Laughters and whispers on the hall, drinking chilling out on the terrace. The porter shew on the ateliers direction, where someone craved for food. He turned in, all with his bag and big overall. Water in the tube.
The Thief elder-some, almost seventy toddles in the part of house considered to be a kitchen, dragging his slippers, having a look on the food that has been put to preparation. Today was raining, not morning, still he stood home, though Sundays hes usually strolling around in the city. Last time was caught by the rain and waited for the train in a coffeteria. Now is good, listening to classical music. They say there is an Ukra(i)nian violonist in the south part of the country. Still have some free tickets for you. What would it be? Travelling with a car. Many-many travels and even more. Wrote letters to people, then postponed, got answers from some long ago forgotten aquaintances, whom he thought to be a mist, he forgot to answer them again. Pause. His pullover he had forgotten at his last victime. Forgot the pullover, just searched among his clothes for something to pull on hiding his wrinkled, hairy flank. Also because its cold. The belt fits him good, he drained his sockets up over the ankle then folded them back with the stretching part over the refelx-zone of the diaphragma. This is how Japanese worn their ribbon-slippers. Einstein was right about avoiding socks. He avoids them too, but has a fable blood circulation, hes like this since his youth, since knowing his mind, and perhaps even before, but...? Is here a but? Hes like this and thats it. Yes, running mornings in the woods, jogging there before a cigarette, that house, whey, under the lake, under water. He began by running. Opened the door. Opening it even now. Hes got warm, the house too needs some air, this cotelette has a strong smell. Wonderful a thing a cotelette is. Yesterday was not yet existing. Today it is. The saint presence accompanying it is a bread and thats all. All mysteries resolved. There is a bottle of perfume nearby. And there is a girl in the armchair, hungry. Met her yesterday on the street.
- Almost ready, just half an hour.
The girl keeps silent, got stoned. By and by looking up, following his slippers, pulling her legs under her, shes cold too; and by and by looking into the cutlets direction.
- Do you like cotelette? Today is cotelette. But still got some bread. Water... just wait, a little must, grape-juice, so light, cant do any harm to you.
Whats now? Whats up? You just cannot know. Interesting creature she is.
- Ill be back.
He turns out to the street, walking ahead without looking where, being attentive to peoples faces, but in this million-crowded city todays faces are just like yesterdays or before. The look at you, man, look into your eyes, and even so answer your coat, as they are passing by. Hours get away, slip away before you notice. What can he do here? And then he meets a beggar, a woman. Understand? One whom you can talk with. Its been three days he hasnt exchanged a human word with anyone. The bagger is an artist, selling old books and magazins at the river bank. Beautiful face. Old, just like him. Two weeks and on the rivershore the blossom will start. Thumbsized sprouts on six-seven metered platans. Grey sky with moving patches, fringed edges, suspected clouds. And is already evening and all the other book-sellers have packed up. Since he left a young girl home, it would be decent to bring her something. She herited hm, has she made something with it? - the cotelette. She left it? She got away? Its all the same.
- Remus, no, its not, no way, here is this woman and youll figure out a present too.
He stopped in front of the exposition.
- Ah, youre intereseted in something?
He turned, gazing into those watery eyes. How much could have she cried! He smiled and took a copper plate in his hands. Someone has cut into it the nearby cathedral with apathic lines, or rather with desperate struggle. Here and there the contours were interrupted and running astray, columns trembling, roof thickened, forms of the greek rythe turned into potatoes and smashed too by white oil dots.
-You like this?
Turned again, tensing his eyebrows upwards, smiling. Doesnt matter.
- Or this vessel would be better?
- What is it made of?
- Metal, simple metal, this kind is usually sold for thirty.
The wide, ponced decoration is of a greek calices shape with two handles and fine curves.
In churches they spread holy water from it.
- I sell it for five. I should ask ten. For ten.
- Ive got ten euros.
- Oh, you havent got them, do you? The baggers eyes were glazing.
