Boris K. and the destiny of Mary Shelly


 

Boris K. used to kill his hours of boredom by reading biographies of the controversial female writers. Somewhere in the middle of the book, he started crying.

“What happened, Boris K.?” asked the seller by whose bookstall Boris K. used to read the classic novels.

“I am lamenting over the destiny of Mary Shelley.” “What has happened to her?”

“What hasn’t…”

***

SERBIAN ORIGINAL:

Boris K. je prekraćivao trenutke dosade čitajući biografije kontroverznih književnica. Negde na pola knjige, zaplače se.

„Šta se dogodilo, Borise K?”, upita ga prodavac na čijem je kiosku Boris K. obićno čitao klasike.

„Lamentiram nad sudbinom Meri Šeli.”

„Šta joj se dogodilo?”

„Šta nije…”

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Boris K. the Buddhist


A decade of day-to-day agony was behind Boris K. , of traumas, anxiety, grosses of emptied liqueur bottles and millions of diazepam cases downed. Boris K. decided to burn all of his bridges, to retire from the grotto, get a new job, a new vocation, new surroundings, in his quest for a bright sunny day, and not a raise nor severance pay, he followed his heart and made way straight to Tibet. After he had met the Lama on his way to the Multicolor Monkey Temple, he decided to become a Buddhist.

First he started his pilgrimage. He made his way towards the Buddha’s Ropes region, the gate of Himalayas, where, dead center in the rainforest, was the Temple of Positive Serpents. At the top of this magnificent building’s stairs, he spotted a Tibetan monk clad in dead leaves-hued garb reciting the Kama Sutra. It all happened in an instant. He himself didn’t even know how.

Suddenly Boris K.s initiation started, along with rooting, prayers and spiritual music. Boris K. finally thought that he had found his life’s purpose, when Dalai Lama suddenly said:

‘Let’s just carve out the third eye on your forehead, so that you can become psychic.’

Boris K. started sweating profusely. Completely astonished and terrified, he grabbed the first available canoo and went jungleward. Breaking through the thick foliage, he found the sacred monkeys. They saluted him by extending fingers on both hands. As they hung from the trees, chanting sutras, down came Hasan from the tree, a monk initiate and Dalai Lama’s personal bodyguard – he was sent to get Boris K. back to the temple.

‘Fear not ,Boris, they will not prod you with a switchblade’, the monk said, and briefly explained the Buddhist meditative techniques of opening the Third eye.

‘It is, in fact, a seat of universal wisdom.’

‘Alright, if all I have to do is sing,’ Boris valored up.

For a while they travelled across the mountain chains, along what seemed to be endless space. In the distance one could hear Tibetan sutras saluting the newly-born Sun.

As Boris K. went down the cold, marble hallway, so did the monks, with their characteristic muffs on their heads, welcome him.

‘Boris K., you’ve reached the very end.’

Then they chanted. This is where Boris K. felt something cracking on his forehead and opening…

‘Ouch!’ Boris cried, and the world went murky before his eyes… In an instant he viewed the past and the future of all monks. One monk, for instance, he saw, will utilize the money taken as charity for his personal benefit – building a cottage in the Swiss Alps – and that he will, as punishment for this, be reincarnated in his next life as bindweed on the fence of that selfsame cottage. He also saw himself, how he will, should he participate in this fraud, become roof moss. In a different instance he saw how people, seeing him begging for food clad as a monk, gave him meat – which he accepted in accordance to Buddha’s teachings – but also how he will, in the next life, be eaten as a bull because of this. In the third image he saw himself how, while mowing the lawn in the Lumbini garden at the border of India and Nepal, he kills an earthworm – due to which he will himself, in his next life, become an earthworm cut in half. At long last he realized how he didn’t need the all-seeing eye. He decided to put some ointment on it and gave up on the monastic life.

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Let the Sleeping Dog Lie


A year after his monitor went kaput, Boris K. banged his hand on the table. He had had it! He took a piece of paper and started writing.

