Chameria flavour

– Ah, my friend! I don’t have time, I have told you, the work is suffocating me, – and I felt in the telephone the plaintive refrain.
Because it brought me to mind someone whom neither had I desire to imagine, who, to avoid his friends used to say constantly to them that neither had time to die. In that moment embittered I replied to him:
– I suppose you neither have time to die, but you should get used to command people with cell phone. Add any other skilful specialist or any strong administrator and get rid of ordinary works. You are a proprietor and you should only direct, not work…
– I know this my friend, but the work doesn’t progress if I am not the head. People from all parts of Albania call me. I have extended it a little to Kosovo too. I have big responsibilities for my clients – he whispery cut a long story short.
– You will die one day and the husbands who profit from their wives are going to eat your money. Nobody will remember you, like you have never existed. You would better remember alone yourself, your name. Make name for the girls, not only money, – I insisted, feeble to convince him.
– Wait for me the other week. I’ll come to mount two espressos, in Tirana and we will meet for sure, – he said suddenly.
I had the impression that he wanted to dispose of me. He used to do the same thing every time I phoned him or when we met each other by chance. As if he made fun of me, that is why I huffed:
– As you want, I have warned you, but you have to know that you will die as a mechanic. And death doesn’t care; it takes you when you don’t expect it…
– Ah, my friend, I know but the work can’t do without me…
– As you want, eternal worker! – I covered with blood the lip and closed the phone without greeting him.
I know that he wouldn’t keep his word.
– Ah, Namik Mane! You have sold the spirit to the devil too – I raised hackles to myself, unable to chase after him.
I felt anger that I couldn’t distract him from the everyday work of the coffee shop. My friend’s shop, the omitted poet Namik Mane’s shop, lay somewhere in Durres, in a skew alley, in the first floor of an old two-stored building. To enter inside it you had to pass in a rusty ferrous door, in a narrow hall and across two compartments, one small, with the used espressos shelves, that were expecting to get repaired and the other, the big grinder room, where the Turkish and espresso coffee was baked, grind and packaged. There, among the humid air and the soot, was packaged even the sugar in those packets with the lettering “Mike”. I couldn’t withstand for a long time inside that place, in winter or summer. The coffee odour used to open my nose, my bones were bitten of that wee empire coldness, with which my friend used to preen himself with reason because apart from its ugliness, it brought such a big profit.
I decided to forget my friend and his creativity, although I was sorry for the precious values that he was hiding in his soul, this coeval and close friend of the well-known writer Bilal Xhaferri. I wanted to harvest those values but as it seemed, it wasn’t said. And I threw him away in a hinterland of the memory.
– E, you, the eternal poor man, you presupposed I cheated you again?! – I felt a known voice mingled with the crack of the door that was opened fleetingly.
Like a shot, Namik Mane’s silhouette clashed on the corner of my eye. He had kept his word. I am really late but better late than never.
– Are you entering barbarously in the state offices, vicious man?! – I came upon to him blissfully surprised, but it seemed as if his healthy, good-natured face, eased for a bit the grudge left somewhere in the spirit profoundness.
– Ha, ha, ha! I couldn’t care less! The same as the state cares about us, it collects taxes and this is enough… A state that leaves you without bread…
– Once you used to tremble from the state, sir, and now you are a little too much emboldened because I see that you have got thick, fattened up and your face and bald spot have become red. Perhaps your brain hasn’t got thick, has it? – I teased to stop his jerk.
– You couldn’t joke with that state. Yesterday, the communist state used to kill you. That state interned me for many years at Hamalla bog. The mud engulfed my youth. I shut my mouth and save my head… Regarding your democratic state, I do live one thousand years…
We embraced one another. It was good-for-nothing to be disgruntled with his jerk. His face was reflecting goodness. I noticed out of the corner of my eye while he weighed with howl down the chair. He would be too much over the normal weigh. His grey jerkin, like a bullet-proof vest, could hardly compress that entire explosive chest. He suffered from high blood pressure and from heart failure. The excessive obesity of the body tissues could cause him even any infarct and he could give up the host, although he used to keep the medicines always with him for every unexpected event. Even my uncle had been so healthy and over-obese and he died in the middle of the road. From infarct or cerebral haemorrhage, who knows…
– You are left with one book, good man! We forget even its title, after so many years of silence, – I said to him as I was joking to hide from myself that horrible sensation which his healthy body, too healthy for his over sixty age caused me.
– One book really, but it was a book, not waffles, like these volumes with verses that are published today.
