Sotiris Dimitriou: Man from Bulgaria




Sotiris Dimitriou


Man from Bulgaria


02-IotaT’S THIS WHORE’S FAULT. Hers and hers only. If only you knew what she says behind your back. She’s mean and she has the devil inside her. Bye now, bye. I’m hanging up because she’s coming.”

“On the phone again, my dear Rita? Where were you calling this time?”

         “Oh, shut the fuck up, you crazy woman! To my boyfriend, to whomever I want. I’ve got ears, I’ve got mouth. Ain’t I allowed to call? I’ve got pussy. Ain’t I allowed to fuck? Go to hell, you old bitch. You shouldn’t have borne me.”

         She was a reddish girl, around 18 years of age, and very fat. There were folds in her belly and neck because of this.

         Her eyes, two small shiny little holes, lost in the swollen, barely outlined face and the voice was shrill, penetrating. She was eating the whole day and at nights she would get up every once in a while and open the fridge or the cupboard, with her eyes closed, looking for something to eat. Whatever that was. As long as it was edible.

         She would place her in an asylum, but she pitied her – she was her blood – and on the other hand, only God knows what she would have done in there. She was a beast. Even when she was breastfeeding, she would pull and bite her nipples. She never cast a peaceful eye on her. In several occasions, when she tried to hug her, intentionally using a funny excuse, she would punch her on her belly and below and when her breasts started swelling, even without a provocation, she would shout all kinds of dirty words at her.

         Where did she learn those things? They would rarely go out together. Growing up, she would find more sophisticated ways to torture her. She wouldn’t wear a tampon in her period so as for the underwear to moist in blood, she would shit herself and make her wash, whispering in frenzy:

         “It was an accident. As if I did it on purpose? You shouldn’t have borne me, you old bitch. You shouldn’t have spread your thighs for the dick of that punk. He had better put a viper in your hole. Won’t I find him one day? I will cut his dick with my teeth.”

         “The parents’ sins torture the children. You think I don’t know?”

         When they were going out on a visit in the neighbourhood, she would hug the men tightly, laughing and sighing at the same time, she would kiss them hard on the cheeks, and look, pretending to act childishly, for the lips.

         She started going out by herself, in a small radius around the house, and was showing her breasts and her genitals to men.

         One Sunday, after the church, she locked herself in her room and started shouting:

         “Fuck me hard, my man. Fuck me hard. Oh! Wow!

         “Wow! What a big dick you have, baby!”

         Her mother was scared, because several men realized what she was doing and lusted after her strolling around the house.

         “What if she let someone in,” she thought.

         She begged her to open the door. In the end, she comes out naked and throws a fat bloody torch on her mother’s face.

         “Here, you bitch. My first fucker. Put it in your own cunt as well. But what do you care? You fuck like a bitch when you go out. Where do you go, bitch? Shopping only?”

         Her mother burst into tears and that made her mad.

         “Shut up. Don’t even say a word. Now, you care? Shut up or I’ll beat the shit out of you.”

         Just then she started the thing with the telephone. She was calling everyone they knew and was saying a bunch of things about her mother. She was pressing people. Always with the phone receiver in hand.

         The doctors would always say the same thing. To keep her close, to show her love, to take her out and if it is possible to take her out on trips. She would benefit from all these.

         In the beginning, she did not want to, but when one of her aunts told her, “come on, Rita.You will find your groom. In those travels it is easier” her life became only travels and search for a groom.

         She even changed behaviour somehow in the hope of finding a man. She would dust the floor a bit, she even washed the dishes every now and then. Thus, her relieved mother, was struggling to save money and they travelled a lot. She had some fun as well.

        At first, they chose close destinations. Aegina, Loutraki, Evia. Then, by joining a group, a bit further. Where they roamed, whenever she found someone she liked, she would approach him and pointing with her finger, she would shout, “There, you bitch, him.”

         In the first few times, she was able to trick her by saying: “What? Just like that? Let’s go back, and we’ll see.”

         “Let’s go abroad. The men there are not as cunning as they are here.”

         The days passed and she started getting impatient and wild.

         At nighs, she would caress her genitals, moaning rhythmically for a long time, not because of pleasure, but to spite her mother.

         Until one day, she lashed at her and grabbed her by the throat.

         “When are you going to find me a groom, you culprit? You’ re trying to trick me, right?”

         “My daughter, my little daughter. Don’t. Abroad. We’ll go abroad. To Bulgaria.”

         “To Bulgaria? It sounded real and beautiful. She believed deeply that there her love awaits. And the whole day she would sing in the tune of folk songs, “My Bulgarian, My Bulgarian.”

         On the phone, in the neighbourhood and the passers-by, she had nothing to say but “My Bulgarian.”

         The long awaited hour finally came. Her mother was shivering during the whole trip. She couldn’t hold her anymore. The moment they set foot on Bulgaria, she started pointing and crying. “Him, him.”

         She tried to trick her again by saying that “here it can’t be done right away, they have a different system, we have to go to the State to agree upon it.”

         She had to fight to bring her back, with the promise she had already talked about someone she liked, they had agreed and when his passpost was ready he would come to Greece.

         She continued in the same tune. She would paraphrase well known folk songs:

         My history, my sin

         My Bulgarian worship

         I see you in my dreams

         and I fart my sorrow.

         She kept cleaning the house to make it presentable, she bought cosmetics and spent time in front of the mirror.

     The time was passing and she gradually let go. She neither spoke nor moved from the bed. Her mother was filled with sweet expectations. “My God, I wish she stayed like that.”

         Until one night, she burst stark naked into her room, holding her cunt.

         “Where is the Bulgarian, you bitch? What am I going to do with it?”

         The mother was startled and scared and she became furious.

         “Which groom are you waiting for, you demon? Who, you Satan? What are you going to do with him? To wash your hair? To feed you? To put your knickers on? Men want to take them off, you creep, not to put them on. Like that beast that spawned you and disappeared. But it was a good decision, you monster, very good. And I hope they find him, Lord, with his tongue bitten and his mouth full of maggots. You ruined my life. One breath, you bitch. One breath and I will die. How is breath, you bitch? You’re sick.”

         She couldn’t speak no more, she got spasms and was making odd sounds like sucking her saliva.

         “You clipple, slurp. Mathouse, slurp.”

         “So, you got him in your brain. I’ll show you,” the daughter says in a mild sweet voice.

         She went out of the room and when she returned she was holding a fat bottle full of olive oil and started beating her on the head with it. The bottle broke, but she kept crashing her head with what was left, until her face became unrecognizable.

         She then covered her feet so as not to feel cold, she sat beside her and stuck her greasy fingers into her cranium, looking for the brain. Whenever she found a piece of the Bulgarian, she chewed it, and cursed her mother, calling her a whore and a liar.



Source: A child in Thessaloniki, short stories, Kedros editions, Athens, 1989.


Sotiris Dimitriou (Povla, Thesprotia, 1955). He is a fiction writer. His first book was Gropings, poems (1985), his most recent book was Like scarce water, fiction (2010).


Translated from the greek by

Vassilis Manoussakis (Athens, 1972). Poet, short-story writer, translator. He studied English Language and Literature. He currently teaches at the University of Peloponnese in Kalamata.