Swimmer

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Book synopsis Swimmer

From the very day she graduated from the Faculty of Drama in China, Amanda Yun’s single thought was making a film starring a South European actor. She’s a charming, attractive and successful woman who doesn’t like wasting her time. Her lips are full and eyes of amber color and intriguing beauty. Strong character is the prime strength of her nature, but in her attempt to do more than planned for the day, she always comes short for a couple of minutes. Sometimes even a whole hour. It’s been months since she’s in the Netherlands where she’s been thoroughly piecing the puzzle together and preparing the logistics for the project of her life. Today she’s flying to Belgrade and she’s quite excited for that matter. She keeps dropping the things she wants to pack into a massive grey suitcase. She bends down to collect her mobile phone charger from the floor and two pairs of panties. She throws them in and hastily turns around. She bitterly mutters something under her breath. Suddenly, her sullen face acquires joyful contours. As if those long fingers of hers stumbled one over the other. She lifts the glasses onto her forehead. Forty-five years of her turbulent life are to be left behind in her strive for goals, giving herself new ones by day. For a while now the biggest and the brightest one has been written on an invisible board before her.
She hesitates each time she approaches the wardrobe. For that relatively long period of her life in Amsterdam she somehow managed to stuff it, which aggravated the packing. A secret desire to instantly teleport herself to Belgrade remained unfulfilled. When she finally managed to close the suitcase, she started collecting bits and piecesinto the hand luggage. An orange case of standard proportions which met the airplane company’s requirements got filled with the tiniest bottle of her favorite fragrance, deo-stick, wet wipes, a T-shirt, “Memoirs from the House of the Dead” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and a bestseller on account of which she was writing a film scenario.
Collision with herself was left for some other days when she’d have more time. She put on her navy cardigan. For a few seconds she glanced at herself in the mirror, smiled and left the flat.
In a taxi, she thought about Beijing and Belgrade, about sunny days in Thailand, but overall, about the scenario. She took out a tablet from her light maroon handbag and sent two emails to her assistants. Her look turned dull precisely upon her taxi passing the most severe Dutch investigative detention– “Bijlmerbajes”[1]. She took a deep breath. The taxi driver of a dark complexion was listening to the radio, not uttering a word while driving, except when in front of the “Schiphol” airport he stiffly said:
“The drive is twenty-two euros.”
She gave him thirty and said thanks. She smiled. He didn’t count it into his tip, though he should have. But some people only count money into their tips.
It was a sunny day. Quiet and windless.
Having boarded her plane after an hour, she looked for her seat number 43. Hers is the first in that three-seat row. She mounted the case into the overhead locker, sat down and deeply sighed several times. Then, she took out her phone, leaned to the window and took a picture of the airplane wing.
She returned to her seat. Delicate fiddling of her fingers over her android’s screen logged her into Instagram where she posted the picture. In the caption space she keyed in the title of Serbian anthem “Bozepravde”, and in the location space “Schiphol”, Amsterdam. She had known how to pronounce and write it in Serbian, so just after a minute she already had three likes and two comments from her friends in Serbia. She was fascinated by their love of their homeland about which she had recently started hearing more.
While he was walking towards her, a flight attendant asked passengers over P.A. to switch their electronic devices off. She immediately switched her phone off and put it into a pocket of her jacket. She raised her head. A young man was standing before her.

Sun. Burning. I’m lying on a knitted bed covered with soft reddish sheet. I’m drinking a cocktail, very thick one, as sweet as honey itself. My look is riveted to a spot in the distance. The sea is calm and light blue. The sand beneath my feet is warm. As if my sunglasses weigh a single gram. They fit me perfectly; that’s what I think though. I feel good, and when I feel good, everything fits me. The smell of the sea and the whole sea flora runs through my brain resembling the feeling which only a glance at a suitcase full of purple notes could evoke in me. Everything is so ideal. The only thing that’s puzzling me is the imponderable question of what I am doing here and how come I’m all alone. In quite a strange manner those questions swiftly disappear as if they aren’t of any interest to me. Deep down I’m aware that I’m seeking for answers. The feeling is divine, a mixture of being in love and being afraid. My knees are bent over the lower thin board sliver. Now I’m looking at the sky, alert to hear something similar to the sound of a bird’s smile. The breeze gently tousles my hair. Just when did it grow so long? Actually, there are lots of things that are making me confused, but considering the fact that I’m enjoying myself, I don’t pay any attention to them. When a man is obsessed with something exceedingly beautiful, he could even get stolen. He would laugh, for sure, but he wouldn’t notice it. The sun is close and changes colors secretly, leisurely. The changes aren’t drastic, though in turns it lightens, then darkens going round and round in circles. I’m observing it carping at my sunglasses for twisting the image of my only friend at the moment. Suddenly, several strangely-shaped darker clouds stack up across the open sky. They wrinkle and assemble like the lava which joints its minute parts to span and cover a vast area. They’re becoming darker and darker melting the color on the edges into the one of fresh liver. The sight appears more intimate and sound, and the images I grasp are real.
All of a sudden it grew dark and the night fell. Dim as those in the snowless mountains. Bitter wind hits me in the back cooling my kidneys as if I half set them into an upright freezer. I’ve never felt such a cold. I get up. Seated and bewildered I gaze at the sea waves which smoothly rise and roll filthy-grey water. The sound they produce is roaring and loud as of an old steam engine. I confidently step backwards. A bit faster.Much faster. I turn around and run. The white sand isn’t white any more. Nor it is sand any more. Now it’s a sort of clay. It sticks all over my feet. I’m sinking. The waves collapse on me. The mud’s hugging me. The water lulls me to sleep. I’m sinking lower and lower. I hear a strange voice. Rasping and true. Close. Somewhat cross.
I open my eyes. Before me I can see a wall. Yellow and glossy as if it were varnished. It’s decorated with various signatures of bluish shades. There are all sorts of them. Peter Harlem ’09. Steven Anvers – love street life forever. Only God can judge me, Alan Amst, 2005. Bećiraj 213 (whatever that meant, I instantly recognized an illiterate Albanian). Husan Rabat love. Suljo Sarajevo, my only love. A light stench and staleness of a never-aired room. I realized I was awake. I turned my back to the yellow wall and the first thing I noticed was a tall African-American in a neatly ironed blue suit with a service cap standing flat as if he spent the whole day putting it on in front of the mirror. The buttons of his jacket shined like some small suns. He stood there swelling with pride, his head high, his face harsh. His long arms were bent. In them he carried neatly folded bed sheets, a pillowcase and a blanket. He approached me in a couple of steps and told me in English, angrily:
“You’ll throw all that into the rubbish bin in the toilet when you leave for showering. Everything except the blanket, of course. The lights will be turned off in half an hour, good night and enjoy your stay!”

I didn’t get a chance to ask him anything because he had already closed the green steel door. The sound still alive in me.Horridly strong and susceptive. That scraping sound of metal against metal is the beginning of solitude.

The second novel “Plivač” (publisher of GKC Užice) announced as a bestseller, published on June 12th. In 2016, he already proves Terzic’s readership amongst readers. The first circulation of five thousand copies was sold out in record time, and “Plivač” was already out of Europe after six months, at the end of January 2017, and ex-yu diaspora to Dubai was presented, as reported by the relevant Internet portals from the United Arab Emirates. Novel is in the translation process in four languages, applied for the Nin Prize in 2016. Roman “Plivač” entered the competition for the prestigious regional award for literary creation “Mirko Kovač”.

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