not fashionable. He claims that girls fall for it but his head is the least wanted one. He does not shave because he is not angry with the others. He is a calm guy and he likes his head. One of them, however, is little nervous. Not much. Within bonds, but his head whirls a lot. When someone else takes it, he can hardly hold it. Even the both who are very intelligent find it difficult. Rarely, when a conversation is held that requires more mind power, there is a quarrel – yet, there are only two heads of this kind. The three of them who are fairly knowledgeable are getting on best – they are mutually replaceable and retrieve all situations. When the six get drunk it becomes a little complicated – everyone wants the head that has the lightest hang-over and there is a fight. A big fight – with pummels, kicks and curses. But they remain friends. When one of them is in love, they leave his head alone. They are very considerate as far as love is concerned. They are rather pleasant men.

2004

It has been like that for 58 years already.
He buttons up his shirt, tightens up the knot of his tie and puts on his blue jacket.
No new movements; no new sounds; no new faces!
One and the same stations; one and the same houses; the monotonous rattling of the wheels!
Repeating curses and swears; constant quarrels of one and the same drunkards!
Sometimes he wishes he were a conductor in a French train – with a nicer uniform, with a bigger salary, with a larger smile on the face.
He has been at this job since he was 15 and the rhythm of the monotony devoured him without notice. There were times when he was staring at the flowing scenery out of the dirty windows and felt that he was missing or lacking something, but with the time that ceased happening as well.
One day, after checking the tickets, he pulled the door of one of the compartments and he saw! He saw – a man of 58, with a buttoned up shirt, a tie and a faded jacket – he saw him lying dead on the floor – and he realized the thing he has been missing all these years; he realized what he was looking for in the scenery and where his thoughts were wandering.
He has been looking for his missing life.    
And he started crying.
But there was no time. He closed the compartment door and dissolved in the scenery.

2003

Crossing

They waded into the sands. Their feet sank deeply but left no footprints. They were a man and a woman. It was hard for them to carry the big boat and that slowed up their walk. And the boat was a nice one, in a fairly good shape. They were carrying a part of the sea in it. In order to make it easier, the woman had put a third leg, and the man had  lifted up his shade onto his head so as the shade could take up some of the burden, too.
The man and the woman were in a hurry since the sands were starting to move and were going to devour them in a while. The sea in the boat was becoming rough and the waves were starting to brim over. A gale burst.

The foam spilled onto the sands and swept away the man and the woman with the boat.

1998

Entangled spaces

By tradition the cages were put in the streets, in fact in the main streets. The cages with fish. They stretched ropes between piles, made especially for the purpose, and laid out the cages on them. It was a fishing town and most of the men made their living by fishery. Once in a fortnight people from the bigger towns came to buy up the catch and then to sell it at ten times the purchasing price. But, in fact, almost no one cared about such economic details. So… about the tradition with the cages. That was something like… let’s say… bullfight?  The expectation and the influence on people were probably comparable to those of a bullfight. Fish in cages is quite a senseless combination, and how it had become a tradition is totally inexplicable. What was the next thing to come to their minds? Тo cram the fish into the sea? The madness had reached such proportions that each year, on May 16, they organized a photographic exhibition – of fishermen and their cages… and their fish. Of the fishermen – in front of the cages – with the fish. All the photos were alike. There was one photographer, not a very talented one, and that was why every year the photos were alike.  But the fishermen looked so proud that, if someone lived in the town for a while, they got used to the scene and even started to respect the tradition.

However, there was a person who could not get accustomed to it, although she had been living in the town since she was born. She was 25 and every time she passed by the boats, she got sick. The men were taking the nets out of the boats and throwing them on the shore. Most of the fish were already still but in case some of them jumped off, there was always someone to grab it and knock its head on a stone. The eyes of the fish froze and its head got completely crushed. The scene disgusted her when she was 5, when she was 10, and when she got 20, too. It disgusted her now as well. She could not stand the smell that was creeping all over. She liked fish but she never cooked fish herself. She could not stand the sight of cleaning it and she had never touched raw fish. There was a month left till the tradition now. She was heading to a recess on the beach where she liked spending hours after sunset. She sat down and the swash from the waves blew softly into her face. She folded her knees into her arms and fixed eyes in the horizon. She felt the warmth of the day sinking together with the sun and the cold particles of sea dispersing in the air.  In a while, when her eyes got tired from the blue distance, she turned her head towards the villa. The villa was on the opposite hill and only part of it could be seen from the beach. The curtains over the large windows were flapping and looked like tied butterflies. She thought she saw the shadows of the two brothers but that was impossible from such a distance. She lay back, dug her hands into the sand and closed her eyes.

So… these...

the whole text "Entangled spaces", (14 pages) in pdf

 

translation Kalina Hristova

 

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