Milena Minja Bogavac
Dear Dad: Greetings from Belgrade
Draft Four • Courtesy of www.nova-drama.org
For Srđan Pantelić - for a million reasons.
First of them: he wasn't afraid of Crni.
Literal translation: Marija Stojanović
- Mali, 15. Juvenile delinquent.
- Bane, 15. Juvenile delinquent.
- Filip, 23. Drug dealer.
- Marina, 41. Alcoholic.
- Ksenija, 18. Cash register operator.
- Aja, 28. Whore.
- Crni, 26, as such.
- Postman, as such.
- Social worker, as such.
- Mali is the masculine form of the Serbian word meaning 'Little one".
- Crni means 'Black one'.
- Mali, Bane, Filip, Crni and Aja speak in a very heavy Belgrade street slang, Mali and Bane particularly so.
- The rest of the translator's notes can be found in the footnotes.
The set is minimal.
A wall completely covered in postcards, several layers of them. The postcards are pasted in the way that shows just the picture side. Small props. Trucks, the moving of which prove the set changes.
Darkness. A slide projector. It projects a postcard. A touristically idyllic picture of Belgrade. Mali is alone. Motionless. She speaks blankly. Cold. Not acting. In further text:
MALI. Dear dad. (Inhale, pause, exhale.) Happy birthday to me. When we were at the seaside, you told me to remind you, you said I could do a parachute jump, with you, when I grow up. I turned fifteen. To remind you. Mali.
An empty slide. Mali doesn't move. Another one. Mali turns the right side of her face. Another one. Mali turns the left side of her face. Like a wanted circular photo. Blackout. - In further text: Wanted circular.
The warmth of home. Marina, her hair and clothes a mess, walks about with a half broken cup in her hand. She finds a hidden bottle. It's empty. Marina breaks it.
MARINA. Milica!. (Mali pastes a postcard to the wall, pays no attention.) Milica! . Mali?
MALI. What the fuck are you yelling for?!
MARINA. How do you think you're talking to me?
MALI. Relaxed. Like you talk to every whore, get it.
MARINA. Milica, I was a lady at your age, you motherfucker.
MALI. Suck it.
MARINA. Go to the store.
MARINA. Do you hear me?
MALI. I'm not buying you vodka any more!
MARINA. There's a difference between you and me, young lady. An important difference. And the difference is I gave birth to you, not the other way round.
MALI. Listen, Marina, there really is a difference between you and me. You are a fuckin whore. And you are insane. And you are buying vodka and paying for it later.
MALI. Don't call me Milica anymore. (Pushes her away) Stop calling me that! That's not my name!
MARINA. Milica, for god's sake!
MALI. Call me as dad calls me! My name's not Milica!
(Mali goes out, pushing her away. The door slams, opens again.)
MALI. It's my birthday today, just so you know.
(Before Marina manages to say anything, Mali slams the door again and leaves the flat.)
MARINA. Today?.. No way, I know. (shouts after Mali.) You're lying! Go to your room! Go to the store! You're lying!. Milic. Mali!
A street corner. Mali looks at Bane's window, whistles loudly.
BANE. (shouting.) Hang on, Mali!
MALI. (spits.) Give us some base, bro, go on, quick!
BANE. (shows at the window, gestures energetically) Wait! The old man, fuck! Fuck his ugly mother, fuck.! . (vanishes from the window, slamming, shouting and swearing heard from the room)
MALI. I don't give a fuck about your old man, bald one!
(No answer. Mali spots the Postman)
POSTMAN. Don't look at me like that, Mali, there's nothing here for you.
MALI. What do you mean, nothing?
MALI. You looked?
Postman I looked. Yesterday, today too, a month ago, a year ago. And there's nothing.
MALI. You're lying.
(Tricks the Postman, snatches his bag from him, starts running, Postman catches her, pulls her hair)
MALI. Aaaaa! I'll so fuck your mother!
POSTMAN. Leave it, you crow! Fie. You devil. (Snatches the bag back from her.)
MALI. What the fuck's the matter, old man, huh?
POSTMAN. You insolent.
MALI. You haven't even looked. Go on, look.
POSTMAN. There's nothing to look for.
MALI. Go on, it's my birthday.
POSTMAN. You're lying.
MALI. I swear, by my dad. When I swear by my mom, I'm lying, but when I swear by my dad, I'm not. By my mom.
POSTMAN. Happy birthday.
MALI. Oh, look if there's something there for me, fuck.
POSTMAN. (Glances at his bag) No.
MALI. Look again.
POSTMAN. No. Here. There's a court order for your brother.
MALI. What court order?! Give me that!
(Snatches the paper, puts it in her pocket)
POSTMAN. Hey!. I have to deliver this in person, give me that!
(Mali moves away, Postman goes after her, she tricks him.)
POSTMAN. .It's an official document..
MALI. (Gives the envelope to the Postman, when he takes it, she pulls it and tears it.) Hahah! Gotcha! Again.
POSTMAN. Now look what you did! (looks at the torn envelope in his hand) Have a look at that. Now what am I. ? . I'll report it. just so you know.
(Bane shows up at the window, a scream from his place, he throws a wheelchair from his window)
BANE. I'll fuck your mothers, the lot of you! Leave me the fuck alone, you!
(Postman and Mali look at each other, Bane jumps out of the window, lands next to them, stands up. Ksenija shows at the window.)
KSENIJA. (From the window, in tears.) Bane! Come back! Come back here! Mali, tell him. Bane! Give daddy's wheelchair back!
BANE. (Shows her the finger.) I fuck your ugly redneck mother, the lot of you!
(Hits Mali, manly) .. Happy birthday.
(Mali pushes him away, resumes a boxer's stance, the two of them run out, sparring.
Postman looks at them, stunned.
Dear Dad. I'm glad you're good. That you're not like Bane's dad. That you never worked in the army. I'm glad you didn't go to the war. And that you have legs. And that you love me. Mali.
(A bench, next to a garbage bin. Mali and Bane.)
MALI. What did the class mistress say?
BANE. That we'll be kicked out of school three months before the end of the grade eight , that we're deranged and that cops come to school every week because of the two of us.
MALI. Who the fuck is deranged, the bitch?!
BANE. The old man went berserk. He says, is that why I'd given my legs to this state , to have my son become a criminal?! . Check that out, a criminal. That's what the class mistress said.
MALI. Ah, fuck her filthy mouth!
BANE. Did your mom go to see her at school?
MALI. Marina, you mean?! Nah. The class mistress said my dad should come, cos she can't talk to Marina. She'd sent me to see the psychologist after the fight, but I didn't go. Didn't give a fuck.
BANE. Psychologist, eh? I fucked her in sixth grade. I'm telling you.
MALI. Sixth grade?
BANE. Yeah, I'm tellin' you, sixth grade. She blew me.
MALI. You're lying, you bald fuck. She wasn't even there in sixth grade, it was the old git back then.
BANE. Which old git?. Oh, right. Well, he blew me too, fuck his mom. I'll fuck them all. Do you know the difference between a teacher and a pedophile? You know?
BANE. A pedophile really cares for children!
(Bane laughs at his joke. Mali spits to demonstrate she agrees. She spots Crni.)
CRNI. Wassup, kids.
MALI. You see Filip?
(Crni shakes his head, spits)
MALI. What do you mean, you didn't?
CRNI. Tell Filip: if he hangs up on me once more, he'll really have a hang up, I'll put him six feet under ground, get it?
BANE. What the fuck's the matter with you, Crni, huh?
CRNI. And tell him there's no fucking with me. You hear?
MALI. What's the matter, Crni, huh?
CRNI. Just you tell him this: he should be praying cops get him before I do. He owes them less.
BANE. What cops, Crni? What's the matter?
CRNI. He was more than a brother to me, you know. Your bro.
MALI. You've flipped, really.
MALI. What the fuck's wrong with you? . With him?
BANE. A mess.
MALI. What mess?
BANE. Crni and Filip.
MALI. The two of them? This Crni is sick, honestly. He's a vampire. He sticks to Filip cos he's a vampire and a fag. Mark my words.
BANE. Quiet, Mali, shut up.
MALI. I'm not shutting up. He's a fag! (Bane tries to silence her, but she shouts even louder) Faggot!!!. He only fucks with whores cos Filip won't let him have any.
BANE. Don't do that, Mali. Don't fuck with Crni.
MALI. Leave me alone, you shithead!.. He can pull my dick , that's what he can do!
BANE. Shut up, Mali, quiet. Don't play a tough guy. (Looks around him, confidentially) . You hear what happened last week? After the derby ?
MALI. What? Crni shot?
BANE. And it looks like he actually shot someone. That's what they're saying in the hood. And you never heard it from me.
(Mali is quiet, spits.)
