Weeks roll by, and she starts easing into the routine: dull bookshop hours interspersed with cigarette breaks, nights reading comic books and the poètes maudits, weekends of live bands and sex and hanging out. She’s toying with the idea of bringing Ale home for dinner or lunch one day. Her parents will grill anyone who comes into their house. They do it with Julia; they did it with all her friends and partners. She should move out soon, but saving some dough for a long trip around Europe is way more enticing. Nadia dreams of Rome’s monuments and Berlin’s techno parties. The math is solid, just one more year of the grind and then it’s travel time. There’s still the passport to sort out, but it’s not as terrible as it seems. Maybe she can ring a few of her dad’s friends and speed up the process. Her parents are annoying, but they do say yes to most of her requests. At least when they relate to bureaucracy and adult life.

They didn’t front the money for her tattoo even when she would have paid them back soon. She had to scrape up every penny and even ask Julia, but that was easy. Nadia touches the Chinese dragon on her left thigh every time she remembers all that. She needs the tiger now. Heaven and Earth, softness and hardness, intelligence and strength, balance. It seems possible. She daydreams and another week flies straight into Sunday.

It’s dark. She has been walking around with Ale and they’ve reached a quieter corner of the park, past the crowds and the food stalls. He’s kicking pebbles into the distance. The click-clacking of the stone pellets echoes up into the inky sky. They’ve been quiet for a while. She hugs him and they kiss under a streetlight. Nadia pictures the scene from afar, the island of light with the two bodies fused in the middle. It would be a nice panel in a graphic novel. And then he breaks the silence.

“I know about that guy.”

“What?”

“The Cúmulo show. You met a guy, you kissed him, he walked you home.”

She’s frozen. Her body sinks into itself and her head spins. How can he know? Did he follow them? They didn’t see anyone nearby. Nadia sighs.

“Fuck. We broke up before that. I wasn’t with you anymore. We had a shitty fight the week before. Remember?”

“You always do this. Like you don’t care about us. About me.”

“Don’t be like that. It wasn’t anything. It just happened.”

She knows it’s not the truth as she’s saying it, so she lowers her eyes. And he knows too.

“Bullshit. I saw you all cheery and singing all the time the following week.”

“Shit. You were following me. What the fuck were you thinking? You can’t do that! Are you the fucking cops?”

His eyes are transfixed now. The last word is worse than a slap or a punch for Ale.

“Fuck you, bitch. You’re just a common whore trying to be cool, a fucking poser. That’s what you are.”

“Get fucked, twat! I don’t owe you anything. You’re a fucking child who thinks he’s Sid Vicious!”

Ale loses it. They throw insults at each other, and the words become a cloud of hate spewed by the river. Time is a wormhole. They fight for an hour or minutes, she doesn’t know. He hits her; she hits back. Fuck him. They break away shouting, someone hollers back from a nearby house. Nadia doesn’t remember how she gets home; everything’s covered in a gray layer of shame and sorrow. It’s late, so she doesn’t have to hide anything from her prying parents. The ice stings on her black eye, but she’s too exhausted to cry.

(…to be continued…)

 

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Buenos Aires, Argentina – Shattered – Edi Libedinsky (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

“Excuse me, miss. Do you have The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho?”

The question pulls her back from the depths of pain and memory. She smirks.

“Sure. There are three different editions, let me show you. Over here.”

A few more of those interactions, some book shelving, and her shift is done. She says goodbye to the air – her co-workers immersed in their tasks. When she leaves the shop, Placebo’s Flesh Mechanic is playing on her headphones and she sings along. The line “Aristocratic parents / a rebel with a heart of gold” seems made for her, Nadia always chuckles when she hears it. They were on holiday one time – she must have been three or four years old. The hotel was a lavish, almost preposterous 19th century building perched on a cliff somewhere along the Argentinean coast. She woke up at 5 a.m., and it was Sunday and she wanted to meet the other guests so she went out of the room and knocked on everyone’s door. Her mum ran behind her and tried to shush her, but there was no way to reason with Nadia who replied, “we like to wake up early,” when confronted with the possibility that the rest of the hotel might have been asleep. That was spontaneous and younger Nadia. The current version is moodier and sighs whenever she catches a glimpse of untainted bliss or innocence.