-Ive got ten euros at all.
-For five. Where do you come from?
- Indeed from somewhere else.
- Me too, from somewhere else.
- Im here since a few months. This is infinitely long time in this place. I came from Romania.
- Youll stay here.
- No. Im leaving tomorrow.
- And you have ten euros. This is dangerous. Would you like it?
She grabbed the vessel, threw out of it all the little metal gadgets. I give it for five.
- I dont want to harm you. Dont bother yourself.
- I give it.
- No. I cant pay.
- Dont pay. With five euros youll be in danger.
- Youll sell it to someone else. Ive got a girl at me. Wanted to bring her something. Its not even sure she is still there.
- Im an artist. I know the Romanians, those who come from. Ive bagged with them. One day came a student over here. Wanted to pay with drawings, I gave him too something, but I dont need a drawing. Got lots of papers at home. What can I do with them? Take this bottle of perfume.
From behind the corner of the books she took a cube made of glass, that stood before on the stone. Half full of yellow enchanting.
- Take it. Take it, please. To her.
- I cannot pay. Leave it.
- No need.
He packed the parfume into his bag. Turned back after ten steps. It would be beautiful if...
He went further staring at the stones and so found an unopen ananas candy. Took it up, opened, it was really a candy. Wrapped it back and slipped into the side-pocket.
All streets had little metal plates, dots, inserted in the stones, he could not imagine what they were, fixing them uninterruptedly, until searched the brighter white disc on the sky.
- Hush. Straighten your neck.
- They say this is daydreaming, but following the stars you find your way easier on these streets. Simply follow the direction. To the right, towards that high statue, then towards the column, youve already indexed from the river. Youve got the present. Heres a flower-shop. With a stalk of cigarette on the ground.
Marianna wasnt home. He named her, for the case. If shes staying, sitting in the armchair, had eaten all the cotelette or even nothing of it, sleeping, eventually she too is listening to classical music, - then hell ask her name. Hed like to know, just for that. She can say whatever she wants besides what she wanna say without asking; what is important here, is to be addressable.
- Marianna, pardn me, may I thee you?
Why Marianna? I wanted to address her already in the morning, I even did, no, that was not an address, it was almost a dialogue, with only her missing from it. You, Marianna, say your name. You can stay here, if you want. Can eat, if there is anything to eat. I try to bring. Or do you live here? You can come.
He said to the bagger hes leaving. The room is empty. Not at all, is full of flick-flacks. If the girl is here, is different. He doesnt know how, but then is then. She may come back. He leaves a note. Inspected his leather-bag, the perfume he takes it. Till the next meet. Glanced at the cotelette. It was a little moved around, thats it. Ate and put the rest in a pot in front of the door with a post-it that read: for whom it takes: MEAL.
- Havent got a fridge! he laughed, peeling an apple with his pocket-knife. Need: toothbrush, clothes to change, money.... I dont know. And a short-line: Left. Greetings. This above the handle.
Layed down and stretched along the bed. Now he felt his soaring bones. The knot under his toe is a cotelette too. Dismade muscles, aching from tendon to insertion, those shafts warps, 6 cm long cells of quadriceps, does he have a quadriceps at all? Shrunk, dried. His footnails are conques, scallops with several layers. Perles should be inside. All tendons squeezed ropes. Nodes. He could have been stretched out on the barrens of some railway station to be map, hydrography, distant rivers...
It must be so that he turns the bed. Puts the lamp on the floor. Wrote the hour-schedule on a paper. He was asked to stay silent. He tries, doing his best. One letter, two, and another two. Oh, here the train is train! They invented something else. Half of his head is also calling the train tren. When young, his mother often told him, when he was about going to his friends:
- My, why do you go there? Theyve got enough trouble.
- But ma, why do you look just at the trouble? I go for a merry.
- You think so. They dont show you. Dont you stay too much at no place.