– If I am not wrong, was your poetic volume titled “The pergola of tears”?
– Yes.
– In any case, hushing so many years can’t be swallowed. When I, your friend, forgot the poet Namik Mane, why do you ask for the others…
– You don’t forget me, no, big deal for the others!
– You tired me, my friend, you hardly show up. I will forget you, omitted man – I emphasized capitulated.
– The calls are driving me crazy. An avalanche of clientele, from South to North. I can’t even cosily breathe, believe me. My assistants, nephews, grooms are not skilled in the keeping of espressos and I have to run everywhere, up to Kosovo. I’m going crazy, do you believe me?
– Believe you?! Can I trust in a millionaire like you, who doesn’t know where to hide the money, who has filled even the gaps under floor slabs with banknotes?
– Trust in me deserving poor man because I am not so rich. The expenses are big too.
– I suppose it; you have the jerkin pockets always swollen to be emptied out in the best restaurants for meat, fish and brandy.
– No, I don’t drink brandy anymore, it makes you fat. Now I drink wine.
– You go even in motels, I think.
– In motels no, although I am a man, – he laughed. You don’t believe it?
And he began to tell me a happening how once, a beauty of those vagabond blonds, that was travelling with him in the car, ordered the driver to stop next to a motel. The driver flashed an inquiring glance throughout the mirror. Look at the street, straight, he answered with gestures. The blonde repeated the order, but the driver cut it, he was only following the director’s orders. He was a director’s driver and not a lady’s driver.
It is excusable if he goes anytime in motel, end of story, I was thinking while hearing to his confession. I knew he was widowed. His wife had died some years ago, leaving him with two daughters, already full-grown. Going in motels is a way of entertainment for the businessmen.
– Let’s put aside the unnecessary waffles because they are poverty in this comfortable office, a bureaucrat’s corner. Let’s run in the best restaurant that Tirana has. Because you, metropolitan people, do know the relish of the restaurants too.
– Let’s go at my home, maybe we will talk more quietly, – I sprung.
– At home? Won’t we be more disengaged in a restaurant? – He boggled.
– At home! Though we, as litterateurs are fortuneless, do have five good things for the infrequent guests.
Namik shrugged disarmed but it didn’t sway me. We had been sometimes in the best restaurants of Durres, near the sea-line, in winter when the long water-waves used to crash infinitely like the wavy flows of the white horses at Currila beach and in summer, when the wave used to push the wave and together they used to smarm like wild cats the soft sand of the shores. We had roamed along the tourist destinations in Tirana too, along the waterside and to Dajti mountain, where it used to hold the green garland of spring overhead and that snow grey-headed winter. Even at Namik’s home we had been many times, we had even stayed sleepless all night with foods and drinks and telling and retelling Bilal Xhaferri’s jobs whilom. At my home we had never been, simply because I have lately become a family man.
Meantime we had get out in the big yard of the Albanian Assembly building, covered from the doughy high pines that were sifting the sun and were throwing it with the form of a golden dust along our bodies. Autumn was coming in and leaves on the trees were gilded, picked off and used to fall one by one on the asphalt. A breeze was blowing and the sun’s rays were flecking our sight. In that instant we were like gold searchers, with the only difference that we were tracking the thesauruses of human souls.
At the turn, where the street met the boulevard, in front of “Rogner” Namik’s van was waiting for us, but we chose to walk along the green side of Lana river.
– You are a good boy, Shefki, – suddenly Namik said, throwing behind the shoulders those meditative wanderings that the autumn was arousing around.
– I know.
– Wise too. You have moved ahead since I have known you.
– Yes.
– But not everyone knows this.
– I know this too. The friend of everyone and the friend of no one.
– Some came and said me to meet and bring him to court. To remove him the right to study Bilal Xhaferri’s figure.
– Yes…
– And I said no! Because today we are a democracy, because everyone has the right to live, not only do they have this right, as yesterday; because he did the things as he knew. It’s sufficient that he did them when nobody had courage to do, them neither. I said to them that Shefki crossed seas and oceans and brought all alone from America Bilal Xhaferri’s bones. He exhumed Bilal from the oblivion tomb where the censors of dictatorship had buried him and raised him in the heights he deserved.
He has done a titanic work with “Bilal Xhaferri” publishing house and “Eagle’s wing” magazine. Why do we have to deny all these?!
– And they didn’t hear you. They tried to set me against the state and the American embassy, but they didn’t succeed because I had discovered a mountain with my work.
