éeljko HubaŤ was born in 1967 in Tuzla, and grew up in Zenica and Leskovac, where he finished high school and music school. As an engineer of electrotechnics and advanced student of the Faculty of Sciences (Department of Physics), in 1992 he enrolled in the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, where he graduated in 1996 from the Department of Dramaturgy.
His plays have been performed on the stages of professional theatres in Serbia (Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niö, Kruöevac, äabac, Uěice, Leskovac, Zrenjanin, Kikinda), in Bulgaria (Plovdiv, Krdzali, Vidin) and in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Zenica Ė the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina). He has been awarded for his drama texts at the Days of Comedy, the Festival of Professional Theatres of Serbia ďJoakim VujiśĒ, the Festival of Premieres, Meetings of Professional Puppet Theatres of Serbia and the Festival of Small Forms. He is a two-time laureate of the ďBranislav NuöiśĒ Award which is awarded by the Society of Playwrites of Serbia. His dramas have been translated into English, German, Russian and Bulgarian. He is the author of a large number of television shows and two TV series.
He has been engaged in journalism as a theatre critic and a columnist for the daily newspaper ďDanasĒ, a correspondent for the agency Radio Free Europe, an associate for the Helsinki Charter (newspaper of the Helsinki Board for Human Rights in Belgrade) and for the theatre newspaper ďLudusĒ, which is published by the Association of Drama Artists of Serbia. He is currently the editor-in-chief of ďTheatre NewspapersĒ of the National Theatre in Belgrade and the theatre magazine ďPremiere PlusĒ.
Hubac has also been the dramaturge of the Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, and the editor of the theatre magazine ďTeatroní in the Museum of Theatre Art of Serbia.
He currently works at the National Theatre in Belgrade, and lives in Zemun Ė with Angels.
Plays which have been performed: Closer to the Sky, Closer to the Fire, Spears, Hajduks Are Among Us Again, Ratko and Juliana (the Kidnapping and Resurrection of Juliana K), Closer to the Earth, Kosovian...
Childrenís dramas: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Emperorís New Clothes in Wonderland, Milan the Elfís Magical Flute, Sleeping Beauty, The Enchanted Kingdom
Plays which havenít been performed: Vojvodinian Elegy, a dramatization of Djordje Balasevicís novel íThree Post-war Friendsí
THE LEAP INTO THE VOID OF THE PLAY
Dialogue structure and individual plots of each of the three segments of Hrubacís drama Bizarre indicate what is usually termed Ďrealistic conventioní. The story about drug dealers and suicides turns into a history of hustlers (and suicides again), while the third segment ends in violence and murder: each of these stories is shaped, on a micro plan, in the direction of a dynamic alteration of positions and concentrated tension, with a juicy but equally functional language with precise idiomatic nuances (depending on the social class, cultural level, profession or inclination). Immediate thematic framework of the drama Bizarre is also defined in the domain of a recognisable Ė urban and transitional Ė current moment: unsuccessful returnees from (the western) abroad and other Ďlosersí (drug addicts, accidental ĎIraqi legionariesí, willing or unwilling Ďgold diggersí), against the background of petty wheeler-dealers, political career seekers, fat ruffians or criminal Ďbossesí.
Then where and with what does such a seemingly routine Ďrealistic conventioní find the source of its uniqueness, and, what is more, its stylistic-genre penetrating power? The most important strategy of turning such a convention into something unusual is HubaŤís treatment of realism as a sophisticated game with an open outcome. Realistic propositions Ė such as the conflict about a bag of heroin, the setup with the Ďgold diggerí, even the misunderstanding with the tow-truck which takes the local mobsterís jeep Ė are brought to the extreme not only by a consistent confrontation of the motives, but their ironical and cynical re-evaluation as well: Ďdopeí is more valuable than saving a body from harm, loneliness is more valuable than communication, consistency is more reliable than honesty (truth?). Almost imperceptibly liberating the dialogue from pathetic elements layer by layer, but also the actions of characters from (the declared, visible) ethical principles, the author easily transforms the realistic code of events into the code of a certain demonic and empty carnival.
The thing that, in all three stories in the drama Bizarre, poetically validates this ritual play as exciting and authentic is, paradoxically, the fact that the bizarre element is generally well-founded: drawing his ellipsoid amplitude of the plot, the author offers us a grotesque in the focal point, continues with a farce, only to end it up in an absurd. However, death, suffering and loneliness are not absurd for his protagonists: moreover, death is an everyday event, a mere sight, a picture won and then discarded. We are witnesses to a completely opposite, dramatically effective setting, within which, the very possibility of life (hope, or at least comfort) is shown as the highest bizarreness. And when the inclination towards this bizarreness is rejected, HubaŤís tight, denuded Ďrealismí from the other side of reason suggests, we are left with a suicidal leap into the freedom of nothingness; more accurately an entry into a play with an infinite number of possible (similar) outcomes.
MARTIN (38) / MILAN (32) / BIKSA (25)
DJIDJA (38) / SAäA (32) / GAGA (25)
MINA (38) / MAJDA (32) / SVETLANA (25)
KATARINA (38) / KSENIJA (32) / IVA (25)
VOJA (38) / RI»I (32) / DEJAN (25)
(Early fall. Late in the afternoon. A flat roof on one of the many skyscrapers in New Belgrade. Coaxial cables all around, old logarithmic TV antennae are on the chimneys. Music: äarlo Acrobat, so called new wave. On the edge of the flat roof stands Djidja, naked, a former young man, now 38 years old. A guy who cared about what he looked like until recently, but, considering the circumstances, if you donít mind my saying, that he is about to commit suicide, he is freshly unkempt. Through the ďforestĒ of TV antennae and cables emerges Martin. One canít say that Martin has ever been young, although heís only 38. He is a weary, urbanized junkie. Martin stares at the bunch of cables, not noticing Djidja. Djidja notices him.)
DJIDJA: Stay away, Iíll jump.
(Martin, shocked by the fact that there is somebody on the roof, taken aback by the yelling, and by what he sees, starts, and as there are many cables, he trips, falls on his back, and pulls at the antennae, now falling all over him).
MARTIN: Shit, man.
DJIDJA: Stay away, Iíll jump!
MARTIN: What a cool dude!
DJIDJA: Can you not hear me? Iíll jump! Iím not fooling around!
MARTIN: I almost puked up my heart! You scared the living shit out of me! The living shit!
DJIDJA: Iím serious! Whoever sent you...
(Martin tries to set himself free of the cables, TV antennae and get up.)
MARTIN: Thatís who we are! Theyíve been watching cable TV for years, but they donít take the antennae down.
DJIDJA: Iím not falling for that bullshit, you know...
MARTIN: Be cool, man.
DJIDJA: I donít want to...
MATRIN: Then donít...
DJIDJA: Stay away.
MARTIN: I canít come closer, you idiot, I canít even get up... You put me on this bunch of wires...
DJIDJA: I put you onto them?
MARTIN: No, I put myself here Ďcause I saw something usual, you standing buck-naked on the ledge. Jesus, come here, untangle me...
(Break. They look at each other. Djidja leans down, and from his pantsí pocket, laying beside his legs, pulls out a Swiss army knife. He goes closer to Martin, holding the knife.)
MARTIN: What do you need the knife for? Are you a murderer or a suicide? Hey..!
(Djidja cuts a few coaxial cables and ďuntanglesĒ Martin, then turns around and walks back to the ledge. Martin wants to thank him.)
MARTIN: Hey, listen...
(Djidja turns around quickly. The knife is in his hand, pointed towards Martin.)
MARTIN: I just wanted to thank you...
(Djidja waves it off and goes back to the ledge.)
DJIDJA: You know, Iím just as scared as you are.
MARTIN: Youíre standing above a hole sixteen floors high, I, on the other hand have (he looks at the note on the antenna beneath his bum) TV UHF-VHF Loga 2 in my butt. Itís no joke.
(Martin wanted to be funny. He expects a reaction, which of course, he doesnít get. Break)
MARTIN: So, what are you gonna do now, jump?
DJIDJA: Itís none of your business.
MARTIN: Well, itís not. But...
DJIDJA: Go and mind your own business.
MARTIN: Iím here on my business.
DJIDJA: Right here?
MARTIN: Right here.
DJIDJA: Katarina sent you?
MARTIN: Mina sent me.
DJIDJA: Mina who?
MARTIN: Katarina who?
(Now they are both a bit confused. Martinís cell rings. He answers.)
MARTIN: Hello. Yes, Iím on the roof. I havenít taken it yet... You donít wanna know... No, I didnít shoot it either... Because... No, Iím not getting clean, stop the bullshit. What am I doing, you ask me what I am doing? Iím pulling out logarithmic antennae and coaxial cables from my butt, while chatting to some bucknaked suicide... Buck-naked, my dear, buck-naked, who is on our ledge at the moment. Yes, right here... Heís completely naked. Completely! You think Iím fucking around with you? Come up and see for yourself... How? Climb up, missy. If I was able to climb up, you can do it too!
DJIDJA: Donít drag anyone up here... You should get lost too...
MARTIN: Now Mina doesnít believe me that Iím up here with you. Tell her, please...
DJIDJA: I told you to stay away...
MARTIN: I donít have the patience for her. Iíll smack her over the phone... There!
DJIDJA: Go away, Iíll jump, I swear!
MARTIN: How íbout you explain everything to her while youíre free-falling, otherwise Iíll...
(Martin gives the cell to Djidja. Djidja looks at the phone, he doesnít know what to do for a moment. Then, automatically, he puts the phone close to his ear and listens. It is obvious that he hears a flow of swearing and curses.)
DJIDJA: This is your chick?
MARTIN: It is, my friend...
DJIDJA: Is she at least silent while she sleeps?
MARTIN: Sheís silent only when sheís really high. Otherwise, sheís full of shit even when she sleeps. She snores.
DJIDJA: A chick who snores! Come on...
MARTIN: She snores like she has tuberculosis! Sheís thirty-eight dude, thatís it! A spinster!
(Djidja gives the phone back to Martin.)
MARTIN: You didnít tell her anything.
DJIDJA: What was I supposed to tell her?
MARTIN (takes the phone from Djidja): You mean when you were supposed to tell her... (He talks to Mina over the phone). Breathe, dumb bitch! Climb up, come on... Oh, maybe you want me to carry you... Oh, fuck off!
(He hangs up.)
MARTIN: Sheís so annoying. My blood pressure is high, my adrenaline is high...
(Another short break.)
DJIDJA: The best thing for you would be to go away, at last.
MARTIN: I canít.
DJIDJA: What do you mean?
MARTIN: Just that. I canít. Until...
DJIDJA: Until what?
MARTIN: How did you, out of so many buildings, pick this one? And itís not just the building, itís this piece of the ledge...
DJIDJA: I donít get it. What do you care where I... Oh, this is useless. This story is taking us nowhere. Please, go. Go!
DJIDJA: Iím not Martin.
MARTIN: I know youíre not. I am.
DJIDJA: What do you mean?
MARTIN: Youíre supposed to say ďGo away, Martin.Ē I am Martin.
DJIDJA: Now you want to introduce yourself, ha?
MARTIN: No, I just want people to call me by name when they want me to go away.
DJIDJA: Thatís just what I need. A lecture about psychoanalysis.
MARTIN (Obviously disturbed): I donít like to be made to leave a place by people who donít even know my name.
DJIDJA: Ok, ok... Get lost, Martin!
MARTIN: You know my name, I donít know yours!
DJIDJA: Does it matter...
MARTIN: It matters to me!
DJIDJA: Iím Djidja.
MARTIN: Youíre not from the neighborhood? Of course you arenít. We donít have such idiots yet, thank God. I live here.
DJIDJA: On the roof...
MARTIN: Not on the roof...
DJIDJA: Then whatís with you and this piece of ledge, like itís your inheritance. Whatís so important there...
MARTIN: Youíre acting like a cop. Asking questions all the time. And, just so you know, you donít look like a suicide at all.
