Johnny

Johnny

***

“Why did Johnny do that?” ask people. The expert investigated, family searched for the answer, grandmother cried, and godmother was wailing the entire funeral.

***

Desperate Johnny runs across the street. He ignores cars, passers-by on zebra crossing, blinking green lights. An invisible tunnel of spce-time consumes him. An invisible mist sparkling with dull whiteness and dusty grayness obscures everything and everybody. Phew… He has managed to run. He is on the other side of the street. I see him so clearly. He is so… pale…

This is the agreed address. He smartens his hair, his collar. He has just one more glance on the watch. Tic – tac, tic – tac, tic – tac , tic – tac – the watch rhymes. He is waiting. He is waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting …, waiting, waiting, waiting. waiting and waiting …. waiting… It seems that he doesn’t have enough strength to keep standing and waiting like this. His leg jiggles then again he shifts his weight from one leg to the other. He leans against the floor thumping irregularly. This waiting causes him pain. It’s late. He doesn’t have enough strength. He left his pride at home. “She scoffed– invited – scoffed,” he recalls, but this story is not the point here. He forced himself and came. His pain is not even comparable with the pain of a woman who lying in the labour ward is experiencing the painful moment of giving a new being to the world. Her life as well as Johnny’s suddenly fills up with a scream. Scream. Scream, scream, scream, …ream. It surrounds him. But still, everything lives its normal life. Nobody sees anything…

***

A few scenes before.

In order to calm himself down, he drinks litre of herb tea, swallows some tacky anti-fear drugs. This is his first time.  He stands in front of the mirror, raises his head gently. I hear him saying “yes.”

***

Coming back to Johnny who is on the other side of the street.

He came. He looks around. Not knowing where they can find her, his eyes become mad. She is not there. His nervousness is visible. Breathe in and breathe out, breathe in and out.  He is still waiting. The eyes are filed up not with tears but with something much worse – emotions and the image of his defeat. This is the first time. He feels so bad, so terrible. The reason why he came here becomes unknown to him. He revolves around a post. Inside he is seething, boiling, gurgling, and sniveling.  Two sisters – an angel and a devil begin a fight. He is the only witness. The battlefield is his head. It starts to hurt. He feels it more and more distinctly. The pain increases with every minute. The memory flees, recollections die. He is standing, crying… Some passers-by look at him with a great irony, as if they were trying to say “A cry baby!” Wiping his nose he hears chirping of laughter…

***

What did he do wrong? Now he is betrayed not only by this person but also by himself. He wanted the best. He searched for the answer. It didn’t work out, didn’t work out … Never mind. Never mind? Apparently, it was an unimportant thing but it weighed. For the first time.

***

Two scenes after that.

Johnny came back quickly. For the first time. He ran as fast as he could. We see him entering a flat. He goes into the kitchen, opens a cupboard in which he keeps various tools. He is clearly looking for something. He throws out one thing after another and suddenly stops. Now, he is gripping this thing very tight. Her muscles are so tense… Every vein is visible and their colour is reminiscent of green brown alternated with a blue lagoon. He thinks about something for a long time and then lunges forward. Something puts him off his stride. He is standing still and then moves towards the mirror wanting to see his reflection but he becomes motionless. The paleness of his face is enhanced by the coolness of this moment… He is looking but his eyes as well as his body are miles away. With a catlike move, he comes closer to the mirror and, with his lifeless sight, he looks at his reflection. Just like a child, he is blowing on the glass, as if, trying to touch its surface… He raises up one hand and leaves it motionless just above his head. We can see slowly how he lowers it minimally and, simultaneously, approaches the mirror’s surface. His fingertips, one after another, touch it. – “It is so smooth, so cold, so dead …” thinks Johnny. The tear in his eye that demands coming into being appears on his cheek. The left one. The Devil also didn’t want to wait. He sits on a chair with his big smile on his disgustingly big mouth showing his big, black teeth. In his unthinkably pitch-black and hairy paw, he is holding a pipe. Circles of smoke hang over his pitch-black mop. This is so a disgusting and sickening scene that you want to vomit. The Devil, in his own way, speeds up the course of events.  He jumps down from the chair, throws his devilish look and moves towards Johnny. He jumps like a child and hangs in the air like a feather … He looks as if he has just eaten a few people… Eventually, he is standing right next to Johnny whispering to his ear:  “Come on my dear! Go ahead! One, only one precise stab,” he tempts Johnny with a voice resembling hissing of a viper. S.. s..sy.. ssssssssss. However, there is something so sweet and so firm in his voice that remaining indifferent is impossible. “It won’t hurt,” the devil continues. He puts his huge, repulsive finger into his mouth and licks it with saliva which is stringy like a jelly and then, he places it in Johnny’s ear.

Johnny walks away from the mirror. He moves slowly dragging his feet. The air has a smell of flowers. The walls of the hall, being painted in an immaculate white colour, resemble some kind of a tunnel. Johnny keeps moving towards the living room. His eyes have already localized the chandelier. It looks like a water lily. Snow-white. A pristine whiteness has crept into this room. He drags his legs. If one was to stand behind him, s/he would probably think that a creature not from this world is walking straight ahead being lost somewhere in purgatory. If not for the presence of his body, even the walls wouldn’t know about his existence. Johnny is the master of creeping. But where and why is he creeping at the moment..? Suddenly, he takes something out from a jacket. This is… Yes. This, this is… He raises the crime instrument up. Maybe it’s just my imagination but he seems to beg the heavens for forgiveness.  He kneels down. What do I see?!? He lowers his head and prays. Amen! The last reserves of energy let him touch his dying heart with his right hand. Last moves. Last heartbeats. Last dull look at his hands, at the mirror, at the room. He grows faint. As in slow-motion, I see his body tilted and legs drawn up. For a short moment the body trembles. He dies fast. One more convuuulsion. There is not much blood. Pale Johnny is lying on a carpet. Beneath him there is one small red stain.

Translated by Paulina Filipczyk

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