They said that the Genova Low was coming and because of this liberating news we have decided to depart from our temporary leisure home. This was supposed to be the best thing to do for all of us, to be done within the next half an hour.
And that was all.
And that was all.
Now we are closing the doors in a hurry and we have done everything necessary before that: took the food out of the gas refrigerator that we would turn off later, unsure of one thing – should we have closed the door or should we have left it open, like this had been done by our predecessors. They were not much of a role model, having left so many untidy and imperfect things behind them. We know that the house owners, our relatives, had encouraged this approach by a pile of bread cut in slices, left there to the joy of creeping and ugly pests or by the omnipresent smell of decaying potatoes found in the storage under the stairs.
We could have called a stop to all that and changed it. Now we should pack quickly and tidy up a bit; we collide, hands and different jurisdictions intersect. But, as much as this is left unspoken, we know with whom the authority lies; there are no great changes in these roles and nobody protests. The children have grown up. Suntanned, tall, and beautiful, they resemble rare birds with special voices; angry and wonderful, in discord with their hands, legs, and heads they carry things to the unstable boat, over the bow and ropes to the cabin; merchandise, fish caught in a net and with a trident that we shall eat in the town.
Then comes the moment you are afraid to write about: locking the doors and closing the shutters, enveloping the house in darkness and cold, a shadow of the day in which voices outside and within you have subsided. There is a fear that everything deeply yours will remain in that house at Smokvica, while you are closing everything around you, unconsciously catching the last glimpse of the sea, the last conversation and movement you have made only a moment earlier. You catch a glimpse of the scenes around you, while half-crazed you run around picking up, spilling, throwing away, and locking up.
While you are locking up yourself, while you are talking aloud to yourself about yourself that the ghosts of Kornati would take your face and your body, hide in it and spend the winter by the side of the ones who will come to pick olives, sit among them and scare them, when they fall asleep, that a storm is coming or that the northern wind will scatter around everything they have gathered.
You are not breathing at the moment when you are talking and drawing the air in and the memories of summer. You would like to remain frozen, to enjoy the fear of never moving a hand or a leg again, like this happens in dreams. You are cast all in one body; there are no scars and memories, nothing apart from immobility, nothing of that craving for another body, nothing that you could turn into a word larger than yourself.
But you are already in the sun, on board, waving to the ones that remain. They are busy, working, as if the weight they carry would give them security, containing the real reason for their staying on the island. They jump into the sea, preparing a sailboat for a trip to nearby islands. We wave to each other, because we wish to stay, survive, and come back. You are waving because you are afraid of dying, of abandoning this place forever and never coming back; because of a woman who sought flowers along the paths leading to the top of the hill, because of blackberries that remained small and acrid…
You are waving while you are getting away and out of sight, you are waving, although you have been sitting for some time. People are already talking about past summer, how it was, you are silently waving and looking back. You are waving because you know that nothing has been left in the house supposed to disappear. You are waving because you know that danger, death and fear, ghosts and the wind – nothing has remained there and there is nothing, just a simple empty house on an island, on Kornati Islands, in Dalmatia, a locked up house near a restaurant and sailing boats.
But you are waving because you know that there is nothing hidden and forgotten, that there is nothing because you have taken that horror with you as well. It is not visible on your face, but it is knocking and will appear at some point, even when you will not be thinking of the closed house at Smokvica. Horror will appear of which you think that you have slammed the door at its face and turned your back to it.