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The Flash

It’s that time of the year, time when I usually travel towards the old continent. But going there is never easy, and if you think you can come back to the same place that you left, than you didn’t learn anything about the world…

The Flash

I played a game of pinball with airports on my way. The well-known mountain appears on the grey horizon. It is not a steep mountain, it is a gentle guardian of the city. There is a tower on the very top of it. People always tell me how the cathedral, the upper town and the river are the main symbols of my city, but I always imagine the mountain melted into grayness. Those are its real signs. I know them as well as they know me.

I have to overcome my first impulse, to transcribe anxiety into joy, to leave the handrail of the plane steps and walk away across the runway. Inside the building my heart will start to sing. There is a song hidden deep inside it, a song that is just waiting to circulate through my body all the way up to my neck, to choke me with the power of its hug. I shake as if attached to an electric chair, the tower sending portions of welcoming smiles my way.

One foot heads after another, they walk me through the streets. The air is dry, I feel it painfully sharp. But dryness can not hurt me. There must be something else wounding my lungs. I know it, I know there is a name for it.

And then I understand how I am not running away from the grayness of these streets, the gloomy weather, the people that don’t understand. I am not escaping from my past, from the burden of a previous life I cannot carry. Nothing of that makes me scared.

I am running away from my fear of the end, of absolute nothingness. In this place I can find Buddhas, apostles and prophets of fear. Here the green forests and white buildings are a constant reminder of it.


*                    *                 *


Cabron, let’s drink something.

Rasta is persuading me with visible effort.

– I don’t feel like it, Cabron. I am sick of drinking and hangovers. We said we would take a break today.

He stares at me without understanding. A Spaniard in Eastern Europe, imported from a tropical island. In his dictionary to take a break are just words for giving up. I can see he is not really satisfied with this kind of a plan.

– Croatian girls are the most beautiful.

– I know. You’ve told me countless times already, we have been traveling around for over a month and your image as a great lover hasn’t really helped. Those girls are hard to get, what do you care about their looks?

In his eyes a mixture of desperation and hope. He will not give up, not that easily. Not this Cabron.

– You never know, maybe today is the day. Come on, let’s change some money and we can roll.

He takes a banknote out of his pocket, staring at me with his dreadlocks and giggling smile.

Cabron and his stories. Both lost on the streets of my hometown. Lost like myself.


We descend towards the center. My guest is not satisfied.

– There is nobody around.

– I told you, a lazy summer weekday. Everybody’s on the coast.

I’ve said too much. With a fear in my eyes I see his hope waking up. I know what will follow next before the words came out of his mouth.

– We could go to the coast again. To swim a bit. Just for a couple of days, just till the weekend.

I dream about my bed, about the island, about her.

Now he is watching me like a lost dog, not saying much, he knows it’s better like this.

We get in the vehicle. I play music with the volume turned up. You gotta fight, for your right…

– North or south?

– I love you, Cabron.

– Say that one more time and you are flying out. Head first, Rasta.

– Okay, okay. You choose, you know better. You are the guru, you are the prophet.


I change gears just to stay awake. Cabron is sleeping, an expected scenario. Traffic lights, curves, road to somewhere. Fast, slow. Pictures are flying through our dirty windshield.

Should be around midnight already. The usual time when Balinese demons and uninvited memories play their part. Unexpected, loud laughter fills my soul. I am surprised by its presence, but still I laugh hysterically, surrounded by a warm night and well known landscapes. I open the car windows, fresh air fills my lungs. Rasta mumbles through his sleep. He cannot understand what’s happening here, it takes a different type of blood to get into this kind of euphoria.

There’s an old, forgotten song playing on the radio. I yell well known verses through the night, surrounded by the glare of the stars shining over the Adriatic. In my voice, the combined power of memories and this present moment melt together into the hot gelatin of tomorrow’s life.

I can feel it without any doubt. It’s a flash of hope.