When we get back, outside the house, I see that all those winter shoes intended for cleaning have been left on the outside steps and now they’re roasting in the sun. Among them are some men’s boots, brogues, and trainers, although the last time a man took his shoes off in this house was… four years ago?
Two pairs of shoes on each step, from the fifteenth to the third, as though some chance group of people who had found themselves in a column were coming down the steps. A funeral, a procession, or wedding guests.
From Adios, Cowboy by Olja Savičević, tr. Celia Hawkesworth. Out now from McSweeney’s. This is some lovely (dark/subtle) literature, from a Croatian novelist. Will write much more about it when I’ve finished.
Ok, just one more little excerpt…
In the early hours, after midnight, women and men take off their clothes, discard their sandals, and go into the sea. They stand and immerse themselves in the sandy shallows. Girls and young men drink long cocktails out of thin glasses. Some foreign students lie on their backs, their legs together, and wave their arms to leave the imprints of wings. That game in the sand is called drawing angels.
The summer night has replaced the day in the flaming center of the town, under the moon’s bloody wink.
That is where I shall erupt from the total darkness of a side street and pass through a scene like this, pure and flat as a drawing—and come out of it appalled that so much life goes on without me.