Anathma Alone

"Анатма Сам" на английски език (превод на английски: Ваня Горенко)
петък, 11 April, 2014


The picture hanging on the wall at the bottom of the long corridor is a window. Never before had Anathma Alone noticed the beautiful canvas, which at that moment seemed to him like swimming along the imaginary diagonal of the curtains, fallen low and worn out.

It seemed that the house had been deserted and desolate for a long time.

He turned his back to the painted landscape, opened the swinging door and found himself in the room of his deceased parents. He sat down on the bed and stayed like this for a while, then looked at his watch, stood up jerkly and came closer to the dusty windows.

The night was falling down shyly.

The birds were flying high over the sea. The returned fishing boats were slightly visible on the curved sea-shore.


Anathma left.


They did not even see him off as a stranger.

The person remembered how he had passed through the town without anybody noticing his melancholic presence.

The tourist season was about to start and unknown people began gradually filling the streets.

The happiness of the crowd made Anathma feel grieved. It was obvious that the people having fun were not at all interested and did not want to understand his grief. This painful feeling was growing stronger and stronger, minaciouslyacquiring in him the proportions of the long corridor with the only picture, which was a window.

It was here where Anathma grew up. His whole childhood passed though some strange inner sea-sickness. His pale face, the frightful walls sunk deep on both sides and these eyes above them, clear and frenzied, wide open after a nightmare experienced not long ago. A feeble, dark skinned body, with a head bent down, as if he was stooping, economically sculptured monument placed in the lap of boredom, of the motionless everyday life, near the endless agitated games оfthe оther children of the same age.

At that moment he left the place of his early memories. He went somewhere and when he was back, everything had changed.


The festive celebration, which had started, the unusual summer festivals exceeded his expectations and made him feel as a part of the wholenessof the others.

Anathma set forth to the suburbs where the ghost house was located.

The lights from inside showed that somebody had entered.

The uninvited guest had even forgotten to close the door. The yard was covered with flowers and the marble fountain outside was taken down. The trees were cut down.

The morello tree, high like a staircase, had fallen down thus crushing the roof into two broken wings. The house looked like a wounded bird, pressed down.


Anathma went in, just like always before.

On the doorstep appeared an old woman with a white apron, with gray hair diligently adjusted, her lips thin and turning into a friendly smile.

The returned passed through the woman as if he did not notice her. The woman was surprised. After that she turned and shouted after him:

– There is nobody in, Mr. Toma. It must be the wind – supposed Mrs. Letha- these clouds are bringing a storm.

After that she pushed the door forcefully and set forth to the inner premises.

Anathma started up the stairs to find out whether the marvelous picture in front of the window was still there, in the corridor.

– Did you hear this? – a deep-toned man’s voice flied over to him from the next-door room.- Sounds like some steps!

– Mr. Toma, I assure you again that the house is empty. You need more rest so that you can complete the landscape!


Anathma sat down on the stairs. He did not hear anything. From the place where he was, he saw that the picture was missing. The window was broken and through the empty room one could easily jump over onto the trunk of the fallen morello tree.


Two running kids came into view from the other side and rushed into the entrance hall.

– Mum!- shouted they and got off the empty view of Anathma who was not noticing them anymore.

He had an eye on all rooms to make sure that he was not drеaming. Fortunately for him, they were all empty except one, in which the recently appeared family had gathered. It remained hidden to the heir who could see none of its members.

The old lady was washing the clothes of Anathma while explaining Mr. Toma that they could be used for work. His wife turned out to be the mother, who had been welcomed by the impatient boys.

– Do you like it?- the man was pleased.- I think the place is wonderful for our family. A homely and calm town. The house offers all the conveniences and from here – he pointed to the stranger unintentionally – we have a wonderful view over the sea and I will manage to finish the painting faster and with the money from its sale we will buy off the right to exist. In the final reckoning, it turns out again that everything is all about money. And it happens, as an exception, that the sponger eats up the beasts.

– But Dad, you are turning into an animal!- shouted hysterically one of the girls, who had completely taken after her hushed mother.- Under you the floor is curving like water!

– He has hooves, a tail and he cannot swim – the sister was dumbfounded,- he will get drown, let’s do something!

– Children, in no case is this your father! Calm down and look at the picture! There is a person unknown to anybody. A person, who is standing on the rock, and it looks as if he is suffering.

