prose

Enver Krivac: The Waiting Room

It’s hard to pigeon-hole Enver Krivac, the multidisciplinary artist whose unique artistic vision and expression have garnered him critical acclaim across several disciplines. Born in Rijeka in 1979, Krivac splits his time between writing fiction, composing and producing music for both theater productions as well as for the musical collective he belongs to, Japanski Premijeri (The Japanese Prime Ministers), and drawing comic strips. His collection of short stories, Ništa za pisati kući o (2013) (Nothing to Write Home About), won the national Prozak award, which honors talented young authors. His writing style has been described by critics as playful and imaginative. (Krmpotić, Marinko, “Ništa za pisati kući o: Vedrija i tamnija strana života”, novilist.hr, 28.8.2016). His short story, Čekaonica (The Waiting Room), is a surreal meditation on the experience of the doctor’s waiting room, a world one involuntarily enters and dedicates ample time to when participating in the public health system. The story is part poetry, part keen and often humorous observation, all seen through the eyes of a seasoned artist whose original perspective jolts the reader from the banality of everyday experiences into the realm of the extraordinary.

Read Krivac’s short story, The Waiting Room, below.
Translation by Martin Mayhew.



 

This is the waiting room.

When it stops ringing for someone, it starts ringing for someone else. It rings for everyone.

The ringtone of a lady across the hall, her prettiness hidden somewhere beneath the irresponsible weight, is a Dalmatian chanson. The melody pretends to be Mediterranean, but it is, in fact, Turkish. But Turkey is also the Mediterranean. Yes, yes, it is, says the man sitting next to me, and the following half an hour of an altogether four and a half hours of waiting is spent on discussions about the sultanate. Fuck Turkey, diachronically and otherwise. I cheer on the inside because I share these Turkey-thoughts with him. It rings again and there’s one less.

I’m only going to see the nurse. I’m the last one in the queue. No, we’re here to visit the other doctor. I’m only here for my test results.

An old gentleman in a light blue Polo shirt and a cheap pair of trainers has a ringtone of the William Tell overture in an 8-bit version. It takes him a long time to find his phone in a tiny man-purse, so the overture plays the whole intro and reaches the equestrian theme celebrated by animated shorts about a cat and a mouse. Sleazy dance hits, songs right out of amusement parks. The phones are playing. Around the corner – more phones are playing, the sounds of messages incoming. You can hear the sighs, phased passive-aggressive exhalations, demands for recognition. I am here, I exist, I’m waiting. I wait, therefore I am.

The waiting room is dominated by perms. The smell of chewing gum stuck to someone’s rubber sole. A combo strike of two different gums odouring together. People cover their faces with palms and huff. Cheerio, matey, and get well soon, son! Who’s last in the queue? Kindness has become so rare it is easily mistaken for flirting.

A lady in a flowery sleeveless shirt which is also a dress cools herself off with a ring binder filled with test results, her recent medical history. She cools herself with her own diseases. Medical history is written by medical winners. People here wear spots, stars, baby swastikas, smileys and frownies, they are stamped and resigned, upset, impatient, they shake their heads, stare at each other, silent, fat-chewing, shit-eating, champing and slurping for they eat their shit with a spoon.

I understand you completely, ma’am, I’m almost a doctor, practically. I mean, I was in a first aid team.

A nun is being allowed to jump the queue and she stays inside for 45 minutes. The initially delighted cross bearers are now nervous and lip-smacking. The nun finally comes out. She has prescriptions for vaginal suppositories for herself and all of her lady colleagues. Tonight she will sleep in peace, just like God during the Holocaust. Expectation is resentment waiting to happen.

Guys who walk around during the summer in exceptionally multi-coloured shirts, their junk dangling in khakis. Flip-flop abominations on their feet. Is your life a constant beach party? That’s the kind of music your phones are blaring out, appropriate only for beach parties. On the waiting room table there are seven-year-old magazines, brochures about Adriatic islands and autoimmune lung diseases.

An elderly woman in a crocheted dress too thick for summer, emphasizing her body. I scrutinize her, she’s maybe a couple of years older than me. I keep forgetting I’m not so young anymore. Behind every good-looking prominent woman from a marketing agency there are at least three fat ones with thyroid problems who are doing her job. I’m only here for my thyroid. I’m only here for new bandages. I’m only here for dying. Oh, alright then, go, go.

