ByÂ Daniela KapitÃ¡ÅˆovÃ¡
Translated from Slovak by Julia Sherwood
This is the second time Iâ€™ve become a writer because Iâ€™ve already been a writer once. That time I wrote the first Cemetery Book. Today Iâ€™ve become a writer again because itâ€™s raining, and when itâ€™s raining I canâ€™t collect cardboard, because itâ€™s raining. But the most important thing is that my handcart is in the workshop, because my rear-view mirror has been broken off, and I donâ€™t know how to fix it because you need special tools or whatever to fix it and I canâ€™t do that, because I havenâ€™t got them. My rear-view mirror has never ever been broken off before, though Iâ€™ve had my handcart for twenty-eight years, because Iâ€™m hard-working and people respect me for being hard-working.
The workshop is on the Island and itâ€™s got special tools. The man who fixes things with his special tools is called JÃ¡n BoÅ¡-MojÅ¡ and the funny thing about him is that every time he says his name, JÃ¡n BoÅ¡-MojÅ¡, he doesnâ€™t say it, he sort of sings it like this: JÃ¡n BoÅ¡-MojÅ¡. He sings his name to a sort of JÃ¡n BoÅ¡-MojÅ¡ tune. But apart from that he is hardworking and people respect him, because he has a son who is very ill with elypsy, and JÃ¡n BoÅ¡-MojÅ¡ has to look after him because elypsy is the sort of illness where you have to be looked after.
His sonâ€™s name is JÃ¡n BoÅ¡-MojÅ¡ Junior.
Theyâ€™re both in my notebook, because I have three notebooks. One is called Christian Names, the other one is called Surnames and the third one is called Died. Thatâ€™s where I write down everyone I know, because if I didnâ€™t write down everyone I know, how would I know who I know, right?
Iâ€™ve got JÃ¡n BoÅ¡-MojÅ¡ and JÃ¡n BoÅ¡-MojÅ¡ Junior in my Surnames notebook down under the letter B and also under the letter M, because you never know whatâ€™s what and why and how.
Iâ€™ve got lots of first names in my Christian Names Notebook. Mostly theyâ€™re Peters. Iâ€™ve got thirty-one Peters, except that one of them writes his name like this: Petr and thatâ€™s the Czech way of writing it but Iâ€™ve got him down as Peter anyway because heâ€™s not a Czech, heâ€™s a Hungarian. The thing is, when he was born, the person in charge of writing peopleâ€™s names in the Documents left out the second E, but that was when we still had Czechoslovakia so it was OK to write it that way: Petr, but itâ€™s not OK to write it like that now, and heâ€™d be in big trouble for that, because in proper Slovak you have to write it like this: Peter. Or else change it.
Because thatâ€™s the law.
The reason why itâ€™s hard to be a writer is because it makes your hand hurt. Except that I have to be a writer because when I had my fortune told it said:
â€˜Will write the Cemetery Book.â€™
It was old Gusto RÃºhe who told my fortune and what he said was this: â€˜Will write the Cemetery Book.â€™ But he is an alcoholic because he lives on alcohol and he smells really awful, because he often wets himself.
Heâ€™s always sitting in front of the Pub by the Railway Station and he urinates into the Floral Display, and when he tells fortunes he spits, burps and slurps all over the place because he thinks thatâ€™s the law for fortune telling.
Old Gusto RÃºhe tells fortunes like this:
He tells fortunes due to a Moonstone.
Moonstone is a kind of stone thatâ€™s yellow and almost transparent, because you can see right through it. Its name is Moonstone. I havenâ€™t got it down in my Surnames Notebook because itâ€™s a stone and I donâ€™t even know if thatâ€™s its real name, or if old Gusto RÃºhe just made it up. Itâ€™s cold when you touch it. When youâ€™re having your fortune told you have to hold the Moonstone until it gets all warmed up. And then, when itâ€™s warmed up so that itâ€™s all warm, you give it back to old Gusto RÃºhe. And when heâ€™s done with all his burping and whatever, he writes your fortune on the tarmac with a piece of chalk like they have at school. This is what he wrote for me:
â€˜Will write the Cemetery Book.â€™
But old Gusto RÃºhe is an alcoholic and heâ€™d write any old rubbish in the world for an alcoholic drink, just to make people believe that his fortune telling is for real and to make them buy him an alcoholic drink because he is an alcoholic, even though itâ€™s not good for you and it damages your organs.
I gave him some Catâ€™s Tongue chocolate for telling my fortune, but old Gusto RÃºhe got really angry and started shouting that I would come to a bad end, and that frightened me, because even if old Gusto RÃºhe is just making it up, it really happened once for real that he put a spell on Erik Rak. When Iâ€™m done writing this, Iâ€™ll write about him putting a spell on Erik Rak. But because he once put a really bad spell on Erik Rak, I decided to buy him an alcoholic drink. And then old Gusto RÃºhe calmed down and he was calm again. And he stopped all his burping and slurping and spitting and wrote the word Boy on the tarmac.