DJIDJA: Well, yeah... You were, in fact, sent by Katarina. Youíre her new guy... If you donít move by the count of ten, Iíll jump, I swear.
MARTIN: Iíve already told you that I donít know who Katarina is. Youíve turned blue from the cold; you must have been waiting for her for a while.
DJIDJA: What can I do to make you leave?
DJIDJA: Martin! What do I have to do, Martin!?
MARTIN: To move away for a sec, so I can take something.
DJIDJA: From where?
MARTIN: Cops must run through your family, I bet...
(Djidja leans down and starts to search the part of the ledge where heís standing.)
MARTIN: Hey, what are you doing?!
(Martin wants to go closer, but Djidja points the knife at him. Martin stops. Under a brick, holding the edge of the ledge, Djidja feels a little plastic bag containing heroin.)
DJIDJA: Now, look at this...
MARTIN: Be careful with it. Itís...
DJIDJA: I can see what it is. Itís heroin.
MARTIN: And good. So please, be careful.
DJIDJA: Man, youíre so fucked up. All of you...
MARTIN: Whoís fucked up?
DJIDJA: You, the people who stayed here.
MARTIN: What the hell are you talking about...
DJIDJA: Assholes with no balls.
MARTIN: Oh, and you have balls, all right.
DJIDJA: I do.
MARTIN: I can see that...
DJIDJA: You wanna see, you wanna see?!
MARTIN: Donít jump with that heroin, please. Are you insane?!
(Djidja bends forward with a strong cramp. He would cry, but has no tears. The knife is pointed at Martin.)
MARTIN: Dude, calm down.
DJIDJA: Leave me alone.
MARTIN: Give that to me and Iíll go. Iíll go, I swear.
DJIDJA: Because of people like you my Steva is dead.
MARTIN: And Steva is... Please, give me the heroin, and weíll go our separate ways as friends.
DJIDJA: You should all be executed.
MARTIN: Why, dude, why?
DJIDJA: Steva was killed by people like you.
MARTIN: I didnít kill anybody!
DJIDJA: Drug dealers!
MARTIN: Hey, I take drugs, I donít sell them.
DJIDJA: I swear, this is gonna (shows the little plastic bag) fly with me...
MARTIN: I donít deal, I swear...
DJIDJA: Thereís enough heroin for an army...
MARTIN: Army, my ass. Itís not enough for three shots...
DJIDJA: I told you to stay away.
MARTIN: Give it to me!
DJIDJA: Iím warning you!
(Martin comes to Djidja, Djidja stands up, waves the knife and cuts Martinís finger.)
MARTIN: Oh, man, man!!! Shit! Youíre mad, man!
(Another break. Djidja is astounded. Martin pulls some tissues from his pocket, wrapping his finger. They are both apparently very scared.)
MARTIN: Is the knife clean? God knows who else youíve butchered with it. Dude, for twenty years Iíve been careful not to get AIDS, and now I might because of that knife... Youíre not a suicide, youíre a murderer!
(Djidja crouches. Adrenalin had done its magic. Martinís calmed down, because it was a scratch, not a cut.)
MARTIN: Iíve already told you that, ha? Iím repeating myself. Well, Iím in a state of shock.
DJIDJA: Steva was my little brother. We both wanted to get visas. I got mine, they tricked him. I went to the Czech Republic, he went to Bosnia. My mom called me and told me he came back from the war and was all screwed up. They found him in a shitty place just like this, he was full of drugs and stiff.
MARTIN: Please, give me the knife, I wanna see it.
DJIDJA: I wish they had never let us come back.
MARTIN: Is there some other personís blood on it? Did you take good care of it? Give it to me.
DJIDJA: Man, donít make me point the knife at you.
MARTIN: What am I supposed to do, ha? What? Djidja, Iím not a drug dealer, I swear. I take drugs and mind my own business. I donít give a damn about wars, or politics, or anything...
DJIDJA: You give a damn about heroin...
MARTIN: Thatís natural. Iím a junkie! Iím in a crisis. Because of you!
MARTIN: And Iím scared of the knife...
DJIDJA: Youíre killing yourself, man.
MARTIN: Look whoís talking...
(After a short glance, they both smile. Itís not a real smile, but itís enough to change the atmosphere for a moment.)
MARTIN: Why did you go abroad at all, when you came back in the end? Only fools buy a return ticket here.
DJIDJA: You have no idea how it is there.
MARTIN: You have no idea.
DJIDJA: Well, frankly, I envy you for managing to stay here.
MARTIN: ďEach manís heaven is another manís hell.Ē
DJIDJA: Youíve read Moravia?
MARTIN: People used to read in my time.
DJIDJA: What did you graduate from?
MARTIN: Yugoslav Literature.
DJIDJA: What year?
MARTIN: Are you interrogating me again? I graduated in í91.
DJIDJA: You were born in 1967?
MARTIN: How do you know?
DJIDJA: I graduated the same year you did. I studied Physics.
MARTIN: Geek, ha?
DJIDJA: Donít tell me they let junkies here teach children too?
MARTIN: No, they give psychopaths university chairs. Not junkies.
DJIDJA: So, how have you been managing to buy good heroin for all these years?
MARTIN: I rent my late parentsí apartment and... Well, I manage somehow. Why the fuck donít you cover yourself, youíre getting blue.
DJIDJA: Is it a problem that Iím naked?
MARTIN: Iím not exactly enjoying the scene, if you must know.
DJIDJA: This is the real me! They stripped me bare. They took everything off me, they sucked my soul out. If I was a fart here, there I became a piece of shit! MARTIN: So, you didnít like returning to your former state of aggregation, so you decided to evaporate. With my heroin, too. Give it to me, I just want to get high once.
DJIDJA: My jump will at least mean something to you.
MARTIN: Fuck you, you narcissist...
DJIDJA: It will mean something to you, wonít it?
MARTIN: I told you to stop with those questions...
DJIDJA: A couple of times. What, you have some question-phobia?
MARTIN: You would have had it too, had the cops handcuffed you to a leaking radiator and asked you moronic questions the whole night.
DJIDJA: Ever since I came back Iíve been listening to pathetic stories. Arenít you all sick of them already?
MARTIN: Theyíve dislodged my kidneys twice; once they broke four of my ribs, three times they broke two of my teeth. The dentures work like castanets.
DJIDJA: What were you, some kind of dissident?
MARTIN: There we go, you have logic like the cops... A junkie! Iím a junkie! Itís something like a person who does not belong to any political party.
DJIDJA: An independent intellectual...
MARTIN: Dude, when they were taking me away during a raid, they were beating people, they didnít care about the reason, man. Like I was from ĎOtporí, God forbid.
DJIDJA: You think that cops in the Czech Republic donít beat people?
MARTIN: Yeah, I do!
DJIDJA: A few years ago I watched a fantastic play in Prague, some Hungarian people were performing.
MARTIN: I donít give a shit, give me...
DJIDJA: Listen! Because of that play I decided to come back here. Listen, in the first scene there was a chick on the stage proscenium and, with unbelievable passion she starts giving head to a clarinet. She was sucking it for five minutes, like Monica Lewinsky, and then she started playing ďOde to JoyĒ.
MARTIN: And when she finished, she took her miserable 500 euros and went on with her tour. Verbal masturbation...
DJIDJA: It was a metaphor...
MARTIN: Iíve seen that crap.
DJIDJA: Where could you have seen it...?
MARTIN: At Bitef.
DJIDJA: And thatís crap to you. Man, you suck...
MARTIN: You suck!
(We hear pacing, coughing and banging on the terrace door.)
DJIDJA: That would be...
MARTIN: Mina! I can recognize her cough kilometers away. Now weíre screwed...
MINA: Martin, youíre dead.
(Mina comes into the scene. Her face is still red from climbing the stairs. Sheís a person who would have trouble climbing three steps, and she had to come all the way to the sixteenth floor. Mina is an extremely skinny thirty-eight-year old woman, but she looks older than she is, and quite weary. Sheís a junkie. When she sees the scene on the roof, she is shocked and speechless for a moment. But only for a moment.)
MINA: Fuck, and I thought you were lying...
MARTIN: I told you...
MINA: I canít believe this...
MARTIN: I couldnít believe it either...
MINA: So, thatís the guy... Wow, is he holding our...?
MINA: Well, where did he get it from...?
MARTIN: He found it.
MINA: You told him about our hiding place, I bet. You idiot.
MARTIN: That doesnít matter now...
MINA: You can screw things up like nobody I know. You soft prick.
MARTIN: Listen, calm down...
MINA: I should calm down? Why didnít you tell him to calm down? I bet you sucked up to him.
MARTIN: What was I supposed to do? Fight while heís holding our heroin?
MINA: So, whatís he gonna do with it? Jump?
MARTIN: The manís decided to make us stop, to cure us, so we donít end up like his Steva.
MINA: And Steva is..? What are you babbling about?
MARTIN: Itís a long story...
MINA: You decided to kill yourself together with my heroin, you moron? I hope you fall right on a street lamp, you prick.
MARTIN: Hey, calm down a bit, the situation is rather unfavorable for us.
MINA: Martin, you were born with no luck. This could only happen to you, you loser. (She starts coughing severely and rather unhealthily.) My soul is up my nose because of climbing... I told you we should have hidden the heroin in a building which has a working elevator.
MARTIN: How was I supposed to know that the second elevator would stop working?
MINA (To Djidja): There are so many buildings in Belgrade, and you just had to pick this one. I hope you fall into a septic tank!
DJIDJA: So, both elevators are dead?
MINA: No, theyíre working, but me, healthy as I am, I just love to jog until I reach a body weight that makes it impossible for hot-blooded animals to get warm, you moron!
DJIDJA: Well, the elevator that goes to the even-numbered floors was working this morning.
MARTIN: Wait a minute! Why do you care if the elevators are working or not?
MINA: Heís scared he wonít succeed the first time, and he doesnít want to come back up here on foot, for the re-run.
MARTIN: Something else is bothering him...
DJIDJA: Cut the crap...
MARTIN: Djidja, youíre a fake...
MINA: A fake. Didnít he maybe...
MARTIN: Yes, yes he did... He told his chick he was gonna kill himself, and now heís waiting for her, to convince him not to...
DJIDJA: I told you to cut the crap!
MINA: Shame on you, at your age and youíre pulling that stunt with threatening suicide to get a girl, you unkempt pubescent idiot.
MARTIN: And I totally bought his story...
DJIDJA: Stay away from me!
MINA: I wouldnít come near you, the way you look, if I didnít have to, you sick monster, full of pimples... Hairy ass!
MINA: Psychopath! Moron! Imbecile!!!
MINA: Now Iím gonna screw his soft balls, Iíll tie them into a bow.
(Martin and Mina walk towards Djidja. When he realizes heís been ďbustedĒ, he threatens to throw their heroin, the only convincing thing at his disposal.)
DJIDJA: This could fly without me. Take another step and Iíll throw it, Iím dead serious!
MINA: Youíre dead one way or another.
DJIDJA: Martin, tell this tuberculosis-infected babbler that Iím serious...
MINA: Whoís a babbler!
MARTIN: Mina, stop!
MINA: Iím not stopping!
MARTIN: Heíll throw it, and then weíre screwed....
MINA: Iíd like to see him try. Heíll fly right after it.
MARTIN: He got a knife too. Look, he cut me.
MINA: He cut you! Where? Let me see. Well, heís...
(To Djidja.) You, moron, are a murderer, not a suicide.
DJIDJA: Youíre boring me with that...
MARTIN: Iíve already told him that twice...
MINA: How deep is the wound? Did you check if the knife is clean? Who knows who he has butchered with it...
DJIDJA: Youíre repeating yourselves constantly...
MARTIN: We really are... Mina, everythingís O.K.
MINA: What do you mean itís O.K.?! Whatís O.K?! Martin, I have to get high, otherwise Iím screwed.
MARTIN: Iím screwed too... (To Djidja) Can you hear me! Weíre both freaking out. Let us shoot it up!
