Translation into English: Borislav Jarčevski
Even now, when I’m just sitting around, the snake will slither in out of nowhere. When I remember that I’m relaxed. I’m talking about that feeling. There I am, on a bench in the park, with some people. Or there I am, visiting friends. Around the afternoon or around twilight. Yes, that feeling you get when you’re standing on a balcony without a fence where you know someone fell and is no more. When you think that the small slope from which the water drains down will drag you down the abyss as well, washed along, pulled slowly by the gravity of that fatal place. That feeling that turns your insides out, that makes your bowels tremble and your intestines float helplessly, so that you wring your toes and squeeze your crotch, when you think you’re breathing water. I then feel like rushing home. Immediately. And while I’m rushing – darkness, fear, and rage.
That was normal. I read in some English brochures that it was quite normal. They had a name for it. A few names, actually, because it comes in phases. I learned it when that feeling started to engulf me and when I became busy searching on “quoth the internet”, as a friend of mine calls it, something about people robbed in a burglary. I first learned that I was a victim. Thе brochure said that my wife, my son and I were “victims of a burglary”. It is oddly relieving to read that you’re a victim. Odd, but relieving. You realize that what has been happening in your head and to your body is a normal thing. You’re relieved that, apparently, the fault does not lie within you for living in an apartment on an elevated ground floor and for not barring the windows or the balcony, for not hiding in various secret places your laptop, camera, and the precious trinkets left to you by your great grandma, your deceased aunt, your mother, and those you have bought yourself. And that is the extent of your relief.
I read on. Psychological consequences of a burglary: constant, uncontainable fear, it said. Yes. Rage. Yes. Sorrow and sadness over stolen objects, it said, and over the lost sense of security, safety and tranquility. Yup, yup, yy..yeeah, yup. A feeling of guilt for not protecting your home. Yup – that thing with the bars. Chronic agitation. Yup. Depression. Nope. Insomnia. Nope. Like World Cup album stickers. Obsessive-compulsive behaviour. Hmm… dunno… nope; dunno … might be. That thing that when the snake bites me, every day, I immediately have to escape any company, wherever I am, with whoever I am, so that I can come home and check whether someone is breaking in, or has broken in, so that I enter the yard, see whether the door is ajar, make a fist and enter my home slowly and quietly, much like a burglar? Is that it? I don’t know. And what about not wanting to go out afterwards?