Finishing a Translation

There… and – send.  

I hold my breath until I hear the the notification that the e-mail has been sent. It sounds like a plane taking off.

I feel like jumping around the room, laughing, singing.  Where did I put my tap shoes? 

I want to scream, to claim myself back.

Memories of projects long delayed fly into my brain at supersonic speed.  Me! Me! Pay attention to me!

The sense of freedom is intoxicating.  I have no more strings; I can dance how I please.  The dummy is gone: I can speak with my own voice.  If I can remember where it is.  

I can think my own thoughts.  They must be around somewhere.

I stand up from my desk, it takes some time to straighten my back after being hunched over for hours at a time, day after day, for months – or is it years? 

I think I’ve shrunk.  I think I’m smaller than I was not long ago, except that perhaps it was long ago.  

I stand on the balcony, lift my arms and reach out as far as I can to the sky.  My back hurts but I reach out further.  And further.   I take breaths so deep my ribs hurt.  I need to make room for air in my shrivelled lungs. They’ve grown unused to so much exercise.

The cold air fills my lungs, expelling the gunge.  Out with the grey. Out with the sadness. Out with what doesn’t belong inside my chest.  

Out.  Out.  Out!

I breathe the cold air until my chest feels free.  Until my head has spat out thoughts that aren’t mine and my heart shed emotions that belong to someone else.

Until I am me again.  At least I think that’s me.  I can’t quite remember.

How does an actor step out of their role? How does a translator find their own words?

I feel taller now, my head is clearer, my lungs cleaner, my heart lighter.  I think I am me again.  Not sure – but I think that’s me. 

There’s so much I long to do now, but the exhilaration suddenly drains away.  I am so, so tired.

I sleep for twelve hours.  I wake up in the same position I fell asleep in.  For a few seconds, I’m not quite sure where I am or who I am.  What day is it today? 

I get up and open the curtains and look at the 180º sky.  Perhaps I’ll go out for breakfast.  That’s right – I handed in my translation, I can have a day off.

I slip a notebook and my fountain pen into my bag.  No typing today.  Writing.  Real, hand writing.  

No jogging bottoms or baggy jumpers.  Proper trousers, boots with heels.  I’ll even iron my sweater.

Lipstick, for a change? Why not?

I look in the mirror.

Yes, that’s definitely me. 

Scribe Doll

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12 Responses to Finishing a Translation

  1. Sue says:

    Brilliant. Enjoy! You have got your life back hooray. That was a great blog.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Katia on becoming yourself again:)) Work done, rest deserved! What was it, from what language into what? Enjoy your life (until the next immersion into the depths of the book under translation)

  3. bdralyuk says:

    Ah, congratulations!!! The scene is so very well rendered and so recognizable. (I just finished a short one today as well, but I know how much more demanding, in myriad ways, your long one was.)

  4. So, congratulations on finishing, and on finally having a free day. And also, on a nice bit of writing!

  5. sammee44 says:

    I know that feeling, Katia, especially when you know it’s a job well done! By all means, go out and celebrate with breakfast and fresh air and that sense of freedom. . .above all, ENJOY!

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