She turns right on Sarmiento Street, only two blocks to her house, and there he is. Ale, leaning up against the wall of a shoe shop and smoking. She’s about to turn back when he raises his head and sees her. A smile breaks his deadpan façade as if nothing ever happened.

“Hey, love.”

“Fuck off. I’m not your love. We’re not anything anymore.”

“C’mon, we can be friends.”

“I have friends. They treat me better than you.”

“Don’t be like that. I told you I was in a bad place, not thinking straight. I’m off it now.”

“What? Madness? Blow?”

“Both. I swear on my mum’s life.”

He smiles. She sighs. The same conversation with slight variations. Makes her think of the Multiverse in comics, how there are infinite versions of each planet with small changes. The same character with a different cape, more hair or a wacky additional power. But she knows you still buy them. No matter how ludicrous the plot is, no matter how many times they are about to face the end of the world. You still pay the price both in time and money and read through the half-assed battles that should be epic because you know it will all end well. So she sighs and smiles back.

“Alright. Coffee?”

“Sure.”

They get back into their shared moments, step by careful step at first. This time he seems calmer. They both love live shows, and they roam around the city center from gigs to bars and gigs in bars most Saturdays. Some Fridays too, even when she hates working with a hangover. On Sundays they go to the park, their studded jackets and pins and patches sticking out of the throng of average families eating popcorn and cotton candy. One of those afternoons, they are talking about Rancid and how they think they’re The Clash but they are delusional. Then she spots Leo in the distance. She doesn’t make eye contact and laughs at some random comment from Ale, a way to disarm the bomb in her head. As they pass Leo and his friend, she ventures one look back. He doesn’t seem to notice Nadia – he just looks at the brown water with hollow eyes. She stares ahead and squeezes Ale’s hand, but he’s too distracted berating Californian punk. It will be different this time, she swears. It has to be.

(…to be continued…)

 

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Rio Gallegos, Argentina – The bookstore – Jordi (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

 

 “Nadia. Nadia!”

“Sorry, what?”

“You spaced out again. New books in the self-help section. Go sort that out.”

“Yup.”

She thinks she hears him whisper something. Fuck Juan, he’s a loser. They’ve been working together for more than six months and she knows zilch about his life. He’s just a boring, mediocre retail store employee with a sour face. He makes zero jokes and doesn’t laugh much either. Why bother getting to know someone who doesn’t appreciate your humour? She starts putting the books on the shelves with no intention to finish quickly. If timed right, one of these average tasks can get you through half of the working hours, provided that you get enough interruptions from customers. That also means a sales bonus. She’s never too eager and ends up selling more because of it. Profitable tedium, she calls it. Someday it will pay off. She daydreams about the streets of London, the canals of Amsterdam, the cafés of Paris. Savings should be growing faster, but she always ends up paying for her boyfriend. Is that right? Is he a boyfriend? She’s not sure about that, but they spend a lot of time together. Or at least they did until last month when things got prickly.

Nadia still shudders when she remembers that night. Julia’s birthday. The girl that flirted with her and the disturbing reaction of her boyfriend. They were sort of fine until that day. Everything happened in less than two minutes. Nadia and Paula were talking about music and joking. At some point, they were holding hands. She giggled and thought she was floating. It wasn’t the beer or the weed. And then Ale, Nadia’s jackass of a boyfriend, bolted from the other side of the patio and grabbed her.

“We need to talk.”

“What? Why? We’re fine.”

“Now. Come.”

They went into the kitchen. A guy was making a drink there and got out as soon as he saw them.

“What are you doing? You’re my girlfriend. We’re together.”

There was something awful in the way he pronounced “my,” almost grinding his teeth. Nadia’s hands were sweating.

“It’s nothing. She’s just flirting, it’s OK. She’s nice.”

“What? Do you want to be with her?”

“Fuck, Ale. It’s a party. People drink and smoke and flirt with each other. You were talking to someone too. It’s not so terrible.”

“Don’t be like that. You act like you’re over everything. It’s just to piss me off.”

“Calm down. Newsflash: my life is not centered on you. I can meet people and talk to them. Does not mean I’m going to fuck everyone in sight. You’re being paranoid.”

“I saw how she looked at you, she held your hand. Don’t treat me like an idiot.”

“I’m done with this. I’m going back outside.”