-Yes, the mountain can’t be pulled down. And that mountain was the work of the extraordinary writer Bilal Xhaferri. His masterpiece “Cham ballad” is sufficient and he remains a mountain on mountains. And he dared to publish it in those years.
– Yes, in the dictatorship years. I have seen it published with my own eyes, browsing through the newspaper collection in the National library. And that masterpiece has given extraordinary impressions to me as a hymn of the martyrdom of Chameria, an unrepeatable hymn like “La Marseillaise”.
– Please my friend, don’t irritate my wounds, and don’t hurt my soul further because when I bring to mind Bilal my own life hurts me. It is said that the writers’ envy killed him. No, my friend, all the writers loved him, all the readers honoured him. He was murdered by ideology, by the state security.
– The state security?! – I wondered.
– Yes, yes, the state security. He was being victimized even far away. They had invented even some files. Bilal heard about this and escaped in Greece and later emigrated in America… He went away to save his own skin and not to express his dissidence, as it is written.
– Would they have imprisoned him, if he had stayed? – I became curious.
– Absolutely!
– He appeared far-sighted, varmint, that escaped, – I rubbed the hands.
– But not only in that case. Bilal was a deft nature, though quiet and continuously thoughtful. Only with me did he open. If you could see how his passion used to explode. Eh, dear friend! – shook the head nostalgically Namik.
– … …?!
– Please my friend, I said you, don’t hurt my wounds!
– But I can’t leave you take all these impressions with you. Get this out of your mind! – I interrupted.
– Please! What to tell you first. You don’t know how difficult this is for me. You know that he was called Bilal Hoxha, grand-nephew of the universal polymath, Hasan Tahsin, who was born in Ninat, Konispol, whose father, Xhaferr Hoxha was shot as nationalist, as anticommunist. But what did Bilal do? Instead of the surname Hoxha he used as a literary surname his father’s name. Thus he was self-called Bilal Xhaferri, perpetuating his shot father’s name. They knew this too.
– What a courage!
– Really, courage of a mad man! And he was so wise! – whispered and the conversation was suddenly broken, as if its thread was a rope that was keeping pending the thought weight and Namik’s being, which was giving the idea that he was falling and losing in one of the horrible oblivion abysses.
– You were blessed to be his friend! – I broke the silence, with the desire to keep up the fire of the conversation and in that instant I don’t know why I felt like the life-savers, who throw a hook or another rope which the flake-out man can hold onto it and not go to pieces in the abyss.
We were walking in the opposite direction of Lana turbulent flow. Only the insistent gurgling of water was harshly heard. Namik hushed and then began to speak like the tense man that already had a narrow escape from fall. I was listening with close attention his patchy speech, with cramps. It seemed as if he was intoning or reading with passion a diary of memories. He told how he used to stay sleepless all night with Bilal, mulling things over and writing poems with a rebellion spirit, although they used to melt the days in the cabbage parcel, where the mud used to keep you bound like handcuffs, where the cries of submission were born and the hoe and the scull could shorten life, where because of the exasperation they used to kick on the cabbage, like on the charismatic king’s head. With the rebellious verses, idealist as they were, they dreamt to publish a common poetic volume, with the title “A silhouette in darkness”. It was so titled one of the poems with the verses:

“I will appear to you in the darkness with mist,
a profile raised full of pain and disdain.
For me the stars won’t tell anything,
Neither the winds,
nor the bronze e brightness of my silhouette.
Only my wounds will witness for me
only my death will witness for me”…

Meantime we arrived home and got directly in the studio. Namik caved in sunken in the armchair and was hardly taking heart. The face and the head barefooted from the hairs were reddening exceedingly. The sweat in the forehead was shining from the neon I had already switched on to remove the dusk of the heavy curtains made of azure atlas. I was looking at him out of the corner of my eye, while I was removing the files of the computer desk and I was thrilling by the thinking that that entire gasping chest could blow up like a balloon. But no. People don’t say for nothing that man’s life is at God’s hand and only he knows when to take it. He quickly pulled himself together, was appeased and began to view curiously the bookshelves.
– You really have a big library! You never divided you life from the books, apart from the poverty that is not detached from the intellectual, – noticed Namik.
– But, for good or ill luck, I have dedicated myself to the literary creativity. And you know that the books in Albania, can eat you even the last morsel, – I spoke through clenched teeth whispery.
– I do know, my friend, I do know, this is why I let up on editions and I dedicated myself to the business. I left you too, I left you alone…
– This is a thing of the past! – I responded in a word without any desire to bring to mind our old-time adventure to become the first Albanian editors of the new post communist epoch.