After such discussions he went away from home for weeks. When around 25-30, nobody cared. Then he left, came here, went no more home. Not even him would have believed this about himself before. Strolling. Occasionally dreaming with his father, who argued:
- Arent you ashame? Till when you wanna live for free?
This in the early stage. Loooooong ago. Now hes smiling over these dreams. Till when when? For a few more years. Its free. Sometimes he remembers the places. He forgot them of course, meanwhile in the rush he realized that nothing is so important to be kept in mind. If it is, itll be preserved. Will come back from itself. If not, not well, there are plenty enough garbage-stores on this world.
He didnt care what he ate, forgot hunger, forgot worrying about, even being tranquile he forgot, or if he was, he immerged his attention into something else. Instead, occasionally he saw back past places with uttering clearness. On this place a stable from the distant years. It happened in this country. Didnt knew yet the cotelettes name. He went, hitchhiked, was put out after a hill. He had enough of the city. With all these wanderings around he already knew hed make up in the countryside too. So clanched the door, waved to the driver and looked around. Twenty houses, all of stone. Hill with church. Far away flat edifices. Well.
- How do you do? - he asked himself. They talked often. And what are you doing?
- Stealing time.
- Please, such a pathetic answer. Youre fine, are you?
- Thats what matters.
Then turned into a monologue, a pethetic one, despite his previous remark.
Remus, Remus, is here any Romulda, Romulus? Or were you born in vain? This life is wonderful only if you know what to do. (Or then is it boring.) Take a deep breath of this clear air...
here he already laughed. A camion had passed nearby. Hhm, Bulgary. What do these people search here? Just what you. Or you even less. Come on, dont ask so much, youd better look around. The old story: first, what you wanna do? Nothing. Fine, this is easy. Second: where you gonna sleep? You still need this. Here is not so fast to get presented to Rositas. You can say, of course, that youre coming from that notorious city where anywhone young it may be, hes instantly known and has lover from the first night of his arrival. (He was thirty five, ohwayyy.) Youre outlook is potatoe. Youd nee,--- lets play theatre youd need, if we were hundred years before, something outfolded, no, copper buttons. I saw copper buttons a week ago, they still exist. Do you believe, Remus, there still exists a shop where you got sold the neck, the sleeves, maybe also front laces of the shirt separately?, and certainly buttons, like jewels, in the vitrine. No buttons, no bills but hills. Dedicated to Rosita. Rrosíta is not here. Hills of her, neither. At least for now. Where do we sleep? King.
He circled the houses. They seemed very closed. Should he hitchhike further? Zero map, zero knowledge, language he didnt know the word for chop, but already invented out himself in any case, theyll discover that hes not from here, should he play the outsider? Eventually work? Does here work anyone for a daily payment? Hes not mastering any machine. Do they work with wood here? Wood-fabrique. This might be a question, for a start. Good evening, please, I am searching for a provisory engagement, had been working in wood-industry for a while, coming from this and this place and had been directed towards this zone, because weve been many there do you know such a factory around? And having this asked, he thought, he might add: The way is long. May I stay for the night? I could help around the house. How romantic.
But didnt turned out like this.
He passed a few yards, could not even ring, they were closed. Finally arrived at one where there was movement. They peeped him suspiciously. At uttering the wood-pre-working factorys name he blocked, forgot it: wood, wood, what is with wood.
- You want to gather wood?
- No, to work.
- We have nothing to.
- What works with wood.
He mimed sawing.
- What? I dont understand.
A middle-age man just got out from the car that arrived in.
- You got problems?
To what the first man spoke:
- Sir, Im afraid I cannot help you.
Remus raised her sight. He was about to spell that word, from the previous moment, that he could even cut trunks, he smelt the smoke, but shut up.
- Yes. Thank you. bambled and passed the gate. Breath one.
- Well, here not. But hey indeed, I can split some trunks.
