Uit: Someone to Run With (Vertaald door Vered Almog en Maya Gurantz Picador)
“A dog runs through the streets, a boy runs after it. A long rope connects the two and gets tangled in the legs of the passersby, who grumble and gripe, and the boy mutters “Sorry, sorry” again and again. In between mumbled sorries he yells “Stop! Halt!”–and to his shame a “Whoa-ah!” escapes from his lips. And the dog keeps running.
It flies on, crossing busy streets, running red lights. Its golden coat disappears before the boy’s very eyes and reappears between people’s legs, like a secret code. “Slower!” the boy yells, and thinks that if only he knew the dog’s name, he could call it and perhaps the dog would stop, or at least slow down. But deep in his heart he knows the dog would keep running, even then. Even if the rope chokes its neck, it’ll run until it gets where it’s galloping to–and don’t I wish we were already there and I was rid of him!
All this is happening at a bad time. Assaf, the boy, continues to run ahead while his thoughts remain tangled far behind him. He doesn’t want to think them, he needs to concentrate completely on his race after the dog, but he feels them clanging behind him like tin cans. His parents’ trip–that’s one can. They’re flying over the ocean right now, flying for the first time in their lives–why, why did they have to leave so suddenly, anyway? His older sister–there’s another can–and he’s simply afraid to think about that one, only trouble can come of it. More cans, little ones and big ones, are clanging, they bang against each other in his mind–and at the end of the string drags one that’s been following him for two weeks now, and the tinny noise is driving him out of his mind, insisting, shrilly, that he has to fall madly in love with Dafi now–because how long are you going to try to put it off? And Assaf knows he has to stop for a minute, has to call these maddening tin followers to order, but the dog has other plans.
Assaf sighs–“Hell!”–because only a minute before the door opened and he was called in to see the dog, he was so close to identifying the part of himself in which he could fall in love with her, with Dafi. He could actually, finally, feel that spot in himself; he could feel himself suppressing it, refusing it in the depths of his stomach, where a slow, silent voice kept whispering. She’s not for you, Dafi, she spends all her time looking for ways to sting and mock everyone, especially you: why do you need to keep up this stupid show, night after night? Then, when he had almost succeeded in silencing that quarrelsome voice, the door of the room in which he had been sitting every day for the last week, from eight to four, opened. There stood Avraham Danokh, skinny and dark and bitter, the assistant manager of the City Sanitation Department. (He was sort of a friend of his father’s and got Assaf the job for August.) Danokh told him to get off his ass and come down to the kennels with him, now, because there was finally work for him to do.
Danokh paced the room and started explaining something about a dog. Assaf didn’t listen. It usually took him a few seconds to transfer his attention from one situation to another. Now he was dragging after Danokh along the corridors of City Hall, past people who came to pay their bills or their taxes or snitch on the neighbors who built a porch without a license.”
Liefde na liefde
De tijd zal komen
wanneer je, met opgetogenheid,
jezelf zult begroeten als je aankomt
bij je eigen deur, in je eigen spiegel
en elk zal glimlachen om het welkom van de ander,
en zeggen, ga hier zitten. Eet.
Je zult weer van de vreemdeling houden die jezelf was.
Geef wijn. Geef brood. Geef je hart terug
aan zichzelf, aan de vreemdeling die je hele leven
van je heeft gehouden, die je negeerde
ten gunste van een ander, waarmee je vertrouwd bent.
Haal de liefdesbrieven van de boekenplank,
de foto’s, de wanhopige aantekeningen,
pel je eigen afbeelding van de spiegel.
Ga zitten. Geniet van je leven.
Vertaald door Frans Roumen