Boris K. was no essayist, let alone a scientist or a sociologist. He observed the useless keyboard with longing eyes. He stared at the paper, when suddenly a wave of inspiration struck him along with an army of ideas which clouded his mind. For a moment he thought he had been spoken to by a higher power. He wrote fast enough that a she-stenographer 250 clicks a minute strong would envy him, and the moment he finished, he sealed the letter and concluded aloud to himself:

‘My monitor is broken. This should never have happened.’

He put on his tux, took the earnings from his last film review and with a defiant air about him ventured outside. At precisely midnight, from the 123rd floor of the Secret service’s headquarters, via the magic of megaphone, the deep bass of Boris K.’s voice soared the Republic.

‘Citizens of the Republic, you all well know that machines do everything nowadays. Who even needs you right now? When you get cancelled and my patented machine gets the job not only will neither you nor I exist, but…well, neither money nor economics will exist either, nor politics!’

The President sat upright in his bedding in the building next door.

‘An urgent phone call from the church, mister president!’, he was told this before the phone even rang. There was many a consequence on a multitude of souls following Boris K.’s voice. A retired bank clerk lady still about her wits had, upon the mere mention of the words ‘revolution in human manufacturing’, screamed and escaped the building where she had been living secluded all this time. Mute witnesses will for generations tell tales of seeing a woman running through the streets, disrobing one piece at the time, screaming how she was renouncing everything. Everything!

The Secret service headquarters was surrounded by both the armed forces and the police. Boris K. held the megaphone with his one hand, and the other, the jacked up one, he used to grab two prostitutes at the same time and place them in front of his body as hostages.

‘Hold your fire!’, the masseuse guild of the Republic shouted. The voice of Boris K. had reached young ears and old alike. The awakened Winners sat at their computers afraid and desperate and with an incessant click click click of their mice for a moment they were displaying a dreadful sound. Panic spread across the city while Boris K. spoke over the megaphone:

‘The constitutional rights will still stand! Criminals shall be punished!’

Two old ladies with nightcaps forced out into the street from the sweetest of dreams embraced on a bench and wept. An old man had dropped the chess board which he had taken with him to kill time while the state of emergency was in full force. He smiled an uncloaked a golden tooth.

‘For all of the citizens of our Republic I have crafted a container and programmed it so that all of the molecules can merge, extracted from the liquids of materials thrown away in them and useless, which can last up to a millennium. To you, they last no longer than five years. Five!’ His voice broke off for a second.

A neon sign popped up on the billboard revealing the password:

„TOO MANY CLONES!“

The Republic’s gate opened. Another state of emergency was put in power, for one was not nearly enough.

‘There is no money. Capitalism is dead. Its time is up, your time is now. Type in the password TOO MANY CLONES, no spaces. It will fling open magic gates as well as my patented container. A quantum leap of intelligence will follow!’

From open manholes Losers popped out, filled with hope, their eyes looking at the distant lighthouses.

‘Artists!’ The voice behind the megaphone roared.

The counter-terrorist units carefully snuck into the building and surrounded the bathroom. The hostages were doing their nails. A senior gentleman was downing the newest brand of ‘Vlast’ tequila, a Russian brew. He was thirsty and rather apathetic. The Peacekeeping Forces grabbed Boris K., disarmed him of his megaphone and tossed him from the 123rd floor. Boris was fortunate enough to drop into an open container, the only one in that part of the city, and thus break his fall.

‘We punished this man here, this saboteur and anarchist, for he has broken the main postulate of the Republic: Never wake the citizens at precisely midnight!’

At that moment Boris K. stood up from his bed, covered in sweat.

‘The keyboard is working, article done,’ he mumbled and tripped on the beveled edge that Frau Suzie had measured together with the flooring installer and fell right into the toilet bowl. He managed to get his whole self stuck in there, escaping the eerie nightmare which hadn’t been stalking him since his experience with tar, feathers and a dog in the friendly Uganda. Hidden among the feces, sprinkled with moldy entrails and Waffen SS grub made of a brown substance, he yelled:

‘It was all just a dream!’ Comforted as such he spent a few moments in the toilet shell until he remembered to flush.

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Boris K. and the Shaving Kit


Upon his stint as a taxi driver, where he was accused of taking the customer to the wrong destination, Boris K. decided to seize different business ventures. He turned bitter and frustrated. Surely he was a remarkable driver, but the phenomenonizations did their trick.

