by Siniša Glavašević
I have given up searching for justice, I have given up attempting to subsume ideals within my own life, I have given up on everything that, until yesterday, I considered as being necessary for a good beginning or a good ending. I would probably give up on myself, but I cannot.
Because who would remain if we all gave up on ourselves and fled into our various fears? To whom would we leave the city? Who would care for it if I am gone, while I search for myself among the detritus of human souls, while I falter, vulnerable and tired, feverish and without a self, while my eyes gape at my own personal defeat? Who will take care of my city, my friends, who will lead Vukovar out of the darkness?
No back is sturdier than mine and yours, and so, if it is not too much of a burden, if you still have some youthful murmur left in you, join us. Someone has been touching my parks, the benches
on which your names are still carved, the shady places where you gave and received your first kisses — somebody has simply stolen it all away, as how else does one explain that not even a Shadow remains?
No shop windows where you marveled at your own happiness, no more cinema where you watched the saddest of films, your past has simply been destroyed and now you have nothing left. You have to build anew.
First, your past, by seeking out your roots, then your present, and then, if you have the strength left, invest it into your future. And do not be alone in the future. And you need not worry about the city, the city was always within you. Only hidden. So that the executioner cannot find it. The City — you are the City.
Siniša Glavašević, Stories from Vukovar
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