In the next yard they had their trunks already split when at the carraige. He tried the factory-idea too. Nothing. Finally he asked the sleep. No, smiled the owner and hurried to close up. Darkening day. Around evening is harder. Twilight all shapes are dubious. He asked at two more places but family members were falling home and his knocking became more and more unpleasant. If it was worth at all, if they had heard anything inside the dining room, at 20 m distance from the main gate.
- Evening comes, fall twilight, everyone eased aside,
blackening leaves do swing on the strawberry tree.
Buzzling a bug around, knocks the wall, cease the sound,
and the silence thickens with the blue you see.¹
¹ footnote to the translation of The Thief: this is a trans-writing of the first four lines from the poem Családi kör by Arany János. The title literary means family circle, and the poem is a classical one of what being home, arriving in a shelter means for many.
Sing, János, doodle-doo, the moon is here too. Im hungry a bit. Is cold too. Whats now? What shall it be? There are stables. Hence his choice fall on one of these abandoned buildings.
- What a prince I am! - he smiled when he percieved relatively close a big noodle of dried grass cylinders wrapped into plastic. Went there, rolled down one and rolled it into the house, among the ruined walls until a man-sized door-like opening.
- I should have a look whats inside. Are you afraid of dark? Rats. Or snake? Lets make some noise. With measure of course. I have a lighter. It makes good. Carefully.
He lifted it towards the full moon, a plastic transparent fire-scratcher, cheap, hed bought it form a Chinese.
- Hope they didnt spare out the flint from it. Gas it still has.
Along the wall hit all stones from half a meter above the earth. Stepped in and flipped. At fire light he could see that the place was empty. Moonlight crossed the walls in shafts across the holes, giving somewhere ray-stripes.
- Dont even need a lamp. Moon! Like neon. Rromantic. So. Listen, keep silent. Here noone comes. Tomorrow will be somehow. Now you need to sleep, sleep, understand? This is the most important. To be able to be attentive tomorrow, because tomorrow you must, youll be hungry. Its a little cold.
Pulled his shoulders then tensed them back, stretched his column too. He has one more pullover, a scarf around his neck, the bag on his back. The bag is needed he arranges it to the spine to cover from wind, the scarf comes around his head, the left pullover is welcome too. He remembered, when he had time to think upon his decisions, should he be quirky or not? And the next question: does it worth being quirky? This is absurd, he tittered. Thus far his experiences had shown that witness too requires to be exercised, just like piano or canto, had some aquaintances, elseway it turns out bad. Like when the once-guilter is punished. This is not like, he laughed, this is exactly that. Yet now is no time for such theories. Now is now. Today is today. He told himself. Midnight might have passed. Before midnight is tomorrow. But after it, weve reached today. And need urgently to sleep. Because then it means its already today when hes moving away. And this is just a few hours. Where is that stray-pack? Or grass or what. Stepped out the hole. Yup, yup, its tied up. Well cut that. I have a pocket-knife, ha-ha, such a prince I am. It falls apart, lets roll it to an unobserved corner. He sliced the plastic on a part, threw out a big-ball-size amount which he dragged inside in his arms and lap. Half of it got spread around the entrance of the hole. Meanwhile his body had warmed up and he was about to lose his temper.
- Soon is morning. Im spending the night here. With the grasses.
Pushed together some enough for a lay in the corner.
- A little more. If I fall sleep and draught is coming in through the hole of some empty stone, is so unpleasant to wake up.
This is what he remembered now, at his friends place, whom he visited unexpectedly. He was wallcome, the house welcomed him, he had keys from the past. The friend somewhere. Till then, he delighted himself in these quiet moments. Continued the stable. What happened then?
Next day he ran into an old couple whom hired him to split some old furniture, pressed plates of see-saw powder made in a factory, they dont bother carrying them away, its expensive, they said, why should they call a car explicitly for that, they are not worth for sale either, are ugly on the yard and also get damp, inside just taking the room, instead they can be burnt and they quite need that, being so close the spring they got only a few more trunks. Here nobody cuts manually. Just those trunks which are already prepared for that. They are dried, they split easy. These stuff arent good even for that. They are old, smiled the old, wrong pieces, theyre done.
