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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 85 | volume XV | July-August, 2012



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 85July-August, 2012
Prose

The old man who searched for a zephyrous soul and might just find it

Based on “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Ernest Hemingway


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Dragi Mihajlovski

“Do you know – all this time this thought will not leave my mind and I was troubled, lest they grazed your zephyrous soul.” – Vapcarov

An old man, each evening, would walk from where he lived to the center of Skopje behind Ristić Palace, cross Macedonia Square, go over the Stone Bridge, and after strolling on level ground, would clamber up to the barrel house which sat on the lawn right under the fortress across The Church of the Holy Savior. When I say old I mean really old, a person with at least 80 years under his belt and on the verge of meeting his maker, not a man who some green journalists present as old but won’t see 60 before being run over by madmen who drive as if the streets are empty and made to cater to their lunacy. After climbing up and sitting at a table under the leaves of the maple tree which shielded him from the effusive light coming from the lamppost near the water fountain, the old man would order a drink right away, and the best drink in a barrel house can be nothing else but beer in that he always asked for stout on tap. The old man liked to stay late, until the last call so to speak, because he enjoyed being outdoors on the lawn especially at night when the youth, who came here mainly during the day and made a lot of hubbub, fled across the river and crammed into parlors and pubs along the Vardar or on Macedonia Street near the House of Mother Teresa or in the clubs in the park.
     He was a little deaf, which he embraced because he could sink into his own thoughts and follow them as they came and they were mainly concerned with his present life, his former past and his future departure from this world. He very much liked to sit and mull things over in that particular barrel house because it was well-lighted and because it was clean and however dark and soiled his life was the things he most fancied and appreciated in this world were light and cleanliness. And maybe there was something else! During the night in question all the clients, except the old man, of course, somewhere around midnight, slowly paid their bills, gathered their stuff, and swaying from the load of beer in their






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