DJIDJA: All right, but under one condition.
DJIDJA: That you call her and tell her...
MARTIN: Who?! Katarina?
MINA: Katarina who? Who is she, and what are you hiding from me? How do you know her?
MARTIN: Donít ask so many questions at once, you know itís annoying me...
MINA: My legs are stiff, my jawís killing me, I want to explode ícause I havenít been high since this morning, and I donít give a shit about your phobias! Call whoever you want, just let me do it...
MARTIN: I donít have any credit on my cell. Give me yours.
MINA: You sucked out all my credit describing what was going on up here. Had you been a bit more explicit, I might have had something left.
MARTIN: I bought you 200 dinars worth of credit only yesterday. You spent all the time on the phone... Now youíre gonna run to a kiosk...
MINA: No way Iím running down and back up sixteen floors to buy credit for his naked butt... I couldnít go down on a witchís broom, let alone...
MARTIN: Me neither!
MINA: God, what have I done to be tortured like this...?
MARTIN (To Djidja.): You must have a cell.
DJIDJA: I do.
MARTIN: Why are you fucking around then? You call her...
DJIDJA: When she sees my number she doesnít pick up.
MINA: Some girlfriend.
DJIDJA: Wife, itís my wife...
MINA: People, think of something, I gotta get high. Iíve got to! I wonít last another minute.
MARTIN: Djidja, Iím coming to take the heroin...
DJIDJA: You wonít get it until you bring me a cell!
MARTIN: Cut me, jump, do whatever you wanna do, but I have to...
DJIDJA: Go away, Iíll throw it. Donít make me...
MARTIN: You do what you have to do, and Iíll do what I have to do...
MINA: Martin, watch out, Martin.
DJIDJA: Stay away from me!
(Djidja waves the knife. Martin avoids the blade but falls down. Mina jumps on Djidja, he tries to get her off himself. He drops the knife. Martin gets up and takes the knife. With his last bit of strength Djidja throws the heroin over the ledge.)
MARTIN: Heís thrown it! I canít believe this...
DJIDJA: Get her off of me!
MINA: Iíll suck your blood!
MARTIN: Mina, heís thrown the heroin!
MINA: Stab him with the knife!
DJIDJA: Martin, make her get a grip!
MINA: Give me the knife! If you donít have the guts, Iíll butcher him!
MARTIN: Mina, stop!!!
MINA: Stab the shithead!!!
MARTIN: Stop, stop, stop!!!
(Martin throws the knife. Minaís lost all her strength. Djidja is on the ground)
DJIDJA: Why didnít you stab me? Why, why...?
MARTIN: Fuck off...
MINA: We gotta go down. Weíll find it.
MARTIN: Cut the crap! The wind must have...
MINA: Weíve at least gotta try!
MARTIN: Try what? What else can we try?...
MINA: Help me get up. We have to go down...
DJIDJA: Guys, I didnít mean to...
MARTIN: Youíre a cunt, dude.
DJIDJA: Iím really sorry...
(Mina walks towards Djidja and tightly grabs his testicles.)
MINA: I wanna tie them in a double knot right now!
MARTIN: Come on, Mina, leave him alone...
(Mina lets go of Djidja)
MINA: Iíve never squeezed smaller balls in my life!
(Martin and Mina slowly walk towards the exit. Mina stumbles but Martin helps her up. They are out. Djidjaís face is still full of pain. He gets up, takes his cell and calls. There is no answer. From the other side of the terrace enters Katarina. Djidja canít see her.)
KATARINA: I turned my cell off, youíre calling in vain.
DJIDJA: Katarina! Youíve come... What about him?
KATARIINA: He doesnít know Iím here.
KATARINA: You had to throw it.
DJIDJA: What did I have to throw?
KATARINA: The heroin. You really are unbelievably selfish...
DJIDJA: Me, selfish? I havenít even properly gone down, and youíre already riding another guy. Wait, how do you know about the heroin?
KATARINA: Iíve been standing here for two hours, watching your little show.
DJIDJA: You were here while they... Why didnít you...
KATARINA: While I was watching you standing, I was hoping youíd jump.
DJIDJA: Kaca, I...
KATARINA (Points between Djidjaís legs): It hurts, ha?
DJIDJA: She busted me...
KATARINA: She was way too gentle. You werenít supposed to take us back to this country.
DJIDJA: We can leave again...
KATARINA: And go where, and by what? Iím not twenty-five anymore. Iím thirty-eight, and I canít start over for the hundredth time. I grew up here too, you pathetic fool. Fuck yourself with Belgrade, and with home-sickness... There, look at it now, the view is magnificent from here!
DJIDJA: Iíll borrow some money for tickets and for the first month. Iíll go and work in construction again. You and Milica will...
KATARINA: Milica is not a suitcase.
DJIDJA: I thought she belonged here.
KATARINA: If she does belong here, why are you mentioning Prague again? She got used to grandma and grandpa, and school at last...
DJIDJA: How about her new dad! Did she get used to her new dad?
KATARINA: She will get used to him too! She, at least, has some future with him!
DJIDJA: Tell me what to do!
KATARINA: Kill yourself, you pussy. Thirteen years of hard work, the best thirteen years of my life I destroyed by standing behind a bar, stripping in front of drunk noodle eaters, with them stuffing fucking money down my panties and jerking off on me. And, what do I have left?
DJIDJA: They told me it was a certain investment.
KATARINA: You werenít supposed to play with our money behind my back.
DJIDJA: Nobody could have guessed something like that was possible.
KATARINA: Everythingís possible in this country. You picked the right time to play stock broker. You fucked up our future, both Milicaís and mine. That was our money!
DJIDJA: Iíll kill myself, Iíll kill myself, I swear...
KATARINA: Do whatever you want, Iím going home. I shouldnít have come in the first place.
(Katarina walks towards the door. Djidja wants to hug her, to kiss her)
DJIDJA: I love you.
KATARINA: Leave me alone! Do you hear me, leave me alone!
(Djidja hugs Katarina, she fights him off. Djidja wants to kiss her. They fall down. Djidja kisses her, she wrestles, but stops, her willís left her. At the same time, from the door to the terrace we hear Vojaís voice. Voja is thirty-eight, a fat inhabitant of New Belgrade, heís unkempt, tipsy.)
DJIDJA: I love you!
VOJA (Off): Fucking junkies, you moved the antenna in the middle of the game, and then you ran away. You wanted to fuck Voja over.
KATARINA: Let go of me! Somebodyís coming!
MARTIN (Off): Man, I didnít do it on purpose...
(Voja enters the terrace, dragging Martin by his hair. Martin holds Voja by the arm with both hands. Semiconscious Mina is under Vojaís other arm. Martinís nose is bloody.)
VOJA: Both you and this unconscious chick wanted to take drugs on top of our building. I bet that Chelsea would win. If they scored, and I missed it, youíre fucked.
MARTIN: Whatís wrong with you, why donít you get cable TV?
(Voja pushes Martin away severely and Martin hits the wall with his head.)
VOJA: I watch TV the way I want, you junkie piece of shit.
(Voja sees Katarina and Djidja.)
VOJA: What the hell is this? Some take drugs, others fuck, damn scumbags!
(Djidja starts, gets up, Katarina is scared.)
VOJA (To Djidja): Dude, you do the work, but you donít invite the others, ha? Look at his swollen balls...
MARTIN: Dude, you pulled all my hair out.
(Voja does not answer him, but hits him in the abdomen, leaving Martin breathless.)
VOJA: Iím sorry. I want my antenna the way it was, otherwise Iíll make minced meat out of you. Do you understand?
MARTIN (Trying to breathe.) Yes!
VOJA: When youíre done you can take this burned out prune wherever you want. (He points at Katarina.) Thatís a babe!
KATARINA: Leave me alone, you hick.
(Voja approaches Katarina and twists her arm.)
VOJA: Watch your mouth, whore. Youíre the one who fucks in public places, not me. Whoís the hick then? (To Djidja) How much does she charge, ha, nakedbutt?
DJIDJA: Leave her alone, sheís my wife, you idiot.
MARTIN: Oh, thatís Katarina...
VOJA: Junkie, cut the crap, and fix the antenna so I donít have to throw you down.
DJIDJA: Leave her alone!
(Djidja wants to defend Katarina, Voja hits him hard, and he falls close to the knife.)
KATARINA: Let me go, you moron.
VOJA: You like doing it in the open? Action, exhibitionism, ha? See, crazy women turn me on...
(Katarinaís seen that Djidja has the knife. Voja canít see that because his back is turned to Djidja.)
KATARINA: Wait, donít be rough, I donít like rough men.
VOJA: Well, sis, thatís me...
KATARINA: You can have me, and remember that forever, only if youíre gentle.
VOJA (Turns to Djidja) Dude, your chick is a real piece of work...
(Djidja quickly hides the knife behind his back. Voja didnít see it.)
VOJA: What is she, a nymphomaniac? Itís no picnic for you to be chased out of bed onto communal terraces. God, your balls are swollen...
KATARINA: Watch me, mind him.
VOJA: What have you done to him, his balls are like balloons... Should I punch him in the head to make him unconscious? It wouldnít be nice of me to fuck you in front of your very husband.
KATARINA: He likes to watch.
VOJA: Youíre both mad. Oh, what do I care if youíre having good time, itís even better for me.
KATARINA: Todayís your lucky day.
VOJA: Yours too.
(Katarina starts doing a striptease. She is experienced. Voja keeps looking at her. Djidja is behind his back. Martin stares.)
VOJA: Junkie, watch that antenna or Iíll break your neck.
MARTIN: All right, all right...
VOJA: Whore, youíre a pro! Wow, wait!
KATARINA: What is it baldy, are you scared...
VOJA: Me, scared, no way! But you canít watch a striptease without music. (He takes his cell, calls.) Hello, Maria, put the speakers out on the window and play some brass orchestra... I found out what went wrong, but I canít fix it without music... Put the speakers out, donít make me come down there, you hick! (He hangs up, then starts talking to Katarina.) Now, weíll have music too...
KATARINA: If I could choose...
VOJA: You canít! Pick up where you left off.
(At once loud trumpets can be heard. Blaringly loud.)
(Katarina keeps stripping. Voja keeps staring at her. Djidja gets up, the knife is in his hand, heís changing his mind. Voja approaches Katarina, starts touching her. Djidja still canít decide what to do. He has never killed before. Voja lays Katarina down. Djidja is still undecided. Vojaís already inside her. Djidja finally decides. He stabs Voja a few times in the neck and back. Martin quickly runs to Mina, who is semi-conscious. He takes her in his arms and goes out. Katarina pushes bloody Voja off herself. She takes her clothes and runs off the terrace. Djidja stays there alone. He throws the knife. He walks to the ledge. He climbs onto the railing and jumps off the building.)
(Dark. The trumpet music is even louder.)
PROJECTION ON THE VIDEO BEAM:
Synopsis: Mina, Katarina, Martin, Djidja and Voja as teenagers. They are smiling. We recognize the eighties. Many lovely scenes from the seaside, college, mountains, everything is cheerful, careless. From some other life. Only the music is from this life. Trumpet music is ringing!
End of scene one.
(Late afternoon. Early fall. An apartment in an apartment block in New Belgrade. A spacious room with simple, discreet furniture. Two armchairs, a couch, small table, large mirror. There is a mini bar beside the window. From the bathroom we can hear somebody taking a shower. Milan, a handsome thirty-twoyear-old wearing very expensive underwear, keeps changing his mind about which suit from those lying on the couch in front of him to put on.)
MILAN: Are you done with the shirt, Majda!?
MAJDA (From the room.) Itís coming.
MILAN: While I had one suit, for both weddings and funerals, I always knew what to wear. Now that Iíve got twenty, I feel like going out in my underwear. Uniforms rule...
(Majda enters the room. She is a pretty thirty-twoyear-old. She is holding an ironed shirt in her hand.)
MAJDA: I asked you not to change in here, Sasa will see you.