Now that he laid on the bed and saw this in front of him, smiled, turned scombroid and underlined these words in his head:
- Stupid, what you are. Faithless.
Maybe thats why they gave him work. At that time did well their point of view. They tattered in the kitchen, he cut the wood, could eat a dinner (this the second evening, he could hardly swallow something). They wondered how little he eats. Can he withdraw it? he asked. Oh, of course, its his.
He can split some more.
- No, we have no more. smiled the old.
Its done, is finished now, the old pa was glimpsing towards the gate. They thank him. He stopped at the corner and with the same uncourage as the past evening, uttered:
- I have no place where to sleep.
- Aaah, arent you from here?
What a strange logic they have. A moment before they mentioned that here nobody cuts manually. He thought his strolling-astray was obvious. Or the neighbours are so unknown? Or the famous politeness?
- Well, today is no more train. waved old pa.
- No. waved back simple-stupidly.
- The pub is open till midnight.
- There you cannot sleep.
- Maybe they know a place.
- Just a surface where I can lay. Only having a roof.
- Good luck! said old pa benvolently and old ma started up in the house to pack away the prune-jam.
- May I sleep at yours?
- At us?
- I need only the surface under me.
- We dont have a third bed. Long ago were alone.
- Only the surface under me.
- But do you want me to sleep on the fields? You must have two meter squares! It will do here in the kitchen. On the floor. But I have roof above. And warmth.
- Floor is cold. You get cold. No, better in the big room with two armchairs. We give you pillow. Have a free cover too.
- Thank you.
This is what he remembered at his friends house. Still the end: he left the village. Felt no sorry, except for the rage that had accumulated meanwhile, had hard times afterwards with people. It took him almost two weeks to calm down. Wrote home. Bagged. One day, one bread. Turned into hipochondrian and read the titles. Whole grain flavour, told the inscription, while on the back were listed numerous canceroid additives.
- I go home he refrained. His scorn and disgust grew and grew. This is not good either. But bagging had its joy. What to be afraid for? He felt mercy for those carrying a full bag enough for a horse and a worrying face with trembling lips. He put aside one-two euros and first of all wrote home, to the many-many passerby-s of his life, who who-knows what kind of life they live since his departure; short, tempering lines:
Im fine. Here and here. Working. Silence. A few more months.
Because hes going home, undoubtedly. Whatever this home is to be. Even if its the same like here. Because then at least hell know for sure that is over, hes not travelling any more, no need for that. Occasionally he couldnt hold back his elusiveness and filled in with philosophies: All streets are the same. Or: I see here the same faces that home. But most important was the soothing. The tradition. The worlds most frequent question and the answer to it: How are you? Im fine.
It was also true that he tried to work, as a phisiotherapeute. He was not taken for a true one, because for that you needed a reference, everyone else had the reference sooner, a more exact language, however, occasional clients were always to be found. From streets. Or they hired him in a headquarters cosmetic room as pedicurist. Then the room shut up. Or in a fitness-room for massage. Yet the fitness services were expensive and its guests seldom afforded themselves paying the extra costs of a massage. In plus, because rented the space, he had to pay imposit on, that is to say indepentdently of his clients. Two hundreds per month. Worked cheap, asked twenty for half an hour. In other world-cities this is thirty. Then for twenty price fourty minutes. Packed action: ten massages for hundred fifty euros. Christmas sales in vain. Only a few came and those who came complained, obviously the price falls with quality. Hed got enough. God, what a crisis!
Had him a girlfriend home. Had him one here too. Seems it was the same in local colours. Just the same.
At the beginning many helped him. The first year, because being young.
