Zdravo and welcome to episode 6, wherein another protagonist enters the tale. So begins a rapid realisation that I’m not the only person with needs. On the plus side, I don’t have to talk to myself anymore. Wild.
An Oktoberfest veteran, Melba has a life-threatening bruise on her shin. We amble along the foggy Zadar coast considering her imminent demise, past a lone fisherman in overalls who converses with an army officer. There are musical steps nearby that breathe eerie, hollow tones from the sea. It’s a pale white day and there’s not so much to say so we take shelter at a landmark recommended by google maps. It’s an absolute treasure of a fountain filled with riches.
We arrive in Dubrovnik to a strange woman who takes naps in her kitchen and slaps our cheeks and pulls on our clothes. She interrupts her ironing to welcome us with a big hug under grape vines. It’s a small house with three bedrooms and a patio complete with a vinyl tablecloth, plastic chairs and no wifi. That night I dream of leeches and a lady with just enough teeth to chew that snarls and cackles, crouched next to my bed. A martial jolt returns me to the room but it’s still dark and empty except for a sleeping Melba and our pieces of luggage.
We stroll to the Old City in the morning and lose ourselves in ancient walls overrun with masses of tourists and stray cats. Game of Thrones means very little to me—my stubborn blasphemy renders the lauded alleyways just as alleyways if not for all the souvenir shops.
On our way down to a stone beach I spin a rhyme (word):
It takes a lot of practice
to pull pears off a cactus,
Desperate demand for sand
but there are only bland rocks and stinky socks;
no clocks here.
I chase fish around the classroom through a foggy borrowed scuba mask. The quivering mass of silver explodes as I torpedo through towards a small, deep grotto. I’m practicing equalizing my ears with each descent and Anonymous Boy is proud.
We swim again in the evening, where both of us stumble through home-baked poems and feast on the nectarine sun coating the silky blanket of sea with its mildness. I wonder which greedy eyes are next to receive the sunset.
Back at the house, things take a catastrophic turn when we switch the oven on, our sweet huggable host metamorphosing with a macabre flourish. She yells and thrusts her hands up and retreats teary-eyed to the terrace. We’re frozen and blank, standing above a large pile of cubed zucchini. We attempt to fix our hideous mistake with google translate and an apology, but to no avail. I’m spinning circles and expressing my alarm via eyelids that open wider and wider. We pack a picnic for the jetty and duck past her shuffling slippered feet.
Our last goodbye is a 5:30am door-peeping fiasco featuring an argument with one currency and two dialects. We shuffle out with the leftover zucchini in our day packs, and I fall victim to clasping reluctant hands towards the painting of Jesus Christ on her wall.
Fraza dana: Hvala
Pjesma mjesta: Hey Jude - The Beatles (this song followed us around like a mosquito in a humid bedroom)