Chaos of Patriotism in Paris- A Comedy by HAQIF MULLIQI

Chaos of Patriotism in Paris- A Comedy by HAQIF MULLIQI

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(comedy)

Characters:

AGRON

UJKAN

POSTMAN

PRELUDE

POSTMAN (a gothic character). I am the postman… There are people who say I am somewhat a buffoon. Yet, there were even those who were uttering the slander that I would spit on drinking water wells…Or, that I would wipe my nose against people’s clothes hanging on a drying rack, while delivering the mail from one to another corner of Paris. But, this is not true at all. All I do is I bring people the news: good news, bad news… happy news or even sad news… In fact, sometimes even news that is no news at all and yet again is a news… When doing my job, at times, particularly when I bring awaiting people good news, they tend to treat me … sometimes even to a beer… Beer yes, but I never accept tips… But, as for me, the most known to treat you in expression of a friendly regard are Italians, Polish, Czechs, Americans and Portugese… While those quick-tempered Balkan people, they tend to treat you less… Moreover, sometimes I don’t guess whether they have received good or bad news from the place the news was sent to them… You know what is the common feature of Balkan people: they cry when they receive good news and giggle when hearing bad news… So, tip sometimes can be a door slam right in front of your face – best case, or banging into the door – less good case… And, in my case, exactly Balkan people are those who tip me most for my services. They would give their lives for what American and English people would call “Motherland”… And, this is why they often address each-other with: you mother… This is true. Hundred percent true.

Paris is the city of odds…  

But, I did not believe this would happen to us, thesedays… To me, the most famous postman of the city of lights, Paris… It all happened in a typical Balkan apartment downtown… I had rushed to bring them the newspaper with the good news for their “Motherland”… The place where there was a war once upon a time… The place where there was a catastrophe once… In order to let them know that this all had an epilogue, now… That the war in their country was over and they were no longer emigrants, here…At least not political emigrants… And, they were Balkan people… Distrustful and skeptical Balkan people… Angry Balkan people… And, when all this was thoroughly clarified in the newspaper, not did I only receive the deserved and expected tip, but there was a door slam right in my face… And, surprisingly, my work flourished and became abundant…  

This is how Balkan people are, ladies and gentlemen… Surprising… Unpredictable… Unrestrained… And, their fate might look like a drama to someone… To someone else like a comedy…  And to some other person even somewhat gothic… But, above all, a possible Balkan story in Paris.

(Postman walks further and drops the newspaper off in the middle of the stage. Lights off).

ACT ONE

Unconventional room with one window in the middle of the wall, with two beds and one small table with two chairs sideways. Big drawer is in the front. It has two doors. AGRON is lying in bed and is reading a newspaper. His bed is in the right side of the stage. There is a blue light coming through the small window. After a while, UJKAN enters the room, cleaning the snow off his foot and clothes. He takes off his hat (Russian subara) and for a while looks over AGRON, who continues to fondly read the newspaper. After a while, AGRON lowers the paper a bit and looks at UJKAN from the corner of it. There is a long silence. Then, AGRON folds up the newspaper and stands up.

UJKAN: Damn it, damn it… It’s been snowing for ten days now and nothing is happening – neither here nor there… (AGRON further reads the newspaper and does not pay attention at all)… Snow will cover even the Eiffel Tower… (Somewhat surprised by AGRON’s indifference)… I mean the Eiffel Tower… the Paris Tower, as we Albanians say…

AGRON reads and turns silent.

UJKAN: And, you could care less…

AGRON: What for?

UJKAN: For the Eiffel Tower…

AGRON: For the Eiffel Tower?

UJKAN: Yeah… I said it will be covered in snow… We’ve having thick snow…

AGRON (looks at him with astonishment): … And this is disturbing you?

UJKAN: Yes… In fact, no. Indeed, I don’t care at all…

AGRON: Not one bit?

UJKAN:  Not at all and for nothing… Perhaps only for…

AGRON: For… ?

UJKAN: Perhaps only for the fact that nothing is happening… Nothing at all…  You see: nothing is happening; neither here nor there…And, I don’t know how this fact is not disturbing you…You’re cool completely, you’re lying down and reading old newspapers in Albanian…

AGRON: Old ‘cause they aren’t bringing new ones anymore…Ever since Kosovo got liberated nobody is thinking of us anymore…

UJKAN: That’s true. Maybe this is exactly what’s concerning me… Nobody gives a shit about us. Nobody. This is the biggest evil…This hurts me my dear friend, it hurts me right here.

AGRON: It hurts?

UJKAN: It hurts me, yes… Do you know what I have done for Kosovo all these years!

AGRON: You’re not the only one who did something for Kosovo, you’re not.

UJKAN: Nevertheless, it does hurt. Here (points to the heart), here it hurts, here it aches… It gives me no peace.

AGRON: Yet, this is not the biggest evil…                                

UJKAN: It isn’t?

AGRON: Unfortunately.

UJKAN: And, what would that be?

AGRON: The fact is that we still give a damn for them and for that country!

UJKAN (threatening-like): You are talking like this about Kosovo? Our Kosovo?

AGRON: For people out there. For those who once upon a time we considered ours.

UJKAN: The same – for Kosovo or for Albanians… But, how can you say such a thing? “Give a shit for Kosovo”… I did not expect this from you.

AGRON: It was only a metaphor.

UJKAN: What was it?

AGRON: Allegory I say, or perhaps even euphemism.

UJKAN: You’re full of shit… And I am almost convinced that people like you made them give no shit about us here.

AGRON: But…

UJKAN: Leave it, leave it… Spare me your political slyness… You speak of Kosovo as for some piece of trash… As for some of your Russian whores from Champs Elysees …

AGRON: Ah, you’re exaggerating now, just like the other day when I took you for the first time to my Russian whores in ChampsÉlysées… Four…

UJKAN: What?

AGRON: You got laid with four of them in two hours.

UJKAN: It is not true.

AGRON: It is not?

UJKAN: Indeed, there were three?

AGRON: Three?

UJKAN: Maybe two, I don’t remember… And, this all happened some twenty years ago.

AGRON: It means that you had lied to me when you said there were four!? And, yet you were even boasting around?

UJKAN: Me?

AGRON: Yes, you.

UJKAN: I told you four?

AGRON: Yeah, exactly.

UJKAN: Then, that much should have been – four… At the end of the day, three or four, what on earth would you care, huh? My desire, my calculation and my money!

AGRON: In fact, my money.

UJKAN: It isn’t true!

AGRON: It damn well is, because you left all your money at brothel that day and then you took out of my money for a month, or even more?

UJKAN: And, what’s your problem now? Aren’t you the one who took me there in the first place. You told me it was a habit that compatriots coming from Kosovo or Albania here in Paris are initially sent to a brothel and then they are introduced the beauties of Paris… You even, even, told me that it was your treat that day.

AGRON: But I treated you to one, not to four Russian women.

UJKAN: But, it happened. And, I had just arrived from Kosovo…  A bull… At the end of the day, poverty, hunger, make you go wandering the world… !

AGRON: But, we are not talking about hunger here, but for sex.

UJKAN: For sex, yeah, for sex.

