This piece was selected for the PEN World Voices PEN/Guernica Flash Series—one piece of flash every day throughout the festival. It’s also featured in the 2014 PEN World Voices Online Anthology
Igor Stiks’s events: A Literary Safari and Balkan Literature
Dear E.,
Every time I start thinking about you, a parallel slalom starts in my head. I both like, and dislike, the names of the competitors in this sporting event, the result of which is unpredictable because, it seems, there is no finish to it. We are destined to be with each other, to pursue this Sisyphean task of climbing and descending the same hillside, always in two tracks. This is a run that one can follow from left to right, from one row to the other or the other way around, from right to left, and from what we don’t like to what we do like about you. The marks that are left behind by these parallel streams of thought are shaped as both an ode and a lamentation, and can be read either way. Both streams are equally worthy. Only the content, as well as the flags down the run and the style of skiing change with time. So, take your place in the audience. 
Ready, set, go – Europe!

This piece first appeared in Letters to Europea joint project of the Cultural Administration of Stockholm (Stockholm, Sweden), Litprom (Frankfurt, Germany), Passa Porta (Brussels, Belgium), PEN Català (Barcelona, Spain), Sølvberget Kulturhuset (Stavanger, Norway) and the Writers’ Centre Norwich (Norwich, United Kingdom), printed by New Goff in 2011.