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sto sam hajc'o hajc'o sam


Apartment at the coast, cottage on the mountain by Aime Sati

That we like to complain is a sure fact. We do it masterly and beautifully like Meša [Selimović]. Seldom is our complaining masterly or beautiful, but it does happen. In our everyday lives, our complaining is clumsy, interrupted and marked by the routine cursing of Alija [Izetbegović]. I don’t know which person is universally represented in curses from the other entity. And by other entity, I mean Republika Srpska, not E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial or Alien. They probably curse Alija too. If you met a Chetnik in the period 1992-1995, and survived, he or she cursed Alija. Old habits die hard. So, we’ve identified the point of convergence. And it’s not a nice one.

I have to admit, we complain for a good reason. Personally, my complaining is directed at the Neolithic population, Illyrians and Slovenes. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time to populate this area of the average altitude of 500 meters. What probably made the idea even more appealing was 5 percent of flat areas and suitable agricultural land. They probably looked forward to ores, silver and digging. They probably looked forward to a natural shelter of mountains and rocks suitable for building fortifications. I get the logic: you’re at sea when you feel like trading and when in the mood for piracy, and on the mountain when you’re hiding, defending or when it’s really hot. Which was the case most of the time. It probably hadn’t crossed their minds that they were going to leave their descendants with a complex blood structure that doesn't function well in the low altitude conditions and causes various cardiovascular problems.

Problems with blood circulation are secondary to creative violence and the drive for robbery. For a short while, I thought that the problem lied in the territorial limitations preventing the formation of larger towns and the isolation of smaller communities, but then I thought of Luxembourg.

One of our bigger problems is that we’re on the way. If someone is headed from Istanbul to Vienna for dinner or war, we’re on the way. And the same applies if someone is headed in the opposite direction. A good idea of apartment at the coast and cottage on the mountain became a wall fencing us in. Which in turn created a habit not to think too much, just to fight and run for cover.

Too much anguish, rage and sorrow has accummulated in too small a space. We could say past is the past, if past was not the present. Perhaps it's not the most important, but it's important to be honest to oneself. We may wish to have a regular income and suffer because of political orgies. We may strive for a good life, pretty things and cry for all the Apple products that we don't have. We may be afraid of the rain. We may be hungry for or fed up with love. The reality is that none of this is important. Within the radius of 200 kilometers around the chair that I'm sitting in, there are 7,000 dead people – unidentified, abandoned, tortured souls. Most of them would nowadays be strolling around, breaking their fast, spending time in meetings, healing others, getting flustered in the public transport, teaching abroad at some university, pickpocketing, parliamenteering... Many of those who had sealed the fate of the unaccounted for by firing a bullet at the back of their head, rape, beating and mutilation of parts of their bodies are strolling around, spending time in meetings, parliamenteering, enterprising. In doing so they are reinforcing another layer of misfortune, sorrow and rage. It seems to me that we've grown accustomed to it being acceptable, normal even. And so we stroll around, get flustered, eat, love, drive, all the while breathing in the atoms of torture of those who should've been here, but they aren't. No room for prosperity there. Perhaps, we should leave this country, for a couple of decades, for killers to finish off themselves, take down everything, plow the land and then send grandchildren back to build cities, apartments on the coast and cottages on mountains.

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