(Cover Image & Source: Wild Wolf @ Nebeep)
…It all started one hour after midnight, on that cold December day the 6th 1981., when the artificial lights of the children’s hospital lighten up the face of a young boy with deep blue eyes and a dark hair on his shining little skull. The first breath of air, the first cry meant that this nine month journey has come to an end.
But the troubles have just began, sooner that somebody could expect. In those times, it was a custom that soon after the baby is born, the father of the baby could not see his child, not after it was approved by medical staff that everything was safe (in those times many children were born with difficulties and children diseases, like the jaundice, the most common disease of the small babies, which was the case with this small young boy).
So, in order for a father to know that the baby’s delivery was successful, the mother wrote a letter that was sent to the father through the nurse. Unfortunately, as it was in this case, the nurse mixed up the letters of two mothers that gave birth that very same day, two mothers that were staying in the same hospital room. The other mother in the room gave a birth to a dead child, and the letter of that mother came to the wrong father. Due to the fact that the father of that young boy was very impulsive man, when he read that letter he was so upset that he alarmed the whole hospital. He couldn’t get to the mother, so he went through the hospital doors, came under the windows of the department where the mother was resting, and shout it out loud what has happened to his boy, how could he be dead.
The mother opened the window, and frustrated herself for all of this shouting, calmed down her husband by explaining that everything is alright with the boy, and that the nurse made a mistake with the letters.
And that is how the first days of this, now dark green-eyed and light blond young boy began, with so much stress and turmoil.
When the problems with the jaundice have solved, the young family could leave the hospital and come to their new home, a small wooden cottage rented for a short period of time, in the new, mostly workers class populated eastern part of the city of Zagreb, the capital of in those days Socialist Republic of Croatia, that was a part of the bigger Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with the capital in Belgrade in today’s Serbia.
The family stayed there for a short period of time, time that passed in the everlasting quest for baby food and diapers, that were in big shortage, which was a common problem in those days in whole of Yugoslavia.
After a while, when they (the whole family and the nearest relatives) built a new house in the centre of the city, they all moved there to take care of the newborn.
And everything seemed to be alright, the young boy was growing without the problems and the family looked happy and satisfied. But that was just from the outside. The reality was different. Constant struggles, fights and shouting between father and mother ended with an ugly divorce and a lawsuit over the ownership of the new house that lasted almost 20 years. Years spent in constant quarrel among the relatives of the father and those of the mother, with the child being in the middle of that ongoing war.
After the divorce, the mother and the child left the father and his parents for good, living at many different places in the city as a subtenants, always in constant move, until they finally settled at mothers aunt’s place for a couple of years.
And those days were the days of constant quarrel between the mother and her aunt, and the time when the life of our young boy was threatened at least two times.
The first happened one summer, when he spent holidays at his mother’s parents in the country, at the shores of the mighty river of Sava, in the eastern part of the Croatia. One day, he and his cousins were driving the wooden boat all to the other side of the river, and when they were turning back to the village, he fell of the boat and into the fast river. At those times, he was to little and didn’t knew how to swim, so he thought he will surely drown. He tried to shout for help, but nobody had noticed that he fell of the boat, so he, the fighter as he was, like the dog he swiftly waved his hands to catch the shore. And eventually he did, with the last breathe of air that was still there in his small lungs. Fortune was that he fell of the boat near the coast, and not in the centre of the mighty river, where the stream was the strongest.
Next misfortune happened one day when he was a disciple of the 2nd grade of the elementary school, near the apartment where he lived with his mother and her aunt. When he was returning from the school, he was careless, and tried to run across the road not looking for the traffic. In that moment, a car was driving in his direction and hit him from the front side, before it stopped. Fortunately, nothing happened, no blood, no bruising, no broken bones. It was just a happy coincidence.
Then came another turmoil in his young life. His mother and her aunt split, with a lot of bad words and fight. Mother figured out that it’s time to leave her aunt and finally find a place of her own. She got some money from her parents and with the money she already saved, she bought an old small apartment in the centre of the city, in the worker’s class neighbourhood, in the part of the city with the most criminal activity, where the thieves lived, along with the drug addicts and the alcoholics. It was a bad neighbourhood to live in.
Like that was not enough, soon after they settled in that small, ruined and damped apartment, the big war began. It was the beginning of the spring of 1991., when the first war conflicts arose on the Plitvice Lakes, with Serbian barricades set on the road to block the pass of a group of the newly formed Croatian Police. At the end of that same year, the rebel forces of the Yugoslav People’s Army attacked the city of Zagreb, rocketing the buildings of Banski Dvori, at that time the residence of the president of the newly formed Republic of Croatia, that was officially recognised a year later.
Those days were a time of great pain, constant air strike alerts that had awaken him and his mother few times in the middle of the night, days of playing and sleeping in the atomic shelters.
The war was going on for almost five years, until the end of 1995., when our little boy has grown older. War conflicts, air strikes and alerts, watching scary war scenes of killing, butchering, destruction of villages and towns in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, sodomy and raping of young women by soldiers of Yugoslav Army and the paramilitary Chetnicks forces, genocide and Ethnic cleansing of many places in the war zones on the TV News every single day, running for their lives in the middle of the night, living in the constant fear of not knowing what will the new day bring.