Postcard with an amusement park
Dear Dad. Filip is the best brother in the world. I love you. Mali.
A table in a café. Bar to the side. Filip sits at the table, alone. Mali rushes in, cheerful and breathing heavily, a half of the court order in hand.
MALI. That old cunt brought a court order for you, but I tore it in two.
FILIP. What do you mean, tore it in two?
MALI. There, I can go on! Look! (Tears the remaining half in two).
FILIP. Give it here. (Takes the pieces of paper from Mali, tries to put them back together.) Who gave you this?
MALI. No one gave me. I tricked the old git like a pro.
FILIP. Don't ever do it again, you hear?! I'm thinking of myself, get it? I'm thinking of myself. And you.
MALI. Crni said he'll hang your dick, if you hang up on him.
FILIP. Who'd he say that to?
(Aja peers out from under the bar, hits the bar with a tray. Filip and Mali look at her. Aja takes the tray slowly, approaches composedly. She allows all the time in the world to herself and her miniskirt.)
AJA. Hey. Gorgeous. (Winks at Filip, Filip confused. Aja places the tray on the table, leans towards Mali) Hello, Little girl .
MALI. First and foremost, I'm not a little girl.
FILIP. Wassup, Aja? (Looks at her, their eyes meet). What'll you have, Mali?
MALI. Whiskey and coke.
FILIP. (Ironically.) Yeah, sure.
MALI. It's my birthday.
FILIP. You can't drink, you're going to school.
MALI. I'm not gonna go to school on my birthday.
AJA. Aw, she's cute. . Naturally. Who ever goes to school for their birthday? Happy birthday, Little girl.
MALI. Whiskey and coke.
FILIP. For me. Don't be giving any whiskey to her.
AJA. "Don't be giving any whiskey to her". This bro of yours has become a regular angel . Hey, angel. What did you drink when you were her age?
MALI. Anyone ask you anything . What?
FILIP. Mali, you're out of it. Chill.
MALI. How's it any of her business?
AJA. Fuck, Mala, sorry. I'm on your side all the time, kid.
MALI. Look, madam , I'm talking to my brother. Bring the whiskey and get lost. On one: one.
FILIP. Two. And you have a drink yourself. And when I was her age, I drank 'step' juice, and that only when I save up some money. Just so you know.
MALI. Whoa, then bring me a whiskey and let him have 'step', he shouldn't mix drinks. Go on. Bring it here.
MALI. ( To Filip) And please, don't drink any more 'step'. I'll give you some regular watercolors.
(Aja sinks into the bar)
FILIP. I never want to hear that again, get it?
MALI. Well, I'm only saying she's a whore. Everybody knows that. Bane lost his virginity with her, for money. She even opened the café cos she's a whore. Everybody knows that. Whore.
AJA. (Slams the tray on the bar.) Mala, do you know what a whore is to begin with? (Mali looks at Aja, confused, then at Filip. Aja uses the silence to get to the table again. Places the tray on the table, leans in towards Mali, revealing her cleavage.) I am a whore.
FILIP. (To Mali) And what do you care?
AJA. Alright, enough. Enough. (Gives them their drinks, singing) Happy birthday to yoooou, happy birthdayyy tooo you. (Mali holds her glass, Aja chinks glasses with her) May every single man give himself to you . (Moves away.)
MALI. ( To Filip) What time will you be home? .
FILIP. Mali, don't act like you're my mother, okay. Come on. Cheers. (They chink, drink)
MALI. Give us some cash.
FILIP. What for?
MALI. What the fuck do you care, give it.
FILIP. Look, Mali, you're completely out of it. If I catch you buying my stuff with my own money, I'll kick both your ass and Bane's.
MALI. Filip, you're full of shit.
FILIP. (Takes a note, marks it) This is a marked note. So you know.
MALI. Give it. (Puts it in her pocket. Finishes her drink quickly.) I'm off.
FILIP. Yeah. And don't do drugs. And go to school and sleep at home. (Mali salutes) And don't beat Marina. Go on. Dismissed.
MALI. (Starts to go, stops) You won't tell me about that court order?
FILIP. I don't know, you tore it to pieces, you nutcase.
MALI. Crni said that. you're messing around big time, and that the guys will finish you.
FILIP. Go on. Go on. Take care of yourself.
(Mali gives Filip a quick hug, runs away. Aja approaches him. Blackout.)
Cash register in a supermarket. Ksenija sitting at the cash register, studying. Next to the cash register a shelf with postcards..
BANE. Ksendzi , go on, break this for me.
KSENIJA. (Takes the money suspiciously) Why are you two not at school? . Where'd you get all this money?
BANE. What the fuck do you care?! (annoyed, goes behind a shelf, Ksenija opens the cash register, Bane stuffs his jacket with sweets, Mali pushes Ksenija).
MALI. Ksendzi, bro, look what he's doing. (Points at Bane, Ksenija turns to him, Mali grabs a wad of money from the cash register, Bane and Ksenija chase each other around the aisle.)
KSENIJA. (Runs back to the cash register, closes it) I'll call the cops on you eventually.
(Mali storms out of the store, bane follows.)
BANE. Call dog catchers to take you , you retard.
(They leave, Ksenija alone. Music OFF. The scene continues in slapstick manner. When the lines are spoken, the volume goes down a bit.
Mali and Bane re-enter the store. Bane is begging for a lollypop, while Ksenija is arguing with him, Mali steals postcards. Ksenija turns around to hit Mali, Mali slips away, the postcards are scattered on the floor. Mali grabs a pile of postcards. Ksenija steps over the cash register to catch her. Bane snatches some cigarettes from under the cash register.)
KSENIJA. Whatever you steel from here, I have to pay from my salary, and when I don't get paid there's nothing to eat at our place.
BANE. Eat shit.
(Ksenija runs after Mali, Bane tries to open the cash register. Ksenija kicks Mali 'in the balls', Bane shows her the finger. Ksenija goes after Bane. Mali tries to open the cash register. Ksenija runs after Mali, catches her. Takes the money out of her pockets.)
MALI. Aaargh! It's my money! My brother gave me!
KSENIJA. Your brother, is it? And where did he get it?
MALI. You'll have to ask him that, won't you.
KSENIJA. I don't speak to him!
BANE. You poor sod. He doesn't speak to you .
MALI. Ksenija, it's my money, you thieving cunt!
(Mali releases herself, attaches herself to Ksenija's neck.)
KSENIJA. And you can tell your brother to come and pay for what you've been buying on credit!
MALI. I didn't!
(Mali snatches the money Ksenija dropped. Ksenija stands up. Goes to Mali, Bane runs in front of her, smashes down a shelf, Ksenija falls among the bags of sweets. Mali helps her get up, stuffing candy in her shirt.)
KSENIJA. And if your brother won't talk to me, let him send that moron instead!
BANE. Which moron, what the fuck are you so cocky about?
KSENIJA. The same one he sent when he was breaking up with me!
(Mali and Bane run the length of the other side of the shelf. Bane takes the cash register out. Ksenija starts running after them, then stops.)
KSENIJA. Bane!!!. You'll see about this yet, when you get home. I'll tell dad you're stealing, Baneee!!! You'll see about this when you get home, is that clear?!
(Alone in the trashed store, she starts crying.)
Café. Aja and Filip.
FILIP. I hear little Bane lost his virginity with you .
AJA. (smiles) So what?
FILIP. Was it for money?
AJA. So what?
FILIP. Well, fuck, nothing. You sleep with everyone.
AJA. (Looks at Filip for a long time) So what?
FILIP. You never did it with me.
AJA. (Gestures him to keep quiet.) Don't let anyone hear you.
FILIP. You haven't told anyone?
(Aja is silent, smiling.)
Not to Crni either?
FILIP. Well, that you and I . haven't.
FILIP. That you and I have never. anything.
AJA. You mean, we never did it? We never fucked, eh?
AJA. That you couldn't get it up.?
AJA. If I told him. He'd want the money back.
FILIP. Crni?. He'd want you to earn it.
AJA. He would.
AJA. And - what?
FILIP. Well, I mean. You'd have to, either-or.
AJA. Either-or what?!
FILIP. Either fuck him or.
AJA. There's no 'either-or' with Crni. Either you want to or you have to. You know that better than anyone.
(A brief pause.)
FILIP. How much was it he gave you?
(takes the money from his pocket, counts it.)
AJA. For you?
AJA. Dunno. It was deutchmarks back then.
FILIP. (Stops counting.) How much?
AJA. Less than that.
(Filip counts doubly as much money, puts it on the table in front of Aja. Aja goes for the money, Filip takes her hand and puts it on the table. They look at each other. Blackout.)
Dear Dad. This is the best day of my life. I don't miss you anymore. Mali.
The warmth of home. Marina talks on the phone, probably for seven hours now. She takes a sip from the half broken glass every now and then.
