TE21 Serbian Moments

Nikola Lekić

Society of Free-world Receptionist

see how bad he felt it was empty; fuck it , that’s what I said, to break the silence, and he jumped a little and started yelling again, he was like give me all the cigarettes you have, put ‘em all in the plastic bag, fast or I’ll shoot! He wouldn’t have shot me, you could sense that he didn’t really want to shoot no one. He was only holding the gun like that, for no reason. His hand was shaking, and he was a neighbour, a regular guy – I actually knew why he acted like that, why he was like that, sad and all.

like that, it’s no good – you’ll get cancer or something like that, and if you wanted something else with them – it’s still no use. I need to give Mister M. popis tomorrow, so what should I say to him when he asks me how many Malboros do we have left (na stanju), and I say none? And Davidoffs, how many are there left – none. And then he’ll ask me how many cigarettes are there at all – and I say there’s none left. What happens then? He asks me where they are, and I say they’re at your place. Don’t, sir, calm down. Calm down, there’s no need for you to shout. I know you’re angry, I know, but don’t do this. It’s no good. Don’t yell. You know both Mister M. and me and that all of this is wrong. - Yeah, that’s what I told him. I tell you, I know him pretty well and I was right. He wanted to attack me after that but he stopped, and then he was quiet for a while, and then he said, and he could hardly speak, his voice all trembling and all, he said something like what do you know, and I told him, in the same way he spoke, gently, I know everything, sir, put down the gun, someone might see you. And so he put down the gun, up against his body, his leg. He could barely breathe under that sock, like a fish out of water. He was crying. Why don’t we have a beer? , I asked him, and he was all silent and breathing. What do you say, neighbour? , I asked himagain, and he said nothing. Then he took off the sock, right before he completely ran out of oxygen, I guess, and I saw that face, all sad, and puffy. And then I took two beers out of the fridge, inside, and went over to him, outside. - You told him that?


Did you tell him you knew who he was?


No. Not yet.


But why?

- It was not a good moment. You have to do those things slowly. If I had told him, he might have thought – oh, here’s a witness!, and have shot me . That would suck. Killing me for telling the truth. And also, when people are sad and shaking, you have todo things very carefully. And then he kept onyelling give me the cigarettes! , and I looked at him for a while, and then I asked him which one do you want? , completely calm, as always, and he screamed what do you mean which one? All of them! Don’t fuck with me! Put them all in a bag!, and that’s when he went completely mad and his hand, the one holding the gun, started going for the hole, and so I leaned into the hole a bit, and said something like please, I know it’s you, our neighbour. Don’t yell, calm down, people will hear us. And the cigarettes, to tell you the truth, if you wanted to smoke them all



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