– Has he lost something? – asked they with excitement.- It seemed to us that he was crying. They must be sending him away for a long time.

– Will he never come back?

– I have deprived the picture – smiled the father, who had come back into his real body, – from the presence of people.

– The legend says – broke the old lady into the conversation – that the countryside on the picture is cursed. Actually, sweetheart – she turned to the mother, – there used to live a wonderful family. What is strange is that the painter – she pointed to Mr. Toma – has not noticed the house, in which we live now.

– But we have not bought it yet – the creator objected. – The people from the real estate agency set a veto on temporary settlement. The lawyer of the publishing house and the national gallery concluded a contract with the president of the construction company and I have been set deadlines for working on the landscape.

– The house is still for sale – announced the wife.- When we were looking around it, it was as if the president Naemon was going round alone and was speaking such things about the local people that I felt sick and tired of listening to him. And he disappeared without anybody noticing how this happened. I am telling you the truth – it was as if Mr. Naemon sank into the ground and I went on alone. After that I went back to the agency and checked the book of records. The house of Anathma Alone was registered under a number and its price had rised.

– This is because of the picture!- the woman cut into the conversation. – They had thought that the picture had been missed by the expert witnesses and later on they themselves assessed it as an antique.

– But it is mine! – made an objection Toma.

The two children ran out in the corridor.


Anathma Alone went out. The unfinished landscape emerged into his memories. He felt it as a time, not lived though and limited into space.

He saw the boat, some person on it, who, as it seemed, was fighting against the stream and the swinging waves; the people, who were filling the space on the seashore, with their hands stretched up to wave Good bye!.

Anathma shook and fell.

When he woke up, he stood up and leaned his palms in the skeleton of the riverbed rushing downstream.

The room is filling with water. Endless sea field.

During this time the painter was painting without a pause.

The boat reached the end and it turned out that the outgoing tide can not turn it down because it crashed against the canvas of the picture.

Tha crash woke up Anathma.

– Get up!- shouted Mr. Toma – You are scared!

– Do you believe in my existence? – Anathma Alone came to himself.

– Even Nothingness exists but I do not believe in you because I do not see you. And now I am asking you to free my space! The memory lives in this room.

– But you can not remember me, Mister! How did it happen that you got into my house?

– My settlement has to do with my constant work. I need peace and free conscience.

– Is it possible that with my presence I have disturbed your freedom of creativity?

– You deprived me of my will.

– Does this mean that you have become aware of yourself as Nothingness? I believe in the family, but I see it only from inside out through the window as something that belongs to somebody else and that is unbearably distant. Here it is not at all safe for you – I will be the knife with which you will poke into yourself.

– For me you are nobody!

– You too. And now, Mr. Toma, leave me alone!

– Impossible.

– But, please! This is such a shame! I will advise you to take your family to a safer place. Here, as you said a while ago, lives only the memory.

– And what about you?

– I am the forgotten. I turn things into histories.

The door got carefully opened and an old lady, who acquired an image in front of Anathma, entered the room.

– Mister – she turned to the painter- I have looked for you everywhere! What are you doing here?- And in wonder she looked at the picture, at the bottom of which the lean body of the drowned man was hardly visible.- Why have you moved the landscape?- she spoke on. – There are no windows in this room!

– Do you know any of the people depicted? – said Toma thoughtful.

– But, Mister, there are not any people here.

– Come closer! Mrs. Letha, who is this one on the boat?

– You tell me. I have never painted and I have nothing to do with this. I was only sent to call you. The children are tired and your wife got nervous. The dear Dionisia, frankly, I take pity on her!

– Ok, Мadam, don’t you see anybody on the picture? There are people on the shore.

– I assure you again that you need rest! This is a landscape, in which, as you yourself have expressed, the person is missing.

– And, how do you think, what shall I substitute it with? He has set off the path of the overcoming and has stopped in the middle. What would you suggest?

– Nothing. It is OK the way it is. I definitely like it.

– But you continue staying aside of the problem and the essence of something hidden, which makes you feel inexplicable tremendous fear. Are you protecting yourself?

– Go!- gave an order Anathma. – Leave me alone!

– You are Nothing! – shouted against the picture Toma and Mrs. Letha stayed like dumbfounded.

Anathma was shaking with laughter.