AGRON: It means that you had travelled more than two thousand kilometeres to come to Paris just to get laid. To do those three Russian whores in one hour.

UJKAN: Four.

AGRON: … Four, four I say, and at the end of the day, I know this best from my own pocket…

UJKAN: I never thought it.

AGRON: What?

UJKAN: That you would bother me for something that happened so many years ago.

AGRON: I didn’t.

UJKAN: Who then?

AGRON: You.

UJKAN:  I?

AGRON: Yeah, you.

UJKAN: Why me?

AGRON: Because you were the first one to mention Russian women of ChampsÉlysées.

UJKAN: But, I spoke of them in the complex…

AGRON: … Context.

UJKAN: … Then, you provoked me as you started to talk about Kosovo and our people there as if they were…

AGRON: Leave it, please…

UJKAN: Huh?

AGRON: What people…

UJKAN: Them?

AGRON: Who?

UJKAN: Well our people in Kosovo… Those who we always worked hard for. All our lives.

AGRON: I’m telling you we have no such people there.

UJKAN: What people?

AGRON: I’m telling you we have no one in Kosovo, no one.

UJKAN: No one?

AGRON: And nothing.

UJKAN: Oh!

Break.

UJKAN: And, what about Kosovo?

AGRON: We have Kosovo here.

UJKAN: Don’t talk nonsense… How can we have Kosovo here when we have it there!? Kosovo is there!

AGRON: Didn’t you say that you have dedicated your whole life to Kosovo and its people?!

UJKAN: Yeah, it’s true.

AGRON: You being here, and Kosovo being there.

UJKAN: Yes, me here and Kosovo there.

AGRON: And how many times have the two of us been to Kosovo during this almost a quarter of a century.

UJKAN: Don’t speak foolishly. Serbs would have cut our heads had we gone to Kosovo… Do you know how much propaganda you spread against them, here in Paris and elsewhere in Europe!?! Hunger strikes… All those contacts with diplomats… Along with me… Then numerous protests… It was impossible to go to Kosovo, it was…

AGRON: It certainly was… But, Kosovo was in our hearts… Stuck with its crying and pain. Kosovo, Kosovo mon amour…

UJKAN: Bravo, cher ami … How good you speak… But, you told me all these at the train station, twenty-five years ago, cher ami, when you invited me to your apartment as I had no place to live in. You told me Kosovo was in our heart and you cut in pieces the longing stone for my fatherland. And I believed you ever since that night, although you were a marxist shit, cher ami.

AGRON: And, what the heck were you on that time, then?

UJKAN: I was, I was… I was Albanian!

AGRON: You were a moccasin, cher ami… A peasant, that’s who you were… A boor, cher ami… A rag who had suffered depression when coming to realise that apart from his lost village in some distant corner of Kosovo there is another world, completely different.

UJKAN: Boor yes, but not a red marxist like you, no. But, leave it now, ‘cause there is no perfect human being. Neither you nor I were perfect. We had nothing perfect, but our ideal for Kosovo to see the light… And, I agree with you that here where we are, here is the whole Kosovo with its good things and the suffering it is going through… You told me this back then, at the train station, and suprisingly I haven’t forgotten it… And we started our war…

AGRON: Here… For some twenty years, non-stop.

UJKAN: Almost a quarter of a century.

AGRON: Day and night, non-stop, for Kosovo… In rain and in snow… And now, the freedom came.

UJKAN: Yeah, yeah, damn it… Freedom of our dear Kosovo which we devoted for an entire life in exile, and today no one in this world gives a shit about us. Nobody. This is big evil… This hurts, my friend, I’m telling you, it does.

AGRON (stands up): Hurts?

UJKAN: Yes.

AGRON: You say it hurts?

UJKAN: Yes (touches his chest on the left), it hurts me here. It hurts me and burns me deep at the same time.

AGRON (grabs his genitals): As for me, it hurts me here, exactly here, it hurts. For everything.

UJKAN (jumps at him): You are crazy.

AGRON: No, but I am potent. Therefore, I can handle here all those in Kosovo and these here in France.  

UJKAN: You’re a piece of shit, that’s what you are. You are not as famous anymore, you political dissident of Kosovo in Paris, who used to blind our good sense with “genious” quotations of Enver Hoxha, Mao Ce  or Josif Stalin, then of Churchill, Henry Kissinger, Adem Demaçi and of Vaclav Havel, and today you  stand here in front of me with this mood of a psychopath who denies everything, even his fatherland.

AGRON: Fatherland? What fatherland, man? Fatherland was only a fiction and this, to my misfortune, and perhaps yours too, I came to realise rather late. Tragically late. Fatherland and its fate were a long, and mainly, bad dream – Yesterday in slavery and today in freedom with no fatherland. I am an unfortunate apatrid, an unfortunate apatrid with another stupid apatrid who still thinks of his warm hometown bosom.

UJKAN: You’re not apartheid.

AGRON: Apatrid…

UJKAN: (Gets closer to him) You are not an apatrid, you are a piece of shit, that’s what you are. I said: piece of shit. If you want to undo the love you used or only pretended to have had for Kosovo, I continue to love it and I am proud of this.

AGRON: (Gets closer to him) What Kosovo, you fool. Six months have passed since the end of the war and neither you nor I have a place to go to in Kosovo.

UJKAN: If you don’t, I do have where to go.

AGRON: Where?

UJKAN: To Kosovo.

AGRON: I mean at whose place?

UJKAN: For me only Kosovo is enough, one street and one address – Kosovo… Do you remember the verse that goes on like this: “Dear fatherland, I love you just the way you are, but it is when you are free that I love you eagerly… “

AGRON: This poem was written in the 19th century, you idiot.

UJKAN:  So what?

AGRON: No, it’s just that the poet himself was not luckier than us, and when his fatherland became free he got very disappointed. His dreams for the beauty of his fatherland faded away because there was nothing beautiful there, except for the freedom stamped with big troubles of that same fatherland.

UJKAN: And, how on earth do you know how is Kosovo today. Moreover, you even haven’t been there and besides your imagination you have for Kosovo, which you abandoned a quarter of a century ago and the one you see on French television channels, you don’t know Kosovo at all.

AGRON: I admit I don’t know it. And, neither do you.

UJKAN: Therefore, I intend to go to Kosovo, to really go.

AGRON: Where?

UJKAN: To Kosovo.

AGRON: At whose place?

UJKAN: Don’t get me back to the very beginning. You always tend to bring me back to the beginning.

AGRON: I bring you back because neither you nor I have a place to go there as we have spent twenty years of our lives here, working for Kosovo, and today nobody there knows of us. Nobody… And this makes me unhappy.

UJKAN: And, you think it does make me happy.

AGRON: Imagine – twenty-five years of work, for nothing…

UJKAN: For nothing?

AGRON: Yeah, exactly in vain.

UJKAN: … But, I, I used to work two shifts and gave my last penny to the fund bags for Kosovo.

AGRON: Bags?

UJKAN: Yeah, bags.

AGRON: Or sacks?