MARINA. And I tell her, madam, you have no idea who I am. You're obviously not aware of who I am. I come from a ve-ry in-flu-en-tial family, my father is an academician, if he's still alive, I tell her. And I haven't looked after the sheep with you or fucked the village hotshots, you stinking cow! I'm a lady! I am a la-dy. You can all pull my dick.
MARINA. Yeah, right. I'm looking for this man for two years, I'm saying. And more than that. And she tells me, fuckin' slut, she says: please leave your dirty laundry at home. And I say, it's your panties that are dirty! My husband went out to get some cigarettes three years ago, woman. cigarettes! Understand?! And he went missing. Are you telling me there are no parallel worlds?! You're telling me ?!
MARINA. Hello?. (She suddenly realizes the ringing comes from the doorbell, looks at the door.) Hello? (It rings again, Marina doesn't hang up but lets the receiver fall from the table, she approaches the door cautiously, looks through the door.)
SOCIAL WORKER. (from the other side) Mrs. Marina Veljkovic?.
MARINA. What do you want? (opens the door)
SOCIAL WORKER. Good day. (extends her hand for a handshake, Marina ignores it.) I am Spomenka Ilic, from the Family Care Center. I am a social worker . (Marina slams the door to her face.)
SOCIAL WORKER. Mrs. Veljkovic? (rings the doorbell) Mrs. Veljkovic?
(Marina stands motionless, Social Worker shouts through the door. Marina covers her ears, closes her eyes. Blackout.)
Café. Aja on Filip's lap, enter Bane.
BANE. Huh?. (when he sees them embracing.) Am I interrupting something?
FILIP. Yes you are. (Aja laughs.) What do you want?
BANE. Can you get me some stuff?
FILIP. How much?
BANE. A packet and two e-s.
FILIP. No, you're too young. Get lost.
BANE. Aw, come on, Filip, bro, don't be a bitch, be a pro, don't bullshit me. (Filip stands up, pushing Aja away.)
FILIP. Let me see the money.
(Bane lets him.)
Is that my money, bro?
FILIP. Where'd you get the money?
BANE. My sister gave me.
FILIP. Don't lie.
FILIP. You don't have a sister.
BANE. What do you mean, I don't?
FILIP. (Filip takes out a packet of pot, throws it on the table.) Say hi to your sister. And I'm not letting you have e-s. You're still underage.
BANE. Aw, brother, that's so not professional.
FILIP. Yeah, like you know what's pro and what's not.. get out of here!
BANE. Aw, Filip, dude. Don't.
(Filip ignores Bane, kisses Aja. The two of them kiss, Bane looks at them, goes out.)
A bench. Mali sits on her own, enter Bane.
MALI. What happened?
BANE. Your brother fucks Aja.
MALI. What'd ya say?
BANE. Won't let me have e-s.
MALI. What'd ya say?
BANE. He got me, he says: won't let you have e-s, you're still underage.
MALI. Aw, not that.
BANE. Filip and Aja?
MALI. How do you know?
BANE. I saw it. Fuck! Like something in a Swedish action movie. The café closed, two of them at it. Turboooo! . He probably gave the whore some cash. (he realizes Mali has run off) Mali! Where are you going? Ma-li!
Dear Dad. Please, come back home. Love, Mali.
Café. Sexy music, something ironic. Beyonce, 'My Daddy'. Dim light. Aja and Filip. Mali knocks at the door.
(Filip and Aja pay no attention, Mali is getting more hysterical, pounding at the door)
MALI. Filip! Filip! I know you're in there!. I'll be sitting here till you come out, you cunt, you hear me! I'll sit here until you come out!
AJA. (Pushes Filip away.) Go on, go on. Your little daughter's calling you. (Filip shakes his head, continues to kiss Aja)
MALI. I-will-sit-here-until-you come out!
AJA. It says 'closed' at the door. The café's fuckin not working!
MALI. Where's my brother?
MALI. Filip, do you hear me?
(Filip looks at Aja. Puts his pants on. Aja dances, disinterestedly)
AJA. Go on, go on.. go to her. Take care of your family.
(Filip goes out, annoyed.)
In front of the café.
FILIP. What do you want?
MALI. What's the matter with you? I've been shouting here for half an hour.
FILIP. What do you want?
MALI. I hate that whore, you know? I hate the whore. She's just like Marina.
FILIP. Which whore?
MALI. She's the same. She blew Crni at Setrem's in front of everybody.
FILIP. How come you know all that, huh?
MALI. I know. Bane told me. What difference does it make anyway? . You told me you didn't sleep with her!. You told me!
FILIP. Mali, you're out of it. I'm not your daddy.
MALI. You're so not!
And you'll never be like dad! You're a cunt! You're a cunt, you hear me?!
FILIP. Cut it out!
MALI. You're a cunt! I don't want to!
(Filip slaps her face, Mali looks at him. Motionless.)
FILIP. Huh?. Is that how I need to talk to you. huh? You can't show the slightest bit of respect for the fact I'm your brother and ..
MALI. Don't hit me anymore.
FILIP. Why do you fuck with me? You know. my strength is my weakness.
MALI. I always hit back whenever someone hits me, you hear.
FILIP. You wanna hit me back, is that it?
FILIP. What do you want? Come on.
MALI. Dad never hit me.
FILIP. I'm not your old man, Mali, fuck's sake. It's not me who's the cunt, it's dad. It wasn't me who went to get some cigarettes and went missing till the end of the world, it was him. Understand? (Mali stares at him blankly) It's not him who supports you and Marina, it's me, you get it?! Your dad's a cunt. Dear dad, get it? Not me. He's the one who split. And I'll tell you something, Mali. Something you'll understand when you grow up. Dad didn't give a fuck about us. He only loved Marina. While she was hot. And didn't give a fuck about her either, afterwards. He couldn't do anything. The only thing he knew how to do was flying passengers' planes. Nothing. People went to the war and got killed. And he was hiding at home. Cos he was a cunt. And he left us at the end too. I was, I was nineteen, Mali. The place was fucking bombed, for fuck's sake. Marina did the only thing she knew how. (Mali is silent. Motionless. Rigid.)
Why am I telling you all this anyway?.
MALI. Your whore's waiting for you.
FILIP. So what if she's a whore? Huh? So what if she's waiting? You have no right to mess with my life like this. You get it now? Stay out of my life!
(Mali turns her back at him, starts to leave.)
FILIP. Where ya going?
MALI. Staying out of your life.
FILIP. Mali? . Hey?. Come here. (Mali approaches him. Filip goes to her, puts his hand on her shoulder, carefully.) Mali, I'll always be here. You know.
MALI. (doesn't believe him one bit.) Yeah right. Right. Yeah, right.
FILIP. Mali. I never sold anyone. I'm taking care of myself. And of you.
MALI. (Believes him even less.) Right. (starts to go, comes back) Drop by the supermarket. You have a to pay for the credit thing. She says hi.
(Mali is silent).. Tell her I'll send someone over. You give it to her. How much? (Takes the money out of his back pocket).
MALI. A hundred. What the fuck! I'm not your gofer. (Starts to leave.)
FILIP. Where are you going?
MALI. Stay out of my life.
(Filip looks at her. He goes back to the café. Blackout.)
Dear Dad. Everybody's a cunt, you're the one I love. Mali.
A street corner. Mali sits next to Crni.
MALI. Crni? I came to get some stuff.
MALI. Me. Two pieces. And don't try and sell me aspirin, you hear.
CRNI. Give me the cash.
(Mali gives him the money.)
CRNI. Why doesn't your brother get it for you? His stuff's the best in town.
MALI. I don't know and don't care.
CRNI. Tell him I found what he'd hidden.
CRNI. Just you tell him so. Tell him I found it, cos I know the way he thinks. And tell him not to be hiding from me. Cos I'll find him too.
MALI. What did you find?
CRNI. Something that belonged to both of us. The so called - evidence, in cop language. (He spits.)
MALI. Is it a gun?
CRNI. Just you tell him that. We shared everything. It could so happen that we share a cell too . (Smiles.)
MALI. Let me see the gun.
CRNI. Get lost.
MALI. Then tell him yourself.
CRNI. Take a hike.
MALI. (extends her hand.)
(Crni gives them to Mali. They look at each other. Blackout.)
A bench, Mali and Bane sitting, taking E's.
BANE. What did Crni say?
MALI. That E's are fresh.
BANE. Fresh, eh? And what else?
BANE. He ask about Filip?. (Mali silent.) Did he?
MALI. (Silent.) Filip is. I've got nothing to do with Filip. I'm not taking any more cash from Filip. See?
BANE. How do you mean you're not?
MALI. Like that. I won't. I'll take control. You think I don't know where Filip gets his money? Wha'? Or Crni?
