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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 111 | volume  | January, 2017



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 111January, 2017

The Sounds of Dying

p. 1
Elizabeta Bakovska


The Sounds of Dying

Translated by the author

    The day was hot, and he had wandered around Butel graves with Robert for almost an hour. When he was coming this way, he somehow naively hoped that he would find his old friend still alive. He would be almost hundred, but people can live that long, can’t they? Some of them do, but the inscription of Vikor Aćimović’s grave, being the long-dried flowers, next to his name, read: 1915-1987. He was only a bit younger than his seventy-five when he left ad he could no longer tell him anything, nothing of the things that he had thought he wanted to tell him. He wanted to tell him thank you, he wanted to tell him that he had thought of him all of these fifty years, he wanted to tell him that those two weeks with him then in Skopje, had marked his life forever. But it was already late, he thought, tired and thirsty, and sat at the tomb with a sigh.
    Frans, you remind me of my son, said Viktor when he saw him for the first time, on the hot August day in 1963. It took him three weeks to reach Skopje after he had heard about the earthquake. That’s it, he thought when he read about the disaster in the Dutch newspapers, that’s my story. Photography is nothing without emotion, his teacher at the time told him, and he started to seek the emotion that would help him make the photograph that would on its turn help him become a photographer. He was alone, his parents had died, no special woman waited for him at home, he had no permanent job, everything that he had was his new Nikon-F and a travel bag where he also packed a piece of carboard with “Skopje” written on it. He hitchhiked to Germany, and from Germany he took a train to Belgrade. In Belgrade, in some of the building of the then government, a frowning man in a dark suit listened to him without a word, and then he dictated something to his secretary and signed the piece of paper. His permit to go to the demolished Skopje, squeezed in between doctors, nurses, bandages and bottles with medicines, in the Jugoslav army Dakota.
    Skopje did not even say welcome to him. Skopje was too busy with its agony to pay any

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