UJKAN: The same, but I know that all the money I earned, as much as I earned, I threw it in those sacks, as you call them, of this or that fund, of left or right, of pacifists or militants, of fighters and institutionalists who steal with their left and right hand, mother fuckers… And, you know I bearly managed making ends meet. But, I did this all for Kosovo.

AGRON: Ah… Then, go!

UJKAN: Where to?

AGRON: Go there!

UJKAN: Where?

AGRON: Kosovo, man.

UJKAN: In fact… I don’t have a place to go to. I have no one over there anymore, neither my family with whom I haven’t had any contacts for twenty years now, nor a house and friends, nothing. I don’t even have enemies there anymore because Serbs have escaped. You see?!

AGRON: What?

UJKAN: Do you see how unfortunate I am?

AGRON: You are my broken mirror, my friend, the mirror in which I see myself a bit more disordered than my self… But, at least, I learned to accept my fate.

UJKAN: What kind of fate do you have, you unfortunate, you who suddenly came to realise, just like me, that perhaps we really have no fatherland anymore?!

AGRON: Well, the war.

UJKAN: I have supported the war.

AGRON: I also have supported the war.

UJKAN: You.

AGRON: I think the political war, and long ago, even the armed one.

UJKAN: Yeah, two or three days before NATO troops deployed in Kosovo.

AGRON: Better late than never… My concepts resigned to the historical dialectics and also pragmatism of one political movement.

UJKAN: Yeah, your concepts my ass, bro.

AGRON: You’re mean, Ujkan!

UJKAN: Yeah, my ass, my ass.

AGRON: And, if I can use this language of yours, can you possibly tell me what does an ass have to do with political concepts, dialectics or even pragamatism?!

UJKAN: Certainly it does because until the war started in Kosovo, you were killing us with your radicalism, with your revolutionary ideas that only a war could solve the issue of Kosovo. Whereas, when the war started and you managed to convince me that the independence of Kosovo could not be won without a war, you changed those concepts of yours and turned into a pacifist, who three times a day would give interviews against the war on French televisions and newspapers here in Paris.

AGRON: And, where does this ‘ass’ concept relate to?

UJKAN: You did not have the guts to be in the war. Your dialectic and pragmatic ass changed your political views.

AGRON: And, you, why didn’t you join the war. Why didn’t you go to fight in Kosovo just like many others who went there and died for their fatherland?

UJKAN: I reported myself to the office of volunteers right when the conflict started to expand there, but…

AGRON: You also didn’t have the guts, huh?!

UJKAN: No, no, but after the interview they realised I was very sensitive and not fit to war… At the first meeting with the activists, who were preparing the lists, tears started to run down my face.

AGRON: Out of fear?

UJKAN: No, but because of emotions I had when I realised that after so many years I was going back to Kosovo, as a soldier.

AGRON: And!

UJKAN: What?

AGRON: What happened next?

UJKAN: Where?

AGRON: At the recruitment centre of volunteers, in the Albanians’club!

UJKAN: Nothing.

AGRON: But you told me you started to cry when told that you were going to Kosovo as a soldier!

UJKAN: No, they did not tell me I was going back to Kosovo as a soldier, but I imagined myself as one crossing through the Albanian Alps!!! But, I suddenly was in tears and couldn’t help myself from crying. I turned the club into an ocean of tears of an emotionated emigrant from Kosovo.

AGRON: And?

UJKAN: Nothing. Three men filling in the forms with general information of volunteers stood up and tried to calm me down. To help me ease my mind, but my crying was so sad that even they started to cry, for me, and then also the other volunteers waiting in the queue, at the club. I had cried this much only when my dead had passed away… So, those at the club told me to get back there the next day as the atmosphere had become very tense.

Silence.

AGRON: Have you ever thought, Ujkan?!

UJKAN: No, you grandma had. Of course, I have thought, not once but many, many times, though.

AGRON: Hold on. Have you ever thought if you were to start from the very beginning again and come to Paris, which way would you have chosen?

UJKAN: I don’t know, I really don’t.

AGRON: Then, Ukë, start thinking, right now!

UJKAN: What for?

AGRON: Well, if you were really at the crossroads of your life would you have chosen this path again, this path of many unknown and as much difficulties!?

Pretends to think hard.

AGRON: And…

Ujkan is silent..

AGRON: Did you give it a thought, then?

UJKAN: No.           

AGRON: No?

UJKAN: I can’t!

AGRON: How can’t you? Why can’t you?

UJKAN: Because I am used to think here and now or as you would say ‘ad hoc’ (pronounces it in Albanian)… One must think hard before thinking, especially for these sexily matters.

AGRON: Sensible.

UJKAN: What?

AGRON: Sensitive.

UJKAN: Sensitive and sexy, as much as it cannot be possible.

AGRON: But I asked you if.

UJKAN: I told you it was impossible. It all is the word of God and we cannot play table-tennis with him – if I could I would this and that… At the end of the day, we were destined to this and no matter which path you or I would have chosen, regardless of where we would have gone, at the end we would have met somewhere in this world, we would have done this what we’ve done and we would have ended up in this cold weather, damn it.

AGRON: It’s been snowing for ten days now and nothing is happening – neither here nor there…

UJKAN looks at him with astonishment.

AGRON: What a dull season.

UJKAN: Yeah, both here and there.

AGRON: Yeah, yeah, both here and there.

Long break.

AGRON: Damn it!

AGRON goes to his bed, sits down and again grabs the newspaper pretending to be reading.

UJKAN (sits on the chair): … Snow will cover even the Eiffel Tower…  (looks over AGRON)… I mean the Eiffel Tower…the Paris Tower, as we Albanians say…

(stage goes dark)

ACT TWO

Again that same room with a window in the middle of the wall, two beds and a small table with two chairs. AGRON is in his bed reading newspaper. After a while UJKAN enters the room from the left-hand side. He is carrying two big bags. He enters from the bottom left with firm steps. Reddish light is coming through the window.

UJKAN for a while observes AGRON who continues reading an old newspaper as always, but he cannot be sure whether he heard him when he entered the room or not. After a relatively long waiting, UJKAN drops the bags off. Their bang is not that strong, which shows that the bags are not heavy at all. However, this attracts AGRON’s attention. AGRON lowers the newspaper and as always observes UJKAN from the corner of it. There is a long silence. After a while, AGRON folds up the newspaper and stands up.

UJKAN: Damn it, damn it… It’s been raining for ten days now… It’s raining cats and dogs… For ten days now… It will overflow Paris… Damn it, what a summer beginning?! Rain, rain, rain, rain… We’ll get muddled up… You go to ChampsÉlysées and you think you are at Seine bank… Water, water, water… Rain, rain, rain… Damn it, damn it…

AGRON stands up.

Longer silence. AGRON and UJKAN look each-other straight in the eyes.

AGRON: You have definitely decided to go.

UJKAN: To get back.

AGRON: It’s the same.

UJKAN: No, it’s not the same.

AGRON: It, however, is the same!

UJKAN: It is not the same as if you say you are going somewhere or if you are getting back somewhere.

AGRON: Nonetheless it is about “somewhere”, isn’t it?! Somewhere there!