And then he grabbed her arm. Nadia tried to get rid of him and the next seconds became a blur of noise and fear. She didn’t remember the exact actions, but there was a glass smashing against the wall and she had marks on her arms. When Julia got there, he was grabbing Nadia by the throat. Someone shouted for him to stop. Ale released her and stormed out of the house. She stayed at Julia’s that night, waking up every 30 minutes gasping for air.

A cycle of deranged situations followed by lengthy, crying apologies started that night. She believed him the first time, they were high and drunk, and she thought he might have been under a lot of emotional strain. His family was a mess, she was sure there was something Ale wasn’t telling her. That guy had darkness inside, and she felt how it was growing all the time. A shadow that could consume him, her and everything in between.

(…to be continued…)

 

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Buenos Aires, Argentina – Antique books – Nick Photoworld (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

Desenterrar, profundizar
es la forma más simple
de iluminar, de luz llenar
las grietas de mi alma
-Massacre, El espejo (Reflejo I)

She lights one in the dead of night, the sudden flare shattering the murky quietness. The air is crisp outside, but the rooftop is the best spot to think. A dog howls in the distance. The last kiss still stings on Nadia’s lips. That guy Leo was so unexpected and charming and true. Honest, funny. None of that raw aggressive crap she’s had to face in the past few months. Looks like she’s free now. Her foot plays idly with an old plant pot that her mother left on a rusty stool. The plant and its vessel are both weathered down, rough sailors in a storm of constant exposure to the city’s changing mood. Her black combat boot prods the rim of the pot, little kicks like droplets of rain. Can’t stop thinking, can’t shake the feeling that something’s off. She touches her upper lip with her tongue and sighs. An accidental last movement sends the plant on a suicide mission towards the floor. The crash is not so loud despite the silence, but a small clump of dirt adorns a corner of the rooftop, crowned by a curious jungle of roots and leaves peeking through the soil like undead hands. She shrugs and whispers “fuck.” No worries, she’ll say it was the cat. Tomorrow is a clean slate and maybe nothing will break. She goes to bed, though she doesn’t want to sleep. The whole first half of NIN’s The Fragile plays on her headphones before her eyelids fall.

It’s raining. Of course, it is. She has to work today.

Nadia spends the first minutes of the day sitting on her bed and leafing through a battered down Sandman paperback for the umpteenth time. “You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.” She likes to read that quote once in a while when she feels different and worlds apart from everyone else. She’s not so special, only a bit lost. And she has time. Perhaps that’s why she runs five or ten minutes late every morning, but the manager doesn’t even notice or doesn’t care. One of the good things about working in a coffee shop bookstore is that it’s busy at a steady pace pretty much all day long. That’s also one of the bad things, you can’t get a smoke break longer than five minutes before a wealthy dickhead asks for some pre-chewed Daoism or Buddhism disguised as modern self-help shit with an inane title. Her boss is not even there today when she arrives and goes straight to the back of the shop, ignoring her co-workers’ hellos and powering through the ensuing boredom. Having to turn off the post-punk playing on her headphones is almost painful, but you have to be able to listen. The only kind of satisfaction she gets in a job like this is convincing people to buy something better. Once in a while, someone comes in looking for a best seller and ends up leaving with Poe or Borges or Atwood. A small victory. Changing the world one book at the time, as her friend Julia says with nonchalant sarcasm. She misses the daily humour, but Julia left the bookshop a year ago to teach English and she does not regret it. They still hang out, but nothing beats eight straight hours of conversation with a thinking person. The remaining staff is alright, but they have less interest in whatever Nadia has to say. She’s a discordant voice there but she’s used to it, high school was the same. Elementary school too. Her mind recedes into her five-year-old self, asking teachers if they also had a pussy. She laughs a lot about it now, but it was a major crisis when it happened. She had to sit down with her mother and the principal, who were desperately trying to find out where she had read that word at such a young age. The thought of a kid having fun with the dictionary was impossible to them, so they kept asking if she had borrowed “inappropriate material” from older girls. The world is full of short-sighted people. Shit, her house too. But at least there she can listen to what she likes all the time. Here, it’s generic world music or any other crap that her boss deems appropriate for customers. She has this theory that people who never had an emotional connection to any band or artist end up liking whatever mixture of ethnic sounds over programmed beats get enough radio airplay, especially when they are in their 40s or 50s. Having no identity means you can rent one from the current mainstream landscape. From the alternative sphere too. She knows plenty of zombies who put themselves in neat little boxes labelled punk, goth, metal or any other convenient label. But studs or black eyeliner or a band T-shirt can’t make you. They are ornaments, like flowers. They can come and go, fade, wither, get replaced. Roots are what count, and they can’t be seen…

(…to be continued…)

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Buenos Aires, Argentina – From the rooftop – shu (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

by Rayan Harake

When the new school year started, I was placed in fifth grade. The school that I would be attending is extremely different from the one back in Brazil. I go in there for the first time with my mother to enroll; we pass through the gate and enter into an open space with concrete walls, and a small building – the school – in the middle. I wonder where the playground is, and realize later I was standing in it.