Thirtyfive. Went home. There pulled down ten years. Cared his parents, then the garden. Wandered around. Had small adventures, never a longer relationship. Tried a factory, but the first day realized what he always could: they abused of him, and he slipped away. Learned bookmaking from a monk. Lived inside the closter for a few months, hoed for them. Soothened the old fathers backache. They cannot pay the sum he was asking, they said, instead they can teach him bookmaking. The hoeing he made it of passion and profit, because for that he was given money and food. Sleeping was for free. At last he exoded here, this mute friend of him had called. It happened so that home misery started again. But why get lost in sadness? Still some more years who knows how many? Wise and morn thoughts came upon him. Such times you have to go to people. But home, in that country hed only disturb. There they arent alone. And if help is needed, is needed, but without the obligation of feeding and sheltering him. Hes slow too! Small rooms drown in so many objects. No place to get on. But here, to the west, there is more space and a bread this is enough for him can be found. A fellow can turn to real healing. Wrote to this friend who answered enthusiastically, he crossed a couple of thousand miles, it turned out, he took it seriously and the friend was surprised. Here you ask such a way a year before. He arrived with empty hands, bad omen, because the long way ate up present and reserve alltogether. After two weaks he had to leave. It was then that he dreamt with his mother and remembered his fathers chidings, at sixty eight years. Then got into that mega-metropolis, social place, scraped himself enough for a normal outlook, charitaries paved his way to an atelier, at the carpenter hes clearing up the mess and oiling the instruments, no XVI. Loui chair is sold under eight thousand. He can live in the old atelier of the owner, of course is not his, but its a hole and is in the centre.
- Remus, this is your life shortly. You go home. After one-one and half a year. He receives or not, well be compulsionary guests. Someone has yet to receive you. Then you wont come anymore, you can promise.
How many sotries did he have! How many did he told! Tales and tales. Spoke uninterruptedly. Knew tales from his childhood, when he began with how he had jumped over the neighbours fence and how he had ate raspberries from places where the others were afraid to go because of the dogs. Then he still enjoyed quirkyness. He told tales what he was told, others stories, fantastics and trues, seemed to be rich. Was admired and praised, they craved for his courage, the adventures, the night under full moon in a hay-globe. Later he told his own ways and not any more of his own will, but because it was nothing else, they became his present. Where do you come from? Where do you go? How long you stay? Letters that leaved much to be guessed with their shortness, though the time spent was all threwn on the paper, he could write a month in five lines. With ten towns and five-six verbs. I hitchhiked. Bagged (this he never wrote but confessed). Making offers. Or similar. What did he know? The national ways, departures and arrivals and in between this open intervallums never-sure two days the empty infinite. This he knew very well. Yes. No. This was the dialogue. Im fine. Later it simplified to a universal one-use, the same even if in two: Is. Not. There is. There is not. There is light. A house. A woman. Today it is. Now is not. Isnt, isnt, long ago. Between the transits alterations from one to another. Then he just accepted the occasions, why didnt he create them? But had not blamed himself, nor anyone else.
Laid on the bed like this. The friend who had not known of his arrival, was still wandering somewhere. Is he home, around? He got bored in waiting for, it started to be uneasing this place of others. He is a commonplace. Everyones. Is his, what is no ones particularly. What is free. Outside under the sky. Or what no one needs. The tattered version of the woodpeckers atelier. He loved these places. Home?
Lays on his back, with eyes on the ceiling. The innards still soaring in the same way.
- Say me, ceiling, shall I go home? Two days ago I was sure on that. I should hold on till the end of it. At least once, in something.
Thought, planned. Felt heaviness descending upon him. Since long ago it was the first time he took a thought seriously, he didnt even realized that, just got complicated within. Felt urge for a walk with his bag. While descending the scales, arrived to the details. He has a card with a retail, Christmas extras saved from the atelier. Has some foodcheques from the past year. Cash two euros. This is what left after two days hitchhiking.
