Title: Gruaja halucinante (The Hallucinating woman)
Author: Mimoza Ahmeti
Place of publication: Tirana
Year of Publication: 2006
Publisher: Ombra GVG
© all rights reserved to the author and “Ombra GVG” Publishing House
The plot: The novel has in the center of the story a woman. Her world perception, thinking and relations entered a transfiguration from the wars in Balkan and intensification of politics and male personality in social life crisis of the country. The other character is a young boy, who seeks to assist her alongside isolation, but here constrains a confused situation, often giving colors for the text. Attended also by her old aged doctor and psychotherapist, she discovered other ventures and limitations of political systems. From fallacy based understanding of the metaphysical Western culture to Taoist, Yoga and mystic elements of interpretation of quotidian, which delimited her dramatic closure of understanding, turning sorrow of depression into the delight of insight! An aggravated journey to recover understanding and make possible its continuity!
The light rolled over the vehicle’s windows that morning, while she was rushing with a sense of impatience to find the closest fragrance shop. She stopped. She was surprised that her vehicle dutifully obeyed and stopped immediately.
This headache will ruin her life and a little aroma would do her good. A few scented candles and the pain will be eased.
Nobody knew how much she was suffering from pain, but it would be useless to say a word, for it was all Greek…..
The shop didn’t carry candles – at least, not the scented ones. The shopkeeper offered her some dried flowers in a cherry color. The woman was struck by their beauty and the idea that all good fragrances together yield a cherry color. They were flowers wrapped in pink silk and a netting of the same color.
Her hair was flat but she felt as if it turned curly, her clothing was simple but she felt she was wearing cherry clothes and her unvarnished lips seemed to have a bloody cherry color.
Although she felt lightheaded she managed to find the door and walked out with the flowers in hand, with the scent of autumn gorges and valleys.
It was spring.
How beautiful those flowers wrapped in silk looked in her vehicle. She realized that it was not just the pain which had forced her to hurry in finding the fragrances, but also because she missed so much someone whom she had not seen for months. She drove her car, crazy with joy from the thought of seeing him…. although there was nothing else there but a car, a woman, and a bouquet of flowers in a cherry color – this was the meeting.
The woman smelled the flowers. She felt an immense pleasure and could not part from them. It was like a rare kiss from which it is hard to separate yourself. If anyone were to have seen her, he would have been fascinated, but today a trained male eye would resent her. These kinds of kisses were outdated now and such kindness causes resentment; especially when it is surrounded by curly hair which in fact is completely flat.
Her husband considered her a hallucinating woman who suffered from a baseless imagination and he did not hide a kind of resentment for her somewhat grave condition.
But the other guy, whom she missed so much, did not behave much better.
So she wandered in between her husband and her lover, without having either, and she called this happiness made possible by the city.
The woman was so beautiful that her age did not matter, but her beauty was in such a sorrowful condition that one should have led a painful life in order to call her a beautiful woman. Her nervous breakdowns had worn her out; still, suffering doesn’t just come along, we ask for it.
There was no way out of them for they controlled her; they were like an unpredictable drive inserted in her body from god knows where.
She missed being bored. But she had lost this human right because even the smallest frustration caused her a nervous breakdown.
The time when she was bored and suffered from antagonistic thoughts and unfulfilled desires and when she could make her days somber like a cloudy sky seemed wonderful to her. How happy the man who can be bored is, she thought, but he doesn’t realize that. He is bored but doesn’t die.
She found some somber faces at the door of the mental clinic. They were waiting in line for their turn. She couldn’t understand why another shock was added to the ones that she already had and where it had come from. The patients seemed to be ruined not because of their illnesses but because of their poverty. She was wondering if she was one of them. At that moment she noticed a big mole on the head of one of them, full of pulsating capillaries underneath. She was astonished. She wanted to leave but the nurse at the door stopped her by saying, “Please come in, lady.”
She walked frightened among the patients, who did not react. The doctor, who seemed like a small docile lamb, was sitting behind the desk with a big notebook in front of him.
“I am here only to ask some questions,” said the woman.
“Feel free to talk. I am not taking notes or opening any file,” said he.
“I am suffering from brain contractions…..”
“Have you tried painkillers?” he interrupted her.
“My body rejects them,” she said.
The extract is translated from the Albanian by Ilir Shameti