The Loneliness of the Long-Haul Translator
It’s August, 36 degrees outside. I’m sitting in a darkened room in front of my computer translating a hundred, thousand, maybe a million pages – I don’t know how many. I’m the only person in the building. My cat spends more time outside than I do – he looks surprised from his lazy position on the wall if I step outside into the garden. No email, no chats, no ništa. All my clients have gone on their holidays, to the coast, to their relatives – I’m holding all their translation commitments, their project applications and editors’ demands in my darkened room. It’s a public holiday, you say? They mean nothing to me any more, nor weekends. I sense the people over the road having a barbeque. I only smell their grilled meat and cigarettes. I hear their loud swearing and crappy music, I’ve never had any idea who they are or what they look like. I’ll go to the beach later and I bet I’ll forget my bloody towel again like I did yesterday and take the bus home in my swimming trunks, soaking wet.
Martin Mayhew, Rijeka, August 2016