– Do not be so merry – threatened the painter – you imaginable, miserable creature! She knows everything about you! Last evening Mrs. Letha told me about the tragical destiny of your family, about your death. And now I am bringing you back to life from Nothingness.

– But I thought I am Nothingness?

– You are Nothingness because I do not believe that you exist!

– You assume that Nothingness exists. In this room, I dare say, it acquires real dimentions. Here you are the conditional presence in the future and the times in the space have a crossing point. In fact, in its integrated essence time has never been separated. The dead have always been a meter away from us. Somewhere there the Ancient Rome is still remaining in all its glory and you can see the human souls learning how to get into good ways and getting prepared for the Űermensch on the Earth.


Mr. Toma let himself to the tips given to him by Letha and soon they both left the closed premise, leaving the landscape hanging like a theatrical scenery.

– Can you imagine?- the woman said later to Mr. Naemon. – You client has believed this strange story!

– You came up to my expectations but the picture must be preserved just as it is. Do not allow Toma to paint unnecessary details, which would set burden to the coexistence of the colours!

– I do not understand what you want me to prevent but he has believed in what does not exist. He claims that he has painted people. I saw that the boat at the bottom is empty.

– This is not a boat, Madam!

– But how..? – she let her hands down.

– Anathma’s father intended to depict the Flood and the salvation of the Genesis in the Noah’s Ark.

– Speaking like this, you bother me…I can not perceive these views of yours. And what is so much about this picture? Coast, sea, lack of buildings and people. And you claim about some art recreation. The person was a good painter – he died, his wife accompanied him, and now there is Toma, who did not believe anything. He would complete it!- Letha got angry.-He seems to see all sorts of things. The Nothingness existed! – she raised her voice surprisingly.- Who needs this?

– In the real world the painter has seen what remains invisible to the others.


Little by little the lady became calm. Naemon shaked her palms in a friendly way to say Good bye as he accompanied her to the door.

Letha passed through it and found herself in the house of Anathma.

The family had gathered around the picture and Mr. Toma was explaining the different space projections.

– Good evening!- she greeted the new tenants who did not even notice her and she threw in her hand preferring not to bother them.

The night swallowed the solitary building missed in the picture and swang by quiet wind the branches of the fallen morello tree.

A wounded bird sneaked into the landscape. The sea rised in revolt, the boat shaked and Anathma fell off the picture. Toma got scared. For a while he felt a strong pain in his heart. Inside there grew the town and in it also the territory on which the house was missing. A wounded bird alighted on its place and turned into a ghost. The creature strange to this world acquired flesh and Toma thrusted his fingers into its blood.

– Do you see me? – asked Anathma.

In the room Letha and the others became witnesses of an insane artist speaking to his picture. With his fingers painted in red, he was spreading the other paints of the landscape, thus smudging the formed images.

Toma ruined himself and suddenly his children turned into grown up people.

He disappeared.

Now he felt only the presence of the alive ones.

When looking around the house, the old Letha had rushed inside scared. She was telling everybody how she had seen the deceased Anathma raised from the dead.

Then nobody believed her.

– We buried him days ago – the pale woman was taking breath and her panic affected the people around. The children started crying.

– Everybody said: This is the son of the painter. This is the wife of the painter. The painter died. His wife turned into Nobody. No one knew her. People forgot her. Nobody sent her off to the other world. This is the way she passed away. A breath of air and that was it. While still living, Anathma had two friends. About them his father used to say: These are the friends of my son. And nobody knew the name of his son. In fact the painter also did not have a name and probably that is why they called him “painter”. The whole damned family came as immigrants from the East. I do not remember their home town.

I do not remember which their home town was, but the mother mentioned some times how they took their passports from them on the border and after that, in the train, they placed on their seats other passengers who, as she said, were carrying the West in themselves. They openly erased them. And this is how all the relatives of Anathma were living thanks to the fact that the others called his father a painter. In fact, it can be said that the time of their being has never been. – You might ask why...- Letha turned to Toma's wife.- But wait!- as if for a while she was going back in her memories.- Everything will become clear to you when you understand that this picture hanging at the bottom of the long corridor is a window. This is the only document certifying the identity of the whole family. When you look through it, you see another, inner, hidden and strange world. They say this is real art.

