Thursday, June 8, 2017

A story with no name, by Varun Saxena & Svitlana Shurma

A story with no name

This is an anti-story of two lonely hearts in Brno walking the same route with the feelings that are polar opposite to the city and themselves in that city. The city looks at them and wonders how some roads never cross and some hearts never meet to save each other. 

She is going down from Špilberk; her steps heavy on uneven cobbled stones. The feet beat the rhythm of the heart: tk – tk – tk – puff – puff – tk. Cool autumn air brushes its cold fingers through her hair, slides its frigid hand down her throat and stops there below her breast. As she raises her face to the moon, the silvery light creates a mask of a ghastly beast, making her almost surreal. Tears freeze in her eyes and the wind seems to crush them with the force of its quiet fury. Long are those nights, and lonely is her heart.
She shuns the lights of Udolní street and turns to the shelter of the shadows at Gorkého street. Now her hasty gait turns almost into a run. Yet, is there a place to run? She suddenly stops. There’s a tree. Lamp light pierces the veins of the falling leaves as the world moves deeper into darkness. Now that she cannot hear her steps, the leaves sing the tune of her heart, not a ballad but a dirge. Poor heart aches, and its poison runs down her veins and the white of her skin becomes bluish. She would have ripped her heart, and thrown the bloody flesh to the deep waters of the dam. She would have stood there and watched it sink furiously, still alive, pumping the dirty water into its chambers until the tissue becomes stone cold, and its color becomes the muddy color of the water.
When she opens her eyes, she is leaning against the tree. She feels the scars of the tree leaving marks on her skin, her body melts into the trunk, stiffening with hysteria and suppressed tears that become the sap of the tree. She longs to be a tree, suck the vital juices of the earth and turn them into the juices of fruit that would run down the jowls of the passers-by, go down the throats all the way to the stomachs and blast with the nutrients into the cells. She knows it’s impossible. Nothing is possible. Not for her. She is the dry empty trunk, worm-infected and crumbling under the wind.
She runs down Veveří street, she trips and falls. Blood on her knees oozes, and she wonders how there is still blood, how it can run and run and run. Below is an icy bristle of the road, to her right are the scabs of the walls. Not concealing but displaying her slough of despondency. Barren is her soul, barren is her womb, barren are the streets of Brno.
The rails are silent at night. Who cares if she walks straight between the two. How long is it till the bus breaks this nonexistence by its rumbling? Nonexistence or not existence? Dumbness and numbness. The life and death that do not matter in the city of oblivion, under the pale silhouettes of the headlamps. She moves to her right, she moves to her left with the swaying of the bleak rays. The light becomes brighter as it approaches her swinging body. Her final step to the left and then straight into the embrace of cold metal and the screaming sound of the breaks.
He is standing in front of Hrad Špilberk and looking at brick wall entrance to the castle, with green creepers covering portion of the eternally open gate. The altitude of the place, which is surrounded by trees and life all around, makes him curious to go further and explore what the place has in store. As he proceeds further, he is amazed to see a view wide of the city with Red church, the web of tramlines at Česká, several familiar streets, tower and corporate offices at Špilberk office center and the highway, at far. The spread and layout of the city gives him a feeling of holding the realms and bounds of the city in his palms. It feels like being in a playground with all sorts of activities, all around. As he rolls down away from the castle red bricked gate, like an energetic kid, he enjoys jumping and running down the steps made from large stones. Once he has run through the first flight of stairs, the fresh smell of leaves, a bit of moisture and air catches his breath – and there he is waiting at the bench to watch the passers-by: some people walking their dogs, a group of friends going to the top of the castle, lovers kissing and spending time on a nice sunny day. He is wondering what he would do if he had more company; yet the place and the energy around him is lively and contagious. He puts on his headphones and listens to some music to get completely enthralled into the environment.
The street of Udolní is visible from where he sits and he can hear the sound of the moving cars over his favorite music, which makes him feel that he will be back to the hustle and bustle of the city away from his refuge between the trees, in no time.
With the music in his ears and the tranquility of the castle and trees in his mind, he wants to explore the maze of streets and watch people moving around. So, he proceeds towards Gorkého between the building and several car parks. There are numerous restaurants, cafés and pubs tucked in ornate old buildings, which look like office and residential complexes. He can feel the energy and lively atmosphere left the marks from the night before, as he walks past those pubs, while they prepare for the evening. The open garden cafés are calm, and it is so beautiful to see people sipping tea, coffee, lemonade under the shadow of the trees.  He stops at cafe Falk for a cup of coffee and enjoys the view of crossroads and old buildings all around. He traverses his way through Gorkého towards Veveří to find the tram lines going towards Česká on one side and Grohova on the other. This is a bigger street and busier with traffic, including pedestrians. He waits for the tram at Grohova to go up north, along with other people at the tram stop, some of them with rollerblades in their hands, some with groceries and some with bags with florescent green reflector bands. As the tram approaches the stop, he decides to get home and take his bike for a nice fun ride on this sunny day.
I have seen that all. The time is my ally and my greatest enemy. I have changed, I am changing and I am breathing.
Those people, they walk down my body. They are never quiet. They never let me sleep. They make me wonder and watch them come and go. They are my ulcers and they are my source of energy. Their hearts are lonely, but the lights of their souls never cease to amaze me.
I was observing this creature walk on my chest just for a brief moment. She was brought into this world in love. She was happy and boisterous. Boy, she was talented! She painted those pictures on my walls and on my streets, and I loved how she touched me with her hand. She was exuberant like a cherry flower. Yet, what happened to her? The fair child turned dark, color faded from her cheeks, her eyes, filled with love she shared, became glazed. And blood, there was so much blood.
Or take that other creature, lean and sharp, who opened up his eyes to the cosmos of chaotic and hectic metropolitan city on the other side of the world. He is a curious child and his eagerness to experience things is increasing. I could see the light of adventure in his heart when he came to me. Watching him, I remembered the explorers and wanderers of old. Sometimes he left me, but always returned. I offered him solace, I offered him joy. I could feel his heart beat with my heart in unison. I told him he can be himself with me, but I could feel his loneliness.
They could have met, those two. They might have been one, tearing the loneliness of their hearts and becoming two bright stars of my horizons. But my streets are mazes, and my time is unending.

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