Sunday's story/ Uncle Simoni...

2024-02-11 10:11:00, Kulturë Agim Xhafka
Sunday's story/ Uncle Simoni...
Journalist Agim Xhafka

Beci, that's how I call Besnik, my office mate, came to the bar when I was about to get up. We had let him drink coffee at ten o'clock. As a Saturday, we wanted to have conversations other than those of the office. When he came, he neither apologized nor said good morning, but started:

- I was at Uncle Simon's.

I raised my eyebrows, he knew I didn't understand what he was talking about.

- Two buildings away from here is the house. Simon, my uncle. He is very old now. I can barely move. He leans on the stick that his wife left him a few years ago. Oh, what a woman Sofika was!

He calmed down a bit, slurped his coffee noisily and continued:

-Simon has lived in Tirana all his life. He had the house as a non-stop hotel. Vargans came from Korça. For visits to the doctor, for reasons, for services, for studies. There wasn't a day that that entrance, two rooms and a kitchen, didn't hold at least 6 guests a night. Add four who were masters themselves, a full ten souls was the norm there. Uncle had a son. My uncle's mother also lived then, loved and welcomed by all. Buzagaz as we knocked on the door. I remember coming there in the summer when I was a child, even every year. Not only me, but also my brother and sister. Like us and the children of uncles and aunts. That apartment turned into a large dormitory in the summer.

I remember when Nesti, our cousin, came. Sick with a gland in the throat. They postponed the operation for two months and for those two months he was lying in Uncle Simon's marital bed. And his wife and two daughters served him. Uncle and Sofina slept soundly on the sofas in the living room. Uncle has done a lot for everyone. Even when other uncles or uncles went down to serve in the ministry, they slept and ate there. They used their allowances to buy shoes or food. They returned with full bags to Korça. When we were students, we used to go to my uncle's place on Saturday and Sunday. We bathed there, slept there and ate there. We used to sell canteen plates of those days and with those lek we drank some beer with the girlfriends we had as students. Hey, I remembered. I got sick with a wild flu one year. You don't believe it, but my uncle and Sofika ran to the Student City. I remember very well that they were holding a small pot of chicken soup. One week in a row they came to see me. As parents ore. As parents, going to parents is more correct.

- Did I tell you he had a son? - he asked me.

After nodding he continued:

- His son died many years ago. He turned out to be anemic, lacking iron. He had to eat better, the doctors told him. How would he eat more healthily when we put the spoons in their pot with a knife and a knife?! And I get angry and angry when of all the nephews, nieces, cousins ??and tribe that we have eaten there, no one brings Uncle Simon even a packet of coffee. Do you know how many of us have been in a room alone one night? Exactly thirteen. In bed, on the couch, on the floor. More than a football team. That big heart now walks on a cane. And not only does he have someone around, but he also receives half a pension. He couldn't find a job for several years, and when he asked us for help, we told him, we don't have time, we're busy. But I cannot understand that no one not only does not help him, but does not forgive him even two lek. Terrible avarice, boundless ingratitude. But uncle always laughs. When I saw him, he said, do you want an apple? The neighbor had forgiven him. All his life, he just gave and gave. The best doesn't change, no. It doesn't change.

I was touched and asked him:

-Did you leave him any money now that you were there?

He looked me in the eyes, as if thinking:

- It occurred to me. I wanted with all my heart, but...

- But, but what? - I urged him.

-But I didn't have any broken nails, man. I only had ten thousand. With that, I will buy four beers because I am expecting a woman's friend with her husband for lunch. I scolded myself, I made it halak. I keep broken, O Faithful. I think you owe it to Uncle Simon. You can never repay him.

I pretended someone asked me on my cell phone. Supposedly I was talking, I went out. I left with the phone in my ear and never came back. The more I hated Simon, the more I hated Beci. And where did a monster like this grow in my office! My Saturday was ruined, but luckily it was sunny. I was leaving Tirana, I thought that otherwise the stress would take me with it, who knows where it would hit me.

Simon doesn't even know God, no longer the guts of his desolate tribe, I used to talk to myself in the streets. I talked and talked. I didn't rest...

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