Martin SimeckaSlovakiaWriting1995

“Everyone is something,” pronounced Adam, his jaws cracking like a rifle shot. Obedient, I took up his thought. It sounds incredible, but in reality everyone is something. The world into which I was born begins and ends with the fact that everyone is something. It doesn’t matter so much what it is, but rather that a person knows about it and be reconciled to it. Isn’t that amazing?

“And us?” I asked.

The others came, attracted by the smoke, or perhaps attracted by the idea that our conversation with Adam was serious. Danica was listening to our conversation with silent obsession, and at the same time without interest in the theme. In reality, she was listening only to Adam, clutching to his voice, his words not directed to her, which is why they had for her such great meaning. Passion forced its way up through Danica like a hot spring trying to reach the surface; warming the frozen ground, it gave itself away like green grass in the middle of a snow-covered field. Thick light hair grew on her arms, and sometimes I managed to catch her dancing as she walked, animatedly swaying on her small feet, her toes turned confidently out into her surroundings.

She would sit during our conversations with Adam like an invisible companion, like a quietly rolling cassette, like a listening device installed by a God of love and admiration, or like an open door to a universe in which Adam could take refuge at any time, knowing for certain that he would be loved. Danica reminded me of my mother as well. At this moment, she was sitting beside my father, ready to listen to what he would say, ready to be his alternative universe should he ask. At the same time she sat there like an eternal reproach, like a proof of existence that had chosen my mother as its medium, a work of art expressing the suffering of mere existence. I have never known anyone else who with such convincing strength, silently and without expression, could say:

“Here I am, and at the same time here I’m not. All of you who are here with me are not here because you cannot answer my question: why am I here?” Father heard nothing. He was occupied by another being, which he called history - he wrote articles. He would then send them secretly across the frontier and its past. He would send them just as he might throw a message in a bottle into the sea from a ship on which he was sailing. He would send the writings into the future, and they would return by means of various channels like an echo and a proof of his own existence. They would come back translated into various languages in which his readers spoke with him over the phone. His work would return in the form of angry gestures of police agents waving clippings from the world press under his nose. In the end, he would come home to tell me that I had a father who was well known in the future. “We are nobodies“, Adam intoned in a deep voice. He broke a dry branch in two in a dramatic gesture and tossed it into the fire.

“And that’s why we’re dangerous for them. They have no idea what else we can become!”