This year I won’t wish you good health. Nor will I wish you love, nor money. This year I will wish you something greater than that. The very essence that lies behind each of those wishes. I will wish you a long-forgotten, stigmatised, disparaged feeling. An essential need of human nature which is marked as a blind alley on the map of our human paths although it is the only one leading us to the desired place.
A whole new world is born when pelvises hit against each other. And then, just as the second hand on the clock stops for a brief moment at each number before it moves to the next one, so does my own, plunging deep into your chambers while that second seems to be like a century of sweet passion. Then the world as we know it becomes bigger by one new consciousness. One merges into two, the singular into the plural, me into we. And then, with embraces that signify consent, all those sweet taboos assume a meaning.
If you are sleeping, I’d like you to wake up with a start. If you are walking, to trip over a completely flat surface. If you are chewing, to choke on the sweetest mouthful that goes down the wrong way. If you are feeling hot, to find yourself breaking out in a cold sweat. If you are on the verge of making a decision, to doubt it. If you feel truly happy, to call into question how long it is going to last.
We have all had scratches on different parts of our bodies, and everybody licks their broken skin using their own personally devised magic words. Some people do it by whispering, some by whining, but everybody nurses it the best way they can and know how to wishing only one thing. To make it heal. Or at least to make its edges turn into crust so that they can assuage their fears that, finally, things are getting better. Every scratch has its Name, Surname and date of birth. As if it were some kind of register number in the cosmic archives of pain. What hardly anyone ever knows is whether that gaping hole in the heart muscle has its – expiration date.
If you are looking for wide boulevards, sleek facades and skyscrapers – do not come to Belgrade. You will not find those things there. What you will find there are slippery cobblestone streets, wounded buildings and people who can take you to the sky. If you are looking for some breathtaking photo ops, it is also better not to come to Belgrade. You will not find them there. But there are stories that will, instead of making you lose your breath, breathe new life into you.
We are all familiar with the saying “Your life is shaped by your thoughts”. Only a few words, but they speak volumes. And everyone agrees with this saying. In principle. Because when we feel it – it sounds true. But when we try to analyse it – it sounds painful.
Give me your hand. Let’s go together to a place that you feel exists, but think nobody is crazy enough to go there with you. Let’s go to a place that is familiar to both of us in terms of its geographic position, its coordinates on the map and altitude. Let’s go together where we used to go to a long time ago. To that place of ours that our minds may have forgotten about, but our souls still remember.
The only person you were born with and who you are going to die with, the one you go to sleep with every night and the one you wake up with every morning, the one you can never escape from or hide away from anywhere – is you. People tend to forget that very fact most frequently. They refuse to understand that their mind, body and spirit are the only home they will ever live in and for some reason best known to themselves, they decide to spend their lives like tenants… Instead of seeing their own reflection in the mirror clearly, they search for a skewed one in other people’s pupils of the eye, thinking it is more beautiful.
No love has ever been wrong, there are only people who would call anything love. No heart remains broken for ever, there is only a heart that won’t heal. There is no such thing as two distant souls, there are just two people who have made the decision to distance themselves from each other.
The Balkans are a strange place. It is a corner of the world that somehow always manages to be the centre of attention. It is a peninsula in Southeastern Europe which is so small that you can pee over it, and yet, if you set off along its rutted broad roads, it would take you five days on horseback. Maybe these contrasts at short distances that take long to cover are the ones that shaped the contrasting characters of people living in these parts.