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The street looks both foreign and familiar.....


pencil sketch/ skica olovkom




The street looks both foreign and familiar while I try to remember when it was that I last walked here. My legs feel tired and there is a voice in my head that screams for another cup of coffee. Wait for a moment, I might have thought and said to myself, if I had a habit of talking to myself like that which I don’t, so I obviously didn’t. If my thoughts verbalize themselves in this way, I usually don’t talk back to them because that would feel too much as a conversation. I just ignored the voice because I knew the coffee will have to wait until I get home. Not because I’m one of those people who are too shy to sit in a café and order an espresso by themselves but because at this moment I don’t feel like it. I walk past the open market, thinking about buying some cabbage for a second but I decide against it because the dish I have in mind takes about four hours to cook and I just don’t have the energy. Everything seems grey now that the sun is hiding in the clouds, but I don’t find the old buildings to be a depressive sight right now. The general uncleanliness of the city doesn’t bother me either as I walk on. I think about great many things. I think mostly in English, even if I don't care to admit it. Phrases trick me, as they have a way of turning into sentences and passages and before I’m even aware of it, this language has snuck into my brain and made itself at home. I’m too tired to chase it away. I’m not terribly tired thought, one could even say I’m in a good mood.  My legs feel awfully heavy, but maybe it is just the weather. Or not. I have spent half a day in a bus yesterday, I’m bound to feel stiff. Not that I exactly did anything about it either. Instead of stretching or something akin to that, I preferred to finish reading When A Fox Turns Hundred. That’s actually what I’m thinking about as I’m walking, not in my best mood, but far from a bad one. I’m thinking about how life is full of wonderful surprises. Larrisa Lai. Identity. Modernity.  Old and new in a non-ending dance. Thousand ways to tell a love story. As always I wonder why we love stories so much, love ones especially. What do we search in them? I’m startled by a sight of dead pigeon. His wings tragically spread in a parody of flight. Behind him a grey background, concrete instead of a blue sky. What happened to it, I wonder. I walk on. Somewhere stars whisper about infinity. Our lives are no more than a blink of an eye. No, they are not. Aren’t there those moments that seem to last forever?  Perhaps both is true, perhaps contradiction in terms can make sense. I’m thinking about how nothing is for certain. Later on, I will be surprised by a beautiful collection of flowers, by the vivacity and boldness of their colours, I feel their beauty is a sign to warn me or remind me of something, but not just yet. Now my gaze is focused on a cat. She seems to be in a hunting mode, her movements elegant and precise even if there are no muscles showing under her fur and her belly is clearly sagging. She is a hunter, that is evident, even if she is almost as small to be mistaken for a kitten and a tad too slim. Size doesn’t really mean much, it is the skill that makes the difference between the street cats, those who movements resemble those of lioness and those who’re just looking for left overs. A kitten loudly announces his presence, somewhere close by. His repetitive voice reveals him to be under a car (for some reason I imagine it’s a he). He must belong to that grey cat that walked past me a second ago, that would explain her skinniness and sagging belly that seems to be in discord with the evident elegance of her movements, she must have had kittens recently.  I look up, the clouds are strong, thick, grey and impenetrable. I don’t mind that, we get a fair share of sunny days here, but there is a feeling of being tramp. Perhaps it is this hot air, not being able to escape, it is starting to feel restless. I judged the weather conditions wrongly when I left out. The wind opens my jacket and while I enjoy its touch, it hardly brings any comfort. The wind is warm, too warm to offer any refreshment. My gaze meets balconies, I used to love having a balcony…in time that seems desperately away so I don’t try to bring it any closer. Memories can be a burden as much as they can be a strength. I’m almost shocked by this feeling of calmness that flows through my veins. Earlier today, I chased the feeling of slow panic as one would a fly. Chased it away with irritation, but without real malice. Cel a vie echoed from all sides.  I’m crossing the road. Cars always make me nervous, especially when I’m tired, I find it hard to focus on what I should do next even when it’s annoyingly simple as stop or walk. I had a sudden desire to sit on a bridge and watch the water flow by, that is why I was heading that way and crossing that street but a phone call changed my plans and now I’m on my way to pick up something. There are endless way to say a life story. Stories, stories, always stories. They occupy my mind. Alberto Moravia. Hundreds of short stories. I read Roman Tales and now I’m reading New Roman Tales. What do the woods sound like? Vivaldi and Four Seasons. Is that what the nature sounds like? I can taste it in the wind, taste the mountains surrounding me and listen to something that resembles a calling. Forever Sing the Woods, the first Scandinavian literature I ever read.  It amazed me with its poetry and wisdom but I think I always knew that the woods can sing. Especially those really old ones. There are many voices in there, so they sometimes resemble drums and they’re hard to hear this far away, but their rhythms run deep and you can sense it even in a city.  I’m thinking or that is what I prefer to call it, thinking, even if it might be something else. Even if it might be writing, but I’m reluctant to admit it. This rearranging of sentences, this invitation for a mental dance. This nervousness behind every thought, this feeling of hope and excited something under the calmness and the greyness of this day. This supposed stream of consciousness. Is it a stream or is it more directed, an electric impulse travelling from one organ to another, sent from the brain on an important mission? Life flows everywhere around me, in me and it is hard to see how all those streams meet. Writing is very addictive, you know? This playing with words. Writing is quite a lonely process. Some may say that’s like talking with yourself, but’s that’s not exactly right. It requires a great deal of effort and will. It can be as scary as it is lonely, this sailing into worlds of words. Addictive and time consuming, but isn’t that true of all art? Perhaps it is easier to hide than other forms of art. You can call it thinking, for example, when you want to chicken out, but you know it isn’t exactly that, even if there is that aspect, alright. I hurry, anxious to get home. When I get home, I listen to Vivaldi and drink a cup of coffee with cinnamon and lavender. My mind wonders until the edges of reality seem softer. I let it follow endless traits of thoughts, letting it let of some stream.  Thoughts appear softer now and that feeling of silent panic that sometimes craws in, has dissolved like soap bubble and disappeared. Life seems less harsh, like I’ve just used a conditioner on it. It’s not exactly positive thinking, it’s not putting on pink glasses, it’s more tapping into something that runs deep. Whatever it is, I feel calm. Maybe that is what those flowers were trying to say. You can find beauty if you dare to look for it. Don’t chicken out.

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