BANE. Well, drugs.
MALI. Well, drugs, of course. It's not from Red Cross, for sure.
BANE. Who are we going to deal to, mosquito? What're you trippin' for?
MALI. We don't have to deal. I'm serious. I'm no longer an amateur, bald one. I'm not doing anything small scale anymore.
BANE. Ah, come on, Mali. You have neither tits nor balls. You've got nothing.
MALI. That's why you, you cunt, try and act like a cock. The only thing you're missing's a bicycle (spits.) Your sister has a key to the shop? (Bane starts smiling.)
BANE. You mean. Wow. Mali, you're a genius!
MALI. Does she?
BANE. She does. I guess. I don't know if she takes it home though.
MALI. Alright. Never mind. If she doesn't, we move to plan b.
BANE. Plan B? What's plan A then?
MALI. A - you steal Ksenija's key, we make our own. Plan B - just before closing time, we enter K's. You start pho. I.E, pissing her off. I get lost. Behind the shelf, to the loo. Is there a window in the loo?
BANE. Yeah. This small.
MALI. Just right. So, I go to the loo. Ksenija closes the store. You go out with her. In half an hour, you wait for the goods by the window. I pass them on to you. If I squeeze through it, cool. If not, I wait for the morning and juuuust walk out as if nothing had happened, when you give me the signal.
BANE. Mali, you know why I like you, you know? . Because you have a criminal mind, honestly. You're soooo good at strategies.
MALI. Shut up, Bane. You're so stupid. I'm not done yet. Look! We sell the goods we have. We buy the evidence.
BANE. Which evidence?
MALI. That's a gun, in cop language, capisci?
BANE. Ah.. Right.
MALI. And then what?
MALI. You're so stupid, bald one. If it weren't for me, the street would eat you alive, you know that? . First off, we fuck up the hood. Easy. An armed robbery a day. We stash all the goods to a single place. . I know! In the factory, where Filip and Crni used to stash their shit.
BANE. You're such a king, Mali! But look. When you get in there, you should only go for cigarettes and alcohol.
MALI. And postcards.
BANE. What postcards? . Cigarettes, alcohol. The rest is shit.
MALI. Listen, you retard, listen here. Listen. We're not gonna sell the goods we've stashed until we stash enough to get a car.
BANE. I'm thinking jeep, Mali.
BANE. Yeah, a jeep. A jeep is suitable for any terrain.
MALI. What fuckin ever, jeep or not. Fuck, terrain. We need a car, capisci? For the escape. And until I get myself a driver's license, we need to get a driver.
BANE. What driver?
MALI. What, you grew up on a banana tree or what? We need one that's quick and brave. We'll be giving him 20 percent.
BANE. That's too much.
MALI. It's not fuckin too much. It's the law of the market.
BANE. Oh. Alright then.
MALI. Do you get it now?
BANE. The whole deal. We'll do the store, what the fuck do we care?
MALI. What the fuck.
BANE. What the fuck.
(They laugh like crazy, sparring. The E's are working. Obviously. Blackout.)
Dear Dad. now I know what you meant. When you said. I don't know what. But I know it was nice. And that we were at the seaside. And that we looked at the planes. Flying. Cos they're stronger. Than gravity. I guess. You remember, dad? Good night.
The warmth of home. Marina sleeps at the table, snoring. Mali slams the door, Marina wakes up.
MARINA. (Barely awake.) Milica, don't slam the fuckin' door.
(Mali sits opposite Marina, looks at her.)
What? Why're you looking at me like that?
MALI. Drunk again. Where did you get the money?
MARINA. Milica, there's a difference between you and me, an important difference.
MALI. Don't call me Milica, you know.
MARINA. Milica is the prettiest of all girls' names. You don't even deserve it, you disheveled punk.
MALI. Is there anything to eat?
MARINA. Why didn't you eat out? Why didn't your brother give you?. Why didn't you eat at school?
MALI. Cos it's summer holiday.
MARINA. Summer holiday? How are your grades?
MARINA. Where do you get those words, fuck this disheveled head of yours. Your hairstyle is like a typhoid broom.
MALI. You're so out of your head.
MARINA. I don't know. I was a beauty at your age, you filthy beast. Go to your room! Go to school.
(Marina passes out.)
MALI. Good night.
(Marina falls asleep at the table. Mali covers her with a blanket. She stands next to sleeping Marina, watches her. Blackout.)
Aja's place. Aja and Filip, after sex. They're smoking a joint.
FILIP. Was it good?
AJA. It was.
FILIP. Do you like me?
AJA. I like you. Why are you such a bore?
FILIP. Would you marry me?
AJA. (Looks at him) I would. Why not?
FILIP. You serious?
FILIP. So, will you?
FILIP. Marry me.
AJA. Are you mad?
AJA. I thought you were just asking. Get out of here. You're nuts.
FILIP. Aja, why?
AJA. Ah, get out of here. Get dressed and go home to your mum and sister. Go on.
AJA. Go on.. Go on. You're nuts.
(Filip starts getting dressed, but then, all of a sudden.)
FILIP. Look, don't fuck with me, alright? (Aja looks at him, surprised.) You whore!.. I asked you a serious question. If I ask you seriously, you have to answer seriously.
AJA. Get out.
FILIP. (Takes a note from his pocket, throws it to Aja.) No. I'll sit here for another half an hour. Is that enough money for half an hour?
AJA. Take the money and get out.
FILIP. I should take the money? Eh, whore? Who's paying who in here?
AJA. Have a seat. (Takes the money, sits on a chair, spreads her legs) Here you go.
FILIP. I want to talk to you.
AJA. If you wanna talk, go see a shrink.
FILIP. Stop taking the piss.
AJA. Filip, what's the matter with you?
FILIP. I want you to marry me.
AJA. You fool, go away. I'm a whore, you idiot, what on earth do you know about.
FILIP. About what?
AJA. About anything. You don't even know my name.
FILIP. What's your name?
AJA. That's not the point, the point is you.
FILIP. What's your name?
FILIP. Hm. Adrijana?
Adrijana. My parents work abroad. and my mum's boss was called this.
FILIP. Adrijana. It's nice.
AJA. It's disgusting.
FILIP. You have no idea.
AJA. I have a kid.
AJA. Yeah. I've got a kid. A daughter. She's six. She lives with her grandparents in Ripanj . (Filip goes to Aja, embraces her, Aja remains motionless)
FILIP. Adrijana.. .I want you to be my wife. Just mine. All mine.
AJA. Filip, what's the matter with you?.. I can't.. .I can't be anyone's wife. (Filip literally shuts her up with a kiss, Aja still mumbles, they kiss. Blackout.)
Dear Dad. Mum's pretty when she's asleep. Greetings from Belgrade. Mali.
(Street corner. Mali whistles loudly in front of Bane's window. Bane waves through the window. Comes out.)
BANE. Want a cigarette?
(They sit down, light their cigarettes.)
BANE. ...couldn't sleep all night.
MALI. Me neither.
BANE. It was the e, sexy e, wouldn't let me be all night, and I so thought about what you told me.
MALI. About Filip?
BANE. Filip who?
BANE. I meant, the plan.
MALI. Bane, who was it that Crni shot?
BANE. I don't know.
MALI. Who was it, Bane, you cunt, I'll fuck your mother if you don't tell me . (takes a boxer's stance, hits him)
BANE. Aw, you moron! What the fuck's wrong with you, why're you snarling, you in some kind of crisis or something? I don't know. Even if I knew, how would I know?!
BANE. Some kid, Zvezda supporter.
MALI. Which kid?
BANE. I told you everything, Mali. Everything I know. I guess he was at the derby, and he got into a fight. That's what those gravediggers told me. Like, he got to the match with them, stoned like a pig, and then they were here at the corner, drinking. And there was a fight. Fat Duje from the North , you know him? (Mali silent) Duje North force?
MALI. I don't know, how should I know!
BANE. He phoned Crni.
(Enter Postman, spots Mali, goes back to avoid meeting her.)
MALI. (Yells) I saw you, you old git!.. (To Bane.) And?
BANE. I don't know, Mali, that's all I know.
POSTMAN. Fie. You devil! You crow.
BANE. I don't know, Mali.
MALI. And what happened when he phoned him, you fuck? (tricks him)
BANE. I don't know, honestly, I wasn't there.
MALI. Bane, you're so full of shit. Don't be so full of shit. Tell me.
BANE. And then nothing. Crni arranged a fight. Told those guys from the North "in twenty minutes' and then he went home to get the gun.
BANE. I don't know! Filip was with him.
MALI. Filip? At the match?
BANE. No. After it.
MALI. Why are the cops after Filip, Bane?
BANE. I guess he was a witness. I don't know. I don't know and I don't want to know.
MALI. WHY are the cops after him, Bane?