MILAN: He saw me naked before you did.
MAJDA: Youíre exaggerating.
MILAN: The guy is having a shower. You think he just turned the water on so that he can spy on us from the corridor?
MAJDA (Gives the shirt to Milan.) There, and hurry up!
(Majda walks to the little table with drinks on it and pours herself a whisky.)
MILAN: You have become paranoid. Iíll go mad like this. Heís been here for two days, youíre saying nothing, youíre just drinking that whisky, and you wonít let me tell him. Do you realize heís making fools of us?
MAJDA: Heís making fools of us?
MILAN: Majda, Iím convinced that Sasa already knows everything, and that heís just enjoying watching us...
MAJDA: Please, get dressed.
(Break. Majda and Milan look at each other for a long time. Their looks are cold. Milan takes a few suits in his hands.)
MILAN: Which one should I put on?
MAJDA: Whichever, just get dressed.
MILAN: I canít go and talk to the strikers wearing just anything.
(All of a sudden, through the open window, we hear very loud music - trumpets. Milan walks over to the window.)
MILAN (Yells through the window) Keep it down! (He closes the window.) I really canít understand how they talked me into buying an apartment in New Belgrade.
MAJDA: Are you gonna get dressed already, you moron!
MILAN: I could have waited for a while, Iím sure I would have gotten some nice place in the center.
MAJDA: But it was me who couldnít wait, is that what youíre trying to say? Get dressed!
MILAN (He takes one suit, walks over to Majda. He is being cynical.) I think this black one is the best. It suits the situation...
MAJDA: You are a jerk...
MILAN: There, Iím getting dressed...
MAJDA: Did you look carefully in my room, are there any of your things left?
MILAN: Like what?
MAJDA: Like condoms. I donít know where you hide them.
MILAN: I donít have any secrets with you.
(Majda smiles ironically, and finishes her whisky. Milan finally starts getting dressed. Majda goes to pour herself another whisky.)
MILAN: Majda, I know that the fact that Sasa is back makes you a little bit nervous, but arenít you maybe exaggerating?
MAJDA: Makes me a little bit nervous!? Fuck, what a euphemism...!
MILAN: In the end, weíll have to tell him.
MAJDA: Maybe we wonít.
MILAN: Whatís that supposed to mean?
MAJDA: It meant what you heard, maybe we wonít have to tell him. Maybe I donít want to live in your apartment anymore, maybe I donít want to do the job you found for me, maybe I donít want to fuck you anymore...
MILAN: Wait a minute. Whatís gotten into you all of a sudden?
MAJDA: Itís not all of a sudden. When Sasa called me a week ago and told me he was coming back, I thought I had enough time to think about everything and...
MAJDA: It seems there wasnít enough time.
MILAN: Majda, weíve talked about this.
MAJDA: I know, Milan, I know that we have.
MILAN: I still think you should tell him as soon as possible.
MAJDA: Did you see what heís like?
MILAN: Itís either that, or lying to him.
MAJDA: Weíve been lying until now too.
MILAN: And youíre sure he hasnít noticed anything? Whereís my tie?
(Majda looks at Milan angrily, and walks to the room)
MAJDA: Sasa and I have been together for seven years.
MILAN: So, youíre counting the last two years too...
MAJDA (Yells from the room.) I am.
MILAN: Give me the light-blue tie, it goes well with the black suit...
(Milanís cell is ringing. He looks at it, and starts talking quietly so that Majda canít hear.)
MILAN: Rici, where have you been... Dude, I asked you to find a whore, not a nuclear scientist... Is she hot?... Really?... That chick of yours. I know, sheís great. Wheníre you coming? I wonít be here, I have to go to the Ministry. Extraordinary mayhem, those taxi drivers who didnít get their work licenses are on strike again, fuck them... What do you care what weíre going to do, focus on this... I donít want it postponed. Iíll come back as soon as that crap ends, you just bring her... I donít know, improvise...
(Majda walks in, carrying the tie. When he sees her, Milan starts talking in a normal voice.)
MILAN: No problem, Majda will be here waiting for you... Yes, Sasa will also be here. Ok, see you. She knows, Majda knows. Bye, Iím in a hurry.
(Majda throws his tie onto the couch angrily)
MAJDA: What does Majda know?
MILAN: You know that Rici is coming with his chick, and that theyíll stay over tonight...
MAJDA: Little Aspirin-boy is coming, with a chick, for a change. He picked a good moment...
MILAN: Aspirin-boy? That is, I assume, his new nickname?
MAJDA: He calls me Pepper-girl!
MILAN: Pepper-girl! (He laughs) And why is Rici Aspirin-boy?
MAJDA: Because I get him like a therapy every weekend whether I like it or not, before and after breakfast, lunch and dinner... Heís now in the loading dose.
MILAN: Youíre talking like youíve studied medicine, not music.
MAJDA: Does he live in ZajeŤar or Belgrade? Why donít you invite him to move in, and Iíll know what the deal is.
MILAN: Him too? Not a bad idea, then he could keep Sasa company.
MAJDA: Cut the crap...
MILAN: What do you want? When heís in Belgrade on business, he should stay in a hotel? What do you have against Rici?
MILAN (Shows the tied tie to Majda.) This one looks really good on me?
MAJDA: Itís very cop-like.
MILAN: I am a cop, not a model.
MAJDA: Youíd really tell him?
MILAN: Sasa was my friend.
MAJDA: If he was, why hasnít he stayed your friend?
MILAN: Because both you and I wanted it, remember? I couldíve written him a letter...
MAJDA: And to have him on our conscience all our lives. He was in the middle of some shit...
MILAN: Iím not responsible for that! Why the fuck did he have to go to Iraq? There were many wars here too... He was dying to get to America, and when he finally did, he decided to go into the Marines! He should be in the Guinnessí Book of World Idiots!
MAJDA: He went to Iraq to get me a Green Card!
MILAN: And, did he!? He fucked up his head, thatís what he did.
MAJDA: Itís a matter of responsibility. You canít understand that...
MILAN: I donít understand what responsibility is!? Me!? O.K. Where are we now? In Chicago or in New Belgrade!? Weíre at Uncle Milanís, my dear, we are all at Uncle Milanís, in a hundred and twenty square meters crib. Sasa is also here, and he shouldnít be here! (Majda sits on the couch.)
MAJDA: I have a headache. Fix me a drink
MILAN: Youíll get drunk.
(Milan takes the bottle of whisky and sits beside Majda. He pours her a drink, puts the bottle away, and starts to massage her temples.)
MILAN: Youíre tense, relax.
MAJDA: I canít relax.
MILAN: You were drunk the first night too. Remember?
MAJDA: I remember everything...
(Milan gently hugs Majda. She seems to like it. The sound of showering from the bathroom stops. Majda pushes Milan away suddenly.)
MAJDA: Stop, heís done showering, heíll get out and see us.
MILAN: Oh, fuck...
(Milan gets up, pours himself a whisky, and, obviously annoyed, downs it. His cell rings and he answers.)
MILAN (On the phone.) Iím coming down. (To Majda) The driverís here. I have to go. Rici will be here soon. Iíll come as soon as I can. (He goes, and stops in front of the door for a moment.) If you get drunk tonight too, puke in Sasaís bed, not mine. We donít want him to think that you canít tell whose bed is whose...
MAJDA: You cynical asshole...
(Milan quickly walks out of the apartment. Majda throws a glass at him, but he is already out. The glass breaks. Majda gets up, walks to the window, pours whisky in another glass, takes a sip, starts staring through the window. We canít hear water from the bathroom anymore. Sasa walks into the room wearing a bathrobe. Majda notices him.)
MAJDA: Youíre already done. Was there enough hot water?
SASA: There was.
MAJDA: Milanís bathrobe is too short for you. Iíll buy you another one.
(An uncomfortable silence. Sasa dries his hair with a towel.)
MAJDA: Rici is coming tonight. Heíll sleep over.
SASA: Rici. I havenít seen him for a long time, luckily.
MAJDA: You donít have to see him now either if you donít want to.
SASA: What about our host?
MAJDA: He had to leave urgently because of the taxi driversí strike.
SASA: Mister Vice Minister.
MAJDA: How about you and me going out?
SASA: No thanks. I donít feel like going out. (Walks to the shelf where the drinks are, pouring himself a whisky.)
MAJDA: Sasa, you shouldnít be drinking, because of your pills.
(Sasa downs the drink, pours another one, sits on the couch. Majda gets up and goes to Sasa. She touches his hair.)
MAJDA: Your hair is still wet. Do you want the blowdrier?
(Sasa pulls some pills out of the pocket of the bathrobe. He wants to take them with the whisky.)
MAJDA: You really shouldnít drink whisky with those pills! Here, I wonít drink either...
(Majda tries to take the glass from Sasa but fails. She walks to the shelf with the drinks and leaves her glass there.)
MAJDA: Are you sure you donít want to go out?
SASA: Iím sure.
MAJDA: Iím going to my room. Wanna come with me?
(Majda looks at Sasa. Sasa waves his arm that she should go without him. Majda goes to her room. Sasa takes his pills with whisky, then walks to the window, pours another drink, opens the window and looks through it. We hear trumpets. Rici comes in, Ksenija is with him.)
RICI: Ho, ho, a party. (Sees shattered glass on the floor.) And shards of glass under our feet. Somebody was partying here with the trumpet music, ha, Sale? (To Ksenija) Watch out, honey, donít get hurt. Go around, go around... Thatís my smart girl... Sasa, Jesus, you are alive. Man... Those Arabs didnít scalp you. They wouldnít hurt us, weíre also non-aligned, theyíre not Indians... Let me hug you. (Rici violently hugs Sasa. Sasa is not interested.)
RICI: Why are you so stiff? We havenít seen each other in two years. (Looks at his shoes.) Look, I fucked up my leather sole. Where did that shard of glass come from? Was there a fistfight in here? Or are you missing weddings in Serbia? Well, it is time for you to get married. Youíre thirty-two, you have to prolong the human race... Youíre drinking and not offering, ha, buddy? Oh, Iím thirsty. (Pours himself a drink. Talks to Ksenija.) Ksenija, honey, you wonít say no to whisky, as far as I know you. There, Uncle Rici will bring you one. Move away from that broken glass, are you glued to the door? Kids today are irresponsible to leather footwear... (Gives the glass to Ksenija, wants to propose a toast, but nobody responds.) Well, cheers, people...
SASA: You donít ring the doorbell when you come here?
RICI: Ring the doorbell, here? I have a key too. Do you want me to make you a copy?
(Sasa waves his arm, Rici drinks up his whisky.)
RICI: This is some great fire water. Makes me hungry. Is there any grub in here?
SASA: I donít know, look in the kitchen. I suppose you know where it is.
RICI: No, you do... Hey, the music is cool, but can we turn it down a little. I mean, you wonít hear the doorbell....
(Rici closes the window, then goes into the kitchen. Ksenija leaves her little suitcase beside the armchair, walks to Sasa. She wants to propose a toast, but Rici interrupts her, peeking through the kitchen door.)
RICI: God, I almost forgot. This is Ksenija, this is Sasa, introduce yourselves, kiss each other and so on... Sasa, can I take the ham from the fridge?
SASA: Be my guest - Milanís fridge is your fridge.
(Rici goes out, but only for a short while. Ksenija just wanted to say something, Rici interrupts her again. At last, Ksenija finishes her whisky.)
RICI: Guys, are you hungry too, maybe? Do you want me to make you some sandwiches? The ham is excellent. Iíll throw in a little mayo, ketchup, cheese, make it all nice and chubby... what díya say?
KSENIJA: No, thank you.
RICI: Jesus Christ, Ksenija, sit down, donít stand. Thereís no glass on the armchair. The rules are clear in this house. You aim at the head, not at the ass... Sasa, fix her a drink, be a gentleman. You guys really donít want sandwiches? O.K. I wonít insist.