It is a very small, undeveloped school (chosen by my mother mostly because we can’t afford a better one) – however still representative of the Lebanese schooling system. There are only three other children enrolled with me in fifth grade. I speak Arabic, and I have learned the letters, but I can’t read very well. My Arabic teacher gets frustrated in our first class because I, a fifth grader, can’t read a sentence properly. The school tells my mother that if I start falling behind other students, I would need to be placed in a lower grade. In less than a month I am reading fluently, and for the rest of the year I would come out on top of the (4-student) class every month.

School in Lebanon is different in many ways. First, there is the whole ‘periods’ system. Back in Brazil, we never got a definitive title for what we were currently learning. We used to change classes for English and Spanish, but other than that, we spent the rest of the time in our class with our teacher, who taught us everything from language to math, without making an announcement whenever we were moving from one subject to another. We had one copybook that we used for almost everything, and I don’t remember having to study much beyond doing daily homework.

In my current school, however, we have a timetable. The bell will ring at the end of each period signaling the end of a class and the start of a new one – and teachers will switch between classes because each subject has its own teacher. No matter how much material we need to cover, each subject is given the same allotted time, and we have to be careful to bring along the correct book and copybook for it. What happens if we forget one? It is the job of the principal to come to class and scold the student that didn’t bring the proper book/copybook for the subject – a very common occurrence.

A normal discussion topic on the school grounds is heavy bags: The set of books and copybooks required by the daily timetable would result in bags too heavy for children to carry. Another would be the time spent studying. I – someone who loved memorizing and was bright in mathematics and sciences – would spend no less than three hours a day studying. I was a perfectionist, I made sure I memorized everything word for word to recite it back as though I was reading it – endless repetition would get me there. We were given a lot of things to memorize: Arabic poems, English auto-dictations (memorizing a paragraph in English, and spilling it out word for word onto paper, which was supposed to improve our English skills), passages from history, geography, and civil education.

I became the exemplary student who could recite everything by heart, who would come with completely solved math and science homework. The school system seemed to be built only for children who have the utmost perfectionist drive – which ironically, in my case, came from an unhealthy place; I grew up with a father who would only praise us if we were the best of the best.

Comparing my current school system with my older one would become a frequent mental exercise. Back in Brazil, I never had to prepare a bag full of content for the next school day. We only had one copybook that would come and leave with us. Any homework we needed to do was copied and glued to that one copybook. Books weren’t used that much – but when they were, they were fetched from a closet in the classroom. No one ever wasted time on scolding a child for a missing copybook; no parent worried that their children would have back problems.

A student never came out on ‘top of the class’. We were evaluated qualitatively with letters for performance. Here, they were obsessed with marking down the students sequentially from the 1st to 12th or 15th.

Back in my old school, no one spent an hour trying to memorize a paragraph word for word. I still remember facts from history classes I took in fourth grade in Brazil, but nothing from the endless passages about Babylonians and Egyptians and Greeks that I could recite by heart when I first studied them.

Like many other aspects of Lebanese governance, whoever is in charge of the education system in Lebanon doesn’t believe in the need to come up with a system that is more progressive, efficient, and less bureaucratic for everyone involved.

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Beirut, Lebanon – Backery – Irtiza Hashmi (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

by Rayan Harake

About two months after my arrival, my mother goes with relatives on a religious trip to Damascus, Syria, to the Shrine of Sayyida Zainab (as), which many Lebanese Shias are accustomed to doing from time to time. I don’t have the required identity papers so I can’t go with her. At this point, I am not in school yet – I arrived in Lebanon about three months before the end of the school year and would need to wait till the close of the upcoming summer vacation to join a Lebanese school.