BANE. Because he's a drug dealer, for fuck's sake.
MALI. That's not why, bald one. Filip pays his taxes regularly, you know?
BANE. I don't know, Mali. (Mali grabs him by the neck.) Aaaaagh! Fuck you.
MALI. You're not my old man, bald one, get it. Don't do that pedagogy shit cos I'll crack your ass open. Speak up!
BANE. Aaaaagh!! A! Aaw, fuck, Mali. He hid the gun! That's why. (Mali lets go.) He hid it. His prints, see?. (Mali stares at the floor, biting her lips, Bane tries to hold her, she pushes his arm away.) Don't worry, ok. Filip takes care of himself, he's got style. You know it yourself. (Mali looks at him) And he's not guilty of anything.
MALI. The cops don't know that.
BANE. Everything's gonna be alright, Mali. You hear?. I think I know who the driver could be.
MALI. You bore me, Bane. (She spits.)
Aja's place. Morning. Two cups of coffee, steaming. Filip snorts two lines of cocaine off a mirror. Aja comes and stands behind his back. Kisses his neck.
FILIP. There. (Passes Aja a note, stands up, lets her have a seat. Aja rolls the note, sticks it in her nose. Goes to snort.)
FILIP. This is the last of it, just so you know.
AJA. You don't have any more?
FILIP. No and I won't have any more either. Ever. This is the last one.
AJA. Now what? You don't happen to think I'm gonna become a straight housewife the minute I get married? Huh?
FILIP. Right, you join the club with Crni, and I'll stop playing the national hero. Don't undermine me, Adrijana. Everything's gonna be okay. I'll take care of you. And myself . (Aja goes to snort, Filip pushes her chin, looks her in the eye.) We'll go through the crisis, we'll sort ourselves out. We'll get straight jobs.
AJA. Straight? Jobs?. Me and you?
FILIP. Why not? You've got the café. I've got the car. I can do taxi. (Aja bursts out laughing.) What are you laughing at? (Aja snorts up the line, still laughing, kisses Filip on the nose. Stands up. Filip sits at the table. Takes the note.) You don't believe me? Why don't you believe me? I'm dead serous? I'm not doing drugs anymore. (Snorts up a line. Aja sits in his lap. Kisses him. They seem in love. That's cocaine. THE PHONE RINGS. Aja and Filip pay no attention, they kiss. The phone rings rings and rings.)
AJA. Come on, pick it up.
FILIP. Shall I pick it up then?
AJA. Yeah. Maybe it's one of your regular customers.
FILIP. No more customers, Aja. That's done with. For me. For us. (Looks at the phone. Meaningfully.) It's your regular customer calling.
AJA. (Her face goes dark.) Crni?
FILIP. (Cancels the call) Crni. (They look at each other. The phone starts ringing again.)
AJA. (scared.) Answer it. (she lights a cigarette nervously.) No! Don't answer it! Don't answer it..
FILIP. Should I answer it?
AJA. Answer it. Don't. Answer it . (turns the volume of the music down.) Answer it.
FILIP. (Cancels the call, throws the phone in the coffee cup.) I don't give a fuck. (Aja looks at him, scared.) You're still afraid of him?
AJA. Let's get out of here, Filip. Let's get out of here, you and me, until all this settles.
FILIP. Where am I gonna go? I'm not going! I don't give a fuck! (snorts another line.) It's not my fault. I helped him. Okay. I helped him hide the gun. I helped him cos he'd helped me a thousand times. Cos he was my mate. And I confess, alright. He was my best mate. He's taught me everything. (Aja lights a cigarette, watching Filip, getting dressed.) It's not my fault he flipped. I don't carry a gun so that I don't use it. And he flipped for real.
AJA. Let's get out of here.
FILIP. Go where?
AJA. Let's go to my folks in the countryside. Let's go anywhere, please.
FILIP. What countryside? I have to leave some money to my mother. I have to. With Mali.
AJA. Filip, he's gonna come over. Crni. He's gonna come over here.
Bench. Mali and Bane.
MALI. What do you mean, Filip's not there? What about the pot?. What do you mean, 'closed'?
BANE. Like I'm saying. The café's closed. I went to Aja's place too. No sound, no one opening the door.
(Mali kicks the bench)
MALI. Call his mobile.
BANE. There. (gives the mobile to her, Mali dials a number.)
MALI. He's out of reach.
BANE. Call Aja too. She's number one in my phonebook . (he does some coital movements.)
MALI. I'm not gonna call the bitch. Filip. Filip would call me.
(A loud whistle from the darkness.)
CRNI. (turns around.) What do you want?
CRNI. (shouts.) Come 'ere.
MALI. Give me a hundred euros! (shows him the finger.)
CRNI. Come here.
MALI. What do you want?
CRNI. I want to give you something for your brother.
(Mali looks at Bane.)
MALI. What the fuck?
CRNI. What the fuck what?
(Mali goes to the darkness with Crni. Bane looks at her. Blackout.)
Darkness of a deserted factory hall. Rays of sunlight coming in through narrow windows and falling to the floor. Mali walks on that floor. Echo.
MALI. Crni! (She shouts in order to hear her echo.) Yoohooo! Crni, where are you?. (nobody answers.) Don't fuck with me, you hear. (Loudly) Crrr-niii! (Crni pulls her by the hair from the darkness.)
MALI. Aaaaa! Let go, you idiot! (She's trying to get away, he shuts her mouth with his hand. Very quickly, he brings her to a position in which she can't get away from, but can't scream either.)
CRNI. Take it easy, Mali, take it easy. (Mali still trying to get away, but then she stops. Crni waits a bit, then releases his grip a bit.)
MALI. (Top of her lungs.) Baneeeeeeeee ! (Crni closes her mouth, holds her hard again.)
CRNI. Fuckin' take it easy, I'm not gonna hurt you, take it easy.
MALI. What the fuck's wrong with you? What do you mean assaulting me like that, Filip's gonna fuckin kill you when he finds out (he slaps her face) Aaaaaaa!
CRNI. Where is Filip?
MALI. I don't know and don't care. What?
CRNI. (Gives her the phone.) Call him.
CRNI. (slaps her face.) Don't go macho on me!
MALI. Filip will fuck you in the ass for this.
CRNI. Well, give him a call. That's why I'm waiting for him, to fuck him.
MALI. Fuck your mother, you fag!
(he slaps her face.) AAA! Don't do it.
CRNI. What'd ya say?
MALI. What the fuck do you care?
CRNI. (Slap) I should be teaching you manners? Huh? Your mum couldn't do it, huh? Your brother couldn't? And that late father of yours?!. Am I the one to be bringing you up?
MALI. (Holding back tears.) Wh. What's the matter with you?
CRNI. Call your brother.
MALI. Call him yourself.
(Mali takes the phone, her eyes are full of tears, she already knows she won't be able to reach Filip. Crni is silent. Looking at her. Mali tries again. Crni snorts, you can tell he's on drugs.)
CRNI. What, he's not answering, Mali, huh?. He's not answering, the cunt, he sees who's calling him.
MALI. Fuck your mother.
CRNI. I'll fuck you, Mali. You hear me, you little slut. I'll fuck your mother too. I'll fuck the lot of you.
MALI. Stop it!
CRNI. Come here, little slut.
(Takes the phone from Mali, throws it to the wall, hits her hard on the face, Mali falls to the floor.)
I'll fuck you like the whore I used to pay for him.
(Blackout. Mali's scream from the darkness.)
Bench. Bane on the phone, nervous.
BANE. Aja? . Hey? It's Bane.. Bane. Little Bane. Nothing. Is Filip with you?. Aja, don't lie, it's important. Aja, let me talk to Filip, fuck.
(Bane looks at his phone, in shock.)
AUTOMATIC VOICE OF THE PHONE MACHINE: This service is not enabled. Please go to the top up menu. (OFF)
Dear Dad. Ever since you left, nobody's looking after me. I keep the postcard the two of us sent from the seaside. When we were there. That's what you do. When you travel. That's when you send them, dad. Isn't that what you said? Isn't it, dad? Dear dad. Isn't it what you said?
Lights on slowly. Mali is in rags, 'mutilated'. She's crying softly. Her hands are tied by Crni's belt. Crni looks at her and is silent. The light of his phone, ringing, is seen from the darkness.
MALI. It's Filip! He'll kill you! You hear?!
(Crni doesn't respond.)
Answer it, you cunt! Answer it.
(Crni kicks her, sits next to her, silent. The phone starts ringing again.)
MALI. Answer it. Please.
CRNI. (picks up the phone) Aja? You're always calling when I don't fuckin need you for anything. Die. (hangs up.)
MALI. You cunt!
(Crni slaps her face. Spits.)