(Rici finally leaves the room. Ksenija keeps standing. Sasa looks at her, pointing out that she should sit down in the armchair across from the one where she left her suitcase. He takes her empty glass, then walks to the shelf with the drinks.)
(Ksenija sits on the couch.)
SASA: Whatever on the rocks?
(Sasa pours a drink for Ksenija and himself. He walks to the couch, gives the glass to Ksenija, sits in the armchair.)
SASA: There you go.
(The noise of dishes and broken plates can be heard from the kitchen.)
RICI (From the kitchen.) Where are you going? Who put these plates like this? Shit...
(The breaking continues. Majda walks into the room, and to the shelf with the drinks, takes the bottle of whisky, sees that itís half-empty, looks at the bottle, but glances at Sasa and Ksenija, then pours herself a whisky.)
MAJDA: Rici, you moron, I heard you the moment you came in. Stop eating with your feet...
(Majda approaches the armchair and notices Ksenijaís suitcase. She pushes it with her foot and sits in the armchair opposite Ksenija. We can hear breaking from the kitchen again.)
MAJDA: Iím scared to walk in the kitchen after him. (To Sasa) Light me a cigarette, please. (Sasa lights a cigarette and gives it to Majda. Majda wants to thank him, but Rici walks in carrying a large sandwich on a plate.)
RICI: Pepper-girl, youíre here! Next time donít put the plates like youíre making a mosaic, itís not my fault...
MAJDA: Take the dishes to the washing machine, start the spin-cycle, and itíll be quieter. And stop calling me Pepper-girl.
RICI: Youíre one spicy opponent. Do you want me to fix you a sandwich? Ham, ketchup, cheese... You have to eat, look how skinny you are. Top form Ė the creative precondition number one.
MAJDA: For jingles and crouching in the editing rooms? Quite creative...
RICI: But it brings big bucks. (He is close to Majdaís face.) The future lies in marketing! Whatís with this offhand relation to smiling? Let me see your teeth! (He puts the sandwich close to her.) Look how itís calling to you, eat me, eat me...
MAJDA: You really want me to pour this whisky over you.
RICI: Oh, no. Save the ammunition for Milan. (He realizes heís made a mistake, and looks at Sasa.) I mean, for Sasa... Passionate fighting. I mean love passion... (Now he is confused.) I think, therefore, I am...
KSENIJA: Rici, I want you to show me my room, Iím tired.
RICI: Youíve barely come in, and you already want to sleep. Oh, legs, why are you mine... And I told you not to drink that much during the trip. Guys, from ZajeŤar to Belgrade, she was drinking without any limits. Though I see you two are drinking whisky too. This house has always been known for some good drinking. A man of means is a man of possibilities... Címon Ksenija, letís go to bed... Wait, Majda, did Sasa introduce you to Ksenija?
MAJDA: I had the honour of being introduced only to her suitcase.
RICI: It seems that Iím the only one with good manners around here. Viennese school, special branch - Zajecar. Ksenija dear, see, people keep ignoring you. Thatís because you drink too much. Letís broaden our horizons. Majda, this is Ksenija, Ksenija, this is Majda, introduce yourselves, kiss each other, and so on... Ksenija and I will, as you know, sleep over; I hope you donít hold it against us.
SASA: This is Milanís apartment, so it wouldnít matter even if we did.
RICI (To Sasa, jokingly.) I hate landlords too. (Laughter)
MAJDA (To Rici.) The girl is waiting for you to show her into the room!
RICI (To Ksenija.): Oh, yeah, tired little legs... Letís go. And the suitcase? How are we gonna go without the suitcase? A lot of money was spent on it. Let me show you the room quickly, and then Iíll have to get down to eating. My intestines are glued to my spine.
(Ksenija takes her suitcase and goes with Rici to the guest room.)
MAJDA: Sometimes you really are a jerk, nagging about how the apartment is Milanís. The guy took us in, for free...
SASA: He took you in.
MAJDA: How many times do I have to tell you? I was left alone! You left, Sasa! I donít know how to live alone!
MAJDA: Milan was your friend.
MAJDA: Letís go to a hotel right now. Iíll start looking for a place tomorrow... Letís get out of here...
(Sasa looks at her, then finishes off his drink.)
MAJDA: You got me used to it, Sasa. You got me used to depending on other people...
(Rici comes in, on his way to the kitchen.)
RICI: Majda, my little Pepper-girl, why donít you go back to your well-deserved afternoon nap? In womenís magazines they say that sleep is quite significant for a modern business woman...
(Majda takes her slipper off her foot, throws it at Rici. He runs to the kitchen.)
MAJDA: I told you not to call me that! Your bullshit has no end, you logorrheic monster!
(Majda gets up to get her slipper from the floor, turns to Sasa, and goes into her room. Rici enters the room, carrying a glass of milk.)
RICI: She almost got me. She gets closer and closer to her targets. Sheís full of energy! My new girl is half-dead. She uses every opportunity for a nap, which is not surprising, since she drinks so much. She drinks everything. Like a camel. Remember that chick from the Fifth Belgrade High School? The chick who got alcohol poisoning for prom night? If sheíd had Ksenijaís stomach, she wouldíve lived for sure. Milk helps me. Whenever I get wasted, I have a cup of milk... Do you want some? Oh, yeah, you donít take milk even in your coffee... Fuck, Iím tired, I can hardly talk. And I canít go to sleep if Iím hungry, no way. You canít sleep either, ha? You have to adapt... You should get a job, get organized, forget all the crap... Milan told me youíd spent two nights crouching in the armchair. You know, this job idea, it really works, itís therapeutic. Ask Milan, he can find you a job in no time. You have experience with weapons. You donít have to work for the police, tell him to find you something else. Security, money escort, and stuff like that... If you are squeamish about guns, let him put you in his Ministry of Internal Affairs, you can be a clerk or something. He got Majda quite a good job. Television, marketing, good salary, benefits, great gigs. Youíll be a new man in no time... Hey, wanna bite of sandwich?
(Sasa is still quiet. Rici sits on the couch. Starts eating.)
RICI: Whoever doesnít wanna eat will have a smaller ass, to quote my poetic mother... Have you called your folks to tell them youíve arrived? You havenít? Dusanovac isnít at the end of the earth. Iíll drop you off. They must be worried sick. I bet they watch CNN on cable TV every night.
(Another long break.)
RICI: What, are you mad at me, or what? Say a few words, itís not like youíre mouth will fall off. Iím being thoughtful here, I brought you a chick, and this is how you thank me. O.K. O.K... Just so you know, Ksenija is an extraordinary chick. Breasts, legs, ass, everything is under the constant quality control, goods for export, dude...
(Sasa gets up, walks to the shelf with the drinks, pours himself a whisky, goes back to the table and sits in the armchair opposite Rici.)
SASA: Thatís your chick.
RICI: Mine! Give me a break... Sheís ours. Riciís never been an egoist.
SASA: What about Majda?
RICI: Majda. Majda will be sleeping... Her eyes will see no evil...
SASA: Thanks poet, I donít want to devaluate your goods. You paid for it, fair and square.
RICI: I mightíve even overpaid.
SASA: I donít have the dough for a chick like that.
RICI: Yeah, right. You donít have the dough...
SASA: Thatís right.
RICI: Oh, fuck, those niggers from KFOR and UNPROFOR taking vacations in Bosnia and Kosovo are rich, and you, who were chased by Bedouins all over the desert, narrowly escaping circumcision, youíre broke. Riciís not a fool. Iím not asking you to lend me money. I have my own...
SASA: I see that.
RICI: What, you envy me?
RICI: I canít believe youíre broke. Milan told me. What the fuck were you doing there when they tricked you for money? The Americans donít fuck around with the Army, I know that. I bet you were bragging about being a Serb, I bet my name on that. You were preaching and boasting without covering your back. Let your old friend teach you a lesson for the next time you go abroad again. Wherever you are, donít say youíre from Serbia, even if they torture you severely. Say that youíre from Croatia, Bosnia, or even better, from Montenegro. Montenegrins... When I go abroad, I love pretending to be a Macedonian, I donít know why that is toa bidne nekako ubavo za rabotu. Ne berem si gajle...
SASA: So, howís business in Macedonia?
RICI: I donít work with Macedonians. I work with Bulgarians. Thatís why I have to be in fucking ZajeŤar... Bulgarians are westerns now, even though theyíre in the east, I mean, eastern west.
SASA: So, as a Macedonian, how do they treat you in Bulgaria?
RICI: Great. They say Macedonians donít exist, and I agree. When I tell them that Samuil was Bulgarian, they pee from happiness, and I donít give a shit about Samuil and Alex the Macedonian all together... Iím tolerant history-wise.
SASA: Youíve evolved in every sense.
RICI: Youíre enquiring about the business a lot. Maybe you wanna work together again, ha? Let me tell you right away, I donít mind. I just donít know how Milan would react. You screwed him over last time in the middle of the job and fled to America. While you were pretending to be some puritan, we almost got fucked up here.
SASA: Those were live people.
RICI: Those were chicks, you moron. Whores, like every other piece of merchandise. You were only supposed to take them to Mitrovica, as if it wouldíve stripped you of your dignity.
SASA: You found a driver even for such merchandise.
RICI: We did, we did...
RICI: Iíll never understand why Milan lets you stay in his crib. He would be better off if he put a bomb under his bed. Although, God knows, maybe you two will make up again. Maybe Majda will help you return the lost trust.
SASA: And you think Majda would do that for us?
RICI: Majda would do all kinds of things for the two of you.
(SASA walks to Rici. Heís close to Riciís face. He purposely flips over Riciís plate, and Riciís sandwich falls on the floor.)
RICI: Fuck you, you fag... Youíve really crossed the line. Iím starving, you asshole... (He picks up what is left of the sandwich off the floor.) I donít know what you want from me. To fuck around with me like... Look what youíve done. You havenít changed a bit. Now listen to me! Youíve fucked me around my whole life, and look at you now. Iíve made something out of my life, you havenít. Had you listened to Milan this whole shit wouldnít have happened.
SASA: Which shit in particular?
RICI: You know, you know! Youíre not dumb. You just act like you are.
(Majda comes in. Sheís wearing a sexy black dress. She walks to the mirror, theatrically fixing her hair.)
RICI: Wow, look at you! I thought you were sleeping, and you got all dressed up... Where are you going so dressed up, Little Red Riding Hood?
MAJDA: Seeing that the wolves are long gone from this place, Iím going out alone.
RICI: Youíre going alone into the dark forest?
(Majda goes over to Rici. Her hands are on the armchair and she comes close to his face.)
MAJDA: Care to join me, mighty hunter?
(Rici is confused. He canít take his eyes off Majdaís cleavage, which is right in front of his eyes.)
MAJDA: Sudden silence...
RICI: If Sale doesnít mind...
MAJDA: He doesnít.
RICI: You think that...
SASA: Heís asking you about Milan.
RICI: Like you know what Iím asking her. You got parapsychological powers in Iraq. The guy can read minds. Youíre so full of shit. You should be happy Majda puts up with you. (To Majda) I admire you, I swear.
SASA: Are you taking Ksenija too?
RICI: Yeah, right. Then Iíd have to carry her back drunk.
SASA: Put her under one arm, and Majda under the other.
MAJDA (Turns to Sasa) Fuck you! (To Rici) Letís go.
(Majda goes out, Rici follows her. As they walk out, he keeps babbling. We can hear him even when theyíre outside.)
RICI: Wait till I put my jacket on. You are some pushy chick, arenít you? Watch out for that glass, donít get crippled like a fakirís geisha. Nice, everyone stood you up, and now Rici is good enough for you. Iím just not strong enough. Tell me please, have you put on a wonder-bra to make your boobs so big? Your cleavage is beyond low. I mean, theyíre not hanging down to your knees Ė just the opposite actually... Iím full of shit, arenít I?