An alarm buzzes above the doors to various consultation rooms. No, it didn’t buzz over here, it buzzed over there, at another doctor’s. And I thought it buzzed over here. Good day, here for the nurse. Who’s last in the queue? I only need a confirmation for a driver’s license. I only need my stitches removed. I only need a second head removal, it grows on my foot, it keeps talking me into killing my husband, I can’t listen to it anymore, I need an operation. I just need my life back. I just I just. This lady here and I only need to see the nurse, the rest of the gang needs to see the doctor. We only need test results. We only need new bandages. We only need cold fusion. We’re only in it for the money. I’m the first one in the queue, I came at eleven. They are not slow by default, they’re only restrained by the government. They’re not slow by default, it’s the computer that has broken down. And those computers… We never had any computers before and it all worked perfectly. Who’s last in the queue? We’re only here for prescriptions.

We’re only here to certify the inscription on a tombstone. Please, if mine could just read: Excuse me. Just that. Excuse me. With a beautiful fluted font and serifs made of moss, please and thank you, just write: Excuse me.

My body doesn’t recognize the difference between me just thinking of something or me actually experiencing something, says the twenty-fifth lady in the queue. I’m causing myself physical reactions by imagining scenarios in my head. The nails on her feet look like something that is sent in an envelope together with a ransom note.

People cool themselves with their health cards, even though they are too small to produce any significant flow of air. They talk mostly about politics. Uninformed buffoons on a perennial autofellatic shindig. A lady addresses me: There will be no progress until you youngsters are included in politics. I answer her: Between me and the active inclusion in politics stands a barrier made of 33 vertebrae. I merely tolerate the state, just like you do with a bully on a public bus, you don’t stand up to him, you just wait for his stop or yours, you sit and weather out his tantrums and idiocy. The catch is – this bully never leaves the bus. He is the driver.

And you are a writer? Yep, I’m currently writing the biography of an ex-junkie who became a hay baler and then went back on heroin again because he found a needle in a haystack. Nervous strolls, the sound of flip-flops dragging over tiles.

They’re having their lunch break right now, when it’s my turn to go in – proclaims the man sitting next to me. It’s all fight or flight, fight or flight, he explains. Then he talks about coffee and how you have to let it settle, let it rest a bit after it boils. You can drink it only after cracks appear on the surface. Just like an icebreaker – a coffeebreaker has crossed the surface of the pot and left an even darker trail in the dark foam. In another time and another place, this man would be called a prophet.

He speaks of his worldwide travels and adventures and how he, once in Tibet, smoked a pipe made from a human femur. Wild, dude, wild. On his face the fatigue of a yachtsman, a combination of exhaustion and consecration.

People over 40 mostly share data about their chronic illnesses. I’m only here to see the nurse. I’m only here for some wet chocolate. I’m only here for my mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. I’m only here for my level three precancerous condition. I’m only here for juvenoia, a fear of young people and their culture. I’m only here for this axe in my head, an after effect of a minor family quarrel. I’m only here for new bandages.

A child runs through the waiting room with pixels on his face, just like those who hide themselves digitally in TV interviews. His mother informs us: it’s a witness protection disease.

When will it stop hurting like this, one asks another. Another answers: It hurts until it stops. I have to make an appointment, but you know how it is around here, it’s better to go to a private doctor. They also give false diagnoses that will consume the next few months of your life, but they at least treat you like a human.

After a whole day of life in a waiting room, the doctor asks me: And what’s wrong with you? Nothing, I reply. There’s nothing wrong with me and I don’t feel a thing. I don’t feel a goddamned single thing. All of my idols are dead and my enemies have formed a government.

Go to sleep earlier, look at yourself, she tells me. I answer: Those of us who go to sleep so very very late, we welcome the new day before everyone else. The first days of seasons, birthdays, anniversaries, new freakin’ years. We are before everyone. The night’s watch, the avant-garde, the silent reconnaissance of the near future.

She stares at me and keeps quiet. This day is lost for the both of us, anyway. A noisy scooter passes outside her office.