Namik laughed with the fermenting of my face while it became more twilit, even in my soul. I didn’t manifest my emotions because he was my friend, at home, though I couldn’t forgive him for the abandonment.
– I can feel with all my heart your exasperation, believe me, but I was afraid. Do you remember the day when we were loading in the car the typographic paper that that typographer had hidden at the blockhouse behind his house? I was thinking that maybe it was a paper robbed in any state magazine. And suddenly a police van passed nearby. It passed really by chance. I was horrified. The way we were working frightened me. It is understood that it was the only way to earn something in that ravaging period, after the collapse of the dictatorship. Everybody was acting this way; they were trying to be mended. But I couldn’t. All my life I have dreaded the communist state shadow and I still dreaded the new state. But that not because I am a coward. And I buggered off abroad. This is all and my soul hurts me, – explained Namik with regret, as if he wanted to alleviate a little the big hurt that the partnership with him has brought to me.
– I said to you once, this is a thing of the past! – I repeated quietly, in face.
– It is important that you moved ahead and you are not a stranger, you are my friend. Say thanks God!
– I shouldn’t repine. With fatigue, really but I earn. You should only know how much I have suffered abroad. I will witness this even to the tomb shingle.
– Have you tried a lot?!
– You say have you tried? I have worked like a slave and I was treated like a slave. A life like that of a slave, in the communist Albania as well as in a foreign land. Eternal refugees we, the Chams, did remain, as an expression says, like the Jew in the desert. After the Greeks deported us from Chameria, we ended up for a half century as refugees at our homeland, in Albania, though we were among people of one blood, Albanians among Albanians. The same thing happened even in emigration, in the foreign countries, where we were deported for a better life and we found slavery. Eh, a life of hell! – Namik huffed desperately.
I hushed wincingly, voiceless before that hell on earth that my friend was bringing to mind. Hell in here, hell in there, as if this life is only for them. Even Namik stopped for a while, and then he began to recount his life in emigration, the revolt that was clenching in his soul with the thinking to earn and to turn back near his home, in Albania to invest them.
He used to convert the rebellion in the nights in the foreign land in poetry verses: The Sea cruelly pounds Skiathos (an island in Greece) coasts and with a fist I strike this land. I am right one hundred times more than Dar of Persia who ordered the sea to thrash him with a whip, after the defeat, when he lost the entire fleet in the ancient Greek-Persian battle of Dardanelle. I hear the Albanian mothers’ lamentations, who cry on the phones for the sons, who melt on the shores of a foreign land. Their lamentation is thousand times more painful then Hecuba’s one for his son, Hector, murdered by Achilles…
This was in few words, the point of one of the poems that caught my ear in that heinous atmosphere created by that woeful confession.
Namik was going on speaking and my mind, intrigued by his testimonies, was eddying and a big rancour was being billowed toward servile politics that our country was pursuing with the neighbouring countries, leaded by them. And while I was imagining how weak the man is at our country, I squawked within myself: “Oh God, protect the poor Albanians!”
– It’s difficult in Italy too, as in Greece, for us Albanians, – Namik was chuckling.
– Difficult?!
– As we were cursed!
– Strange!
– This isn’t strange, as we are leaded by them.
– Yes, them! Once, yesterday and today…
– Even tomorrow, my friend, in the entire lifetime, them once again.
– Us and them! Them and us. A large sea of disdain between. This country will never mutiny, – I whispered pessimist.
– Never! We work and they, the dishonest people, the scroungers, the cheats, the Mafiosi utilize everything, thousand ways and tricks to keep this country occupied. Intense corruption in Albania, my friend!… The world doesn’t raise sometimes the voice for nothing… Do you understand me?… The dishonest people do know to pay, to have millions money, which is not earned by their sweat, to throw around, to corrupt, not jokes… And they do this to have super profits, to have wealth and power, to engulf everything, as the octopus does with its prey… They have bought all the powers: Legislative, Executive, Judicial and the Press… Everywhere they appear in front of you… And where can we complain about this?!… I am allegedly a businessman but I don’t see anywhere fair competition, collaboration between businesses, as they pretend… Neither can I distinguish on the horizon that democratic society that I dreamt… Don’t forget, I was persecuted during my whole life, my friend!…

We hardly live and surprisingly they make money behind our back… Us, the slaves and them, the masters. Our intellectuality is good for nothing!… They don’t need to be neither strong physically nor clever. Our strength and wisdom is sufficient. They only lead and don’t want to know if they throw us down in an abyss. We die, they don’t!… Have you ever seen something like this?! – sprang Namik.