(Silence at last. Sasa is nervous. He goes to the bathroom. Ksenija comes out of the guest room. She looks around the room, sees that itís empty. She walks towards the mini-bar. Sheís wearing a long T-shirt, and under it she is wearing only white, lacy panties. She pours herself a whisky, and downs it. She fills the glass again. We hear water flushing in the toilet. Ksenija starts walking back to her room, but before she leaves it, Sale walks in. He zips his fly. He sees Ksenija. Heís embarrassed. Sheís embarrassed too.)
SASA: Sorry for...
KSENIJA: Sorry Ďcause Iím dressed like this.
SASA: Itís O.K.
KSENIJA: You know, thereís no drink there.
SASA: There is here. Cheers.
(Ksenija toasts. They drink it all in one go.)
KSENIJA: Do you want me to pour you more?
SASA: Iíll do it. Take a seat.
(Ksenija sits in the armchair. Sasa brings the whisky bottle and sits on the couch. Although his cigarette is lit, sitting in the ashtray, he lights another one.)
KSENIJA: Are you nervous?
SASA: No, why?
KSENIJA: Your cigarette is still burning.
(Sasa puts out the unfinished cigarette.)
KSENIJA: Rici told me you were in the war.
SASA: I was.
KSENIJA: In Kosovo?
KSENIJA: In Bosnia?
KSENIJA: In Croatia?
KSENIJA: I didnít know there was some other war...
SASA: In Iraq.
KSENIJA: In Iraq. How?
SASA: Two years ago I won the lottery, and got a green card. When I went to America, it turned out that I couldnít get Majda there easily. Then a lawyer in Chicago gave me an excellent idea. The Marines get various perks. It seemed quite simple at first glance. On TV that war seemed like a joke in comparison to what was happening here.
KSENIJA: And on the second?
SASA: I donít want to talk about it.
KSENIJA: Did you kill anyone there?
SASA: Are you always that direct?
KSENIJA: No. But you...
SASA: I what?
KSENIJA: You relax me, in a way.
KSENIJA: Whatís weird?
SASA: I had a similar impression about you when I saw you tonight.
KSENIJA: Really? People usually become tense around me.
SASA: And thatís why you drink...
KSENIJA: And you?
SASA: Letís leave me aside for a while for a change. Letís talk about you.
KSENIJA: O.K., but only if you give me a cigarette.
(Sasa lights a cigarette for her.)
KSENIJA: There, shoot. Should I point a lamp in my face?
SASA: This is fine.
KSENIJA: Question number one.
SASA: Why are you a whore?
KSENIJA (The drag makes her cough.) I must say that was quite direct.
SASA: I can rephrase.
KSENIJA: No need. Because of money.
SASA: A sad story?
KSENIJA: Not really. Iím simply broke.
SASA: What about your folks?
KSENIJA: They lost their jobs.
SASA: Is ZajeŤar a small place?
KSENIJA: When Iím there, Iím resting. Rici is my official boyfriend there.
SASA: And in Belgrade, heís your pimp.
KSENIJA: More of a business associate. Iím here to convince people.
SASA: What should you convince me of?
KSENIJA: Isnít it obvious?
SASA: It is.
KSENIJA: I told him you would bust us, but he canít hear other people because of the rattling he makes.
(Break. Ksenija goes over to Sasa, takes the bottle, pours herself a whisky. Sasa indicates that she should sit beside him.)
SASA: How much will you get if you take me to bed?
KSENIJA: Enough for me.
SASA: Rici is not very generous, as far as I know.
KSENIJA: But Milan is.
SASA: I donít see why youíre telling me all this.
KSENIJA: Neither do I. I guess Iím fed up with everything.
SASA: And I thought you liked me.
KSENIJA: Weird. Thatís the second thing we both thought tonight.
SASA: How do you want to spend your time until they return?
KSENIJA: I donít know, I keep going back and forth.
SASA: Call them. Give them a sign, or whatever the deal was.
(Ksenija takes her cell.)
KSENIJA: You really want me to call?
SASA: Go ahead.
(Ksenija calls and hangs up.)
SASA: That was it?
SASA: Well, you didnít answer my question.
KSENIJA: How I want to spend time...
(Ksenija looks at Sasa. They kiss. Passionately and honestly.)
SASA: I havenít felt something like this for a long time.
KSENIJA: Are you kidding?
SASA: You look young.
KSENIJA: Youíd look young with so much investment. Iím thirty-two.
SASA: Everythingís in place.
KSENIJA: Was that supposed to be a compliment?
SASA: From the point of view of an ex-marine, it was pretty romantic.
(They kiss again, passionately. This kiss lasts a while.)
KSENIJA: You look funny in that little bathrobe.
SASA: Take it off.
(Ksenija slowly takes the bathrobe off Sasa. He is naked. They are still kissing. Sasa stops all of a sudden. He gets up.)
KSENIJA: What is it? Some war frustration?
SASA: Sort of.
KSENIJA: Iím not used to talking to naked men.
SASA: Do you want me to get dressed?
KSENIJA: I want you to tell me whatís wrong.
SASA: I shot a kid in Baghdad, at the entrance to the green zone. He looked like a bomb-suicide, and he was only a fat kid, running after his runaway dog. He came close quickly... It turned out the kid was some local politicianís son, and the Americans really needed him. Even though I followed the rules of engagement, they had to get rid of me. And I was good material for getting rid of. They didnít pay me, they took my green card, I hardly managed not to go to prison.
KSENIJA: The story is rather pathetic, youíll admit.
SASA: Itís not a problem for you that I killed a child?
KSENIJA: After two abortions I donít have an opinion about it.
SASA: You think so?
(SASA goes to the window. He opens it.)
SASA: And you didnít tell me how much you will get to take me out of Majdaís life.
KSENIJA: Five hundred euros.
SASA: Itís not much.
KSENIJA: I agree.
SASA: But, itís good spending money.
(SASA climbs up to the window and jumps.)
KSENIJA: Fuck! You moron!
(Ksenija is totally stunned. She gets up, goes to the window, looks through it, then closes it. She goes over to the couch, her hands are shaking. She takes her drink and drinks it quickly. Then she sits down, curls up, and pulls her T-shirt over her legs.)
PROJECTION ON THE VIDEO BEAM:
Synopsis: Milan, Sasa, Rici, Ksenija and Majda are teenagers. They are smiling. Recognizable eighties. They are swimming in the swimming pool in Banjica. Good rhythm. ďäarlo AkrobataĒ.
End of scene two.
(A typical cafť in New Belgrade, on the ground floor of an apartment block. There are no customers. Iva, a pretty twenty-five-year-old sits at the bar. Sheís dressed like all the modern teenagers, and looks younger. New wave music, ďäarlo Akrobataď is on. Biksa, a twenty-five-year-old bodyguard comes in, dressed like he has just left FBI school. Iva does not react when Biksa enters. Biksa ďsniffsĒ around, checking for something. He goes over to the stereo, turning the music off.)
BIKSA: What that crappy music? Turn it off.
IVA: What is that... You peasant from Leskovac, use the auxiliary verb. I am, you are, he, she, it is...
BIKSA: All right. What is that crappy music? Is that better?
IVA: Minding the fact that you turned off the music I was listening to...
BIKSA: Jeez, youíre annoying ...
(Iva plays the music again, Biksa keeps ďsniffingĒ around.)
BIKSA: At least turn it down a bit, my heart is jumping from the bass guitar.
BIKSA: Turn it down!
(Iva keeps working around the bar, not paying attention to what Biksa asked her. Biksa is a bit annoyed by now. He goes to the stereo, he wants to turn it off, but Iva looks at him significantly.)
BIKSA: Just to turn it down!
(Iva waves her arm, Biksa turns the music down.)
BIKSA: Since when do you listen to this?
IVA: I have no idea who that is. I got the CD from my sister, she said itís cool again.
BIKSA: Again!? This hissing and smacking the bass was cool!?
IVA: The eighties.
BIKSA: That ťpoque ended before Mr. Biksa was born.
IVA: Can you imagine your mom, breastfeeding you, and enjoying this? I guess it was really cool.
BIKSA: Whatís wrong with listening to Ceca and breastfeeding?
IVA: Nothingís wrong with her...
(Iva is obviously annoyed. Sheís on the verge of tears.)
BIKSA: There... Same old, same old. Since your sister gave birth, youíve only been talking about kids...And youíre not doing anything about it. Dejan is not the only guy...
IVA: Cut the crap.
BIKSA: Itís not crap. Since he left you...
IVA: I told you to cut the crap!
BIKSA: The guy bought you the cafť, he secured you, you donít have to give him his racket...
IVA: Come on...
BIKSA: I know, I collect it. You donít give it! And if anyone had any use of you know what, it is you.
IVA: Shut up, you moron!
BIKSA: A flower canít give birth without a bee, let alone a woman.
IVA: Please, tell me, who would dare to think, let alone touch Dejanís ex-girlfriend?
BIKSA: Youíre exaggerating. Deki would be happy if you found a husband...
IVA: What do I need one for? To beat me and fuck me for nothing.
BIKSA: There isnít one thing youíd do for nothing...
IVA: A child needs a mother, and you men are a surplus in that story.
BIKSA: Quite emancipated...
IVA: Look at my Kaśa, for example. She was in Prague for years, stripping for anyone and everyone, and instead of staying there, because of that idiot of hers, who, as soon as they came back, wasted all their money on some rotten stocks. She brought the kid here who couldíve had Czech citizenship. Czech, man!
BIKSA: She is stupid...
IVA: She and her hubby-bubby... And, now sheís got herself a knobby!
BIKSA: Nasty words donít suit you...
IVA: Irresponsible bastard!
BIKSA: Has she left him?
IVA: I guess, I donít know.
BIKSA: Wait now, she has or she hasnít?
IVA: What do you care?
BIKSA: Your sis is awesome, I watched her perform, she kicks ass...
IVA: She could be your mother.
BIKSA: Mother, my ass. My mom has moustache and her tits hang down to the floor...
IVA: Kaśa is thirty-eight, and youíre my age, youíre twenty-five.
BIKSA: She couldnít give birth when she was thirteen...
(We can hear the sound of a jeep engine from outside. The jeep parks. When the engine stops running, we hear a characteristic whistling. Biksa starts and begins checking the cafť quickly.)
BIKSA: Here comes Dejan.
IVA: Well, that was his Ďmusicí. Iím surprised he took the Cherokee from the garage.
BIKSA: Itís his only armored car.
BIKSA: Heís almost inside, and I havenít finished checking the place.
IVA: What are you talking about? Armored jeep, checking the place?
BIKSA: You have no idea how small the bombs are today. Smaller than goatís droppings.
IVA: Than what?
BIKSA: Than goatís shit...
IVA: Oh, thatís your hometown vocabulary...
(Biksa has started wrecking chairs.)
IVA: Take it easy, youíll destroy my whole inventory. Nobodyís gonna bother to plant a bomb at Dejanís.
BIKSA: What? Where do you live? They wasted Baldy last night...
BIKSA: Tom-cat, Tom-cat!
IVA: No shit... How?
BIKSA: They planted a bomb under his car, in front of the restaurant. When he started the car, it blew up so powerfully that half of Beěanijska Kosa was shaking. His wife was sweeping him up with a broom the whole night.
IVA: You morbid imbecile.
BIKSA: Arenít we squeamish... Here he comes. If he asks you, tell him I searched the whole place...
IVA: Iím not talking to him.
BIKSA: Oh, shut up, or heíll smack you like last time.
(Iva looks towards the front door.)
IVA: Whoís the idiot with him?
BIKSA: Some cousin of his...
IVA: His hand is on her ass, you moron!
BIKSA: A distant cousin... Where I come from, itís quite normal...
IVA: Iíll poison his whisky!
BIKSA: Youíre mad. He told me that I have to try the drinks before he does, starting today!
IVA: Iíll kill you both once!
BIKSA: Watch your mouth!
IVA: Fuck you!
(While Iva and Biksa are arguing, Svetlana runs into the cafe. Sheís giggling. She is a pretty twenty-fiveyear-old, dressed in clothes that reveal almost her entire body, her make-up is too heavy. Dejan comes in after her, he is twenty-five, a fat Mafioso, with the proverbial gold chain around his neck. They are both tipsy, but they are not drunk, just cheerful.)