By Enver Krivac

Translated by Martin Mayhew

 

o nama

Dobitnik nagrade "Sedmica i Kritična masa 2020" je Filip Rutić

Dobitnik književne nagrade "Sedmica i Kritična masa 2020" za mlade prozaiste je Filip Rutić (1997).
Nagrađena priča ''Riža s kečapom, blagim ili ljutim” ima snažan pečat 2020, a autoru je uspjelo kroz nepretenciozan ton i jedan neobičan odnos dati sliku opće nestabilnosti u eri korone i potresa.
U užem izboru nagrade, osim nagrađenog Rutića, bili su Lucija Švaljek, Iva Hlavač, Luca Kozina, Marina Gudelj, Vid Hribar i Darko Šeparović.
Ovo je bio peti nagradni natječaj koji raspisuje Kritična masa, a partner nagrade je cafe-bar Sedmica (Kačićeva 7, Zagreb). Nagrada se sastoji od plakete i novčanog iznosa (5.000 kuna bruto). U žiriju nagrade bile su članice redakcije Viktorija Božina i Ilijana Marin, te vanjski članovi Branko Maleš i Damir Karakaš.

intervju

Filip Rutić: Književnost bez novih glasova i perspektiva pretvara se u historiografiju

Predstavljamo uži izbor nagrade ''Sedmica & Kritična masa''

Filip je u uži izbor ušao s pričom ''Riža s kečapom, blagim ili ljutim''. Standardnim setom pitanja predstavljamo jednog od trojice muških natjecatelja.

o nama

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' 2020 - uži izbor

Nakon šireg izbora slijedi uži izbor nagrade ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' za mlade prozne autore. Pogledajte tko su sedmero odabranih.

o nama

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' - popis šireg izbora, pred objavu užeg

Natječaj ''Sedmica & Kritična masa'' za mlade autorice i autore do 35 godina starosti bliži se svome kraju. Ovo je peto izdanje nagrade, utemeljene 2015. godine, koja pruža pregled mlađe prozne scene (širi i uži izbor) i promovira nova prozna imena. Prva nagrada iznosi 5.000 kuna (bruto iznos) i dodjeljuje se uz plaketu. Prethodnih su godina nagradu dobile Ana Rajković, Jelena Zlatar, Marina Gudelj i Mira Petrović.

proza

Marina Gudelj: Ljudi na uglu ulice, pokraj prodavaonice pića

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - UŽI IZBOR 2020.

Marina Gudelj (1988., Split) završila je Hrvatski jezik i književnost na Sveučilištu u Zadru. Radi kao nastavnica Hrvatskog jezika u školi. Prvi književni rad, kratka priča Semafor, šahta, apoteka, birtija objavljena je u Zarezu 2015. godine. Iste je godine osvojila prvu književnu nagradu na portalu KSET-a za priču Kamo idu irske mačke. 2017. godine osvaja prvo mjesto na natječaju Kritične mase za priču Lee. S istom pričom iduće godine sudjeluje na LitLink festivalu u Zagrebu. 2018. godine osvaja treće mjesto s pričom Dulcinea na konjaku na 17. izdanju Festivala europske kratke priče, a krajem iste godine ulazi u uži izbor natječaja Prvi Prozak i Na vrhu jezika s pričom Vještica. 2019. godine osvaja nagradu Prvi Prozak za autore do 35 godina starosti, a objava zbirke priča očekuje se sredinom 2020. godine.

proza

Vid Hribar: Bilješke za preživljavanje

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - UŽI IZBOR 2020.

Vid Hribar (1993., Zagreb) je trenutno na završnoj godini diplomskog studija na odsjeku dramaturgije pri Akademiji dramske umjetnosti u Zagrebu. Piše scenarije, drame, poeziju, kratke priče, uz to se bavi komponiranjem i sviranjem klavira u brojnim zagrebačkim bendovima. Na radiju se izvode njegove ''Nule i ništice'' (2017.), radiodrama inspirirana motivima Harmsove istoimene zbirke kratkih priča, drama ''Oskarov san'' (2019.) te ''Od Vlaške do Britanca'' (2019.). Njegova drama ''Tuneli'' prevedena je na makedonski jezik od strane Makedonskog centra ITI, a njegova drama ''404'' objavljena je na portalu drame.hr. Kao kompozitor radi na nizu kazališnih, filmskih, televizijskih te radiodramskih projekata.

proza

Luca Kozina: Grbava plesačica

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - UŽI IZBOR 2020.

