Második alkalommal rendezték meg idén a Panodyssey és a Könyves Magazin közös pályázatát, amire 166 pályamunka érkezett. Az első helyezett Szőnyi Judit lett Mos Eisley című írásával, amiről Borda Réka laudációjában azt írta: "A novella a felszínen egy ál-megcsalásról szól, mélyebben viszont egy messzemenőkig mérgező viszonyt mutat be, ami egy költözésben csúcsosodik ki." A másik zsűritag, Kiss Tibor Noé pedig azt emelte ki: "(...) a szöveg különböző rétegei egyaránt erősek. Banálisnak tűnő, mégis figyelemfelkeltő történet, jó karakterek, határozott nyelvezet, finom humor. A pszichológiai érzék nagy kincs az író számára, a Mos Eisley című novella minden mondata mögött ott egy másik." Most a győztes pályamunkát angol fordításban is elolvashatod!
Szőnyi Judit: Mos Eisley
Translator: Austin Wagner
Balint hadn’t washed the mocha pot after he used it, the grounds stuck under my nails, I chucked the whole thing into the trash in irritation. In the evening he showed me the house he’d looked at for us in Göd, and he’d already joined a group to check out the residents. I watched his Adam’s apple as he spoke, how it bobbed up and down, and imagined smothering him with my pillow. I’m not moving to Göd, I said, then turned to the wall and closed my eyes. Then came the usual: it’s not good for anyone here, just take a look around the four-six, the tram stops are like Mos Eisley, you know, when Obi Wan and Luke are looking for Han Solo and all those goblins are bumming around in the bar, he explained. You can’t even take the next step, you’re still playing bit roles in low-grade musicals. He hadn’t wanted to be rude when he met me, but we both know that nobody considers all that song and dance nonsense actual art. And I should cut it out with these mood swings, we decided three months ago that we’re moving. Our friends all live in the suburbs already, in nice houses with nice kids. I didn’t answer, his attempts were in vain. I thought about my new colleague, Tamás, whose wife I play, and how last time he hadn’t kissed me like he always did, but had slipped in some tongue, which I could have reported, but didn’t.
I replayed it in my mind in bed, in the shower, or when I took the dog out.
You really are a stupid bitch. Balint uttered the words as lightly as if he were saying good night. In the morning he left early, and he took the dog with him. The first message came at ten, a picture of Zinnia, the poor dog was sitting under an office chair and staring cluelessly at the camera. After that he wrote I love you, you silly goose. Then that I should call him when I’ve calmed down. And that I shouldn’t forget to eat lunch. He’ll wait for me at Mechwart at five past eleven at night, like usual. He called five times before I left, I declined the last one and just sent a short message, no problem, see you soon, xoxo, then slid my phone into my bag. I gnaw at the nail on my index finger, the taste of blood mingles with my saliva. The hairdresser drones on about how she hopes they don’t clap as much tonight as they did on Monday, because she has to catch the train. Perhaps one day we’ll go to some train station together, I’ll depart to Göd, she’ll depart to somewhere else. Bálint pulls up in front of me, two round-faced kids sitting in the backseat. Maybe it’s pointless to believe there’s any more to life than that.
Maybe the hairdresser’s husband also calls her a stupid bitch, and I should just accept that everybody is happier in the suburbs.
It’s Tamás’s birthday, he brought a bottle of homemade pálinka, he offers me some as well. He holds my waist as he pours, and I pretend to stumble after the second glass for an excuse to grab onto his shoulder. On stage he doesn’t take his eyes off me, and when we have to kiss, his hand happens to slide down to my butt. Once the curtain calls are done, Tamás cries out that drinks are on him at the bar, then follows me into the dressing room. He says he can’t take it any longer. He knew as soon as he saw me that I had to be a witch, because I had enchanted him from the first. What if I spent the evening with him, just to talk, to get to know one another better. A few weeks ago I’d read online that he was with the love of his life, there were even photos of the two of them with their little baby.
Well that would be great, I say to him, I just have to go home and deal with something, but what if he finds a place along the four-six line and I join later. He leans in, he’s bolder in front of an audience than when it’s just the two of us, he plants a goodbye kiss on the edge of my mouth. My body begins to surge, from the crown of my head all the way to my pinky toe.
You’re like a firecracker, he says, and I’m repeating this to myself as I jump on the tram.
I dig my phone out from the bottom of my bag, where are you, the first message comes at five past eleven. I turn to the window, I should figure out what to say to Bálint, I have to talk to him on the street to free myself as soon as possible, but still, I can’t just throw away four years standing in front of the house. Suddenly Bem Cinema is there, it’s where I first met Bálint, we watched one of the Star Wars films for a thousand forints, he invited me for a beer afterwards. He lied that he knew about musicals, but I was flattered that he wanted to cast himself in a better light. Sometimes it’s as if I don’t even exist, others have just invented me for their own amusement. He seemed sweet and thoughtful when he texted me, asking when I would be home, who I was with, and he called if I stayed out later than I said I would.
Out the window I already see him standing with Zinnia at the tram stop.
He’s on his phone, surely writing to me. I get off through a different door. I see him help a mother lift her baby stroller into the tram car, then wave at the baby. Zinnia notices me, starts jumping around on her thin little legs and tugging at the leash. What the hell is with you today? Bálint poses the first question, then leans in to give me his usual hello kiss. It was one of my colleague’s birthdays, I stammer, pulling away. I came out of my way to say hi, I add. Are you drunk, Evelin? Of course not, I snap, I just have somewhere to be. It’s a quarter past eleven, he reminds me, he even checks the time on his phone, the background photo is me and Zinnia. You always go crazy after your little theater runs, come up and let’s talk about it.
“I’ve been seeing someone, Bálint. For months,” I lie.
Bálint falls silent, furrows his brow as if pondering how this could have happened. After all, he has an app on his phone which shows him where I am, he knows all the passwords, he looks at all my new followers. You are not seeing anyone. We are going home, and we will discuss everything there, he adds irritably. A man steps over to us wearing a blue jacket with a food delivery logo on it. He asks Bálint where Kapás Street is. It wins me time, I duck under the railing and start running down the middle of Margaret Boulevard.