SVETLANA: Donít Dejan! Donít!
DEJAN (To Iva and Biksa.): Getting at each otherís throats again?
BIKSA: A little, boss, to kill the time.
DEJAN (Turns to Iva, imitating snake hissing.): Weíre hissing, weíre hissing...
IVA: Oh, fuck off you two...
(Dejanís mood changes at once. He walks to Iva, grabs her by the hair.)
IVA: Ouch, donít Deki...
DEJAN: ĎIím sorry, Dejaní, youíre supposed to say, ĎIím sorry Dejaní!
IVA: Let go of me.
DEJAN: I canít hear you! (He pulls her hair even harder.)
IVA: Iím sorry.
DEJAN: ĎIím sorry...í Who? (Pulls at her hair even harder.)
IVA: Dejan, Iím sorry!
DEJAN: Thatís my girl. (Lets go of Iva.)
(Iva doesnít manage to finish the word, Dejan walks to her, she walks away.)
IVA: Iím sorry, Dejan! I really am!
(Dejan watches Iva. She looks down. Biksa interrupts the tense break.)
BIKSA: Boss, Iíve checked everything.
DEJAN (Mumbles, looking at Iva.): You fucking little...
BIKSA: Everythingís one hundred percent clean.
DEJAN (Still looking at Iva.): Has he really checked everything?
BIKSA: Iíve swept the place...
DEJAN (Points at Iva.) Iím asking her!
IVA: Biksa checked, and I checked this morning.
DEJAN: You just fuck around. Tom-cat was doing that too, and they blew him up so that his mother couldnít fix him again... If they kill me, youíll starve to death! (To Svetlana, trying to be cynically funny.) Is that right, my distant cousin?
DEJAN (To Biksa.) Swear on your motherís grave that that wasnít what you told Iva when she asked you about Svetlana.
IVA: I couldnít care less about what freaks youíre dating...
BIKSA (Heís embarrassed.) How about I go outside and keep watch?
DEJAN: You want to leave now when itís exciting...
IVA: Youíre both very funny...
DEJAN (To Svetlana.) Go introduce yourself...
SVETLANA: Do I have to, honey?
DEJAN (Cynically) You have to, bunny.
(Svetlana approaches Iva. She wants to shake hands.)
SVETLANA: Nice to meet you, Iím Svetlana.
(Svetlanaís hand is ďfloatingĒ in midair. Iva looks up, giving Svetlana a murderous look.)
IVA: Just so you know, heís the anal type, heíll rip that tight little ass of yours.
DEJAN: Right thing to say, Iva! Just the thing! (To Biksa) Wasnít that the right...
BIKSA: Should I go outside, I just have to go to the bathroom...
DEJAN: Top shape, Ivaís in top shape...
(Biksa is laughing.)
SVETLANA (To Dejan) Now that weíve met, how about we sit and have a drink. Does anyone work in this cafť?
DEJAN (To Biksa) The kid is sharp too.
BIKSA: The first table is the safest.
DEJAN: This is going to be an interesting evening...
(Dejan and Svetlana sit. Biksa stands beside the table.)
BIKSA: What will you have?
SVETLANA: Is he a waiter or a bodyguard?
DEJAN (To Biksa) What are you doing...
BIKSA: I thought I could wait on you, since Iím already standing...
DEJAN: Get your ass out.
BIKSA: Shouldnít I try the drink first?
DEJAN: Try the drink here!? What a moron... Get the fuck out! Watch my jeep, donít even blink! Is that clear?
BIKSA: It is. Where is it parked?
DEJAN: In the street, a little further up.
BIKSA: Should I make some room in front of the cafť and bring it here?
DEJAN: Yeah, like Iíd let you drive the Cherokee. Nobody touches it but me.
BIKSA: I asked because of the safety...
DEJAN: Itís not that far away, itís some ten meters further. Stand on the sidewalk, and watch.
BIKSA: Can I go to the toilet first? I have to...
DEJAN: Shitty... Donít let anyone come into the cafť.
BIKSA: I wonít.
(Biksa walks towards the exit, where the toilet also is. Iva walks to the table where Dejan and Svetlana are sitting.)
SVETLANA: Iíll have a whisky and a Coke.
IVA: Which whisky?
SVETLANA: Jack Daniels.
IVA: Thatís bourbon.
SVETLANA: Deki, is she fucking around with me?
IVA (To Dejan) Having fun?
DEJAN: Well, I canít lie...
IVA: You canít lie!
SVETLANA: Iíll die of thirst...
DEJAN (To Iva) You got more than you deserve...
IVA: He knows what I deserve...
DEJAN: Donít make me get up again...
SVETLANA: If you do, can you bring us drinks, Iíll dehydrate...
(Dejan slaps Svetlana all of a sudden. Svetlana is scared, she gets up. Dejan sits her down.)
DEJAN (To Iva) Iíll have the same!
(Iva walks to the bar. We can hear flushing from the toilet.)
DEJAN: Shitty has finally finished. Now we are safe... Iím lucky to be twenty-five with you idiots. (To Svetlana) How old did you say you were, honey-bunny?
SVETLANA (Scared and confused) Just like you, twenty-five.
DEJAN: You too! Which school did you go to?
SVETLANA: To ďToza MarkoviśĒ.
DEJAN: Not elementary school, high school!
(Svetlana says nothing.)
DEJAN: Why are you so scared, I didnít rip your head off...
SVETLANA: I started going out early.
IVA: Bingo, man!
DEJAN (To Iva) Cut the crap, you scientist. And play some music, no wonder there are no people, the atmosphere here is like in a monastery. (To Svetlana) Boy youíre dumb. Pretty, but dumb...
(Dejan caresses Svetlanaís face and starts kissing her. Svetlana kisses him back. Iva plays loud music. ďäarlo AkrobataĒ, so called new wave. Dejan is annoyed, he gets up, starts walking towards the bar.)
DEJAN: Now youíre screwed.
IVA: Iíll change it, donít...
(Dejan takes the stereo, rips the wires out, and throws them on the floor. Iva is on the bar, she looks at the stereo, then at Dejan.)
IVA: Donít beat me...
DEJAN: Iím gonna kill you...
(Biksa walks in. He is excited.)
BIKSA: Jeez, boss...!
DEJAN: What, jeez, what?
BIKSA: They took the Cherokee away!
DEJAN: What are you taking about? Who took it?
BIKSA: A tow-truck.
DEJAN: A tow-truck took my Cherokee away!? Are you drunk, on something or what...?
BIKSA: I swear Iím not, boss. I went out, and it wasnít there. I looked down the street, they put the Cherokee on the truck, and went down Yuri Gagarin street.
DEJAN: I canít believe this. I canít believe this!!!
BIKSA: Shall I start the Audi and go after them?
DEJAN: Oh, no, no. It wonít go that easily... They are gonna return it, I bet my name on it. They will put it back in the same spot... (He takes his cell, starts calling.) If somebodyíd told me this, I wouldnít have believed them.
(Biksa sees the broken stereo on the floor. He looks enquiringly at Iva. She waves her arm. Biksa mimes with his hand that sheís crazy. Iva gives him the finger. Biksa crosses himself. While Iva and Biksa are miming, Dejan is on the phone.)
DEJAN: Hello, Milan, is that you?... Itís Dejan, Dejan... Oh, Iím fine, yeah... Theyíve taken my car, thatís it, other than that, Iím fine... Iím not being cynical, Iím pissed off! What do you mean whoís taken it? Those idiots of yours! They put my Cherokee on a tow-truck... Fine, donít believe, donít believe me, Iíll put Biksa on, heíll confirm.
(Dejan gives the cell to Biksa. Biksa stands like heís talking to his boss.)
BIKSA: Mister Superintendent, they really did put the Cherokee on a tow-truck... I donít know who they were, I swear... I didnít see which of our men were assisting in the parking service... Where was I? I was in the toilet, well number two, since youíre asking...
(We can hear screaming on the other side of the phone.)
DEJAN: Give it to me.
(Biksa gives the cell to Dejan.)
DEJAN: Stop yelling... Thatís what heís like, but you gave him to me... Stop blaming him, call whoever is responsible, I want it back this instant... I donít give a fuck about taxi-drivers who are on strike, they took it through a traffic jam, theyíll bring it back through the traffic jam... Iím in Gandhi street, at Ivaís cafť... Call them and tell them to put it exactly where it was, and to tell that idiot cop to get over here and apologize to me... I am not asking too much... If he doesnít know who I am, that will be his chance to meet me... Itís better like this, than some other way... Okay, bye... I wonít do anything stupid, I promise... You have my word, okay, bye!
(Dejan hangs up.)
DEJAN: Iíll just fuck around with him a bit. (To Biksa.) And you, Shitty...
BIKSA: Boss, theyíd already put it on the tow-truck while I was in toilet...
DEJAN: If anything happens to it, youíre dead. Remember how I beat the crap out of her (He points at Iva) when she scratched it?
BIKSA: I donít remember...
IVA: I do!
DEJAN: You canít watch over my jeep, let alone over me, you idiot!
BIKSA: Who could have known that somebody would dare take your Cherokee and put it on a tow-truck?
DEJAN: Iím not paying you to make suppositions, but to look carefully! When somebody points a gun at me, you should stand in front of me, not escape to the toilet...
BIKSA: I wasnít escaping, I swear...
DEJAN: Get out before I break you in half!
(Biksa runs out. Svetlana is up and at the bar.)
SVETLANA: Deki, can I ask you something important, but, donít hit me.
SVETLANA: Can I at least have a Coke, Iím dying of thirst...
(Iva laughs, Dejan slaps Svetlana, and she falls down from the force of the blow. With a tray in her hand, Iva walks to Svetlana.)
SVETLANA: You promised you wouldnít...
DEJAN: I didnít!
(Iva takes the drinks from the tray, pouring everything over Svetlana.)
IVA: One bourbon...
SVETLANA: Youíre mad!
IVA: And a Coke!
(Svetlana is drenched, but she manages to get up.)
IVA (To Dejan, showing him the bourbon and the Coke which are for him.) Should I double her drinks? (Dejan takes the bourbon, downs it, and starts towards the table he was sitting at.)
DEJAN (To Iva) Bring another round. (Points at Svetlana.) Give her a drink too...
SVETLANA: Itís okay, Iíve changed my mind about drinking...
DEJAN: Shut up! Canít you see Iím nervous?
SVETLANA (All of a sudden, totally hysterically, on the verge of tears.) Youíre nervous! Youíre nervous?! Look at me!
DEJAN: Go to the bathroom, itís near the front door, get cleaned up, and come back and weíll have a drink!
SVETLANA: You broke my jaw! (Tries to pull the crown off of her fake teeth.)
DEJAN: Itís not my fault you have dentures at the age of twenty-five...
SVETLANA: You told me I should change my teeth...
DEJAN: I didnít think youíd change all of them! You have three thousand euros invested in your teeth, you hick...
(Svetlana pulled the crown out, and under it is what is left of her real tooth, sharpened to be the base for the crown.)
SVETLANA (She is holding the crown in her hand.) It seems to be broken. Look!
DEJAN: Get in the john. Look at yourself, without your teeth, like youíve fallen out of a washing machine. Like a scarecrow... Glue it in place, get rid of the stains, dry yourself off, iron your clothes, do whatever, just get out of my sight looking like that!
(Svetlana goes to the bathroom in tears. Break. Iva and Dejan are finally alone.)
IVA: Youíve beaten your own record with this one...
DEJAN: Do you want me to hit you again?
IVA: Itís not me who came to flash a new boyfriend at your place, itís you who came to mine.
DEJAN: I came to my place, not yours.
(Iva takes the drinks out of the bar and puts them in front of Dejan.)
IVA: Who wasted Tom-cat?
DEJAN: No idea... The pigs didnít, and the guys from Zvezdara swear they had nothing to do with it.