Like all visitors returning from the Shrines, my mother comes back with stories about what they saw; about the other visitors, the Syrians and the Iraqis, the Iranians and the Pakistanis. She also brings along two sets of Hijabs for me from Souk Al-Hamidiyah – a famous Souk lying next to the Sayyidah Ruqayyah (as) Mosque, a definitive stopping point for anyone visiting Sayyida Zainab (as).

I am ten years old, and Shia girls are supposed to wear Hijabs by nine. My parents (or more specifically, my father) didn’t think it was a good idea to wear one back in Brazil because of what the others might say. There isn’t that much of a Muslim presence in the city I grew up in; my mother would get looks whenever she was out of the house. The other Muslims we knew were predominantly Sunni, and Sunni girls are supposed to wear Hijabs when they hit puberty.

I am ecstatic about the new hijabs. I wear one the next day when I go down to the small yard in front of the building to play with my little sister. I normally prefer to stay indoors and watch cartoons, but my little spoiled five-year-old sister always got her way, and I was obliged to play with her in the yard as she wasn’t allowed to go there alone. Today however I wasn’t annoyed. My sisters will be coming through the yard from school, and I want them to see me wearing a Hijab. They come from afar, and start laughing as they approach; I had put it on the wrong way. When we are back inside, my sister teaches me the proper way to wear it.

My grandmother is a very social and hospitable woman. Friends and family love to visit her; never did a week pass without a major visit from a group of relatives. My teenage cousins can be counted as additional residents – they live nearby and normally come spend the day at my grandmother’s, especially now that we are there too. My sisters and I are always veiled inside the house because one of the boy cousins could be there at any given time – not that we mind.

My grandmother occasionally sends me to get her something from the market. I usually get 500 L.L. in return, so I happily go for her. On one such occasion, as I go down the stairs and am about to start crossing the yard, I see one of my cousins, Hussein, coming from the other end. It instantly hits me that I forgot to wear my Hijab. I had started wearing it just a week or two before – but I take it very seriously. I immediately start running up the three flights of stairs, and frantically knock on the apartment door for someone to open it before my cousin catches up and sees me without it again.

My family members would laugh at that story later on, especially when my cousin – no older than 15 – tells it from his perspective. “I was just coming into the yard, and Zeinab had left the building. When she saw me, she put her hands on her head with a sheer look of terror” – and that would be the part that draws the most laughs.

I had a cousin who was very lax about her Hijab. She would never wear it at home, even if other cousins were there. If she needed to cross from a bedroom to the kitchen – which forced her to pass by the living room entrance (where boy cousins would be sitting), she would scream beforehand, “DON’T LOOK,” and then proceed on her way without a care in the world.

(…to be continued…)

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Tyre, Lebanon – Super Moon – Ole Dole (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

by Rayan Harake

My first few days are full of family visits. My mother hasn’t been to Lebanon since before I was born. My sisters teach me some bad words in Arabic so that I get a good kickstart in the local language. Nothing too serious: ‘Hmar’ – donkey – to say that someone is stupid, ‘Hayawan’ – animal – used as a general insult. My Arabic is okay since that’s the language I grew up speaking at home, but I was limited to my parent’s vocabulary, and they were rather polite.

My sisters don’t only have moderately bad words to teach. They also listen to music, and it doesn’t seem like the others – grandmother or mother – care much about it. I am soon chanting all kinds of songs, from Nancy Ajram to Evanescence. My grandmother watches Islamic and other channels: It becomes normal on weekends to watch a show hosting a number of singers and actors, or a political satire featuring some inappropriate jokes, or even a beauty pageant.

But mostly, when left to watch TV to my liking, I will choose Disney. We were allowed to watch cartoons back in Brazil, but there used to be ones that my father definitely didn’t like, and we could only watch them when he wasn’t around. Pokémon and Digimon were okay, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z were not. Here in Lebanon, I can watch Kim Possible, Brandy and Mr. Whiskers, Zack and Cody, and even Hannah Montana when it started airing.

It seems suddenly okay to watch all these things. If my father had been present, we would have been much more careful with what was on TV. Back in Brazil, we used to rent DVDs of Hollywood movies when they came out; which to me seemed to be the worst idea. My father would get extremely uncomfortable with the faintest thing – sexual or not – that might appear on the screen, and assume sexual meanings behind the slightest gesture, and from there go on in an ‘Astaghfirullah’ rant, accompanied by fast forwarding the scene.

