Ferdinand Vanek Award 2015 > Return To Forever
Nikolai Khalezin

Return To Forever

Nikolai Khalezin

monologue, 1m

     It is only by way of context and subtle suggestions that we reckon that the speaker is a young soldier somewhere on the frontline (again it is only suggested that we are dealing with contemporary war conflict, the region is not determined), who thinks of his home and in doing so also recapitulates his life. His fragmented reminiscences are peopled by his parents, his older sister, who died of an unspecified blood disorder, his younger brother. In one short recollection in the form of a dialogue we meet the soldier´s lover, whom he had to leave. A noticeable moment in the dialogue comes when the speaker tells of having had to shoot his opponent. This event is – just like the rest of the monologue - narrated in the form of a strange mixture of quite cold and detached description (often supported by subtle irony) and poetic moments, represented by the description of the very moment of shooting: “When I aimed, it seemed that a bird perched on the gun barrel - a toucan.”
     Several of the passages clearly show that the speaker is against the war (from which he wants to return back home) and fighting as such. At the same time the tone of his narration is quite resigned (“Boys are born for a war.”) and the possibility of dying is accepted as a fact “If you learn how to be a soldier, you cannot become anybody. You can become nothing. You might not become at all.”