IVA: Do you believe them?
DEJAN: This time I do. It makes no sense.
IVA: Maybe somebody new?
DEJAN: Maybe! Why, are you worried?
IVA: What do you think?
DEJAN: Iíll make a jet plane out of Svetlana.
IVA: You fag!
DEJAN: Youíll be sorry one day that Iím gone!
IVA: I told you after I got out of the hospital if you hit me again youíd have to force yourself upon me.
DEJAN: Who are you to blackmail me?
IVA: I know who Iím not.
(Dejan gets up, annoyed, and grabs Iva by the hair again.)
DEJAN: I left you, not the other way around, you know!
IVA: I know!
(Dejan lets go of Iva. He sits at the table and drinks the bourbon in one gulp.)
DEJAN: Youíre asking a lot of me.
(Iva goes behind the bar to fix another drink. Biksa walks into the cafť, and with him is a twenty-five-yearold officer, Gaga. We can hear a walkie-talkie.)
BIKSA: There, Dejan, this is the guy who took your car.
DEJAN: Did you tell him to turn off the walkie-talkie? Itís annoying me.
BIKSA (To Gaga) Turn it off!
DEJAN: Easy, Biksa, easy...
BIKSA: I told you to turn it off!
GAGA: It shouldnít be off while Iím on duty.
DEJAN: Iíll tell you what should and what you shouldnít! Turn it off, or Iíll stick it up your ass!
(Gaga turns off his walkie-talkie unwillingly.)
DEJAN (Gets up, looks at Gaga, then talks to Biksa.): Has he put the Cherokee where it was?
BIKSA: Theyíre putting it down.
DEJAN: When theyíve put it down, bring them here too.
GAGA: Itís not their fault, I told them to lift the car.
DEJAN: And you think Iíll let them go because of what you said?
GAGA: Thereís no reason to...
DEJAN: There is. There is!
GAGA: Those are all older men...
DEJAN: I donít give a shit.
GAGA: Theyíre already scared enough.
DEJAN: And you?
GAGA: What about me?
DEJAN: You arenít scared?
BIKSA: Be careful with your answer!
DEJAN: Donít prompt him Biksa. Let him speak for himself. (To Gaga.) If you honestly tell me that I scared the living shit out of you, I might let them go with two slaps each. Biksaís arms arenít strong.
GAGA: You did.
DEJAN: What did I do?
GAGA: You scared the living shit out of me.
DEJAN: Bingo, buddy! Whatís your name?
DEJAN: I scared the living shit out of Gaga.
BIKSA: Shall I go now and slap them around?
DEJAN: Two slaps to each of them only. (He points at Gaga.) Gaga took the heat on and I respect that. And check if theyíve put the jeep in the same spot. Donít let them be even one millimeter off.
BIKSA: And if they scratch it?
DEJAN: You know what happens if they scratch it... Youíll break their arms, Iíll break your arms and legs!
GAGA: Come on, people.
(Dejan grabs Gaga by his face.)
DEJAN: I didnít let you speak!
(Dejan indicates that Biksa should go out. Biksa leaves.)
DEJAN (To Iva) Give the man a drink. His throat must be dry.
IVA (To Gaga) Do you also want Jack Daniels?
GAGA: I donít drink when Iím on duty.
DEJAN: Youíre some kind of a joker, ha?
GAGA: I really donít drink...
DEJAN: Give him a double!
(Iva pours a bourbon and gives it to Gaga. Gaga looks at the drink.)
DEJAN: Címon, down it like a man, and then weíll have a serious talk.
(Gaga drinks the bourbon. Itís obvious he doesnít like it. Biksa walks in.)
BIKSA: Boss, theyíve missed the spot.
DEJAN: By how much?
BIKSA: Ten centimeters.
DEJAN: Whatís the punishment?
BIKSA: The one with the moustache has already passed out. And I cuffed him only once...
GAGA: I told you, those are older men. One is about to retire.
DEJAN: Why the hell is he in the street if heís about to retire? He should be sitting in an office. (To Biksa) Tell them they wonít be done until itís in its the exact same spot. Go!
DEJAN: So, you are Gaga. You know who I am...
GAGA: Weíve just met.
DEJAN: Hey, I wonít fall for that shit... Now, tell me who told you to move my Cherokee.
GAGA: Nobody, really. It was only when my boss told me that I realized...
DEJAN: Cut the crap! The one who told you to move it wasted Tom-cat. What, you thought you were gonna bust me the same way?
GAGA: What Tom-cat, I have no idea what you are talking about!
(Dejan is annoyed, and grabs Gaga by his lapels. Gaga is scared.)
DEJAN: You fucking around with me? With me?
(Iva walks over to Dejan.)
GAGA: But, I really donít know...
IVA: Dejan, donít, youíll do something stupid...
DEJAN: Heís fucking around with me!
IVA: Wait a minute, wait!
(Dejan lets go of Gaga.)
IVA: Have a drink. Calm down.
DEJAN: How the fuck can I calm down, fuck? Heís playing dumb! Oh, just wait till I take off his uniform!
GAGA: I swear I didnít know anything!
DEJAN: Where are you from?
GAGA: I live on the 62nd block.
DEJAN: Youíre from this hood and you donít know who I am? Please...
GAGA: I wasnít in Belgrade for a long time.
DEJAN: Well, where were you?
GAGA: In Germany.
DEJAN: In Germany!? Fuck, youíre a worse whack job than you look! Who do you work for?
GAGA: Nobody... I was there, then decided to come back...
DEJAN: How long were you there?
GAGA: Seven years.
DEJAN: You were in Germany for seven years, and not only did you come back, but you came back and became a cop. Something is seriously wrong with you man... Not even Svetlana would buy that.
IVA: You think?
(Biksa walks in again.)
BIKSA: Boss, those guys are really lame. The other guy passed out, and I hardly kicked him at all. Now the Cherokee is hanging in the air from some cables.
DEJAN: You moron, bring them back to life and make them get it down.
BIKSA: Iíll get it down...
DEJAN: Touch one button in that tow-truck and itíll be the last thing you ever do.
BIKSA: Well, how should I get it down?
DEJAN: I told you, bring them back to consciousness!
BIKSA: Make them unconscious, make them conscious, make up your mind already. Iím not a doctor, Iím a bodyguard!
BIKSA: All right, all right...
(Biksa goes out.)
DEJAN (To Gaga) You see the idiots I work with? So, where were we? Oh, yeah, you were convincing me that you were a gastarbeiter, and I like believe you...
GAGA: I ran away when I was eighteen. My old man was a cop, he died a month ago. My mom was left alone...
DEJAN: And you came back because of your mommy. How touching...
GAGA: This is my second day at work, Iíve never heard of you...
DEJAN: You were there for seven years, and you havenít made two whole days here, and youíve already screwed up for a lifetime.
GAGA: I donít get it.
DEJAN: Let me draw a picture for you. I canít kick your ass while youíre on duty. But, while weíre chatting here, youíre slowly but surely getting fired. When you do get fired, you will see how much youíve screwed up.
GAGA: Come on man, the dispatcher called and said that the street was blocked. Itís just a jeep!
DEJAN: Itís not only about the jeep. Itís the principal! This is a village, not a city. If the word goes out that a new cop took my jeep, put it on a tow-truck, and walked off undamaged, there wouldnít be a single kid who wouldnít try to waste me...
GAGA: What do you mean undamaged?
DEJAN: I didnít break any of your fingers, you still have all your teeth, you can move your arms and legs. Hey, man...
GAGA: Youíre fucking around with me...
DEJAN: Aha... (To Iva) Tell him, sweetie.
IVA: Heís dead serious. The best thing that can happen to you is three months in orthopedics...
DEJAN: You were lucky, love, because there were some emotions involved...
IVA: Really? Look at that...
(At once we hear a weird noise, something like a short scream, then a thundering smack, a characteristic sound from Dejanís jeep, the sound we heard at the beginning of the first scene when Dejan parked the Cherokee, and then a car alarm.)
DEJAN: It seems that Biksa did put the jeep down himself. (To Iva) Go and see whatís happened, I canít. My heart will stop, Iíll kill him.
(Iva runs towards the door. She is outside.)
DEJAN: If itís what I think, Iíll work the double shift tonight. I donít know which of you two will be in more trouble...
(Biksa comes in, heís pale.)
DEJAN: What have you done, you moron?
BIKSA: Someone fell on the Cherokee.
DEJAN: What? What do you mean fell?
BIKSA: On the roof. I told you we should armor it on top as well, in case somebody attacked from the air.
DEJAN: Who fell on the roof? From where?
BIKSA: From the apartment block. Some nudist.
DEJAN: What nudist, what are you babbling about?
BIKSA: Naked, he crumpled the Cherokee like a tin can.
(Iva comes in.)
DEJAN: Iva, whatís happened to my jeep...
IVA: Djidja killed himself!
BIKSA: Kaśaís guy?
IVA: Jesus, the moron killed himself!
DEJAN: People, tell me whatís going on, youíre all talking nonsense...
BIKSA: Kaśaís husband, ha? Is that him?
IVA: Go away, you moron!
DEJAN (Walks towards the exit.) Youíre all mad. Iíll go and see...
(Gaga realizes that this is the right time to make a run for it. He starts running towards the exit.)
DEJAN: Biksa, get him!
(Biksa jerks, grabs Gaga, pulls him to the floor. They wrestle.)
DEJAN: Beat him somewhere else, I canít get out because of the two of you. Iím dying to see what happened to the Cherokee...
(We hear a muffled shot. Gaga has shot Biksa, Biksaís body has muffled the sound. Gaga gets up. He points his gun at Dejan. )
DEJAN: You really are mad.
GAGA: Donít move!
DEJAN (Acts as if he didnít take the warning seriously.) You can run, but you canít hide...
(Dejan starts walking towards Gaga. Gaga shoots, Dejan falls down. Gaga is scared. He aims the gun at Iva, who is already beside Dejan, who is dying. Gaga stands petrified for a moment, then runs out.)
DEJAN: Serves me right, being guarded by morons. (He pulls out his keys from his pocket, and gives them to Iva.) Please, turn off the alarm, my battery will die... He just had to fall on the Cherokee, the fucker...
IVA: Iím pregnant, Dejan...
DEJAN: Really, whoís the father?
(After heís asked the last question, he dies. Iva crouches with pain.)
IVA: You moron!
(Iva seems to be teary. She gets up, rubs her eyes, and turns the alarm off. Svetlana comes in. Sheís walking slowly, her eyes closed.)
SVETLANA: Deki, love, what was that shooting again? You promised you wouldnít shoot when we go out. Please take out these colored contacts, I fucked something up while I was putting them back in and I canít see anything. Luckily, I brought spare clothes... This looks great on me, ha?
(Svetlana trips over Biksaís corps and falls down. A contact falls out of her eye.)
SVETLANA: Now Iíve lost my contact... Iíll never find it. And it was green, so cool...
(Svetlana opens her eyes, and when she sees Dejan dead, she starts screaming hysterically. She looks at Dejan, Biksa, Iva, screaming unbelievably loud. Iva gives her a strong slap, and she shuts up. Iva gets up and walks to the bar.)
IVA: Wanna drink?
(Svetlana nods. Iva pours a drink for herself and Svetlana. Svetlana gets up, her hands are shaking, she takes the drink.)
IVA: Hereís to you.
(They clink their glasses.)
IVA: Fuck, thereís no music...
(Darkness. We can hear another suicide falling on the car. A loud bang. The alarm goes off, then another one, and another alarm, then another one... A creepy cacophony of suicides raining over Belgrade.)
PROJECTION ON THE VIDEO BEAM:
Synopsis: Iva, Svetlana, Dejan, Gaga and Biksa are in the Cherokee driving through the immense expanse of Deliblatska desert. Something like the ďCardigansĒ video. A great feeling of freedom. Everybody is smiling, cheerful, careless. Like from some other life. Car alarms are still screaming.