One of the most painful situations that happened once a year is when he and his mother were going to her parents at the beginning of each summer holiday, when they had to drive six hours in a train loaded with people and their big luggage, spending that time mostly sitting on the filthy train floor or standing in the full corridors, to come to the small village in the eastern part of Croatia, that was then in the middle of the war zone, on the first lines of defence.
And swimming in the summer time in the river of Sava in those years was everything but not pleasant, with occasional floating of dead soldiers and civilians in the muddy waters.
The most terrifying thing that happened in the city of Zagreb during the war time (at the beginning of May 1995.), was when the Serbian forces from self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina launched a couple of rockets from the 50 km distant Peter’s hill, rockets that carried forbidden cluster bomb warheads, each containing more then 100 000 pellets, or smaller bombs, and threw it away on the civilian buildings in the centre of the capital, like those that destroyed children’s hospital and Croatian National Theatre, that ended with seven killed people and more then 200 wounded. The mother of this young teenager had a lot of luck being not one of the casualties, due to the fact that she walked by the building of the Theatre just a couple of minutes before the first rocket fell on it.
After almost five years of fighting, bloodshed and destruction, the war ended with tens of thousands of dead and missing soldiers and civilians and hundreds of thousands displaced people that were left without their homes. Even do the war was over, the real tragedy has just began, because the land of the destruction was a fertile ground for the big criminal activities, when the members of local political and business mafia took over the state that was still in big turmoil. These so called tycoons sold and destroyed everything that left after the war, everything that was a proud remaining of the old Yugoslavia. In all that mess, companies were destroyed, everything was sold under suspicious terms, workers were out of their jobs, living on the streets and begging for food and a place to live. That was the beginning of the rise of the criminal state.
In those days, at the end of the 1990’s, our young boy was already a restless teenager, fighting for his own survival. Against the criminal society, against the rules, against his family, against his possessive mother that lost her good and long-term job in one of the biggest bookstore companies in the former Yugoslavia. With her ruined health and problems with broken and operated spine, she became more violent and hard tempered, which resulted with constant fighting and quarrel between her and her only child.
In those teenage times he felt for the first time that he really hated his mother, as well as the other members of the family and relatives. In those times he became more introverted, spending time alone with his, in those days, biggest love, the chemistry. He was a very good student of the most famous Chemistry School in the city, and he proved that in winning the best places in city’s and county’s high school chemical competitions. But his wild spirit slowly began to awake, so in the middle of the high school years he switched his big love from chemistry to heavy metal, with which he was so obsessive.
And then, one day, his childhood suddenly ended. He finished his high school and graduated with the best grades. Those school days were everything but not easy and charming. He was a big rebel, always going against the flow, making problems wherever he went, whatever he did, which made his mother even more furious and angry with his bad attitude. He wanted to try everything (drink alcohol drinks, smoking cigarettes and weed), be everywhere but in most cases alone, by himself. The older he became, the more he wanted others to go away from him. He became totally introverted and self-sufficient young individual. He didn’t spent time going out like others, he never had a relationship with girls (he always said that he will live alone, that he will never engage in marriage, never will he have children), he never really cared for that.
But what he did possess, and what he liked the most, was to be creative and independent. It all started in the middle of the elementary school period, in the middle of the war, when he was writing his small journal and a children’s book, mostly while hiding in a war shelter. Then, when the war was over, and he went to the high school, he was obsessed with his own made chemistry projects and experiments, that he did mostly in the kitchen of his mothers apartment.
When the 1990’s were over, and the new millennia was approaching, he began with his studies, on the Faculty of Natural Sciences, on the Department of Chemistry, which was, at that time, natural continuation of high school education.
But he was not satisfied with the chemical and other natural science studies, from the first day he arrived in the big classrooms and the laboratories of the famous old university. Constantly bored, he paid little attention on what was said in the lectures, always daydreaming, for which he had problems with some teachers. After a year or so, he totally lost interest and stopped coming to classes, which led to his drop out from the faculty. In those six years of faculty education that ended badly, he started to gamble and play computer games, along with some of his student colleagues. After few years of fooling around, that gambling issue became so serious that he lost interest in everything else, and at same time he lost a lot of money, nerves and a lot of precious time. At those times he already left his mothers house, and lived at his friends rented apartment in the cellar of the old dusty building.
When he finally said goodbye to university and student days, and found his first steady job (he used to work on occasional jobs during his student days, that lasted no more then few weeks), everything looked better. For the first time in his life, he really thought that things are getting better. He found his first job in his own profession, as a chemical technician working in a pesticide analysis on the Faculty of Agriculture. Unfortunately, his gambling problems became a big problem, so he spent most of his earnings in the sport betting and casinos. And because of that he was in constant struggle with everybody, especially with the landlords in the rented apartments where he lived, which is the most common reason why he often changed his living address.
Then, at the beginning of that unforgettable year of 2009., everything changed for the worse. Constant struggles at the job, problems with gambling, introverted and isolated life without friends or a girlfriend, all the meaningless of his life that almost ended with a suicide ended at the beginning of the summer of that year, when he threw away his last job, got out of the another rented apartment and started a life on the street, as a low life, bum and a homeless, for the first time in his desperate life. The real tragedies of his young life started on that hot June 22nd 2009.