Luca Kozina (1990., Split) piše prozu i poeziju. Radovi su joj objavljeni u časopisima: Zarez, Fantom Slobode, Mogućnosti, Republika, u zborniku Rukopisi 43 te na internetu (Zvona i Nari, Književnost Uživo, Kultipraktik, Nema). Dobitnica je nagrade Prozak za 2019. godinu. Piše književne kritike za portal Booksa. Članica je književne grupe NKV.

proza

Petra Bolić: Hans.

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Petra Bolić (1992., Varaždinu) studirala je francuski jezik i književnost, kulturološku germanistiku i književno-interkulturalnu južnoslavistiku na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu i Karl-Franzens Universität u Grazu. Znanstveno polje interesa su joj njemačko-južnoslavenski kulturno-književni transferi i suvremena slovenska proza. U slobodno se vrijeme bavi književnim prevođenjem i književnom kritikom. Vlastitu je kratku prozu do današnjega dana skrivala u ladicama.

proza

Ivana Pintarić: Propuštanje riječi

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Ivana Pintarić (1988., Zagreb) je edukacijski rehabilitator. Piše poeziju i kratke priče. Ulomkom iz romana ''Gorimo (ali ne boli više)'' ušla je u finale izbora za nagradu "Sedmica & Kritična masa" 2015. godine. Ulazi u širi izbor nagrade "Sedmica & Kritična masa" 2017. ulomkom iz romana "Ovo nije putopis o Americi". Bila je polaznica Booksine radionice pisanja kratke priče pod mentorstvom Zorana Ferića. Objavila je radove na portalima kultipraktik.org i booksa.hr. Objavila je priču u časopisu Fantom slobode. Članica je književne grupe ZLO koja okuplja mlade pisce različitih književnih afiniteta i usmjerenja, koji zajednički promiču ''mladu'' književnost, sudjeluju na književnim natječajima, festivalima te organiziraju književne susrete i čitanja.

proza

Josip Čekolj: Kokoši ne letiju visoko

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Josip Čekolj (1999., Zabok) student je treće godine kroatistike te etnologije i kulturne antropologije na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu. Dosad je svoje pjesme i kratke priče objavljivao u hrvatskim i regionalnim časopisima i zbornicima poput ''Rukopisa'', ''Alepha'', ''PoZiCe'', zbornika Gornjogradskog književnog festivala, Po(e)zitive i drugih te na portalima Kritična masa, Strane, Poeziju na štrikove, Čovjek-časopis i NEMA. Ovog ljeta izdaje dječju slikovnicu ''Srna i Mak u potrazi za uplašenim mjesecom'' u nakladi Mala zvona. S pjesničkim rukopisom ''Junaci i zmajevi su izumiruće vrste'' ušao je uži krug za nagradu ''Na vrh jezika'' 2019. godine.

proza

Ana Vučić: U Limbu

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Ana Vučić (1992., Karlovac) još uvijek pokušava završiti Kroatistiku i Sociologiju na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu. Dosad su joj objavljene neke pjesme i jedan ulomak u studentskim časopisima i na Kritičnoj masi. Otkad je Jastrebarsko zamijenila Zagrebom piše tek neznatno više. U slobodno vrijeme čita, gleda sport i serije te mašta o obrani diplomskog rada u normalnim okolnostima. Vrhuncem svoje dosadašnje književne karijere smatra sudjelovanje na prvoj Kroeziji u kafiću Luxor.

proza

Ivan Katičić: Klošari

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Ivan Katičić (1990., Split) objavio je zbirku kratkih priča ''Pet metara bliže zvijezdama'' (Pučko otvoreno učilište Velika Gorica, 2016.). Živi i ne radi u Omišu.

proza

Gabrijel Delić: Orlovski

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" - ŠIRI IZBOR 2020.

Gabrijel Delić (1998., Zagreb) napisao je nekoliko članaka na temu automobilizma objavljenih na jednoj britanskoj web-stranici i poneku kratku priču od kojih je zadnja objavljena u regionalnom natječaju ''Biber'' za 2019. godinu.

Stranice autora

Književna Republika Relations PRAVOnaPROFESIJU LitLink mk zg