UJKAN: But the place which I decided to get back to is not there, it is hear (touches his heart). In fact, I am going back to the call of my heart… It is that call I am taking this journey for.

AGRON: Ugh, how pathetical you are.

UJKAN: Pathetic are you.

Break.

AGRON: Well.

UJKAN: Well, then.

Even longer break.

AGRON: So, it means you’ve made up your mind – to go there or get back there?!

UJKAN: To get back.

AGRON: I said either way and please don’t bring me back to the start.

UJKAN: It’s you who always brings us to the beginning. Not only now. Always. We loaf about and never bring any conclusions… Hey!

AGRON (raises his hand as a sign of objection): Uh.

Break.

AGRON: It means you’ve made up your mind on taking this trip?!

UJKAN: Yes, definitely, I will take this trip.

AGRON: Nevertheless, this is your decision, isn’t it!?

UJKAN: No, it is not my decision… But, if one decides to do something it means he has thought of it well and… And, I… I have mixed feelings of melancholy, perhaps of patriotism too and an empty-hearted feeling.

AGRON: Of an internal chaos, you mean!

UJKAN: Chaos?

AGRON: Yes.

UJKAN: Surprisingly, you have never used this word before!?

AGRON: Really?

UJKAN: Yes.

AGRON: Interesting.

UJKAN: Yeah, yeah, interesting.

AGRON: Well, we just didn’t have the context. Whereas your situation and your mood resembles someone who I said has an internal chaos. Or, chaos of patriotism, in this case.

UJKAN: Well if it is referred to that way, then it just as well might be so – an internal chaos; chaos of patriotism.

AGRON: But, you have however decided to go. Uh, excuse me: it means you will however leave.

UJKAN: Yes. I have not decided, but I will leave. (Holds up his bags). This is why I bought these bags. Two of them.

AGRON: Really?!

UJKAN: I will take with me all my belongings. Now, I am finally going back to Kosovo, finally. My staying here has no meaning anymore. The war is over now. We won.

AGRON: We won!?

UJKAN: It is important that Kosovo has been liberated from Serbs.

AGRON: Nonetheless, I think Kosovo has not been liberated.

UJKAN: However, there are no more Serb occupiers in Kosovo, and this is the only reason why I can fearlessly go back there. (Gets closer to the drawer and starts to collect his very little belongings and starts to pack… He is nervous, yet suprised how few things he has)… And even the newspapers are reading that the war is over now and people are getting back to normal regardless everything…

AGRON (drops the newspaper on the bed): Ugh, newspapers, newspapers!

Break.

UJKAN: I had decided this six months ago.

AGRON: Six?

UJKAN: Seven. Or, even eight. Do you remember the day I went out in that damn snow on the verge of Christmas?

AGRON: So this is when you made up your mind and disappeared all day long in the snow only to get back as a snowman in the evening?!

UJKAN: I had assessed back then that it was about the time to get back to Kosovo.

AGRON: And, you told nothing to me.

UJKAN: You didn’t ask me anything that day, where I was going or where I had been?

AGRON: … But, where did you get the money for the plane ticket?

UJKAN: With… With… With my money.

AGRON: But you don’t have any money! I even think you have never had any money of yours!

UJKAN: All right, all right, you got me. I admit: I bought the plane ticket with our money.

AGRON: Our money? (Disturbed and nervous). Our money, is that what you’re saying?

UJKAN: Yeah, yeah, our money.

AGRON (distressed): I don’t get it.

UJKAN: I bought the ticket with the money from our fund.

AGRON: The money we had collected from our compatriots? The money we had collected for the war, in our fund? The money from the fund: “Victory is Ours”?!

UJKAN is just avowing.

AGRON: You’re telling me you bought the ticket with the money we had collected for the war of Kosovo?

UJKAN: But the war in Kosovo is over now.

AGRON: Twenty thousand French francs, twenty thousand!

UJKAN: But, not all of it was spent for the plane ticket. Indeed, I gave one portion for the ticket and the other portion to get a valid Portugese passport.

AGRON: You, you are not normal.

UJKAN: No, but for more than twenty years now I’ve been an ordinary economic refugee in Europe who has never had a status in France. Neither a status nor a travel document.

AGRON: Horrible, horrible, horrible…

UJKAN: Homesickness.

Short break.

AGRON: How could you? War in Kosovo is not yet over… You see Mitrovica! Who knows when and why we would have needed that money, who knows!

UJKAN: To be honest, I knew when and why I needed that money and I used it. Otherwise, I could have suffered very easily, quite easily.

AGRON: Suffer?… Suffer from whom? Why suffer?

UJKAN (as if not being sincere): Suffer, suffer from… Heart attack. Homesickness is killing me softly, day by day. Slowely, but surely. I feel this, I feel it strongly…

Break.

AGRON: Nevertheless, you should have asked me about the money… At least, you could have told me why were you going to use the money from our joint fund for… Although, I was convinced that day that you had gone to those Russian women of yours in ChampsÉlysées…

UJKAN: Why are you mentioning the Russian women from ChampsÉlysées?

AGRON: Because for twenty years now they have become part of your life… There were four, right?

UJKAN: No, three, because one died two years ago.

AGRON: Died? I’m sorry!

UJKAN: Thank you… Likewise…

AGRON: So, she passed away!… Huh!!!

UJKAN: In fact she was stabbed by that Italian guy, that Calabrian brunet who used to make those delicious pizzas not far from Eiffel Tower.

AGRON: So, this is why his pizzeria was closed down back then!?

UJKAN: Yes.

AGRON: So, which one was she?!

UJKAN: Foolish Italian, fell in love with Natascha… Natascha Kuzminova, she was. She was really hot… But, not the kind to fell in love with. She was more for… you know…

AGRON: No, I don’t…

UJKAN: Exactly for that… And, listen to me, I haven’t been there for almost three years now.

AGRON: Three years?

UJKAN: Three?

AGRON: What? How come?

UJKAN: It’s, it’s… I haven’t been there ever since war started in Kosovo.

AGRON: … What are you saying, man?

UJKAN: And, I did this only out of motives of patriotism and respect for the motherland that was shedding blood.

AGRON: But, what this issue of yours with ChampsÉlysées has to do with the war in Kosovo?

UJKAN: Well, it does.

AGRON: What should I think for?

UJKAN: For the connection between me not going to ChampsÉlysées and dramatic situation in Kosovo.

AGRON: Oh God, what a paradox.

UJKAN: Why paradox?

AGRON: But what does war have to do with sex, yahoo?

UJKAN: Sure it does… Didn’t we read newspapers every single day here?

AGRON: Yes… In fact we were not reading them, I was reading them as you are unable to read and write.

UJKAN: Tres bien, tres bien… Didn’t we read newspapers here together?

AGRON: Maybe this does make sense… So. What?

UJKAN: What so?

AGRON: Where is the connection between you not going to the brothel and the war.

UJKAN: Oh, God, what a weirdo… Apart from Serbs, who else fought against us in Kosovo?

AGRON: Against us!?

UJKAN: Well, all right, against Albanians then.

AGRON: I don’t understand you… If you are referring to NATO, even though NATO was on our side.

UJKAN: You mean on the side of Albanians.