When it wasn’t sexual, it was the emotions: any kind of emotion displayed on the screen would invoke in my father the need to mock it. He made fun of lovers showing affection to each other, of family members talking about feelings – anything that was slightly emotional was to be ridiculed. Through his mocking, he tried to send the following message to us: actors act as though emotions are real, and we, the naïve watchers, might end up thinking emotions are real. So we should mock them to show we are not fooled by their act.

My 10-year-old self will grow up, read more and search more, and diagnose her father as having a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

My narcissist father approached many life events with extreme intensity. Anything related to our health or bodies was very uncomfortable for him, so he would either ignore it all together, or make out the hugest deal possible out of it.

Going to the dentist was terrorizing for me: we weren’t allowed to feel (or at least) express pain. The slightest groan would make him extremely tense; he would assure us that there is no pain and that we need to stop faking it. Occasionally, the dentist would become fed up with him. “She is a small girl,” he would say. “It’s normal to feel pain.”

Up to a point in my childhood, I believed that everybody who said they had a headache was faking it for attention. I thought it was a thing that we were all ‘in’ on, and that we played along with the person faking it just to be polite. I don’t recall having a headache, and my father must have made fun of headaches at some point, so it made sense for me that they weren’t real. During my first year of school in Lebanon, I almost told a classmate to stop faking her headache because she was embarrassing herself.

As I start getting used to my new environment, I consult my older sister, Fatima, for cues on how to behave. Back when we were in Brazil, she was always slightly more opinionated and challenging to my father. She would sometimes refuse to do things that he wanted, like when he obliged us to eat honey sandwiches that were ‘good for our health’ and tasted horrible.

Here in Lebanon, as I implicitly realize that some things I know about life are wrong, she seemed like the perfect guide to normalcy. She had, after all, spent two years here adjusting to the normalcy herself. I would usually adopt all her opinions on music/people/shows as I was unable to formulate my own. A movie I was once watching with her had an emotional scene. I started to make fun of the characters, and she immediately shot me a disgusted look. For a moment, it made me think that perhaps what I was doing is wrong; perhaps it is not normal to make fun of other people’s emotions. It will take time, however, for my toxic mindset to recede.

(…to be continued…)

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Beirut, Lebanon – A Ramlet al Baida beach – Fotokon (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

by Rayan Harake

I stood beside my mother and little sister as an employee at the airport insisted a paper was incorrect. We should have gotten a certified copy of a certain family document, but my mother had a normal copy instead. She says, in her best English mixed with Portuguese (both languages that the employee spoke), that it is my father who had prepared all the papers, and that he would have gotten the right one had he been informed. As the discussion isn’t moving forward, the employee looks at me, the eldest of the two sisters – neither of whom is veiled like their mother – and asks me in clear Portuguese:

“Is this your mother?”

I freeze.

I had been given life, brought up and lived with this woman – my mother – for the whole 10 years of my life, and this guy just randomly walks up to me and asks me if she is my mother. After a few seconds of extreme discomfort on my end, coupled with my mother’s impatient looks, I hesitantly say that “yes, she is my mother.” The employee, though a bit reluctant, agrees to let us continue our trip. As we walk away from the stand, my mother, who is extremely irritated with me, goes on about how I couldn’t answer a simple question, and how much trouble I could have caused.

Our last plane on our long trip from Brazil to Lebanon is set to take off from Milano. Here, I see real snow for the first time in my life – just outside an airport glass door – but never get near enough to touch it. As we wait for the plane, my mother gets chit chatty with another woman who is also heading to Lebanon. To my surprise, this woman is not veiled. I had somehow assumed everyone in Lebanon is a good religious Muslim – as opposed to the secular Christian Brazilians, who are never good enough in the eyes of my father, and whom we were never allowed to have relationships with outside of school.

The only Lebanese TV channel I had ever watched while in Brazil was an Islamic one, where all women who made an appearance were veiled. Growing up, I had understood that we – the religious Muslims – were very different from the other Brazilians. We ate differently, spoke differently, and had our own way of living. We built relationships with other religious Muslims in the diaspora, but not with Brazilians. For me, Lebanon was supposed to be the place where my ‘kind’ existed in abundance – where it was the norm to be like me. While I hadn’t arrived yet, meeting an unveiled Lebanese woman at the airport was the first challenge to the conception I had of my homeland.

It turned out, however, that being aware of Lebanese cultural diversity is not that crucial for the 10-year-old me. After all, for a long period of time yet to come, everyone around me will indeed be the same as I am.

