The Other Side

A few years ago I decided to work on my resistance to buy each and every charming vintage postcard I came across. I noticed a developing hoarding tendency and I’d imagined myself ending up buried under stacks of old paper, in a house full of cats, living other people’s stories.

I decided that the ones I kept had to be really special. Just like the one you see on the image above.

When I first saw the postcard, I was immediately drawn into its haunting scenery: the wide road, mountains bathing in the light of yellow, pink, and blue hues, much like a faded psychedelic dream. But there was something that I especially liked about it: the black stain which formed in the middle of the mountain range. It looked uncanny, as much as it seemed to be an integral part of the landscape. The black stain made me buy the postcard. It was the punctum, as Roland Barthes would have put it.

It took me a few days to flip it and look on the other side. The view of a majestic and vast mountain landscape was hiding a glimpse into an intimate story.

In her neat handwriting, a Czech girl or a young woman wrote to a Slovak man. Just a few lines revealed the strong connection between them, they were full of passion and longing. Ninety-six years ago she wrote them in pencil, and her words still last. Perhaps unlike anything else from their story.

And I imagined that if this was an episode of the Black Mirror series, I could enter the past  and rewind the story to find out why she couldn’t give him a farewell kiss and everything else that followed. Did they see each other again? The answer was hiding behind the black stain of mystery.

But do I really want to find out and leave nothing to the imagination?

Isn’t exactly that which stays unknown the very reason we feel curiosity and passion?

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April 2, 1924

Ládo!

I'm sending a sincere greeting and all those kisses I could not give you.

If only you knew how sad I feel, thinking back to our days together and in my mind I only see you and hear your enchanting voice.

Why, oh why was it so short. 

Kissing you on your eyelids and lips.

Yours truly,

Rína