CRNI. Get up. I'm taking you home. Come on, you little slut. I'm taking you to your crazy mother.
(Kicks her, Mali gets up after him.)
Street corner. Filip, Bane and Aja. Filip holds the phone. Aja and Bane looking at him intently.
(Throws the phone, Aja picks it up.)
FILIP. Where did they go?
BANE. To the factory, I think.
FILIP. The factory?
BANE. That deserted hall where you and Crni used to hide.
(Filip slaps his face.)
FILIP. What the fuck? What were you doing there? What were you doing there with Crni?
BANE. Aaaah, Filip, brother. I've got nothing to do with Crni.
FILIP. Did you buy drugs from him, you stupid fucks? You hear me?
BANE. No. we didn't.
(Filip hits him again.)
BANE. We didn't. We weren't buying.
FILIP. Don't lie to me!
AJA. Take it easy, don't hit the kid.
FILIP. Shut the fuck up, you whore! This is all your fault! Is that clear?
AJA. My fault?
FILIP. You and your shit, fuck your stupid mother. You and your Ripanj, fuck Ripanj, you redneck cow, fuck Crni .
AJA. It's not my fault you don't know where your sister is! It's not my fault! It's not my fault, anything to do with either you or Crni, fuck you faggot morons.
(Filip hits Aja, Aja is motionless, a moment of silence, then she spits at him.)
AJA. You're just like Crni.
FILIP. What'd ya say?
AJA. You're just like Crni, you'll end up like Crni.
BANE. Filip, come with me. Please, come with me. Let's find her. I'll kill Crni, Filip, I will. I'll shoot him myself.
(Aja and Filip still looking at each other, Filip looks at Bane briefly, and the kid goes silent.)
FILIP. (To Aja.) I'll show you I'm worse than Crni. Aja, I'll kill you.
BANE. Come ooooooon.Pleaaaseee!
(Filip follows Bane, looking at Aja threateningly, Aja looks at him calmly. Blackout.)
Dear Dad. Home is where the heart is. I don't know where yours is. I don't know if everybody has one. My heart is you. M.
Darkness of the factory hall. Filip.
FILIP. Crniii! Milice! Crni, I'll fuck your mother.
BANE. (Comes into the light from the darkness.) Filip, there's nobody in here. There really isn't. Remember where they are, brother. You know. You know Crni. Filip.
FILIP. Fuck. (silent.) Fuck.
BANE. Filip, brother, I'm sorry. I had no idea what was going to happen. And I still have no idea what happened. I swear, Filip, I am gonna shoot him if you.
FILIP. Shut up. (He falls to his knees, biting his lips. Spots a dusty postcard on the floor. Takes it in his hands.)
BANE. A postcard, Filip.
(The two of them look at each other, Bane goes to take the postcard, Filip moves it away. He reads what it says. Looks at Bane.)
FILIP. My place.
The warmth of home. Crni has a gun stuck in Mali's mouth, holds her by the hair. Marina stands opposite them. She's half unbuttoned. She's looking at them, scared. Marina looks at Crni.
CRNI. What'd you stop for? All the way. (takes the gun out of Mali's mouth, not letting go of her head. He points it at Marina, indicating she should carry on unbuttoning.)
MARINA. (Unbuttons another button on her dress, stops.) I don't want to. I fuck your mother. Little. Slimy. Mother. If you have her. You little. Shit.
(Mali tries to get away, Crni holds her. Takes her by the neck, puts the gun in her mouth again. Marina goes on unbuttoning.)
MARINA. (silently, swearing.) Your mother. If you have her. You shit.
CRNI. (Snorts, touches his face with his palm) You just tell Filip I was at his place, you hear, whore? I just wanted to say goodbye nicely. I'm off tomorrow. Hear me, you whore?
MARINA. Your mother is a whore!
CRNI. (Takes the gun out of Mali's mouth, points it at Marina, Mali tries to get away, so he points the gun back at her.) I had papers sorted out for him too. I told him. He wouldn't listen, not anymore. And he was better off while he was obedient. I'm off tomorrow. I'll leave him my record, at the dogs' . He can drop by and take it. What're you looking at? Take it off! (Looks at Mali, laughs) It's not your first time, who are you kidding, you whore? I was the only one who didn't fuck you, coz I'm honest. An honest cock. I'm not gonna play your postmen here any more. Aaaaa! (Shoots in the air)
(Mali falls to the floor, Marina takes her dress off in one stroke. Stands before Crni in silk negligée. Wraps her arms around her body, Crni looks at her. Mali looks up. Crni makes a step towards Marina, Mali remains behind his back, the door opens abruptly, Filip comes in, Bane behind him. Marina's back against the wall, she slides down to the floor and stays there, motionless, throughout the scene.)
(Crni turns around, gun in hand, spreads his hands towards Filip, as if expecting the other man to embrace him)
FILIP. Crni, put the gun down, you hear? You hear what I'm saying!
CRNI. I will too. When I blow your head up.
(Points the gun at Filip, Marina screams. Crni aims at Filip's head.)
FILIP. (Calmly). Shoot, Crni. Go on. Shoot. ( Steps towards him, approaches him calmly.) . It's not your first time, why'd you stop? (Crni's hand seems to tremble ever so slightly, Filip is hiding his fear.) Look me in the eye, Crni, and shoot. That's what you taught me. There. Look at me, there. Aim there. That's how the guys with style shoot.
(Filip makes another step, glues himself to the gun. Bane runs into the room, takes Mali in his arms, as if he wants to take her out, Mali gets away and drags Bane to the floor. Filip and Crni look at each other. Filip takes the gun to his eyes. They look at each other. Crni starts laughing.)
FILIP. (Low voice.) Shoot, fancy boy. Shoot. I'm not afraid of you, Crni.
CRNI. You're not afraid, huh? Your sis was afraid, you know. At first she screamed. And then she didn't. (Filip loses control. Hits Crni. Crni just moves to the side for a moment. He was expecting the blow.) What? Maybe I'm not good enough for your sister? Huh?
FILIP. (composed.) You sick fuck. You think you'll get away with this, that what you think?
CRNI. Do you?
FILIP. I never shot anyone. I'm not like you. I'm clean.
CRNI. (Low voice, singing a well known chorus, making huge pauses in between the words) Clean. Like a rose. With sun in the eyes. (Puts the gun down.) You were a drooling little jerk, Filip. Remember? You were waiting for your mum (swings his gun towards Marina) to slide under the table in the pub so you can carry her home. You were pissing in your pants. You were hungry, and stupid. And looky now, bro. (Crni looks at Filip, in love) Look at what you look like now, bro. You look like. those black guys in the movies. Totally cool.. (Crni snorts, touches his arm with his palm. Smiles, in a low voice.) You fuck my whore, eh?
FILIP. What the fuck?! Shoot! Shoot!
(Gets up from the floor, throws herself at Crni, around his neck, Crni pushes her away. Turns to her.)
CRNI. You little slut, want some more?!
(Bane throws himself in between Crni and Mali, Filip takes him by his back, turns him towards himself, manages to take the gun away. Crni remains on the floor. POLICE SIREN - OFF. Crni laughing.)
MALI. Finish him, Filip!!! Finish him!!
(Filip stands there with the gun up, Crni on the floor, Marina stands by the wall, motionless, catatonic, Bane trying to calm down the screaming Mali. Blue lights, than darkness. Police siren heard from the dark for another couple of moments.)
Dear Dad, I have no more postcards. I'm sorry I won't be writing for a while. You write to me, at 3 Fuckin Hell Street, 11000 Fuckin Shit. M.
Wanted circular. Not followed by blackout. Mali remains in light. Lights up on scene
(Mali in light of the empty slide. The other lights are blue. Police station. Nothing happens for some time. As if the scene is frozen. The door opens. Enter Social Worker. Mali doesn't even look at her.)
SOCIAL WORKER. Hello, Milica, my name is auntie Spomenka.
(Sits opposite Mali, her back to the audience. Mali doesn't move.)
Honey, how are you?
MALI. Like you give a shit about how I am.
SOCIAL WORKER. Milica, I'm not from the police. And I'm not here to interrogate. If you told them everything to know, we'll talk, the two of us, like grown up girls, and then you'll give me your phone number. We'll call your mum, and she'll take you home. Alright?
MALI. We don't have a phone.
SOCIAL WORKER. What do you mean, you don't?
MALI. We just have the phone, but they've cancelled our number coz we didn't pay.
SOCIAL WORKER. All the same. I'm sorry to disturb you. I'm here for your sake. I'm here to take care of you, of an underage girl that had been reported before, both from your school and from the police. Milica, I know how hard it must be for you.. And that your life is very hard.
(Social worker keeps talking - the words can't be heard.. Mali slides down the table, stares at a single spot. An occasional word or phrase can be heard from the Social Worker's speech.).