He had heard through the grape wine that some busses of the city transportation, especially along certain specific routes, defied the laws of phenomenonization. He picked up the wanted ad for the bus driver position on line 42. This was unbeknownst to the she-passenger entering the bus at the front, in obvious high spirits, spreading the sour scent of Black Kashmir all around. Others looked at her abhorrently.

Boris K. tightened his grip on the steering wheel, stepped on it and the bus came to life. Parallel to this a panicky tenor of a frightened man soared within the vehicle. What happened was that a shaving kit went missing from an old man’s bag. Panic ensued. Droplets of sweat sliding down Boris’ temples. A saintly smile adorned his face, which horribly mismatched that hellish eyestare of his. Someone sang mid-dream, and the old man/mugging victim threatened to have them inspected and vacated the vehicle cussing and swearing. All of this, an endeavor too much for Boris K. to handle.

He turned towards the most gracious she-traveler and, the moment the well-off lady was powdering her nose a la France and Chanelled eyebrows above her eyes, he spoke to her courteously:

“Were you, perchance, in a dire need of a shaving kit?” The sensitive she-traveler teared up in an instant hearing these words, noting that she had just finished performing her bathing ritual in a sweet-scented bathroom.

“By the Majestic Mach-3, beyond a shade of a doubt, not a single hair ever grew on my body!”

Looking at her, Boris K. was imagining that Chanel the she-traveler was in a glass jar rounded up top. Noting Boris K. staring at her with suspicion, she said:

“I was born in an airplane, the moment the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe took place.” Having said this, she took of her wig and the baldness popped out in full display.

Face Mask

Boris K. pupils contracted. He was at one moment observing her bald head, at another her white, smooth hands in velvet gloves. The passengers leapt from their seats. They were pointing at the top of her head, accusing her of stealing the distinguished senior gentleman’s shaving kit.

“We all saw her!” The loudest of the voices accused, belonging to an older woman with a hat.

“She is the perpetrator! She lies!”

Boris K. asked to see the contents of her bag, which the lady opened. Ampules of ketamine powder emerged. A drug evaporated which put a spell on the passengers and blurred all of the windows on the bus. They all jumped off their seats and started banging on the four sets of double doors, begging Boris to release them.

The she-traveler exclaimed, disappointed:

“I should’ve taken a cab.”

With his last ounce of strength Boris K. used his walkie-talkie to report a diversionary Mujahideen attack and fainted. When the fog dispersed, the bald woman was no more, and the granny wearing the fedora, the loudest accuser, pullet the shaving kit which she needed out of her brassiere, not to remove armpit hair, but for magic – to harm the neighbors stealing her exotic flowers.

 

Review, Nataša Mačukat, professor of German language and literature ‘Upon reading ‘The Adventures of Boris K.’ …


Review, Nataša Mačukat, professor of German language and literature
Upon reading ‘The Adventures of Boris K.’ my first impression was – a novel came out fit for its time of publication, in an ocean of new well-renowned works of fiction, completely anachronistic, more often than not imitating the romantic form and expression. A novel that discovered new in a completely natural manner, without the forced and assembly-line experimenting, in an age where ‘nobody believes in the virginal literatures anymore’, it simply materialized itself out of the spirit of the 21st century.
Other than alluding to Kafka in its very title, ‘The Adventures of Boris K.’ can remind the reader of E.T.A. Hoffmann , the German romantic author who was at least two centuries ahead of his time, with its elements of fantasy and the bizarre, or of Gustav Meyrink with its specific type of horror. In a broader thematic context the novel takes place in a setting where literature has long stopped being Arcadian due to being overladen with historicity and had also long and in the widest range possible started to deal with the relationship of the individual with society – in Central Europe.
The subject matter of the novel is Serbia in her transitional age, without mentioning this specifically, but can be understood in a far broader context. Obviously a work of satire, but avoiding that which satire has become today – institutionalized, watered down, overly present, and cynically and arrogantly used by those whom it should by definition be targeting, because they cannot be touched, and it creates the illusion of democracy.
Boris K. is represented best as a video game character – without much character he goes to different ‘missions.’ With his facelessness, one moment overly and nigh-drunkenly involved and another barely mildly so, adding the bizarre nature of the missions, he describes all of us people of today – forced to adapt to various roles with the purpose of maintaining an existence, most assuredly losing our way and accepting worthless roles and habits, we lose our essential self.

