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A word or two on Boris K.

The Adventures of Boris K.

Boris K. – The First Loser of Phenomenization

Some countries were ruled by the Inquisition. Others were subject to questionable privatizations. Boris K’s country was exposed to inexplicable phenomenizations. For Boris K, a man with no permanent occupation, phenomenization was so unexpected that he had no choice but to come to terms with it.

He got into different time periods without the use of a time machine. He found himself performing strangest of jobs without ever applying for them. He kept adapting to the situation, akin to a player advancing to the next level in an unpredictable computer game.

“What have I ever done to deserve the things happening to me?” Boris K. wondered. “I am no different than any other semi-skilled worker who got carried away by the idea of equality in our Republic. I enthusiastically neglected to further my education for the sake of blind faith in “better times” when the voice of the small, the ordinary, and the nameless would be heard as well.”

Boris K. was prepared to endure greatest of sacrifices in order to achieve this goal. As one of the deserving participants at the end of the great Revolution he was offered great benefits – which he promptly refused with utter disgust. It was against just such privileges that he had fought in the first place, he claimed, hence benefiting from them would be contrary to his beliefs. So he settled for an assembler’s job on a car factory production line, where he happily worked 12 hours a day fitting mirrors on the passenger doors.

One day he was laid off. Introduction of new technologies and reductions in work force, or at least that was what he was told; he was well aware the real cause lay in that ultimate evil slowly but surely corroding the fabric of humanity – the profit. Disposed of like an exhausted battery, empty hearted and with eyes full of tears, he moved from his humble but furnished apartment to the so-called “Lepers’ Valley”. The place was nicknamed for its inhabitants: hardly true lepers, but merely desperate souls befallen by a fate similar to Boris’ own. It was dubious in which of the two skins they would have thought themselves better off. The ancient buildings huddling together in irregular patterns, the abodes of unhappy families, were not made of concrete reinforced with Pittsburgh steel; they were built with eco-bricks with insulating layers of pure asbestos, which almost certainly guaranteed the tenants a case of lung cancer. As if there was not enough trouble in their lives.

It was in such a building that Boris K. found his new apartment. It was not the vacancy ad that attracted him, but rather the unusual appearance of the landlady – who was in a habit of swatting at the heads protruding from the adjacent manholes using the highest-circulating newspapers of the City.

“Like swatting flies,” thought Boris K, eyes fastened on a greasy rosary. Frau Suzy (as the landlady was called) and Boris K. exchanged just one glance and immediately recognized each other. Brushing his graying hair back, Boris K inquired about the price. The Frau leveled one measuring, scornful look at him, flicking the ash from her cigarette holder straight onto his hole-pocked shoe. Boris K glanced at her defiantly. Frau’s response came in a raspy, ancient voice.

“Ha!”

It was a mantra that meant one thing and one thing only and was uttered by the old woman only on the rarest of occasions. Boris K. liked mature blondes with an attitude, so he decided he would start his mission in that very unfortunate place.

Mission? What mission?

You will find out soon enough.

* Phenomenization, phenomenosition, from fenomenon (gr. φαινόμενо, occurence), something observable but utterly mysterious and untraceble, and better kept that way.

PHENOMENIZATION

from

Res Publicus Phenomesationem The people of the Republic have fathomed the secret of the phenomenization by the agency of a mysterious clairvoyant gammer: since the Parliament was hit by a lightning at the moment when there were 111 storks on the roof, 222 members in the building and 333 rants under the foundation – the famous phenomenization occured. The thoughts of storks, rats and Members of Parliament commingled in the air and fell to the ground. Thus certain individuals realized they preferred living in the sewer, others keep trying to fly and carry babies, while the rest just keep babbling about politics. Anything is possible in the land of phenomenization.

SERBIAN ORIGINAL:

Reč dve o Borisu K.
Boris K. — Prvi Gubitnik Fenomenizacije
U nekim zemljama vladala je Inkvizicija. U drugim je dolazilo do sumnjivih privatizacija. U državi Borisa K. došlo je do neobjašnjivih fenomenizacija. Fenomenizacija za Borisa K, čoveka bez stalnog zanimanja, beše tako nepredvidiva da mu nije preostalo ništa drugo no da se sa njom pomiri.
Upadao je u različita vremenska razdoblja bez korišćenja vremeplova. Nalazio se na najneobičnijim radnim mestima, a da na njih nije konkurisao. Prilagođavao se situaciji nalik igraču koji prelazi na drugi nivo u nepredvidivoj kompjuterskoj igrici.
„Šta sam ja bogu zgrešio da mi se to događa?“, pitao se Boris K. „Isti sam kao i svi drugi polukvalifikovani radnici koji se zanose idejom o jednakosti u Republici. Kao entuzijasta zanemario sam dalje školovanje zarad slepe vere u dolazak boljih vremena, onih u kojima će se saslušati i glas malog, običnog, bezimenog čoveka.“
Boris K. bio je spreman na najveću žrtvu da bi se taj cilj i ostvario. Kao jedan od zaslužnih učesnika, po završetku Revolucije, dobio je velike beneficije koje je sa gnušanjem odbio, govoreći da 14 15
se protiv takvih povlastica upravo i borio, te da bi prihvatanje istih bilo u suprotnosti sa njegovim uverenjima. Zadovoljio se poslom montera na traci za finalizaciju u fabrici automobila, gde je sav srećan radio po 12 sati dnevno, postavljajući retrovizore na suvozačeva vrata.
Jednog je dana dobio otkaz što je bila posledica uvođenja novih tehnologija i potrebe za štednjom. Tako su mu bar rekli, iako je dobro znao da iza svega stoji ono ultimativno zlo koje je polako ali sigurno izjedalo tkivo čovečanstva — profit. Odbačen poput istrošene baterije, praznog srca i očiju punih suza, preselio se iz skromnog ali uređenog stana u „dolinu gubavaca“. Ovo mesto dobilo je nadimak po stanovnicima, ne istinskim gubavcima, već očajnicima koje je zadesila sudbina slična Borisovoj i za koje se ne bi moglo reći u kojoj bi se od te dve kože bolje osećali. Stare zgrade, koje su se zbile u nepravilnom rasporedu, gde su živele nesrećne porodice, nisu bile od betona ojačanog čelikom iz Pitsburga, već od eko–cigle, sa izolacionim slojevima od azbesta, što je stanarima gotovo izvesno garantovalo rak na plućima. Kao da nisu imali već dovoljno nevolja u svojim životima.
U takvoj jednoj zgradi Boris K. našao je stan. Nije ga privukao oglas, već neobična pojava gazdarice koja je imala običaj da najtiražnijim novinama u gradu udara po glavama koje su izvirivale iz okolnih šahtova.
„Kao da ubija mušice“, mislio je u sebi Boris K, pogleda prikovanog za izmašćenu brojanicu. Frau Suzi, kako se gazdarica zvala, i Boris K. razmeniše samo jedan pogled i odmah se prepoznaše. Zalizavši sedu kosu, Boris K. upita za cenu. Frau ga odmeri prezrivim pogledom i otrese pepeo sa muštikle na bušnu cipelu. Boris K. je prkosno pogleda, na šta Frau, staračkim hrapavim glasom, reče:
„Ha!“
Beše to mantra koja je značila samo jedno, a koju je starica izgovarala u retkim prilikama. Boris K. voleo je starije plavuše sa stavom, te je rešio da svoju misiju započne baš na ovom nesrećnom mestu.
Misiju? Kakvu misiju?
Saznaćete.

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