We are welcomed at the Lebanese airport by extended family – numerous aunts and cousins, all hugging and crying. The most important thing for me, however, is that I finally get to reunite with my two older sisters. They were sent to Lebanon two years earlier to live with my grandmother, because they were getting bigger, and it’s not good for a girl to grow up in a place like Brazil. It was a departure that left a hole in my heart.

We are a bit shy when we first meet. Now they are bigger than when I last saw them, are veiled, and are no longer talking to each other in Portuguese like we always did, but in Arabic instead.

We, the newcomers, also move to my grandmother’s house. We are not yet prepared to rent our own house – the house where we are all supposed to live together when my father finishes his business in Brazil and comes to join us. My father will take quite some time to finally catch up with us – a time that will allow me to have the closest thing to a normal childhood.

(…to be continued…)

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Beirut, Lebanon – Approaching Beirut – Leonid Andronov (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

Amidst the Fears

There was a big hole and she tried to crawl into it. Inside it was dark, and she never knew where she would end up. But a sense of strong desire forced her to step in. Once she gathered all her courage and wanted to go in. A wolfish, tigerish monster rose out of the dark. She was very frightened and sat at the doorstep of the hole and started crying bitterly. Why did she want to go to this world of monsters and wolfish tigerish creatures? She did not know. The next time she would not even dare to step in. One thing she knew well. The monster could not do any harm to her as it was only in her imagination. So, she said to herself. I will go in no matter what. She pushed her way in and did not pay the slightest attention to the monster. The monster became miserable and stepped back. She crawled in the dark and could not see anything. Little by little she started to notice objects, and, once she made her way deeper into the dark, a garden of flowers opened in front of her eyes. There were all kinds of flowers there – lilies, roses, violets, red tulips and lots of wild chamomiles. The girl stood in the flower garden admiring the enormous beauty. Then she sat in the middle of the garden and fell asleep. She enjoyed a deep, deep, healthy sleep, smelling the odor of natural perfume. The dew drops covered her little dress, and grass was her pillow. There she slept in the garden of heaven and there was no fear in her heart. She became one of the flowers of this garden. And her name is Magnolia. Ever since Magnolias symbolize the feminine side or the In. They have the breath, the courage and the living spirit of a girl who confronted her fears and discovered herself.

Never Give Up

He made one violin after another. Every time he played the string, he could hear some pain, some sorrow. He kept making them, but they only played hatred, sorrow, pain, misery, grief, boredom, lack of joy. He was annoyed. He did not want to hear these. He knew what he wanted was beautiful but did not know how to call it. There were tons of violins filled with grief and sorrow. He wanted to give up. He gave up. There is no way he could build that One. And one day, when he finished his work, he played the string, and the sound rose in the space. And he heard the voice, “This is what I want, my son…” No sorrow, no grief, but a string of music that makes the heart tremble. And he heard the voice, “This is what I want, my son..” The violin played the sound of life, it was a combination of all the past violins in one sound. Everything that he had created so far was in One. And he knew this was his past and present. He knew it was Him. This violin is still a mystery of all times. The man was Stradivarius.

Lost and Found

Once upon a time there lived a little rabbit. She wanted to build a house where she would be completely comfortable. She dug a hole in the ground and made it as big as possible. Then she brought a lot of grass from the forest and put it in her nice little house. The rabbit sat in her house but she was sad. She looked out and saw the sun smiling and the trees blossoming. She went out of her house and let the air touch her soft body. She finally understood where her real home is. The forest was her home, and the sky was her ceiling. It is there that she felt the freedom and joy of life. She started appreciating what she really had only after digging a hole in the ground. Only after she stayed in a cave of no sunlight did she start appreciating the sun. Sometimes we first appreciate things when we are deprived of them. So it was with the little rabbit.

The Waterfall

A wonderful creature was standing under a big waterfall. The water poured on her head and made her the strongest and the happiest person on earth. She was ONE with the big flow of water composed of thousands of drops.

Each drop told her a story. One of them whispered that she was the most beautiful on earth… and she believed that. One of them whispered that she was stunning… and she believed that. One of them told her that she is going to love this life. Tears rolled down her face… She did not believe that…

Tears poured with the drops of the powerful waterfall and became ONE. Tears of misery and misfortune tumbled down the waterfall. She was crying and telling her story.

