The man, who needed nothing

Sofoklis, 2016

Translated by Jura Avizienis. Cover design by Zigmas Butautis



Down Below.

No, absolutely not.  Such behavior is totally unacceptable.

It’s three o’clock now, and I’m lying on the rug, immobile.  I know it’s bad to be inactive.  I should walk around a bit.  But I can’t walk if I’m lying on the ground.  I could when I was little.  Not anymore.  But it should be the other way around.  Lots of things should be the other way around, but they’re not.  That’s why I’m looking out the window.  It’s a shame the window’s so dirty.  It’s a shame I didn’t clean it when I was still able to walk.

You know what she did?  You’ll never guess.

I can’t stand the sight of that grimy window anymore, so I get up and clean it.  I take my time.  I don’t understand how vertical things, things that nobody ever touches, can get so dirty.

I clean it and lie down again.  I lie there, unable to move.

I have neither arms nor legs.  Maybe I do, but they’re not mine because I can’t move any of them.  All I have is a head and a back.  I’m certain of this, because I’ve been lying here for a long time; my back aches, and I reflect.  I still have lips that I lick from time to time.  It’s not because they’re dry.  I just want to make sure they’re still there.  I once read a story about a person who had no lips.  That’s just the way he was born.  He said he was miserable his whole life.  That doesn’t surprise me in the least: of course it’s important to have lips.  If you take my lips, you might as well take all of me.  I don’t want to be divided up. 

But she divided me up.  She divided me into the prior-to-then me and the me that was born the moment I saw her.