HOW TO SURVIVE A GENERATION
First, clean all floors. There is dust in the scratches. Use a vacuum cleaner for dog hair. Turbo cyclonic technology which separates dust from air.
Separate dust from air.
Use the box you won from the Kraš express company when you filled in the Animal Kingdom sticker album. Put all the T-shirts they left behind in it. Keep all notes and accidental poetry on napkins. Throw condoms away and clean up hair. The generation is hairy. Burn all undershirts. They know too much.
Buy a new album of Animal Kingdom stickers.
Use a menstrual cup. Empty it exclusively in poets’ toilets. It’s not activism, it’s education.
Wound their walls. Leave your DNA on books, glasses, filters, pillows. Nothing cures individuality TM like a pissed in shower.
Understand where the joke is headed and cut it off. Each new generation believes it has no pattern.
Disturb the pattern.
At some point children will be born because a generation still follows a pattern. A generation breeds. When you attend christenings of children of leftists clean your teeth with your nails and talk exclusively about funerals.
When everyone drinks, stay sober. When everyone is sober, get wasted. And watch. And remember.
Walk always and everywhere. Walking helps circulation and separates you from the generation for free.
Separate yourself from the generation.
Replenish your stores of chocolate cereal. Load up on sugar. Don’t write while drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes. You are not a 50’s suspenders ad. You are meant for dissolving sugar and turning it into language. The literature of your generation looks like your liver.
Buy nice sneakers. Run. The sugar you don’t dissolve with syntax, dissolve with your feet. Residue is a poison that burns the tongue. The place where literature is born is no place for residue.
Dissolve the residue.
Don’t listen to them when they quote Miroslav Krleža. Listen to them when they talk to waiters.
When they’re sick, give them medicine. When they’re cold, give them your jacket. When they’re abstinent, give them a hug. When they’re hungry, make paprikash. Because if they disappear, all your work will be as meaningful as a curse word on an empty street.
Drink water and the day-after-pill. Go outside with wet hair. Avoid people who talk in aphorisms.
When the generation falls asleep, get dressed and go home. You’re not meant to wake up in their beds. Your generation is single, not a queen-size bed generation. If you find some cash on the floor on your way out, it’s yours. That’s not education, that’s natural selection.
If you fall in love get on a bus. By the time you get to the first border, you’ll remember it’s all just semantics and dopamine. And in your generation, there are many borders (Check if you got the money off the floor).
But don’t be cynical towards those who love. They are on their way to cure themselves of their individuality TM. Which is also the way to cure the liver of literature.
Love them when they write. Even when they write badly. You need gallons of text to leave a single sentence.
Never believe you are better than the generation. That’s how you become a part of it.
Don’t believe in a “generation”. Such a thing doesn’t exist.
Walk. Buy a vacuum cleaner.
Lana Bastašić (Zagreb, 1986) has published two collections of short stories, one book of poetry, and one book of children’s stories. She has received several short story awards (Zija Dizdarevic, Ulaznica, and Karver: Odakle Zovem, among others), two poetry awards (Targa UNESCO in Trieste andDani Poezije in Zajecar), and an award for an unpublished drama (Kamerni Teatar 55 in Sarajevo). Her stories were published in Polja, Putevi, Sarajevske sveske, Povelja, and other regional magazines. She lives in Barcelona, is an editor for the Carn de Cap magazine, and she heads her own school of literature called Bloom. Catch the Rabbit, her first novel, was published in 2018 in Belgrade and was shortlisted for the NIN Award.
Translated by Aleksandra Stojković, born August 23rd 1995, lives and attends University in Belgrade. She is currently in her final year of studies in the Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade, department of English. She works as a freelance translator and voice actress. She loves stories in all their forms, whether they be comic books, video games, movies or television shows.