Suddenly the water became dirty gray. The waterfall – the Mother of Mothers – became angry.

The waterfall listened to her and then said, “You are going to come to me every year. And every year I will listen to your story. Every year you are going to tell me what you felt and what you have gone through. And if your new story is not better than the previous story, I will dry out.”

Every year she went to the waterfall and told it her story. It was better than the story of the previous year. Every year she cried under the waterfall. But these were tears of gratitude. These were tears of love, of hard work and happiness.

The waterfall listened to the song of her tears and said, “You are like me. I also started from the drop of a tear.”

Julie was happy she could listen to these wonderful stories and she became a good friend with the man.

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Gyumri, Armenia – Reflected – Swag Style (Unsplash)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

Meeting in the Park

One day, when Julie was walking in the park, she met an old man. They sat on a bench and were silent for a very long time. Suddenly Julie said:

“Are you happy that you lived such a long life?”

The man did not answer, but the first miracle smile she had ever seen appeared on his face. Finally, he said:

“I did what I could.”

But Julie wanted to know the secret of the miracle she saw in this man. She said:

“If you had the chance, would you return to Planet Earth again?”

The man said:

“I would return as many times as the Lord wants me.”

And then he continued:

“I notice that you have a problem. If you accept my words, they may help you. Tell your story to a candle. Light a candle and tell it everything in your heart.”

Julie was surprised.

“Tell a story to a candle? What do you mean?”

“Just light a candle and tell your story – everything that comes to mind. That will release tension in you and will let you understand what’s what.”

That night Julie lit a candle and sat in front of it. The light spread all over the room and called her to it. Julie started wondering-wandering around in her mind. At first, she was just parroting. Things were repeating in her mind, and she was frustrated. Later she felt release. She was releasing all the junk in her mind, and that gave her a sense of security and calmness. Julie was surprised. The man’s words really worked.

The next day she went to the park to meet the old man, but she did not meet him. She was disappointed and wanted to go when she saw the elderly guy with the miracle smile coming towards her.

“I feel a lot better,” Julie said. “Can you tell me more?”

“Now you need to work with your breath.” He taught her a couple of breathing exercises.

Julie started working with her breath before the candle. Every day. She was persistent. She wanted to save herself. She lost a couple of pounds after the breathing exercises. That was funny because she never thought she would lose weight from the breathing exercises. She felt stronger and stronger.

On another day when she met the man, he advised her to pour cold water on herself. Water, breath, mind will do wonders, he said.

Julie believed the man. She was sure he had a history behind him. And she persistently did water procedures every day. She did breathing exercises three times a day and in the evening she did the candle miracle. Julie felt more and more strength in her muscles.

One day, when she was in the park, the man told her:

“That’s part of the yoga exercises you are doing. Now you need to strengthen your mind and body, and yoga can help you do that.”

Julie was very grateful. She wanted to give something to the old man but she did not know what. And then she remembered the bracelet with Nare printed on it. She brought the bracelet to the man and said that it was the most precious thing in her life.

The man smiled his miracle smile again. He put his hand on her shoulder and said:

“Keep it. You deserve it.”

That was the second time that the bracelet came back to Julie.

Julie was getting stronger and stronger. She felt energy coming from the breathing exercises and water procedures. But the candle did the most magic. She felt her mind releasing all the tension and unnecessary thoughts. She put the candle in front of her, about five feet away, and watched it. Thoughts came and went, and she did not have control over them. That made her calm. That made her want to continue to live.

She met the man in the park almost every day and he told her different stories. She was pleased to listen to them and some of them stayed with her.

(…to be continued…)

2021: Conceived – Volume 2 of a Contemporary Transadaptation 

January: The Pack – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

February: The Pink Shirt – Talia Stotts (America)

March: Dragging the Past out into the Light – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

April: Looking Forward to Spring – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

May: Every Little Thing – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

June: The Girl Who Chased the Rainbow – Toni Wallis (Sarah-Leah Pimentel) (South Africa)

July: Another World – Jonay Quintero Hernandez (Spain)

August: Life after Nare – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

September: Meeting My Homeland – Rayan Harake (Lebanon)

October: Catching Water (Part Two) – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

November: Remember – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

December: Los Caminantes – Veronica Cordido (Venezuela)

Background – Context

In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world

Credits

Photo: Yerevan, Armenia – Reflecting – Greens and Blues (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed