Silvester Lavrík

    is a playwright, novelist and headmaster of a children’s art school. He lives in Bánovce nad Bebravou and Bratislava. He is the author of over thirty stage plays and several novels, the most recent being Posledná k. & k. barónka (The Last Baroness, 2019). “Hi darling, it’s me, Silvester.
    Yes, that upbeat guy. Ha-ha-ha. Never mind. Sorry I haven’t been in touch for ages. I know there was a time I’d write three times a day but that was before… well, a long time ago. I tried to count the other day but then I gave up. Numbers, dates, anniversaries – they’re really not my forte. No, no, I’m not trying to suggest that you’ve grown old. I respect every wrinkle in your face. I adore your scars. Including those I’ve given you. OK, maybe not those. I’m ashamed of the ones I’ve inflicted. That’s why I haven’t been in touch for so long. Bad conscience, you know. Not much of a conscience but nevertheless…. Back to those scars of yours. You are partly to blame for some of them. Just a bit. You came roaring into my life like some wayward whirlwind. You caught me totally unprepared. Oh, I’d been dreaming about you for years. I was young, full of testosterone, had a lively imagination, you know what I mean. Aged fourteeen, I went to Yougoslavia. I’d set out to buy ice cream four or five times a day. On the way to the ice cream seller, you had to pass a newsstand. Which had magazines and books. You know, the risqué kind. Like Orwell and his book with the number ’48 the other way round. An anagram. You know what I mean. I’m sure you do. Even I did. And you understand everything. By the way, that endless tolerance of yours might be something of a liability sometimes. But over there, in almost-free Yugoslavia… I thought my head would explode. Because you’re dangerous. Until I tasted you with my own tongue, I thought I could do with just a little bit of you. And I expected you’d be my guide. You were the experienced one, after all. But you’re still a real looker. You don’t seem to have aged at all. Unlike me. You see, it felt so good to walk the earth knowing that you and I, the two of us… Together yet each one for themselves. It wasn’t exactly free love but we both had our own life. I know you must have found that endless naïveté of mine irritating, I certainly did. I used to loan you out. Help yourselves, boys, have fun, I’d say. To people like Vlado. Then 1989 arrived. Fortunately. That was great. Another anagram. ’89 – ’98. It was touch and go, but you don’t need me to tell you that, of course. By then we shared a past, one that was a bit shaky perhaps, but never mind – who would dare take it away from us? And yet, it happened. But why am I telling you all this? You know better than me. Wrinkles. Scars. Amputations. And I, the naïve, well-behaved intellectual, I’d just say – help yourselves, boys! And I’d lend you out again. Including to that bastard Robo, who seemed just a harmless eager dork at first. But he turned out to be a right megadork. A real bastard. More recently, I let you go with these two bloodsuckers, Igor and Boris. Not that I’d ever pimp you out, I’ve never sunk so low. But when they came and asked you out, I just shrugged my shoulder and said, off you go. I’m sure you’ll be back. That’s what I said. To be honest, I was a bit surprised, as you weren’t their type. You hurt my feelings, you know? But I got over it. But now I’m a bit scared. Quite a lot, actually. That’s why I’m writing.
    Will you come back?
    Your ungrateful Silvester, not upbeat at all. Hopping mad.”
    Photo: Tomáš Benedikovič / Denník N