– Eh!… God saves us from them! – I groaned.
– Maybe, in the other world! –said Namik emphatically, with a horrific tone.
– Evil world! – I sighed.
– You are saying evil?!… Totally crazy!… Don’t ask how world behaves with the poor Albanians… As the former dictatorship, if I am not wrong, did… I don’t know if those leaders of countries, who say to love us so much, will ever turn the eyes to us and see us as mother’s, not stepmother’s, – Namik said doubtfully.
– No! – I said. – Why do they have to do this?! I don’t think they are neither Christs nor stupid… I say this with a mathematical security: The world will never turn its eyes to us. We only will have eyes for the world always …
– Then, maybe we need to straighten ourselves out, with each other too. To know, to help, to love, to respect each other, and then to turn our eyes to the world… Can something like this be achieved? – Namik philosophized with the fanciful view melted somewhere inside his being.
– Naivety, utopia, dream… You dream with open eyes, my friend!…. Theoretically, yes! Practically: us and them, the politician- businessmen devils that have usurped Albania!… Didn’t you say the same thing before?… Us disunited, they, a fist at our head… At least till now, because they allured America as well as Europe, – I emphasized hopeless.
I was thinking that they were enjoying our contacts with the world, too… They used to propitiate its diplomacy, to fondle it, to promise everything and to play, if they could, with it as it was their doll…And when the world got angry with the flatteries and the cheats that they do, they used to fall upon their knees and implore with fear and servility, like believers in front of their idols…
– If so, keep on bewaring of them…They never will forgive you the writings against them – laughed Namik.
– Maybe, – I laughed too.
Meanwhile the table in the other room was laid. We stood face-to-face.
– The wine is red, as you like it. A wine from Delvina, Leskovik or Tushemisht of Pogradec, the small earthy paradise built up on wonderful water fountains. You have to know that Tit Tasellari with Nuçi, my friends from Lasgush’s and Mitrush’s lands have sent this to me, – I strutted humorously.
– I will prove all the kinds.
– The brandy too?! – I joshed him. We have in front Konispol’s, Përmet’s Skrapar’s grape brandy and mulberry brandy from Boboshtica of Korça. We have Ukrainian vodka, Marseille champagne, some kind of beers, whisky and other things from the world.
– I wish we will always have such abundance! And the world will view us with another eye! Cheers! I have some wine. And they would be exasperated – clinked the glasses Namik.
– Cheers my friend! And I wish you to have success in your creativity as well as in business. – I congratulated him.
He drank up and flied at the lamb came from Gramoz of Kolonja. He was a glutton, not a joke, like the people at work. I induced him to taste all kinds of food and drink. I felt pleasure while looking at him with such appetite, the same as for myself.
– You should taste the trout of Bistrica and the rare coran of Pogradeci lake. White carp from the White Drin as well as eels from Karavasta, – I didn’t stop.
– Hey, eat by yourself because I put away all the goods, – Namik was laughing.
– I am satiated if my friend enjoys the dinner.
– A complete enjoyment! If only I had a little Chameria flavor. The defunct Bilal had written a poem with such a title and it said much:

We lived where osaka used to murmur
where Sparta, spartilja flower used to flourish
we lived beside the mountain where lophata used to flourish,
where the squares were covered in snow like the daisy flower.
When the mother at night used to get the lid off the mess tin
Our plate used to evaporate fresh butter smell,
heady canella smell,
Lamb damp smell.
The same all the year, from winter to summer,
Our country used to change flavor:
heady canella smell,
Lamb damp smell…

– Bilal’s poetry?! – I exploded impatient.
– Yes, yes! His poetries… Eh!… He was Bilal Xhaferri… Do you understand what we have lost, my friend, with his escape?… Even the Albanian – Americans didn’t duly sustain him… Maybe they didn’t understand him, maybe they were like them and avoided him intentionally, who knows…
– Beautiful poetry, – I noticed.
– And once I said to the Albanian – Americans, precisely to one of them, to their head: “We sent you a big writer and you brought back a cadaver”… They got angry with my words. Maybe they are like them… – explained Namik the start of his reasoning.
– Maybe they are of their same hut, maybe brothers or ambassadors who work for them, it doesn’t matter… For me, that poetry was beautiful, – I repeated.