AGRON: Well fine, on the side of justice.

UJKAN: And who was on the Serb side!?

AGRON: … Well… What do I know… There were…

UJKAN: … Serbs…

AGRON: Yeah… Serbs… (Understands that Ujkan is making mockery of him)… Get away, you stupid… There were also… also… also…

(Ujkan singing in Russian).     

AGRON: Russsians… Yeah, yeah, Russians… I guessed it… Yes, it is true there were Russian paramilitaries and mercenaries. And?!

UJKAN: And you considered me as someone whose brothers were fighting against Russians in Kosovo, while he was having fun with their sisters here in Paris… This would really make no sense at all.

AGRON (looks down at UJKAN): You are really an implacable patriot, Ukë.

UJKAN (boasting somewhat): Well…

AGRON: Therefore, I conclude that that winter day you had not gone to have fun with your female friends that had now turned into your enemies, but you had gone to buy the plane ticket because…

UJKAN: … It was then when I decided to go back home.

AGRON: Where?

UJKAN: Home.

AGRON: Home?

UJKAN: I consider Kosovo as such, I have told you this before.

AGRON: And, I have to reiterate for the five-hundredth time that you have no house, not even a hen house to at least shelter yourself in.

UJKAN: As for the house as an material object, wait and see… When others managed, I will too… I will not remain out in the street… I was not homeless here in Paris and let alone in Kosovo.

AGRON: You had a shelter here because I offered you one.

UJKAN: Nevertheless, I would have not remained out in the street… There are refugee camps here… All those people, of all colours and religions settled down here in Paris and throughout France… However, I am grateful to you for letting the door open for me and made me feel myself at home, here in your home and this foreign land… Then, you know my friend that I came into your apartment for couple of weeks.

AGRON: And remained here for twenty-one years.

UJKAN: Twenty?

AGRON: Twenty-one.

UJKAN looks at him with astonishment, then looks at the time…

UJKAN: Wow, how fast time goes!

Even longer break.

AGRON: It means you have made up your mind to make this journey – to go or to get back?!

UJKAN: No.

AGRON: No?

UJKAN: No.

AGRON: Why not?!

UJKAN: Very simple, no.

AGRON: I mean, I mean… I mean why?

UJKAN: Why, what?

AGRON: Why are you suddenly changing your mind. You even told me you had bought your ticket to go to Kosovo!?

UJKAN: To get back.

AGRON: All right, all right. But, tell me, why are you changing your mind like this!?

UJKAN: Because I had no money to buy the ticket.

AGRON: You had not?

UJKAN: No, I had no money.

AGRON: How come. And what about the money from the fund? Where did the money from our fund “Victory is Ours” go to?

UJKAN: I gave it away.

AGRON: Who did you give our money to?

UJKAN: It was not ours, it was the money from the fund.

AGRON: All right, all right, but what happened to that money. What did you do with it?!?

UJKAN: I gave it to Mischel?

AGRON: Mischel?

UJKAN: Yeah.

AGRON: And, who is this Mischel now?

UJKAN: A friend of mine.

AGRON: Friend?

UJKAN: In fact that Algerian… That dark-skinned one with broken teeth on the left side… Do you remember him?

AGRON: I cannot recall him.

UJKAN: How come. I spoke to you about him… He was that butcher – you know, the one who has his shop at the Arabs neighbourhood.

AGRON: Mischel?

UJKAN: Yeah, Mischel, right… That taxi driver…

AGRON: I really don’t remember him.

UJKAN: But…

AGRON: And, at the end of the day, of what importance is all this?

UJKAN: None, but you asked me for the money, and I told you I gave it to Abdul.

AGRON: Abdul?

UJKAN: Yeah, in fact that is the real name of Mischel, but we friends call him Mischel because, because of… How can I say?

AGRON: Because of the image.

UJKAN: Bravo. I also call him Mischel because of that.

AGRON: Perhaps you didn’t give all that money to your Abdul-Mischel just because of the image?

UJKAN: Indeed, I gave him the money because we owed him.

AGRON: We owed him?

UJKAN: Yes, we owed him.

AGRON: But, as far as I know for myself, I didn’t and I don’t owe anything to anyone.

UJKAN: Well, we are together… I think that friends are together in good and in bad times… As we used to share whores from ChampsÉlysées… At least real friends do.

AGRON: And, you owed Mischel, didn’t you!?

UJKAN: Listen… !

AGRON: Did or didn’t you?!

UJKAN: In one or another way… yeah – I did.

AGRON: Why?… Damn it, damn it!

UJKAN: It’s hard for me to say it… It all happened a night before I reported myself in at the office of voluneeters from Kosovo… I thought I was going back to Kosovo as a fighter… It was a war of ours, it was a war not a joke. People are killed in wars. One’s fate is unknown. One knows when he joins the war but no one knows if one can manage to get out alive. So was the case with me… Therefore, as I said, a night before I turned in for a volunteer for our war, I decided to go at Mischel’s and borrow some money so that night I could throw my last party throughout brothels of Paris… (AGRON looks at him with disgust). I know you will never understand the feeling I had back then.

AGRON: Ten thousand francs… You spend ten thousand francs in one night only?! Ten thousand?

UJKAN: No, actually twelve thousand… I had two thousand of my own… In fact I had two thousand and five hundred, but I did not spend the five hundred… I told you that you will not understand me, I told you… How did I know that I would go there and would never get out of there alive, how?

AGRON: But, you didn’t go at all to fight in Kosovo! Fuck you…  traitor!

UJKAN: It never occurred to me that I would not go to the war, but I knew why I wanted to go, yet as I told you once upon a time it happened the way it did and they hadn’t enable me to go to the war (full of emotions) and to stand up for my poor suffering fatherland… They betrayed me, mother fuckers…

AGRON: Who is that mother fucker who betrayed you?

UJKAN: Those mother fuckers from the club… They thought I was going to the war to become a commander…fuckers.

UJKAN: They betrayed me…

AGRON: Not really, you had no guts just like me, therefore it is true what they say: “I want it eagerly, but I have no guts”.

UJKAN: How can you say such a thing, how can you, you nihilist?!

AGRON: How? What?

UJKAN: What?

AGRON: Say it once again?

UJKAN: Say what?

AGRON: The last word!

UJKAN: The very last one?… Amen…

AGRON: No, no, no… The other one…

UJKAN (thinks but cannot recall): What was it?

AGRON: The one ending with “ist”.

UJKAN: Stalinist?

AGRON: No, no, different…

UJKAN:… National front-ist!?

AGRON: No, no a bit different…

UJKAN: No, no, no… Communist…

AGRON: No, no…

UJKAN: What… No, no, no… Titoist?!?

AGRON: No, no, different…

UJKAN: I found it…

AGRON: You found it..

UJKAN: Yes, “Albanian-ist”…

AGRON: Nihi…

UJKAN: “Nihi”

AGRON: “Nihi”

UJKAN: “Nihi”, yeah, what!?

