Tomas S. Butkus | Antiessay: "Transitional People" (2003)

Transitional People

all those unnecessary, powdery things are an abomination. but at the same time an absolute beginning – something  similar to a pair of orange coveralls – a ripped open fly dangling like a flag over the rain drenched surroundings. and moreover: a couple of moments of immortality. greater value than all the super-marked masses, than all godly bins and the unfortunates frozen numb in their creeds (for whom allah echoes from the rust), than all of the holy resources, prepared to occupy our domesticated being for many long years.

I remembered Zopi. after our dance of dust we parted and said good-byes until the next meeting, slapping each other on the back roguishly. clumps of dust drowning shoulder humps now separate me from the concrete stairwell, the shrunken rabbit above the door, the women’s sanitary pad with an angel’s wings in the toilet, an avocado mortal, worshipping death, hunching over all of the cupboards in zopi’s home. attachment to unnecessary things is fatal, more painful than historical events, which no one can stand, but without which one cannot live nonetheless. while the dust, which binds us into that which we were made of while we lived for one moment. then, when all of this was recorded by the solar system’s electrician, the shrunken rubber oddment above the door, waited for wind. could a more important detail ever turn up in my life? not far away there lived a woman with a neighbour’s face. with bulbs and green onions, with a kilogram of ground meat, with someone’s blood, infected with that which won’t pass muster. that which never disappears anywhere – neither the streets with unmoving traffic nor the landless mines of words. that which breaks down in dust, in piles of garbage alongside old rotten warehouses, with stashes of potatoes and firewood, jars of paint and thinner, cans of nails and woodscrews, and screwdrivers. that which is found during the stretch of one amity.


Translated by Darius Ross

Up and Coming Young Writers in Lithuania. Vilnius: Books from Lithuania, 2006

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