Went till a supermarket, where he was redirected into an even bigger, there they may accept his last year tickets. The bank can be only which made the card. He walked a good distance to the other side of the town, to the main site of the bank, then he realized, it had passed six o clock, theyre closed. The supermarket is still on, luckily there is one in the neighbourhood, and walked again. Ahead at the edge of the city, passerbys got no saved space for them, machines passing with hundredtwenty splashed the dust on him. Swallowed.
- If I got an apple... how many did I ate in our garden.
The supermarket appeared. One hour left. Now is eight. Is open till nine. He went straight to the cash and shew the papers. She doesnt know, shaked her head the girl, on the running ribbon tonnes of goods were gathering, her long, laquered nails frenetiquely hitting the buttons, shed ask later. So he loitered in front of the cash until a surveyer became attentive to his fainted pale toned image and called the head of the department, who asked, what she can help in. He shew the papers again.
- One minute, may I take a look? asked the woman. Tore a cheque and left. The neons buzzed, the cash clattered, people rolled their filled shopping cars to their cars, the children yelled for the chocolates or teddys bought before. He faked a smile. Children... but his eyes were peeking that distant red-inscriptioned metal door, upheld for the personal. Was a little bit ashamed for his evasive sight. Smiled to the cashier-girl who mechanicly held the codes under the lazer and spelled good evening in line for the next costumer. She gave the bon and thanked for the shopping. After some ten minutes observed him too till then his smile had lost his colours. Refreshed it as quick as he could. The cashier girl was already at the next amount of toilet paper and ananas tins, and he observed disturbed that his effort goes into waste flowing on that running ribbon, where hes looking now; and hes being called. He turned, outside the cash there was the red-coated head of the department, with the cheque in her hand.
- Im sorry, we cannot give you goods for that. But you can try valueing it at the bank.
- At which the assurance company has the contract with. Talk with your hiring company. Or with the assurance company. Im not sure who is managing this. If you dont know you may ask the work department service.
Looked tired in the womans eyes. He didnt know he was looking. Just had to stop for a moment. The woman looked back and bent her head.
- Yes, sir. Sorry.
- Thank you. his mouth and cheeks moved.
- Good bye, see you he said to the cashier girl who typed further.
At the entrance he remembered, he still had got two euros. Could by himself something. But the queue is long. Soon they close. He stopped at the parking, turned in. Couldnt go upwards. Heaviness took him down, down, until he was many floors under the earth, on the deepest in the cave. Up to the present he thought of these as his reserve, these papers. Kept them for hard times. Hes old and forgot the dead-lines. He forgot that papers die, otherwise they must be constantly organized, you need new and new, there is no validity. Had not even knew that he was thinking. Stopped at the entrance of the vault. Went ahead under neons, with pouring ceiling, for some reason they had put the toilets here, for workers, long ago when they built it. The way enlarged to be wide enough for a car, from here they could perhaps dedicated it to be a parking, but for some reason was not in use, he went further, upwards on that spiral, or is this another entrance? Long-along, now he must go all along, must be a door or gate here, he gets out and then is better. Another side-rooms followed, for now they were showers.
He got refreshed. Was surprised that felt no fear. It seemed hes learning, hes with someone, travelling south, on an immense railway station, his friend reads him aloud and instead of bookmaking learns him editing.
- But I have always known this! he shouted.
Didnt care if he heard his voice or not.
Further, ahead. His arms got stronger and stronger. Didnt feel his bag. Arrived in a big flat room, here was already light, natural light, the ceiling was pouring here too. Faiences kicked into smashes and oxydated tubes were dissoluting on the middle. Void. Suddenly a figure came in. In rags, no surprise. Took off his clothes, his bones where striking through, could have numbered his ribs, his knees potato-collection, his legs pipes. With hair scratched up; in rasta. Went to a tube to drink. He thought the figure would wash himself, but searched for lice on his head and when found one, whispered to and ate it. Remus was trembling from, trembling into the dark.
Till then he was just gazing inconsciously, now from the greed he made a movement that the rasta haired observed. The dark eyes were lightening towards him. He turned, was getting closer. Could had been twenty-twenty five. Remus stepped back, scared.
