Zakletva / The Oath

Bosnian

Na moj deveti rođendan, 1979. godine, otac mi je na ormaru moje sobe, poslije rođendanskog slavlja, kuhinjskim nožem, kojim je majka rezala tortu, obilježio visinu. Na nožu su se kačile bijele i plave linije šlaga, što su pokrivale čokoladnu površinu torte, podsjećajući me na starca, namrgođenog i nezadovoljnog mojim ushićenjem, jer sam na trenutak pomislio da sam u očima svojih roditelja postao centar svijeta. Dok mi je otac prelazio svijetlucavom oštricom preko kose, šlag mi se lijepio za pramenove. Tada je na drvenom plakaru, sa kojeg su se smiješile naljepljene sličice fudbalera, majka crvenom olovkom urezala, pored njihove veličine, i moju visinu: metar i trideset i četiri.

Na moj deseti rođendan, 1980. godine, na plakaru je bijelom bojicom bila označena visina: metar i četrdeset dva. Na rođendanskom slavlju bio sam tužan, jer mi se činilo da nikad neću doseći visinu Titove slike što mi se smijala, ledeno, iz lijevog ugla sobe.

Crvenim adidaskama koje su špartale tri plave linije, bijelom majicom lakosta, znakom krokodila što se uvijao sam oko sebe, dajući novu snagu mome tijelu, i sa leviskama što se nisu mogle saviti oko koljena, ucrtana mi je 1981. godine, plavom bojicom visina: metar i pedeset šest. Svi u familiji bili su ushićeni mojim rastom.

Na plakaru su stajale tri boje jugoslovenske zastave, što su obilježile moj rast.

Na vojničkoj zakletvi, 1989. godine, stajao sam, zbog svoje visine, u prvom redu, pored jugoslovenske zastave. Niko nije primjetio da mi je, na vrhuncu svečanog trenutka, dok smo se zaklinjali na smrtnu vjernost domovini, sa vrha puške ispao bajonet i na hladnom asfaltu se odbio tri puta.

Bio sam 1993. godine visok metar devedeset i jedan centimetar. Stajao sam pored prozora visokog dva metra i gledao mrtvaca pogođenog iz snajpera što se opružio na četiri trotoarske pločice. Prstima je doticao asfalt, sunce mu se, o zlatnu narukvicu, odbilo tri puta. Kapljice pare što su se skupljale na prozoru nisam mogao prebrojati.
Nizale su se sekunde:
jedna,
dvije,
tri,
četiri…
U djeliću sekunde osjetio sam na glavi linijar kojim ruka moga oca mjeri granicu mene i svijeta.

— Senadin Musabegovic, “The Oath,” TRANSLATED BY Ulvija Tanović
PUBLISHED IN Words without Borders: The World through the Eyes of Writers
EDITED BY Samantha Schnee, Alane Salierno Mason, AND Dedi Felman (New York: Anchor Books, 2007)
© 2007 BY Words Without Borders
BY PERMISSION OF Words without Borders

English Translation

On my ninth birthday, in 1979, after my birthday party, my father took the kitchen knife that my mother used to cut the cake and marked my height on the wardrobe in my room. On the knife hung white and blue lines of cream that had covered the chocolate surface of the cake reminding me of an old man frowning and dissatisfied by my excitement, because for a moment I imagined that in my parents’ eyes I was the centre of the world. As father dragged the glittering blade above my hair the cream stuck to my strands. On the wooden wardrobe, off of which smiled stickers of football players, mother carved with a red pencil, beside their greatness, my height: one metre, thirty-four.

On my tenth birthday, in 1980, my height was marked on the wardrobe with a white pencil: one meter, forty-two. During the birthday party I was sad, because I thought I would never reach the height of Tito’s picture that smiled at me, an icy smile, from the left corner of the room.

In red Adidas trainers lined with three blue stripes, a white Lacosta T-shirt with the alligator logo that twisted around itself giving my body new strength an in Levi’s that could not bend around the knees, in 1981 my height was marked with a blue pencil: one metre, fifty-six. Everyone in the family was excited about my growth.

On the wardrobe stood three colours of the Yugoslav flag depicting my growth.

In the army during the taking of the oath, in 1989, due to my height I was standing in the front row next to the Yugoslav flag. Nobody noticed that at the peak of the ceremony as we pledged our lifelong allegiance to our homeland, from the top of my musket, the bayonet fell off and bounced off the cold asphalt three times.

In 1993, I was a metre and ninety-one centimetres tall. I was standing next to a window two metres tall watching a corpse that had been hit by a sniper and was now spread out on four sidewalk flagstones. Its fingers touched the asphalt, the sun reflected off its golden bracelet three times. The droplets of steam that were gathering on the windowpane I could not count:

The seconds followed in a row:
one,
two,
three,
four…
In a fraction of a second I felt on my head a ruler with which the hand of my father measures the border between me and the world.

REPRINTED FROM Words Without Borders: The World Through the Eyes of Writers: An Anthology (Anchor, 2007)
EDITED BY Alane Salierno Mason, Dedi Felman, Samantha Schnee
WITH PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR AND THE PUBLISHER

Printed from Cerise Press: http://www.cerisepress.com

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