– “Chameria flavor”? Really beautiful. Unpublished. I have kept it and I will bring it to you, so you can publish it and the complete version of the poem “The mist”, partly published till now, in the magazine.
– Wonderful! As soon as possible. Your tales, too.
– Your tales, too. Cheers! And you have to know that I need only a song now. Hey Cham, can’t we burst docilely into a song now, – exploded suddenly Namik.
– As you want, but I don’t have much of an ear for songs.
– Eh, my friend, the songs disturb my soul so much, especially the dolorous songs of this populace that have suffered the whole life, the Cham songs. I remember that in the evenings till late at nights, when the stars had flashed, there in emigration, a fiery longing used to flame for my family and all the good people that I have known, for my homeland. Even in emigration where the word Homeland has a magnificent meaning. The nostalgia used to involve all my being and I used to stay sleepless all night singing. I used to sing all the dolorous songs. I don’t know why, but I used to sing and sing. I remember that one morning the boss called me alarmed and said to me that last night I had cried. No, I said, I have sung. You have cried, you have cried your eyes out, he insisted as I was astonished and thought that maybe I had cried. Maybe I had cried all those nights, instead of singing.
– It is not any surprise. It is said that man, sometimes cries of anxiety even when he is sleeping, the good man, is understood, not them, – I said laughing.
Namik laughed too, affirming that they don’t even know the meaning of the word tear and moreover shed tears. Usually sensible hearts and not those without a heart are afflicted.
Late, in the afternoon we went out in the streets of Tirana. The sun hadn’t dropped yet and the green pine-needles were slightly murmuring from the wind and were sifting on us the gilding of the rays. So, along that immensity of gold crumbs that was shining the night air, we were like searchers of rare gold, so dear for them, hungry for power and wealth, although we were simply searchers of the inward gold.
Eh!… I thought that if we became geologist and discovered somewhere once a gold-mine, after efforts and efforts, after we had unearthed the mineral and refine it they were going to enjoy it again… It would be the most precious luxury, the most covetable for them, the former power holders and the politicians, the former spies and all that flock of Mafiosi and their servants, thieves and criminals that already were part of the Albanian politics… We were going to inherit only the troubles…
Finally we embraced one another and parted. Homesick as always. We promised that we were going to meet each other more frequently, until we would find the magic formula of alchemy that converts everything in gold. And we were going to made it a present for them, so that we could stay a little bit quite about our literary troubles.
– Call me when you arrive in Durrës, Namik, – I told him, when he was next to the car, although I knew that the work was going to grab him and immediately he would forget me.
– Oh my friend, work will take my soul, not God… You have to know that now I am forgetting you. Every time I get on the caravan and providentially troubles choke me, work suffocates me and I forget the live people. I live only for those demon stuffs, which are really maddening me…
– Be careful not to end up like them – I rallied.
– Like them?! Perhaps…although I know for sure that they don’t accept me near them. Like that tale of Hazis Nesin, the well-known Turkish humorist. I think you know that character, who aimed to get in the mafia. We are of another paste! We are moulded with Chameria flavour. The rare flavour of our marvellous homeland, my friend.
– Remember Chameria flavour and call me!
– We will contact each other.
– On August, thirty-six?!
– Sure! Even if we don’t want, they would join us. They can’t do without us. Keep your ear to the ground – shook his hand Namik and the car left.
Us and them!… Honest and dishonest!… Dishonest all over the world…. Dishonest and that invisible drag of alliances, like a giant spider web where the human life has failed….. Instantly, the poetry verses of a Cham writer gleamed in my mind:

This land
The honest people
Hold it on their shoulder
They are tired
Dishonest
Have doubled the world weight
Honest
From the Atlas till now
Charged like coolies
They aren’t unloaded yet
And bethink, and bethink…
To let the world fall
And come apiece
Or to keep laden on their shoulders
dishonest people’s globe?!…

Honest and dishonest!… Us and them… Indeed, they can’t make anything without us, was suddenly cleared up the thinking. Like the opposites of the binomial. And necessarily Namik and I will always be in front of them along the swirl of that gigantesque eddy, the corruption that has magically slotted Albanian life… Uncorrupted people versus corrupt people and corrupters…
The caravan had disappeared already and I had remained among Lana drowned flow and the heady flow of cars that were hurrying and hurrying and were clashing in my face the smog: petrol and burnt oil hard odour. There was a heavy traffic at night in Tirana. There was heavy smog too. After all inside of me I smelt Chameria flavour…

Shefki Hysa
Writer

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