and thanks for The Perfect Day, Satellite of Love, Take a Walk on the Wild Side, Stephanie Says, Sunday Morning, Femme Fatale, Pale Blue Eyes, Rocknroll Heart, Sally Can’t Dance, Sweet Jane, NYC Man, Set the Twilight Reeling and loads and loads of other great songs…….
The summers in his native city were hot, scorching hot. This not being a mediterranean country, the town was not built in a way to help its citizens escape the heat. There were no narrow alleyways, no sun blinds on the windows. The green areas between housing estates were scorched. The concrete multiplied the heat. People moved between the houses like huge slow bugs. Plastic bags in their hands, they dragged themselves towards the grocery store. Some men did not even bother to put on a t-shirt, their beer bellies hanging in front of them. There was no life on the childrens’ playground, nor in the football area. From time to time, one could only hear the strange buzzing sound of an accelerating trolleybus. Their drivers, wearing only vests, drove with the front doors open. At times, the gentlest breeze in the trees brought some relief.
copyright Lucia Supova
The boy would never spend too much time in the city during summer. His parents would take him and his brother to their summer cottage by a lake. They had their friends there, places they loved, and while they were there, the city was only a distant memory. He never really had too many friends in his neighborhood anyway. He was not a kid on the block. But here, in the mountains, it was different. He had many friends and there were also girls he liked. Everything was better here, in this natural surroundings, than in the city. He and his brother would spend several weeks here every summer. And then, at the end of August, when it was the time to go back to school again, the family would get into the car and head back to the city. First, as they would still be on the motorway, they would see a TV tower on a hill above the town, then, a few kilometers later, the castle appeared and the boy knew they were nearly home. A few minutes later they would be devoured by the scorched, deserted town. It was usually a Sunday and there would be few people on the streets. Their father would carefully park the car before their block of flats, say a few instructions to the boys and they would descend. They would all wave to their grandma, who lived two doors away in the same block of flats. On the day of their planned return, she would be waiting in her window for the family. The mother did not get along with her. The father would just say in a resigned way – “Look. Grandma is already waiting, how can it be otherwise.” As they would be loading the bags into the tiny elevator, the boys would be still thinking about the summer. Then the lift would arrive and with a lot of banging and screeching the family would ascend towards their flat…
in this wealthy city
only the people are absent
by the hospice
a vacant children’s playground
When the man was still a boy, he lived with his parents and his younger brother in a tall block of flats. There were five of the buildings altogether, one just like the other, looking like thin, prolonged shoeboxes. In between them, there were lawns. On the lawns, dog shit. Among the dog shit the boy sometimes played football with other boys from other shoeboxes. From time to time, an older woman or man would yell at the boys and order them to get away from the lawn because “it mustn’t get trampled”! The boy loved the smell of freshly cut grass.
The boy did not have too many friends from among the neighborhood kids. They were tougher than he was. He was a mommy’s boy. Bookish. That’s why he loved it when one winter, for the shortest period of time, he found himself to be a member of a gang of local boys. The boys would come to his apartment in the evenings, ring the bell, have a short chat with his parents and then he would go out with them. To this day he is not sure why he was included in the group in the first place. They were all more experienced lads than he was, more daring. Some of them were probably older than he was. Nevertheless, here he was, walking around with them, hands in the pocket, in the dark and cold neighborhood. They would go to a nearby lake, slide on the ice, tell stories about girls…
It did not not last too long, though. After the winter, their friendship tapered off somehow… But later, when he was already an older boy/young man and would find himself by the lake, that winter of 1984 or 1985? would always come to his mind…
drawing a village church
to the sounds of an organ
church bells echoing in the distance