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The bad day of Lars Borg

Certain messages and ideas are hardly usable without their formal shell. Except for the people who create them. What is the meaning of a black face with gaping mouth, a crying silhouette, viewed in profile? Inevitable and irreversible consequence? What could foretell this ambigious image?
One can immediately spot the contrast with the bright, pearl background that emphasizes the curves of the forehead, nose, chin and the squinted eyes.
The more abstract the ideas, the more vague is their relation towards certain setup of thoughts, feelings and debates, and they are easily forgotten. An idea could be unforgettable only when it summarizes; when offers a synoptic viewpoint and - as strange as it may sound concerning the modern man - when it is poignant.
On the other hand, the words, which contain a thought or a given postulate and their "direction", have clear impact on all, i.e. on both sides in any single combat . A well known fact.

Lars Borg, a lawyer-trainee from Stockholm had a very bad day.  "I have a bad day" does not describe in the least the situation and does not have much to do with the inner turmoil that shook the young man.
The bluish clouds spread over Ostermalm, flocks of cormorants flew over the building rooftops and Lars walked to the local museum, hoping he had found refuge.
On display was an exhibition by Irish artist from Dublin, F.B. 
Lars was struck aback. To his great regret the paintings in the museum had nothing to do with the charm of their reproductions, which he contemplated half his life. As if in the museum there had been a fire incident and firefighters washed away the contents of the works along with the soot. The shock was so strong that he felt cheated and robbed, then frustration prevailed and made him call himself a liar and a fraud. He was ashamed to be in this place in the early hours of the morning and for a moment honestly thought that the hanging paintings of the exhibition were delightful parody of inspired images, so empowering and comforting in his dull days.
"Comfort" is a strange word, because most paintings depicted characters with suicidal inclinations, sitting in closed dwellings. The painter`s idea, however, did not matter to him. Lars worshiped the pure, snobbish esotericism and was comforted by it; he enjoyed the torn flesh of the suffering, and reveled in the familiar details of interiors - the stage of the most important and fateful happenings, where you remove your makeup and become what you really are.
He wandered in the halls half-asleep. Lars trembled and often touched the paintings, hoping that they will come to life and be like his visions, but the images remained impersonal sham. The pictures shocked him with their faceless nature, if I may say so; the means of expression and even the ideas played with words, rather than the image itself.
Lars was disgusted and felt he had embraced a false idol (the ridiculous representation of the ancient Greek Furies was the last straw). He was shocked by a striking pretence, devoid from that mischievous spark he saw before.
Lars withdrew into a corner, breathing fast, and was able to formulate the impact of the work - not only on himself, but on the whole universe, because the perception of one man is like the eyes of many galaxies. He called the pictures "cardboard models of barns, scalded by the teapot water of aunt Astrid". While he scratched a purple pope on the nose, cursing the Dubliner and his own aunt, two employees helpfully directed him toward the exit.
Outside, he remembered the story of his late idol (late both literally and figuratively) and realized why during his long stay in Rome, F. B. did not visit Doria Pamphilii Gallery, to see Pope Innocent X, the greatest portrait of the 17th century, which he adored and recreated again and again in dozens of paintings. The truth is, he was aware of his impotence - just like in the story of two great bards, who stood before their duel and as the first rose abruptly, the second sat down. End of story.
The worst was already past, but the intangible destruction was followed by a real meeting with the boss, whom Lars pleased to visit right after lunch. They had to discuss large order for corporate clients, which was already delayed. Before entering the building, Lars stumbled on some cables, staggered and hugged a gray concrete pillar - obviously an electric power pole. In the foreground, just like in a haze, emerged a black face in profile; the freshly excavated street seemed to widen and the blue light from above doubled up. Around him workers with yellow helmets changed old, rusty pipes. For a moment the whole horizon was visible for Lars. He saw the buildings, their entrances, revolving doors, pavements, trees, benches, grass, curbs, windows, railings,
satellite dishes ... His eyes caught every detail, there was nothing hidden. Only in front of the office windows was flapping white pleated fabric - just like in the works of that...  "valiant little tailor" Christo.
While climbing the spiral staircase, Lars was humming "Hit the road, Jack", with the intention to exchange a few words with the boss Larsson and quickly leave. Unfortunately, once up he was annoyed with the long nose of Mr. L., his perverse manicure, and his collection of very expensive pens - as if they scratched the void and punished it by his very own order. Lars took a pen ("exhibit A" as he called it with a tasteless humor) and vividly imagined piercing Larsson below the right ear - to the left of the mastoid nub (processus mamillaris) of the skull lies the only direct access to the brain, not counting the holes in the optic nerve that runs behind the eye. Lars shivered from the terrible thought that he could stick a pen in Larsson`s eye and so disfigure it - these glass spheres, resembling paperweights with tiny hail storms inside, are a passage to another world. They decorate the head miraculously, and his innate sense of aesthetics completely vetoed such vandalism.
Well, yes, but one thing is to talk about this decision (in which death inevitably follows), quite another to do it. It is quite preposterous, that the courts and criminal records represent murderers as frustrated and contradictory people with tormented childhood and all such sorts of nonsense. Many looters and killers, however, recognize that this is their only career ambition and they follow it with joy. A moment before the killing, Lars realized that murderers are extremely harmonious natures and that - like the predatory hawk - they will always prevail. For them there is no doubt, nor hesitation, if something is bound to happen, it would be as certain as the past.
The facade of the opposite building seemed to get closer to the windows of the already darkened office. Lars shook his weapon, mentally fixed the four corners of the room and the position of the enemy. At that moment he heard some cries and lamentations from the street.  The electric power pole in front of the building shook and broke the window of the office with a thunderous strike . The concrete pillar shattered the occipital bone of Larsson and threw his lifeless body in the arms of Lars.
Copyright © 2009 Christian Alexandrov

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