Pavlina Marvin


Since his story started to trouble me, I put the radio on, at moderate volume in order to be able to fall asleep. I usually wake up to the sound of some news item. I have difficulty recalling if it was morning or noontime, but it was certainly not the afternoon news bulletin, because the newscaster, whose voice I heard for the first time, announced that, some minutes ago, under the bright sun, at one of the most shining parts of the city, three investigators, who were evasive about the nature and the progress of their work, dressed in multi-colored costumes and made up with Rorschach ink spots, reconstructed, by means only of the arrangement and the potentialities of their bodies, some of the narratives concerning the case of Ivan Ismailovic, as they were reported in the daily press. I jumped out of bed being certain that their aim was no different from mine; to understand what is happening. I reckoned that there would be an accident if I threw myself on my bicycle in order to reach the spot of the performance as soon as possible, so I started striding across the streets. Soon enough, I had to kneel on the ground with my eyes shut. It is impossible to estimate how much time elapsed; I was, for quite a few hours, even before waking up, on the brink. Fortunately, nobody volunteered to lift me up on my feet; this tried and tested posture is mistaken for praying. When I got up and reached the scene of the performance, I met no one except for the radio reporter. Although I didn’t ask, he informed me that the performance was over, and that very few passers-by watched by chance some part of it. Not even he had the opportunity to meet the three investigators, who in any case stated that they would go on studying the phenomenon under the name of Ivan Ismailovic. The radio reporter was displeased with the fact that none of the bystanders was willing to share his views. I was about to ask him how he was informed about the time and the place, but I felt it was better to keep my mouth shut. Since his story started to trouble me, I am haunted by one of the most devastating worries I ever remember; it is quite a bad idea to know more than what Ivan Ismailovic wants me to know, because he is tiptoeing on the edge, and if he heard that I know, if this made him feel visible, while he was struggling to balance on his toes, he might think that there is only one way out; to fall into the void.


Translated by Anastasia Lampropoulou

Edited by Dimitris Gkioulos