Matchstick Man


After the landlady kicked Boris K. out onto the snow for unpaid rent, our hero, endlessly cursing the soulless Frau Susie, lit a matchstick to warm himself up a bit. Lights burned in the surrounding houses, for it had been Christmas. A powerful, very squally Belgrade wind was whipping away chilling our hero to his bones.

Roaming along the snow and ice Boris K. cursed the day when he forgot to bring the New Year’s sparkles, hence, when one matchstick went out, he proudly lit the next, and then another, and then one more, up until he spent all of the matches in the box.

With the last stick he set fire to his coffer, used it to transport fire to his pants and coat, only to finally lit his whole self on fire in order to keep warm. While the cold whirlwind scattered his ashes all over the city streets, a bright sun shone and melted all the snow and ice.

matchstick

Boris K. and Wig Heil


 

The minister of culture and minority rights Cris Is Evayzhun was walking along the Phenomenonpublic boulevard with parliament member Iana Goatson (of GOAT – Government Approved Thou-shall-nots, as well as CleronationalVoxPIOUpuli ), his wife, and he plucked away from the rich history of Germany.

As the minister was shifting from one Nazi topic to the next, from the Big bang onward, out of the darkness crept Boris K. and with a swift “SiegHeil!” he tripped the minister who lay prostrate on the golden pavements of Phemonenonpublic.

“The minister is down!”

“They killed the minister!”

A trudge of steps ensued. A mass of people stood around the minister Cris Is Evayzhun,

“Help! An urgent republic matter! Dial 333-222. Assassination!”

Xavier, a gypsy youth, who begged for money in the graveyard shift, pulled a moist towelette from his bag with a swift motion and applied it to the spot on the minister’s leg which was sore.

Boris K. took a photo of this touching scene with his Motorola. The minister’s wife was thrilled.

“If I had a son like this, I would dress him up in the style of Albert, prince consort of Windsor”, she thought and much to her husband’s dismay she loudly blurted out:

“I want a son like this.”

Xavier responded:

“Ah, if only I had a mother like you.”

Boris K. remembered and told a touching story of the love one father had towards his son – one of the many tales he picked up somewhere during his life – as the foreign minister tried choking him.

The story went on for hours, until the Emergency vehicle came with a stretcher and took away the minister who was howling in pain and cursing the very name of Boris K.

A month later, coming back from the WIG Heil general tryouts, the minister and the minister’s adviser for the rights of minority  Boris K. looked at a Gipsy woman sitting in front of the firecracker store and some cheap Chinese pyrotechnics.

“This Republic is going to pieces. An open market to any and all crap”, minister Cris is Evayzhun mumbled, looking at the Gipsy woman in a manner – was there any other, really? – not unlike that of a Nazi. “Nobody can control the quality of the merchandise (and people) which flows into our beloved Phenomenonpublic. While somewhere up there in Germany Berlin is on fire, I see everything around here!”

“Calm down and extend your palm”, the Gypsy woman smiled to the minister who was dreaming that he had his own panzer divisions in the Kriegsmarine. “In your past life you were a crazed SS commander”, the Gypsy woman started. “Now you are just a bozo whom an adopted child will make feel happy”.

The minister waved his head in disbelief. How can she know all this? He didn’t even giver her his palm.

The Gypsy woman continues palm-reading as if she were in a trance.

“We have to move to the front door ahead of a dangerous gang”, she spoke with a cracked voice. A few moment later there were gunshots. Boris K. and the Gypsy woman and the minister went into the front door, until the street situation calmed.

Six months later, the minister, his wife and their son – little Xavier – were walking along the boulevard.

Boris took the money from Iana Goatson, since she hired him to trick the minister. The Gypsy woman, Xavier’s mom was disguised as a fortune teller, got an apartment in the name of her remaining ten kids. Boris K. soon paid the fellows who were reenacting a mobster showdown, he purchased a luxury three room apartment for about a year and continued nailing the role of Hitler.