No chance of you completing this school year.. What happened to you today horrible.. Understanding people. For your own good. Talk to me. Do you hear me, Milica? . Don't pretend you're asleep. Milica.?
(Mali's asleep, her head on the table. Blackout.)
(Police station. Filip sits at the same spot where Mali was sitting in the previous scene. His elbows on the table, head in his hands. Somebody opens the door, Filip startled. Ksenija at the door. She carries a large bag and a carrier bag full of fruit. She stands there, not moving. Filip looking at her, silent.)
FILIP. Thanks for coming. There was no one else I could call.
KSENIJA. You could've called a lawyer. Or that cop who was extorting money from you. Or your girlfriend.
FILIP. I'm sorry.
KSENIJA. Where is Mali?
FILIP. That's why I called you. Someone has to come pick her up, to take her home. She's been in the station all night.
KSENIJA. Why didn't Marina come?
FILIP. Marina is. Listen. If this gets complicated, you know. I mean, if the trial takes long and if. How should I know, see?
FILIP. If I. If I'm not able to, see? If I get convicted, get it?
KSENIJA. It wasn't you who shot Bane, Filip. (Turns her head away.)
FILIP. I didn't shoot, Ksenija. I've never shot in my life, do you believe me? (Ksenija wipes her tears, looks at Filip)
FILIP. I wanted to ask you to take care of Mali. And Marina. Until all this has passed.
KSENIJA. That's why you called me?
KSENIJA. After three years?
KSENIJA. How conveniently you remembered. You dumped me for Crni and his tricks! Where's your mate Crni now? Why doesn't he help you out now?! Who's gonna take care of my family, Filip? Of my old man and my brother, Filip? Who's gonna take care of me?
(Starts to go, Filip stands up, tries to hold her back, Ksenija pushes him away. She waits for a bit. Looks at Filip.)
KSENIJA. The only ones who can come pick up Mali are Marina or your old man. That's what they said.
(Filip and Ksenija look at each other. Ksenija starts to leave.)
(Ksenija returns, looks at him.)
FILIP. Thank you.
(Ksenija looks down and to the side. Blackout.)
The warmth of home. Marina goes through her things, walks in circles. She still talks some random sentences to herself. She keeps drinking from the half broken cup.
MARINA. Impossible. I know. Impossible. I was there a hundred times more. A hundred times. I had a name for myself at their age, a name. Horrible little shit. It's order that matters, Marina. They'll send me to war, Marina. .I was there a hundred times. I was so beautiful.
MARINA. (scared.) Who's that?
SOCIAL WORKER. Mrs. Veljkovic? . (knocking on the door.) Mrs. Veljkovic? (Marina sits down, doesn't move, the door opens, enter Social Worker.)
SOCIAL WORKER. Mrs. Veljkovic, the door wasn't locked. We know each other. My name is Spomenka Ilic. (Another handshake attempt that Marina completely fails to notice.)
MARINA. You have a cigarette?
SOCIAL WORKER. I don't smoke.
MARINA. Ah. You quit?
SOCIAL WORKER. No, I haven't. I'm against it.
MARINA. Against it, yes. I thought you were from the police.
SOCIAL WORKER. No, I'm from the Family Care Center.
MARINA. You have a family?
SOCIAL WORKER. I'm a social worker.
MARINA. You don't happen to have a ciga.?
SOCIAL WORKER. No.
MARINA. Alright, I'm sorry. You police people are terrible, I was only asking.
SOCIAL WORKER. Marina, it is my duty to inform you that your son has been arrested.
MARINA. Madam, don't you 'arrested' me. Don't make things up. It's the order that matters. I come from a very influential family.
SOCIAL WORKER. Except for being involved in drug trafficking, he is accused of being an accomplice in the murder of a young man.
MARINA. Go pull my dick, you and your police. I used to come to you every day. Every day I used to come. When a person goes missing, you can't find them for a hundred and four years, and you go arresting good kids. Filip is a golden boy!
SOCIAL WORKER. Filip Veljkovic is not a boy. He has nothing to do with you anymore, I'm here about Milica.
MARINA. Oh, I see. You're from the school?
SOCIAL WORKER. No.
MARINA. What then? Police?
SOCIAL WORKER. You're not well.
MARINA. Milica skipped school again? Is that it?. Don't you worry about it, I'm a very strict mother. I'm a real lady. I know what's proper. You go ahead and kick her out, that child is impossible, she keeps shouting, always disheveled. A regular beast, just like her father. When she was little, imagine, she was quiet. Like an angel. I haven't taught her to be pretty.
SOCIAL WORKER. I wanted to ask if you knew anything about her father.
MARINA. I know everything there is to know about that.. That fucking cunt. He ruined my life. I used to be a beauty!!! My father's an academician. I've walked out on my family for his sake. When he'd lost his job, I worked in a pub to support him. I have. I know.
SOCIAL WORKER. You don't know where he is?
MARINA. Could you possibly buy me some cigarettes? . My son hasn't come home from work.
SOCIAL WORKER. You need expert help. You're in no condition to be raising a child, or for a child to be placed in your custody. Do you have any relatives?
SOCIAL WORKER. Do you have any relatives?
MARINA. Could I possibly trouble you for a cigarette. I can't seem to manage the time to get any.
(Social worker opens her bag, gives her a note)
SOCIAL WORKER. There. Get cigarettes. I'll send someone to see you tomorrow. We'll have to take your child.
MARINA. (talking about the money) Oh, thanks. Thank you. I knew you were a fine lady, the moment I saw you. Most of them are just little shits these days. Good day.
SOCIAL WORKER. (goes to the door.) Mrs. Veljkovic, your daughter Milica will be placed in a home.
MARINA. Little shits, the lot of them. Still, you run into a nice lady every now and then.
SOCIAL WORKER. Have a nice day.
MARINA. I know.. That's impossible. Little. Shit. Little. Shit. Milica, go to the store! Milica, go to the store! Milica, go to school! It's the order that matters. (Walks around the place, goes on rummaging through things. Produces a box containing various medications, puts it on the table. She pours the contents of the bottles in the cup, one after the other the bottles and boxes fall out of her hands.) . Yes. I used to be pretty. Not like these ragged ones today. Filip, don't worry, baby. I. Mum will take care of it. It's order that matters, Marina. (takes a swig.) An angel. (takes another swig from the cup) Not like that. Not like that. Pretty. Like pretty. like not. Milica. Milic.
(Marina slides down the table, like Mali did in the station. She pushes the cup with her elbow, the cup falls down and breaks. Marina's dead. Blackout.)
(Graveyard. Shadows of chestnut trees. Shadows of crosses. "Graveyard' music in the background, somebody mourning, the wind. Mali walks in front of the Social worker. Pale. Expressionless.)
BANE. (Behind her back, from the darkness.) Mali!
(Mali turns around, stops, Bane comes out of the darkness, approaches slowly, as if he weren't allowed to touch her, they look at each other, and then at their feet.)
. My condolences. (Looks at the social worker, suspicious, she looks at him inquisitively.)
MALI. This is my best friend.
SOCIAL WORKER. You mustn't take too long. . I know very well who he is. (goes to stand a bit further away.)
BANE. I'm sorry about Marina.
(Mali spits, says nothing.)
BANE. I'm sorry I was late. It was somehow. you know. It felt bad. I only heard about it this morning. And I've never been to a funeral before. (Mali silent.)
BANE. How are you doing?
MALI. They say I'll have to go to a home until I turn eighteen. Unless dad comes to pick me up. They're looking for him. But they still haven't found him. Marina took all the medications she had. They haven't found her till yesterday. Neighbor's cat went in through the window. The cat died, go figure. It licked the broken cup. And Filip will be convicted.
BANE. That's what I heard in the hood. I brought you some pot.
MALI. Give it. Just be careful. (Bane hugs her, gives her the packet secretively. She keeps him in that position, whispers in his ear) . Bald one, I can't possibly be in the home. I have to go. To the seaside. Where I went with my dad. Maybe my dad's also there.
BANE. How're you gonna do it?
MALI. Listen to me.. You have to go see how much the ticket is, and you have to get me some money for it, you hear?
MALI. I can't stand it in the home, Bane.
MALI. How soon can you do it?
BANE. Tomorrow. Tomorrow morning, Mali. I'm sure I can do it.
MALI. You won't tell anyone?
BANE. Mali, I've never done that.
MALI. There's no one left to betray me except for you.
BANE. Mali, you're my best mate.
SOCIAL WORKER. Milicaaaaaa?
MALI. You're mine too.
BANE. I want to go with you. To the seaside.
MALI. What are you gonna do there, you can't even swim.
BANE. Never mind. I'll learn to swim. For sure. (takes a bunch of postcards from his pocket) Oh, yes. I know you're into this shit.