AGRON (bursts into laugh): Ha-ha-ha-ha… “Nihi”… “Nihi”… Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…

UJKAN (looks at him with astonishment): I don’t get anything, honestly… And, I don’t know what’s funny… Nonsense…

AGRON: Ha-ha-ha-ha… “Nihi… “… Nihilist, Ujkan, nihilist… Ha-ha-ha…

UJKAN: Nihilist?… And, what does this “nihilist” word mean?

AGRON: Nothing special… But, I’m laughing at the way you put it into the context, that…

UJKAN: And, I shot the bull, as our brothers from Albania would say!

AGRON: Or, as we brothers from Kosovo say: “Cock-and-bull story”!

UJKAN: (laughs)… Ha-ha-ha…

AGRON: Or, as brothers from Tetovo say: “Shoot the breeze!”

UJKAN (dazed): Exactly?

AGRON: Completely true. Exactly.

UJKAN: And, this is called living empirism these days.

AGRON: Pragmatism, Ujkan, pragmatism…

UJKAN: I see, so this is how it’s called nowdays…

AGRON (laughs): Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…

UJKAN (looks him over for a while and then he too bursts into laugh): Ha-ha-ha-ha…

Laughter stimulated from each-other goes on for long. After a while, they both sit down on their beds. UJKAN takes a transistor, switches from one to another French radio station and stops to listen to a chanson of Edith Piaf that stimulates him to meditate, whereas AGRON goes through the old newspaper, who knows of how many months ago, and cries.

UJKAN: Damn it, damn it… It’s been raining for ten days now… It’s raining cats and dogs… For ten days now… It will overflow Paris… Damn it, what a summer beginning?! Rain, rain, rain, rain… We’ll get muddled up… You go to Champs Elysees and you think you are at Seine bank… Water, water, water… Rain, rain, rain… Damn it, damn it…

AGRON raises his head slowely and has this piercing look. The voice of  Edith Piaf gradually lifts up and embraces the stage that has now begun to darken.

(stage going dark)

INTERMEZZO

POSTMAN: Uh, how monotonous this story of ours is… Unseen monotony… Underprivileged profession… Internet, electronic mail, messenger, hi5… Will turn us into scraps… There’s no social assistance, no unrest, no funds… Even emigrants are no longer emigrants… Even postmen are not as they used to be… Even emigrants are no longer emigrants… Yeah, damn it… People do not tend to await letters or news as they used to… Therefore, there is crisis… Big crisis… I’m afraid that this profession too will fade away… There’s no crisis in the Balkans, our business will die down… I have to see, perhaps, making a political career…

POSTMAN: Whereas, there’s nothing left for me but to become a real lover… Yeah, yeah, real lover… And, there it is, the good news for me…

ANNE SOPHIE: Then it is good news for me too… I will temporarily give up politics… (Anne Sophie extands her arms and embraces the Postman)… Uh…

POSTMAN: Uh, Anne Sophie… Anne Sophie…

ANNE SOPHIE: Uh, Mischel, Mischel… Balkan people are not getting killed anymore, therefore we have nothing left but to fell in love…

POSTMAN: Uh…

(Stage going dark)

ACT THREE

The room which you’ve gotten familiar with by now, with two beds, one drawer with two doors, a table with two chairs sideways and a small window in the middle with the white light coming through. Ujkan is lying on the bed in the left side. With unseen passion he is going through a daily newspaper in Albanian. While reading, he’s making some gestures that are not implying the  reading of some informative-political magazine, particularly when he makes some weird comments babbling…

After a while, from inside the newspaper he pulls out the “Playboy” almost slobbering with lust. He even doesn’t notice AGRON entering the room with his usual attitude, tired, with no desire and slow. Noticable about him are some copies of old Albanian newspapers.

And while UJKAN continues to pasionatly look at the beautiful women in the magazine, his gestures and mimicking imply a special and imagined contact with them.

 After some time, UJKAN notices AGRON, folds up quickly the magazine and then impetuosly grabs the newspaper from the bed and covers “Playboy” with it, trying to camouflage the latter. Shortly after, he puts both of them under the pillow, then puts his head on, starts to whistle and to pretend in vain.

UJKAN: Damn it, damn it, I really don’t know how did I get hold of this shameless magazine…

AGRON: Damn it, damn it, but I really don’t know why don’t you finally get married one day! It will certainly be easier for you for many things.

UJKAN: You know that I never wanted to get married because my fate was predestined and I had long ago given myself a saint mission related to the cause of the fatherland that was languishing in slavery…

AGRON (sits on his bed): Ah… But, when going to ChampsÉlysées you somehow had forgotten the mission you’d given yourself, without being forced to do so.

UJKAN: Those were only some moments…

AGRON: Some moments that were going on for days, nights…

UJKAN: Maybe. Once upon a time. But, you mustn’t forget that I am a man too. Self-denial cannot go on to incomprehensibility, you used to tell me that…

AGRON: What did I tell you?

UJKAN: Do you remember Ernest Hemingway?

AGRON (confused): Pardon me?

UJKAN: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

AGRON: Have you read this book?          

UJKAN: In a way, yes.

AGRON: In what way?

UJKAN: Indirectly.

AGRON: I don’t get it…

UJKAN: I mean, I haven’t read the book, but you have told me its fistula.

AGRON: You mean its fable?

UJKAN: War of Spain… Battle at the bridge… Garry Cooper…

AGRON: Garry Cooper?!

UJKAN: Yes.

AGRON: It means that you have watched the movie in question. Certainly you haven’t read the book…

UJKAN: No, I haven’t read the book, I even didn’t watch the movie, but you have told me the sad and interesting story: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

AGRON: I?

UJKAN: Yes, you.

AGRON: I don’t remember.

UJKAN: How can’t you remember the moment when you were telling me about the movie and I almost burst into cry out of anguish (pouts as if he were to cry again)?

AGRON: Well, all right, maybe I do remember, but this what you’re saying must have happened long time ago.

UJKAN: Long, long time ago – eighteen years and four months ago.

AGRON: Aha!… Yeah, yeah… Ah… (Sits on his bed and starts to read newspapers)…

UJKAN: Damn it, damn it… It’s been  over two years since the end of war in Kosovo and nothing is happening anymore – neither here nor there… (AGRON further reads the newspaper and does not pay attention at all)… This vanity will cover even the Eiffel Tower… (Somewhat surprised by AGRON’s indifference)… I mean the Eiffel Tower… the Paris Tower, as we Albanians say… If only something would happen here, in France…

AGRON: In France?

UJKAN: Or, even in Albania!

AGRON: In Albania?

UJKAN: Yeah, yeah, in Albania…

AGRON: And, what could possibly happen in Albania, huh? What happens in Albania, what?

UJKAN: How do I know. I have never been to Albania… How could I possibly know what might happen there. But, I think it would be great if something happened there.

AGRON: Great?!

UJKAN: Interesting at least, and then even the two of us would become as one and stand by Albania.

AGRON: Get away, don’t talk nonsense.

UJKAN: I really don’t understand you… I thought if something would have happened in Albania, such as if Greeks would attack it, if Italians would invade it or if Turkey would occupy it, then you and I would get mobilised here and would stand by our old mother with self-sacrifice…

AGRON: Ah… Albania is very lucky not having the need for someone like you to stand by her…

UJKAN: Neither someone like you, right!?