- No, please. but could not say, what.
The figure stopped at the middle of the room and Remus was staring at him. Got him all in his sight. Had no fear again, just stood. Was wondering himself. At the same time afraid and trembling and at the same time suddenly doesnt matter, what happens here. Miracle! hes even curious! The figure drew out an eastern, scythe shaped knife. Remus wasnt afraid. The boy cut in his own shoulder, slowly, he pushed until the blood started to ooze. Remus ushered and hit his own bone in the dark, he knew that it should feel the pain, but it did not, and stared stoned. The other was cutting his own arms, legs, knees, the flesh. Remus moved. Without fear.
- Please, I beg, dont you torture yourself.
The rasta-haireds eyes were lightening. Threw down the clothes that remained, only his pelvis was covered by a white canvas, and kept cutting sharper and sharper. Faster and faster, the voice of the metal in the flesh like butcherys slaughters, slanders and slams, rawnesses, from Remus would have flown a protest, if could, until the hissing took revenge. Finally, because having not attained his aim, the skinny boy dragged out a curved spade and cut down his own head. The head turned upside down in the air. Remus flashed back with his hands to his forehead, the cut reached the bones, still he had full mind, conscious about what was happening.
The boy matched the head back, the neck got thickened, veins swamped and the head increased. Turned into a thick, lilac globe that constantly moved closer to Remus, who was and wasnt afraid, but could hardly protect himself. He started to shout, names from his faith, a name of fourty-sixty-seventy years before, Gods name.
The whirling spiral-globe stopped. Remus realized: It works! The vertige laughtered scornfully and started to get closer.
- Because even you dont believe!
It had yellow intestins swirling inside.
- I believe! I believe! He cried in shouts and he remembered a sentence that he told when he was nine, from that sentence to that ninth year, and slowly, among the constant shouts to the way how he uttered the words then. He know, this is a very strong prayer. His mother had learned him it. He never knew the text. Just now. Get away! Go away! I force you!
The swirl eased.
- I go said the spirit. But not because you say you force. This text is very strong. I must obey. Call for the name. Call for the name you know, otherwise Ill come back.
Remus shouted again Gods name, the God-Humans name. The globe turned into an immense face, suffering, barbed, haired, that started to sneer, with tusks and turning eyes.
Not lousy, not allowed like that, not from getting used, shaked himself Remus, attentive, intensive, want it, want it, otherwise it evokes back the spirit, evil words, indifferent call. He was not knowing what he thought. Shouted with no pause and till his lungs could go on, stronger and stronger. The face growed, got calm and still. Was infintely sad. Remus percieved another room, a little wood-store, where the godhuman walked wailing, embracing himself across, bent. He was already racked, but has not yet passed death. He was so miserable that Remus forget everything. How could he thought of something else before? He wanted to say something for him, but nothing came in his mind, wanted to step close to him, but had no dare, to embrace his legs, like his lovers, but the pain was too clear, pure. Here the will didnt go, the conscious, didnt decide, he was able or unable, without suspecting that. If only I could cry, this he wanted but could not think, because he couldnt cry, was trying, forcing himself in vain, finally he fell over the footprints on the dusty place and saw the disappearing feet. He knew that he asked for something, like always in his life, it turned out into an ask, but how such a foolness this asking is! Completely in vain, completely daft. He understood this man, but was not together with him, because he left, He left and now he is here with the unclearing memory. This is the memory: he should have gone with him, if he could. Now he goes with whom he finds.
The cellars door shut. The face disappeared. In the window which was filled with white daylight, in its cave a slim, black girl was kneeling. Again, he observed her just now. She could have passed through innumerable hungers. Both bones were protruding her wristles. Pulled her knees under her. He must go to her.
- Please, get down. The wall is cold, you get cold.
The girls hands were full of lines. She tried to write.
The Thief had never been seen again.