(Mali takes the postcards, looks at him, can't believe it.)
MALI. Don't. Take it.. .I'll only take two. Until tomorrow. You can give me the rest of them tomorrow. Promise me you'll give them to me tomorrow.
BANE. Alright, tomorrow. I promise, Mali.
MALI. They let us go to the courtyard at three. Until five. I'll go out first thing, cos they do the roll call at five.
MALI. Alright. I'll be waiting for you. At my place.
SOCIAL WORKER. Milica?. Honey?
BANE. (Gives Mali a quick hug, takes a boxer's stance, but Mali doesn't move.) Bye, Mali.
MALI. Don't you bye me, bald one. I'll see you tomorrow.
(Social worker approaches, takes Mali by the hand, Mali looks at Bane. Bane stays on his own, with postcards in his hand. Blackout.)
Dear dad. Everybody's left. Your life in your hands. You're the only one who can make decisions for yourself, that's what you said. Nobody but you can do that. Isn't that what you said? Isn't that how it was, before you left, wasn't that what you said?! You're the only one who can make decisions for yourself. You're my only home. Mum loves you, forever. Now it's forever. Dear dad. And there's nothing between the two of us , except the nothing between.
Prison. Shadow of the bars. Visitors' room. A long table. Filip at one side of it. Crni on the other side. Aja in the middle. She doesn't look at either of them. The two of them don't look at each other. As if they can't see each other. All three of them face the audience.
AJA. How much did you get?
AJA. How much?
AJA. What for?
AJA. (Looks at Filip) I'm sorry about your mother.
FILIP. They wouldn't let me go to the funeral.
AJA. I'm pregnant.
CRNI. What are you doing here?
AJA. I'm pregnant.
AJA. I'm going to my folks, abroad. I sold my apartment and the café. I'm not coming back here. Ever again.
FILIP. What about the kid?
AJA. I'm taking the kid too.
FILIP. Not that kid.
AJA. Which kid?
CRNI. This shapeless thing growing inside of you, behind your cunt, what are you gonna do with it?
AJA. I'll give birth. There.
FILIP. Whose is it?
AJA. I don't know.
CRNI. Who made you that one, you slut?
AJA. I made all of this to myself. By myself.
FILIP. Is it mine?
CRNI. Is it mine?
AJA. I don't know. And I don't care.
FILIP. You have to tell me.
CRNI. It's mine.
FILIP. . if it's mine.
AJA. I don't know. I don't care. (Gets up, looks at Crni.)
Don't try to look for me. Not even in six. Not in six hundred sixty six years. Just: vanish! On one . Now. Forever. (Goes out. Filip stays with his head in his hands. Crni laughs hysterically. Blackout.)
The warmth of home, or what used to be that. A mess. Marina's broken cup on the floor. The door is broken, two wooden boards nailed across them, forming an x. The boards break. Mali falls into the room. She gets up. Stands in the middle of the room. Looks around. She spots the pieces of the broken cup on the floor. She picks a piece, holds it in her hand, cleans it with her T-shirt. Stands and stares, blankly. She sits on the chair. Silent. Waiting. The stage sinks into darkness. Mali stands up, looks around her once more. Looks at the piece of the broken cup in her hand. Puts it in her pocket. Goes out.. Blackout.
Streetcorner. Postman comes from the left. Waiting. Ksenija comes out of her building. Backpack on her back, a bag of fruits and fruit juices in one hand, books in the other. Looks down. The postman spots her.
POSTMAN. Little girl?
KSENIJA. Good day.
POSTMAN. Good day, sweetheart. How come you're not at work?
KSENIJA. I don't work anymore.. For the time being. Dad's in the hospital. He got sick when my brother. You probably know. It was in the newspaper.
POSTMAN. In the newspaper? (Ksenija nods.) I wouldn't know, as they say, I didn't get to buy them this morning. (Ksenija doesn't respond.Postman waits for a bit.)
POSTMAN. Things'll get better. As they say, he's a minor. But. tell me, have you seen Mali anywhere?.
POSTMAN. Heh. The crow. She's gone for days. To be honest, if she's not there my, as they say, working hours are empty somehow. And besides. There. she's got a postcard. Just think of it! This came for her, from the seaside. There, you see, sent on the day she said was her birthday.
KSENIJA. Let me se. (Takes a quick look, all flushed with excitement, takes it from the postman's hand.) Her dad wrote her.
(Ksenija grabs the postcard, kisses Postman on the cheek loudly, runs down the street. Blackout.)
Dear dad. Your life is not only yours. That's why you can't take it in your hands, because you can leave somebody else empty-handed then. Life is big .My hands are not. Everything just slips through them, like sand. You remember, dad, sand. Sand on the beach, at the seaside, when we were there. When I learned how to swim. But I forgot afterwards. I forgot everything. Dear dad. Everything except that sand and the postcard we sent to mum and Filip. I can't remember anything else. And I have nothing more to say to you. Even if there was room on this postcard. Even if I had a new postcard. Which I don't have. Just like I don't have mum. Just like I don't have Filip. Just like I don't have the right. Say hi to someone. Mali.
Correctional institution for juvenile delinquents. Mali sits at the table. Door opens, Mali turns around. Enter Social Worker.
SOCIAL WORKER. Milica?. Something wonderful happened!
MALI. They kicked me out of the evening school.
SOCIAL WORKER. We found. Your dad, Milica.
(Milica turns around quickly)
SOCIAL WORKER. A couple of days ago, you got a postcard. Ksenija brought it. Sister of that little boy. Your friend. Bane. We didn't want to tell you, for your own good, until we've checked.
MALI. I got a postcard?
SOCIAL WORKER. We took into consideration the circumstances your dad's been telling us about, as well as your mum's diagnosis, and we've come to the conclusion that it's for the best that in these times, when many people don't have a roof over their heads, that's it's the best for those who do have the conditions . not to live at the expense of the state. We have decided your father was competent to be in custody of you and that he can fulfill the role of a parent. Almost by the book. We've established where he'd been, but it'll be best if he told you about it himself. It's a major affair of the state. The times are completely different now. Yes. The new authorities respect those who refused to be drafted. The war that has been fought wasn't our war anyway. That's clear now. Still. Since the state is still in a financial crisis.
MALI. You found my dad?
SOCIAL WORKER. Yes. He's right here. He's waiting to see you.
(Mali looks the other way. Stares at a spot, motionless.)
SOCIAL WORKER. It's alright. When you're ready, we'll ask him to come in.
(Mali doesn't move.)
SOCIAL WORKER. Milica, honey?
MALI. Tell him I don't want to see him.
(Social worker looks at her, out of her mind)
MALI. I don't want to see him. Ever. Seriously. Tell him that.
SOCIAL WORKER. Milica, I'll take into consideration that this is a shock for you.
MALI. It's not a shock. I don't have a dad. Never had him. Don't need him.
SOCIAL WORKER. Milica, we.
MALI. I don't care. Good bye.
Out of the darkness, a series of empty postcards start flashing across Mali's face. Social worker slams the door very hard. As with a postcard, a slide is projected on Mali's face. The slide: Mali with a closed door behind her.)
- One of the words for 'cops'.
- A saying, 'A cock on a bicycle', for something preposterous and unbecoming.
- A suburb of Belgrade
- Partisan supporters' collective nickname and the 'official' name of the hard-core supporters' group.
- Zvezda supporters are situated at the North of the stadium.
- Translator's note: Fuck his mother (and different variations of it) is a very common swear phrase in Serbian. It's translated literally in this version of the translation.
- Translator's note: Ksenija speaks in a dialect characteristic of some regions of former Yugoslavia, and is different from the language Bane or other character's speak. This is, however, not indicated in this version of the translation.
- Translator's note: final grade of primary school, the end of it being a turning point in a person's schooling and, thereby, presumably, life.
- Another rather common swear phrase, used mostly by men, for obvious reasons.
- Football match between two major local football teams, Crvena zvezda (Red Star) and Partizan (Partisan), always followed by serious tension between groups of their respective supporters.
- Aja uses the feminine form of the word Mali (Mala), not really saying the word girl, but it's used here for clarity.
- Aja doesn't use the word 'angel' in Serbian, but a kind of a pet name that has an asexual, 'soft' and 'mellow' ring to it, apart from the angelic/good guy tones.
- Mali uses a slightly distorted form of the word, not unsynchronized with the rest of her speech and pronunciation, but with an additional comic effect in this 'official' line.
- A very cheap and very artificial juice.
- A phrase often said (half) jokingly, usually as an expression of gratitude or good will.
- Pronounced as Ksenji. A nickname (although not a very common one), version of the name of Ksenija , and has a slightly mocking and derogatory sound to it, even though in some cases it could be affectionate.
Датум последње измене: 2008-01-11 10:23:03