Kalin Terziiski was born in 1970 in Sofia. He graduated from medicine at the Medical Institute in Sofia, and for four years worked as a psychiatrist in the second largest psychiatric hospital in Bulgaria, the ‘St. Ivan Rilski’. However, he says, “because young doctors were receiving very low wages, making it hard to live”, he started writing for newspapers and magazines. During this time, he wrote a series of stories and cutting-edge alternative texts for magazines.
At the beginning of 2000, he quit his job as a doctor and devoted his whole time to writing, working as a writer for television and radio, and writing collections of short stories between 2007-2010. He also took part in literary evenings and, in 2006, he became a member of the literary alternative club ‘Litertura dictatorship’. His brother, the writer Svetoslav Terziiski, is also a member of this club. Kalin is а very talented author in the field of new Bulgarian literature.
Translated by Maria Boyadjieva
While I’m walking along Ivan Assen Street, together with my daughter, I’m taking a survey of the buildings. The buildings of Sofia are ugly because they are too old and their old age doesn’t dignify them but only ruins their coats.
That’s why I’m walking, watching everything as if it’s nothing. It’s difficult to achieve, but everyone does it unconsciously every day.
‘Maybe you want some pizza?’
‘M-mm, yes…,’ my daughter answers drawlingly.
I become irritated when she looks aside, dreaming in some girlish trance of hers. She’s roving. And I’m the same. She’s watching everything as if it’s nothing, as well.
‘But you’re going to eat it, aren’t you?’ I ask her while I’m pulling her hand.
‘М-mm, yes…,’ then she’s watching through the invisible space again, still dreaming.
I know perfectly well this dreaminess – when you don’t think, feel, see or hear. You are just alive; something like an easily reached, children’s Nirvana.
We are walking towards a pavilion where pizzas are sold, I'm being careful so a car doesn’t hit us; my daughter has dropped her hand in mine and she’s slightly walking into my legs, because she just doesn’t watch where she’s going.
And I, while I'm being careful a car doesn’t hit us, I’m thinking about childhood. I wonder whether I felt good when I was a child, whether I felt something at all, whether I was constantly experiencing this mixture of guilt and the irritation of constantly pressing duties? Of course not. Ever since I grew up I felt such things. But as a child I probably felt some childish, silly things.
My daughter startles and pulls my hand, because a big dog passes by her. Now I’m dreaming.
‘Where are you looking …? As if you were a baby! You’re supposed to be an adult.’ she’s pulling my hand.
Yes, I’m an adult. That’s so sad! But it seems to me that I was sadder as a child. I pretty clearly understood that I was dependent on everything and everybody; and that all true pleasures were hidden from me – in the wardrobe, under lock and key – from a strict mamma.
I think I grew up in order to get rid of my childhood.
‘Daddish (who knows from where she invented this Hungarian name and titled me)…we’re here. What do you think?’
‘Nothing, daddy thinks nonsense.’