– Yes, it is.- Dionisia agreed.- According to my husband it is difficult to give a material expression of what is in the soul. Lewdness is missing.

– But, Madam, Toma's picture was transperent till the moment in which he disappeared. Don't you have the feeling that there are several silhouettes locked in the picture or in the window?

– I don’t know. – Dionisia pondered over it.- Have a look here!- she pointed to the lower half.

– Where, Madam?

– Doesn't it seem to you that this curve is a boat?

– I can imagine it to be.

– Inside there are bodies distorted in love game.

– Oh, no, Madam, you should not start speaking like this too! This is a violence over this border.

– You think that the other world is beyond?

– If we assume that Nothingness comes after Death, then you can turn out right.

– But, Letha, you are resorting to extremes, which reject the value of the art piece.

– I have already forgotten how the soul looks. I can not feel it. Is it possible that the two artists have assumed one and the same image from the world beyond?

– They are beyond and in order to perceive them, we are looking through the window.

– But this is a mirror!- the children cried out. Dionisia was puzzled to find her broken figure on the canvas.

– It turns out, Ladies – Letha laughed – that in the blurred picture, which is a window, we could look at ourselves, we could see our souls.

– You are insulting me!- Dionisia got angry and sharply turned her body.

The children had got disappeared.

– Where are the girls? – the mother, already tired, was asking in tension.

– Have you also gone mad, Madam?- Letha got even more frightened. – Anyway I warned you that the house is not on the picture.

– What?- the wife of the man, who had got across to the world beyond, was perplexed.

– Do you remember the legend?

– Oh, yes, the legend of the Jewish family from the East.

– This is not mythology, dear Dionisia! But I forget quickly. And now you remind me. Yes, yes – Letha signed- I forget quickly but the Jewish God did not have a name, he deprived his Chosen people of home. A house is missing. Yes, yes – it was as if the old lady was dying – Mariam was the name of his wife. Yes, yes, Miriam – a nice name, don’t you think so? But for a short time, Madam! Anathma should have had two fathers. This was the prediction. Do you remember predictions?

– But, me…- Dionisia got worried – I…, I do not believethis.

– Of course, Madam, forgetfulness is a nice thing. It leads into Nothingness. When one has two fathers, he sooner or later goes back to the first one. I mean, you can understand me properly, to the real one. Anathma is still alive, but he is Alone, because the Creator wished that it would be like this. Toma could not complete this world – and she pointed to the window – because he never really believed in Anathma. The quiet Anathma is a wiseman, Madam. He was teaching us to protect the poor, the downtrodden, the children and the unmarried women. Anathma will protect you.

– But where are my children?

– With their father, Madam.- Letha turned and it was then that she realized that she had been having the long conversation with herself.


The room was empty.

She climbed up the stairs.

I stayed outside.

The light from inside prompted that somebody had gone in.

The uninvited guest has forgotten to close the door. The yard is covered with artificial flowers crushed by the people of old times. The old marble fountain is metal. The trees are cut.

Anathma is climbing up the morello tree high like a staircase.

His real father is expecting him on the top.

The people located on the coast in the picture flew away.

Toma was among them.

Letha melted and the river, which she turned into, swallowed the salty statue of Dionisia. And now the long corridor is a sea of sorrow. The Black Sea…

Down, with me, the two girls remembered Lot, whom, as they explained me, they had not seen. According to the diary of their already ruined mother he was their true father and the involuntary creator of part of the picture.


When Letha is back, I will go into the house. I am sure that it exists. I have dreamed many times of the place, the birth, the cross at the window. The fallen morello tree.

My grandmother used to tell me often about it. She said that Letha had turned into a dark abyss. I still remember her words, the ones that she used to describe a frightening drowning. Her farvour. She was speaking about the whole mankind. About forgetfulness being an eternal death. My grandma is still alive. I believe in this and I see her. Sometimes I feel pity for Anathma, who is Alone, because his real father wanted it to be like this. My grandma is his and to all of us, who see that the picture hanging on the wall is a window. In fact, I have often thought that he exists in me.

When Letha comes back, I will close the window.

Then you will witness other worlds too.

The boat will sink into the sea and the drowning man will stick to the cross. To the bars towards the light...

The rest I leave to you.

The fairy tale planets, the silver moon and the golden sun are ahead of me.

A star picture is expecting me.


Превод на английски: Ваня Горенко


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