AGRON: Leave it please, leave it, but it would be better if you would get back to reading that magazine of yours with tits and not deal with global international politics…

UJKAN: You are crazy. I’m unable to read. I was just looking at the pictures.

AGRON (ironically): Oh, who would have guessed!

UJKAN: Yeah, honestly.

AGRON doesn’t pay attention at all, but continues reading one of the newspapers he brought earlier…

UJKAN: … Damn it, damn it… Two years like two hundred years of solitude… (Looks straight at AGRON who is reading and is not paying attention at all)… Vanity is threatening the top of Eiffel Tower (Looks over AGRON again)… I mean the Eiffel Tower… the Paris Tower, as we Albanians say… I say it will be covered in vanity as nothing is happening either here or there…

AGRON, reading newspaper, suddenly stands up and looks at the newspaper with googling of the eyes.

AGRON: In fact…

UJKAN: … Neither here nor there…

AGRON: … In fact, yes here, but not there.

UJKAN: … What?

AGRON: I am saying that something is however happening, it’s happening…

UJKAN: What is happening there, what?

AGRON (happy): War, war, that’s what is happening…

UJKAN: War?

AGRON: Yeah, yeah, war.

UJKAN: It means that the Greeks have however attacked Albania…

AGRON: No, no.

UJKAN: Perhaps Italy!?… Maybe Turkey!?… Say it, say it, who!?

AGRON: Ah, how impatient you are, there are no more riots in Albania, not at all, but…

UJKAN (happy): Then it means in Kosovo. Again in Kosovo… (pensively) But, how is it possible in Kosovo when NATO is there…

AGRON: Not in Kosovo, either.

UJKAN: And, where the fuck that war has started? Where?

AGRON (almost exalted): In Macedonia!!! Ha-ha-ha…

UJKAN: In Macedonia?

AGRON: Yeah, yeah, in Macedonia! (points at the headline to strongly confirm what has been written down)…

UJKAN: Why, that place is still existing?

AGRON: Few more days, few more ‘cause it started! I knew it, I knew it…

UJKAN: It means war in Macedonia.

AGRON: Nephews of  Xhemë Gostivari have stood up…

UJKAN: … Of Mefail Zajazi…

AGRON: Of Xhelë Kalishta and Hysen Xhelili…

UJKAN: Of, of… Genc Topi…

AGRON (looks with astonishment): Of Genc Topi… ? Who is now this Genc Topi…

UJKAN: Genci?… No idea… I just said it… I thought…

AGRON: Stop joking, Ujkan, please! Thinking was never one of your virtues… Ha-ha-ha…

UJKAN: Nevertheless, with or without Genc, war in Macedonia is true and good news.

AGRON: Not good, but it is the only and the best we’ve heard in these last two years… War!

UJKAN (takes the stance of some epical character): War, then…

AGRON: Yet another war!

UJKAN: Then perhaps another one… We never know!

AGRON: All right, all right, let us first finish this one, and then we see what happens next… And, I think it is about the time for us to get going!

UJKAN: Yeah, yeah, get going.

Then the two of them rapidly get close to the big drawer. They open it simultaneously. They take off their clothes and put on military uniforms… After they dress up in uniforms, they put on military bags, look at each-other and with a coordinated march move towards the front stage. They stop at its corner.

UJKAN: And?

AGRON: So?

UJKAN: Have you thought of where we should attack our first enemy at?

AGRON: Yes. I have thought about.

UJKAN: Very well.

AGRON: Thank you.

Break.

UJKAN: Where?

AGRON: What?

UJKAN: Where are we going to hit first the naked Slavic-Macedonian whore?

AGRON: There where it hurts most.

UJKAN: Very well.

AGRON: And, again thank you.

Short break.

UJKAN: And, where that would be?

AGRON: I think that the most painful stroke would be to go out and hold protests in front of the Eiffel Tower!

UJKAN: You think so?

AGRON: Yeah I do, and what about you!?

UJKAN: You know that I am not a hard thinker.

AGRON: Ah, yeah.

UJKAN: I am just an ordinary fighter for the fatherland. Its debtor… But, you are something else. You are a soldier but also an ideologist of our national cause…

AGRON (approves with pleasure what Ujkan says): … Well now, as our Renaissance representatives would say, the two of us will bring together the mind and the weapon…

UJKAN: Oh God, Agron, how nice you speak.

AGRON: (with sorrow) The rigors of time and unhealed wounds of my old mother, whose voice we can hear today long way from Pollog valley, hardened my personality…

UJKAN: Fuckers…                                

AGRON: Who!?

UJKAN: Our new enemy!!!

Break.

UJKAN: Have you thought of how and where from should we continue further! I know from the Eiffel Tower, but where to go next!

AGRON: Yes, yes, I have thought, I have thought…

UJKAN: How and where to!?

AGRON moves a bit to the right.

AGRON: In fact, the news was sudden also for me and beyond my analysis as opposed to the flow of new developments throughout lands of our partitioned fatherland and…

UJKAN: … And?

AGRON: And… simply couldn’t elaborate the problem as a whole and compile an action strategy… Most important for the moment would be to go out and organise that protest in front of the Eiffel Tower.

UJKAN: Yeah, yeah, like once upon a time… For twenty years in a row… Ah, time, time, precious time…

AGRON: This way we will be legalised as a relevant political-military-political subject.

UJKAN: And what about funding?

AGRON: Afterwards we will begin to appear in media: statements, interviews…

UJKAN: And, the funding?

AGRON: We will then disseminate pamflets in different languages and call for people to join us…

UJKAN: I mean the funding!

AGRON: Then, we will organise volunteers to be sent to the front line.

UJKAN: … And, when the time will come for the funding… ?

AGRON: … Possibly some legionary who does not mind dieing…

UJKAN: And, what about funding, what shall we do… ?

AGRON: After two weeks, we will organise a hunger strike in front of the Macedonian Embassy here in Paris.

UJKAN: Yeah, but what are we going to do about funding…

AGRON: We will also write down pamflets with the following content: “Down Slavic-Macedonian hegemonism!”… “Down state terrorism on Albanians”… “Europe open you eyes, wake up!”…

UJKAN: And, what with the funding, huh?

AGRON: … Yet, the most meaningful slogan: “Europe, you old bitch, wake up”… Europe is an old whore just like those of yours in ChampsÉlysées.

UJKAN: Oh, don’t mention ChampsÉlysées. I am interested about funds now, I mean fronts (looks over AGRON)... For the war, certainly.

AGRON: For the war?!?

UJKAN: Yeah, the war, our new war…

AGRON: Then… Attention!… Where do you come from, soldier?

UJKAN: I come from… Hey, Goni, it’s me Ujkan, Uka… Uki, I…

AGRON: Silence… Attention!… Where do you come from, soldier?

UJKAN: I come from the Fatherland, commander…

AGRON: Where are you heading to, soldier?

UJKAN: To the fatherland, commander…

UJKAN: Attention!… Right… Left… Left… Right… March… (singing).

