"Volkswagen caught in a lie – the value of shares fell by twenty percent... Moody's downgraded Russia's credit rating... In six years of recession, more than 200,000 jobs have been lost." – TV news drives me crazy. Why doesn't Mum at least turn the volume down, if she has to watch that crap? I‘m a mess already, so they don't have to go to the trouble of putting it in my ears so that it rings in my head. As if I don't know that the recession has taken its toll in the whole country, as well as in the whole Europe. Due to the financial crisis in the USA, the global financial crisis is shaking us all. I've been out of work for four years now. As of March 2011, the unemployment rate has risen to a staggering twenty percent. I no longer theorize that I could find a decent job. I'm up to my throat in shit anyway...
- Dominik, come! Let’s eat! It will cool down.
- I’m not in the mood now, Mum.
- Come on, son, I’ve made your favourite pie. It won't be tasty when it cools down. Come on... I’ve prepared it the way you like it.
I have to get out of this. My heart breaks for my old Mum.
- Fuck, Mum, can you turn the TV down a bit? - Damn it, I really hate it when I yell at her like that, but why can't she keep quiet. And that damn TV...
- What's wrong, son? Why are you yelling at your Mum?
- I'm sorry, Ma, come here - I lower my voice, poor woman, it's not her fault: - Come, sit – she sits next to my pillow and puts her head in my lap. She strokes my hair, just like when I was a kid.
- Why are you nervous, son?
- I didn't get enough sleep, Ma. Come on, please, turn that TV off.
- Ok, son. Let’s eat. Do you want me to bring the pie here?
"Filip Krovinović signs for Hajduk..."
- Turn it up, Ma! - I yell at her because football news is what I'm really interested in. I am an ardent fan of the FC Dinamo Zagreb. I guess I was attracted by the fact that my father was a soccer legend in the eighties. There's so much left of him in me and it seems like that's the only thing worth a damn.
- Dominik, for God's sake, a minute ago you sent me to turn the tone down.
- I want to hear this, Ma. You can turn off the TV afterwards.
- Do you want to eat here or...?
- Shut up... - I don't believe it, I yelled again: - I'm sorry, Ma, come here. - I can read the news later on my mobile phone.
- This pie is really good – I am talking with my mouth full to comfort her, while I chew a piece that I, tore from my greasy hand with my teeth, like an animal.
I keep staring into void and absentmindedly stuff that pie into my mouth, while in my head I compose myself and shuffle my life through a thousand twists and turns, and the only road I want to follow is the one that will bring me freedom. I am twenty-five years old, and what have I done with my life? Nothing, zero. I live on social aid, my father's pocket money and the neighbourhood combinations.
- Son, why are you unhappy?
I live with my mother in the house because the old man remarried...
- Aa... What were you saying, Mum?! Sorry, I was in my own thoughts. What did you say?
- Why are you unhappy?
- I’m not unhappy, Ma. I'm thinking what to do. I can no longer depend on social aid like this and wait for my old man to give me pocket money, as if I am incapable.
- There will be work, son. Do not worry. Uncle called; he shall pay us a visit today.
- Nice, mother, but I have to go look for work.
My uncle is a good man. He’s helped me a lot. I worked for him for a long time until the recession took its toll. I worked in commercial department. It was a reputable construction company, and that's where I draw a positive image of myself among the world. But it, too, has long since failed, as has my uncle – he can’t earn enough nor can he compose himself, and he begins to give away mentally. Everything in this country has gone downhill. But at least they experienced something, but where are we going? It's no wonder that young people indulge in narcotics or burn themselves out.
- Well, son, you could have stayed at least a little while to see your uncle. He hasn't been here for a long time.
- Next time, Ma. I really have to go now.
I still do not move my eyes fixed on one point. And I don't notice that my other cell phone is ringing. I have two cell phones; one is for communication with the Cop, old Nokia 3310, so that no one could track our conversations. Even so, I have to be vigilant and keep communication on the phone to a minimum, because you never know if someone is eavesdropping or maybe someone has discovered a way to track that old device as well. For a long time, that Nokia has been used for secret communication between criminals. I'm lucky that I communicate with the Cop, so he's careful and covers all tracks.
- Son? Son? - The old Ma starts waving her hand in front of my eyes because I don't feel her at all.
- Your cell phone is ringing.
- Yes, a cell phone.
Damn it. The Cop is calling me.
- I have to go, Ma.
I reject the call and send a text message that I will call back in a few minutes, when I am alone. First, I go behind the building and light a cigarette. I need a little more time to gather myself before I call him.
I've been working as a hood snitch for the Cop since he caught me four years ago. The Cop caught me with an illegal gun, and it was either prison or I had to work for him. I had no choice. My Mum would burst if they put me behind bars. She lost enough of her temper with my old man anyway. She should have left him earlier, and she's still annoyed by everything. Womanizer – he hung around brothels more than with her. Now he has a new family and is living his own life. If he wasn’t giving me money, I would forget him too.
The cell phone is ringing again. I have to answer now. The cop might think I'm doing something wrong, and then I’m dead.
- At noon. You know the place. Be accurate. - hangs up.
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