07. 29. 2013. 06:17

Emoticon (excerpts)

Noémi Jancsó was a Transylvanian writer who died at the painfully early age of 22. Emoticon, her collection of short stories and poems, describes the solitude of people living in the cyberage.

Noémi Jancsó, who had a painfully short life (1988–2010), lived in Kolozsvár/Cluj, Transylvania. She read her first story on the radio when she was only seven years old. From an early age she was fascinated by universal literature and the Latin language, which she mastered later on. She published her first book, Emotikon (Emoticon) in 2008. Perhaps the best words to describe her are the ones she used herself: "I write… to reach near-perfection, as the highest human achievement, at least once in my life… so that the ink never goes dry in my pen… so that I can use my thoughts as I wish to… to express my honor in front of human wisdom, simplicity, beauty… so you get to love me."

Emoticon is a collection of short stories and poems which describes the solitude of people living in the cyberage, trying to come to terms with the opposition between their deep emotions and the shallowness of digital communication.

The main character of the first section is called Daniel Ludensi, the homo ludens. In loneliness, the last effort of the human mind is the act of creation―playing with images, dreams and thoughts―to fill the emptiness. This is the greatest gift of human existence: building beauty and happiness out of the darkest of voids. Daniel conceives imaginary marble statues that come to life in his mind, and he also designs Eva, the only woman in his life that he can love, drawing her again and again. Another character in the story, called Nora, fabricates in her daydreams an unrealistic image about Daniel, projecting her wishes in her solitude on the frame of Daniel, a shape that falls apart the moment they meet.

 

Emoticon (excerpts)

 

Hic. Nunc. Et semper.

to my beloved dear D.L.

 

– just to roll

just on fields

just to stand

just on wheels

just on black, painted

squeaky chair-wheels –

just to stand

just to hug

only once to embrace.

Just to place arm in arm,

Just to hold, just to cuddle

Only three steps to take.

– Buddha-smile.

Keep your calm.

– If only once...

– Keep your calm.

Hailing through the window

Light, forest, deer you see.

Upstairs they're cooking tea.

Hot drink, in blue cups with golden sugar.

Clouds laze on top of the tree.

– It's summer; the asphalt’s throbbing,

in bodies the blood pulsating.

Clouds laze on top of each other,

bees fornicate and kiss one another.

– Letters into my skin I engrave,

with red ink, hic, nunc,

Semper....till I'm in the grave.

– If only you were on this side of the window

Flesh and blood for a visit to pay.

If only you came today.

A single pair of Kirghiz eyes .

A trip to Japan, India, Bristol,

Or at least a walk through the park.

A kiss. Only once, I say.

Here. Now.  Love, are you on your way?

– Messenger windows.

A camera on the left side of the screen.

And sometimes I’m there, ready.

– There’s rust on the windows already.

The light outside laughs with a scream.

I need a kiss, only once.

You know I'll die, if you don't show up.

– Messenger windows pop up. Now, here.

I have to catch the tram, the time is near.

Wait for me, wait, wait.

Wait

wait

wait

wait

wait

wait patiently.

Hic, nunc. Et semper.

 

Like this

 

I live until the body falls apart on me.

I'm soft, shapeable, and a cast controlled by the rigour of a frame.

If the frame, if the body falls apart on me, I remain a melting metal, a shapeless nothing.

Intangible: immalleable.

Immalleable: unchanging.

Unchanging: not belonging to this universe.

Not belonging to this universe: non-existent.

This is how I perish, deprived of my frame, pathetic, fluid statue, bronze-simulacrum, from the organs of my ancestors, to the resemblance of my ancestors. Fallen from the frame of unknown powers, this is how I perish.

 

Bathing

 

Being in love: bathing my self-image.

It's needed for the purification from the filth, which settles on me while on the road.

Being in love, the most aerial feeling, undetermined by the body: a necessity.

It's impossible to live without it, if I tried, I would drown in my own filth.

Being in love: longing.

Longing to show the most beautiful me in front of a nice stranger; to show the best me in front of a nice stranger.

This bathing dissolves the surplus on me. The stench, the edginess, the solitude. Everything, that doesn't belong to me.

Everything, that gets stuck on my self-image on the sections of road between the times of bathing.

 

(Lemon trees)

“Let the marble clods roll from his forehead, like drops of sweat.

I stroke her chest, I rub it – the falling marble dust: transparent curtain, everlasting marble snowfall.

I chisel her face, embossing moles, carving wrinkles into her body. I kiss her empty eyes day by day, until she stares back at me with her white glance.

I design her cells one by one. I operate on her nerve fibres, adding one at a time into her cold body. I squirt blood into her veins, until finally her temples start pulsating.

I soften the marble in her mouth, so her tongue can be suitable for speech. I reach behind her chest, and clench her white heart with my strong grip.

Until it finally gives a leap.

On a skyscraper of a big city, on the rooftop, the powerful sunshine ripens lemons on young trees. It's early afternoon, the light nearly sparkles on the ledges, on the curves of the block of marble. This is when I enjoy the struggle to the greatest extent, these are the hours when I torment with the utmost pleasure the hulking block of marble surrounded by the lemon trees.

From my forehead, like marble clods, drops of sweat are rolling.”

Daniel Ludensi sits in front of the computer, just like on any other morning, waiting for the nurse to return and serve him breakfast. In these empty minutes he usually focuses on making a marble statue come to life, or simply on the painting of a nude, in pastel colours.

He listens to music and dances. He moves his neck, rocks his body, his enervated limbs lie on the wheelchair. This is how Daniel Ludensi dances, and until the nurse arrives, he dresses up an avatar. Hermes messenger displays: Valentina signed in.

Then a window pops up from the blankness, Valentina says hi.

[Valentina]– Hello, Daniel.

Daniel abandons the avatar, he types the answer slowly:

[Daniel Ludensi] – Hello, Tina. What's new around there?

[Valentina] – Catherine got and A from maths. We were a bit nervous, this was the only subject where getting an A wasn't a certain thing. Needless to say, my little girl is quite lazy. But no problem. Nice kid. I think I'm going to keep her. Lol.

[Daniel Ludensi] – Give her a hug from uncle Dan.

[Valentina] – What about you, Daniel? What's up with you?

[Daniel Ludensi]  - Oh, it's all the same. This...nurse. I don't know what's the matter with her. She is late again. I'm hungry.

[Valentina] – Yep.

Translated by: Zsuzsa Máthé

Tags: Noémi Jancsó