Brave soldiers we are

Volunteers for our fatherland

Heading for trenches

Our enemy to frighten

You shining fatherland

Wait for the brave men coming from Paris

We will fix the history

We will make Albania one

AGRON: Calm down, soldier… (Cries out of emotions).

UJKAN: Thank you… You too calm down, commander!… Although it would not be bad idea to organise ever so little for our brave brothers in Macedonia?

AGRON: You are talking about the funding?

UJKAN (bashfully): Yeah, funding. Why are you asking?

AGRON: Certainly we will establish the fund, we certainly will… (Goes and gets the newspaper from the bed) And now, we will cut off the pictures showing violence and massacres of the Slavic-Macedonian police and military, we will make many copies of them and distribute them to the passers-by in the first protest in front of Eiffel Tower…

UJKAN: Also in my newspaper there were pictures which we could disseminate to the passers-by at today’s protest.

AGRON: You’re insane. You think that we will disseminate erotic pictures from “Playboy” in the protest in support of our war in Macedonia!?

UJKAN: Ah, no, no, you misunderstood me! It is not about “Playboy” pictures, but that other newspaper in Albanian which I found today at the train station not far away from the place where I bought “Playboy”(Somewhat shy). I took it so I could cover “Playboy” with it, because I didn’t want someone from the club to see me with the magazine of those naked bunnies pictures.

AGRON takes the newspaper and looks at the headline.

AGRON: Huh, interesting. This is the new edition of the newspaper of two weeks ago… (glances through)… In fact there are some very sad images from the war… Luboten… Likovo… Slupçan… Tetovo

UJKAN: Hey, what beautiful mountains Tetovo has, man!

AGRON: … Shut up, you fool!… (turns his back and reads). “If there is a need, we will be back again – commanders of the National Liberation Army say”… (suprised). Weird statement…!

UJKAN: But, why, where have they decided to go so they would have to come back again, huh?

AGRON: Well, this is why I’m surprised. Didn’t I say it?

UJKAN: Yes, you did, you said it, but it sounded to me as if commanders of the Kosovo Liberation Army…

AGRON: … of the Liberation Army…

UJKAN: … of Presevo…

AGRON: … of the National Liberation Army…

UJKAN: Nevertheless, it somehow looked like that those commanders have gone on summer vacations right in the middle of the war, and after sunbathing they will again get back into trenches!

AGRON reads and sits on the chair from the right-hand side reading the article in question. The more he reads the more sad he becomes. UJKAN notices that.

UJKAN: Why are you pouting?

AGRON: Catastrophe.

UJKAN: What?

AGRON: Horror, real horror…

UJKAN: Why horror? What happened? That horrible crimes… Huh? Say it, Goni!

AGRON: No, no, no, no…

UJKAN: No? And why catastrophe then? Why real horror? Why are you pouting as if someone killed your granny?

AGRON: I say it is horror, because it really is horror.

UJKAN: Say it then, why horror? What is so horrible that happened that has sadened you so much Agron, say it?

AGRON: Ah, Ujkan, in vain our plans, in vain everything!

UJKAN: Why in vain, Goni, why?

AGRON: In vain, ‘cause the war in Macedonia…

UJKAN: Yeeessss?

AGRON (stands up and points to the newspaper): War in Macedonia is over.

UJKAN: I don’t believe it, Goni… I don’t…

AGRON: I wouldn’t like to believe it either, but here it is, written down… Here it is, read it for yourself.

UJKAN: Stop joking. You know I’m a literature…

AGRON: I l l i t e r a t e…

UJKAN: No, no, I am a piece of shit. Piece of shit, both of us… Two unlucky pieces of shit… But, tell me when did the war in Macedonia end. Well, it seems it ended before it even began…

AGRON (looking at the newspaper): Two or three weeks ago, in Ohrid, the peace conference for Macedonia was held…

UJKAN: Is that in our Ohrid, man, which this bitch Europe took away from us and gave it to Serbia in 1912?  

AGRON: True. Key political representatives of Macedonia, Albanians and Slavic-Macedonians have gathered in Ohrid and have reached a peace accord…

UJKAN (spits): Fuck the peace… And, I was so much ready to go to the war…

AGRON: Me too, me too… (Drops off the newspaper and gets closer to Ujkan somewhere in the front stage).

UJKAN (looks over him doubtfully): You, too?!

AGRON: Yes, this time I would have gone after the cry of the fatherland…

Short break.

UJKAN: However, it did not happen…

Longer break. UJKAN and AGRON look somewhere distant and start taking off their uniforms. Stage goes dark with only one light aimed at the two of them.

AGRON: … Perhaps we will have another chance, who knows!

UJKAN: You think so?

AGRON: Yeah… I think…

UJKAN: Lucky you… And, where?

AGRON: Well… in Montenegro, for instance… In Crnagora!!!

UJKAN: … In Ulqin? In Tivar? In Krajë? In Plavë and Guci?

AGRON: Yeah, yeah, yeah…

UJKAN: Huh, what a heavy burden we’re left with, fuck it…

AGRON: What’s that?

UJKAN: Well to revise the history of all injustice done to us, Albanians, throughout centuries. Particularly at the end of centuries, beginning of centuries and mid-centuries too…

AGRON: Yeah, yeah…

Break

AGRON: Or, even in…

UJKAN: In… ?

AGRON: Or, even in Novi Pazar…

UJKAN: Novi Pazar?…

AGRON: Yes, in Novi Pazar… Really… Is it?… This means again with Serbs…

UJKAN: Leave it Goni, we cannot all our lives fight only against Serbs, against Serbs, against Serbs…

AGRON: Yes, yes… True… Or, maybe to… Çamëri to go, to our Çamëri… ÇLA…

UJKAN: ÇLA…!?

AGRON: Çamëri Liberation Army!

UJKAN: Oh God, really to Çamëri because  there is no Albania without Kosovo and Çamëri… And, make one Albania only!

Both in cacophony.

AGRON and UJKAN: (sing) – “Not too big, not too small… Not too big, not too small!!”

They reach the bed and lay down to have some sleep. UJKAN gets hold of “Playboy”. He opens it somewhere in the middle and both of them make comments about the pictures in it.

UJKAN: Ah!

AGRON: Ah!

UJKAN: Uh!

AGRON: Uh!

UJKAN: Uh!

AGRON: Uh!

Long break.

UJKAN: Damn it, damn it… Five minutes since the war in Macedonia ended for us and nothing is happening – neither here nor there… (Looks straight at AGRON who is reading and is not paying attention at all)…

AGRON: Yeah, yeah. This vanity will cover even the Eiffel Tower… (Looks over UJKAN, somewhat suprised with his indifference)… I mean the Eiffel Tower…

UJKAN: Eiffel Tower?

AGRON: Paris Tower, as we Albanians say…

UJKAN: Damn it, damn it… More than six minutes since the war in Macedonia is over for us and nothing is happening anymore, neither here nor there…

AGRON avows his sadness.

AGRON: Yeah, yeah…

Then, they both look ahead and repeat together:

AGRON and UJKAN: Damn it, damn it… Nothing is happening anymore, neither here nor there… Damn it, damn it…

Stage going dark. A song of Edith Piaf is playing on the background.

The end

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