Текстове на Мария Каро, Бети Файон и Мария Добревска.

We Call Him Andersen

…When was his coming out?…


…When was his coming out?…

One day, at the library, where I usually spent my afternoons reading, a doped student came in with a blushing face, sweated and scared, a mockingly desperate look in his eyes, and shouted out: ‘I am gay!’ He produced no effect. As if the word “gay” was somewhat too short to convey any meaning, just not the right word… It looked as though he had laid bets to do it, and everyone was aware that he was afraid. However, silence fell for some time which lasted quite a while to me, no one was able to resume their reading. He threw it up in our faces, stirred the water, and it was just his body that I remembered. The body. His hands and feet, they seemed to be off their proper places. Someone unable to swim would look like this in water. You cannot remember the face of such person, can you, his body speaks for the face, it screams ,.. 

When he is seated I keep watching his legs. The skin between the socks, slightly pulled down, and the edge of his pants, always with a cuff. They look a little plump, with light hears, gently clumsy in the calves. His hands have soft fingers, when he greeted me for the first time with the New Year I clutched him stronger than he did. Hands and feet, hands and feet, I can’t get my eyes off them, they seem different than those of all other people.

We call him Andersen.

I don’t know how exactly this nickname came up. He is quite tall, his head almost sways on top, his nose is somehow unnaturally tipped, thick in the basis, then rising perpendicularly to the face as if some child had moulded from clay an island, or a hillock, his hair is rippled, chestnut-black. Goodness, how he moves, with the grace of a clown, rangy, shovelling the air with his hands, hands out there and feet still behind the corner, and in his eyes, dark, deep blue – I keep swimming. 

Just now, they are celebrating some anniversary in Denmark and on the site I even saw a performance festival after Andersen’s fairy tales. The tale had to be interpreted as if A. was alive and has written it just now! I even read some questions regarding the personality of A. and some even more stupid answers, historically true, they claimed… What size of shoes he wore, for instance, what was his attitude to men, and all that nonsense…! And children’s festivities entitled: Would you like to be Andersen for a day!

… He likes riding on the subway with me. He is very funny, together we sit in the shorter seats at the end of the carriage, you must know them: old ladies like to sit there, to shelter from the drafts, and also students…, and we pretend to be staring at the adjacent carriage, while actually watching the girl and boy students, who are learning how to kiss in the seat against us. We are looking at their reflections in the glass separating our carriage from the next. Andersen believes that they will not hold kissing for half an hour, and I insist that they will. To make sure, he counts the minutes. His long legs almost reach their seat, but it doesn’t seem to worry them. One of the women standing next to him suddenly scolds him saying something like: Can’t you fold your legs

It is obvious, Andersen has long legs, they are not a flick knife to be folded in the sheath… He keeps silent, gazes with bafflement, and I intervene: It’s his legs, Ma’am… I hate the word “ma’am”, especially for women like this one: weary, with smoked faces… it’s a fact anyway, everyone dislikes Andersen’s hands and feet.

Unobtrusively, while we were occupied with the woman, the two have stopped kissing. For a short time they seem idle. It looks like the exercise has tired them up. Their faces look alike. They have the appearance of a Romeo and Juliet just awaken from the tomb, simultaneously though. Andersen hypnotises me with his blue eyes, and, in order to conceal our disappointment and laughter, I dive in his eyes. I can see us, hand in hand, jumping with laughter and floating like turtles in an aquarium, Andersen’s feet hang loose, whereas mine are folded beneath my body because it all makes me laugh in my guts… He points at his watch with his head, producing quiet sounds and small airy bubbles come out of his mouth, like missed, disappointed minutes…, and I know that he will stand me a treat of chocolate, and I lick my lips. It is good to be given a treat when you lose the bet, and not the other way round… Then we start gazing again in the glass, which separates us from the other aquarium, that of the adjacent carriage.

Something is wrong, however, we both know it. Currently, the subway is a dash of air between two kisses. Andersen lies on the seat as dead, thank God, the woman who scolded him has already taken off. Some people believe that he is unwell and start looking around. The rest are staring at me. I am very small, just as high as Andersen’s waist, so I plunge my head under his slack flannel and start laughing, it’s both to hide from everyone and to admit that I may actually be crying. I can see for the first time Andersen’s undershirt and, by chance, his nipples. They are sunken in the body, somewhat softly, gently sunken in the body, as his fingernails. I want to hide all of myself.

Two women speak next to me, something about antidepressants, one says: Why do you cry, the other, I’ve been down with all illnesses, how can I possibly make it on aspirin only, the other, Well, it’s not the best experience, but, the other, It is often the aftermath of a cold, the other, Could be, I can tell you, their talk carries forever, I don’t even know how I can hear them as I have plunged my head just near Andersen’s throat..

It’s almost the whole of me buried in, Andersen has fallen silent, I can no longer hear the two women’s words. I feel like a cat in the lap of a woman, and he has put his hands on his bolstered flannel as if to protect some part of his body. What if Exupéry had in mind not the boa and the hat, but me and Andersen on the subway…

The female voice announcing that we had to depart sounds as from a divorce courtroom. The hell with it, I have no intention to leave, I only pull my head out of the flannel and my face must have been red like that of a newborn, as the look, which Andersen has cast on me, is one wanting to bathe and feed you… 

Translation : Angelina Sekulova


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