Monday, May 26, 2014


      Priest lies on the bed and looks at the sealing. Even though he is refreshed and very still his face is sweating. His serious look is like a stone waiting to be touched and turned into some everlasting sculpture. Fly is making only noise in the room, but it is as the priest is not of this world. After a few landings fly finally goes away. Even she understands that you cannot bother this man. Finally he moves, like a cat out of the bed. His stomach roars and he puts his hand on it. He takes his hat and goes out of the room.
        Hotel restaurant is more like cafeteria for students or workers it just doesn’t have the trails for self-service and there is no cashier at the end of the line. Few people are eating behind their tables and whisper something as the pries comes in. Slightly in background you can hear the music Edith Piaf Autumn leaves everlasting jazz standard. It certainly doesn’t fit the ambient but it is nice.
     Priest sits down at the corner table and looks around. His eyes meet the waiter`s eyes. Waiter puts out his cigarette, takes a cloth and hurries toward priest.

Waiter: Good evening sir. Would you like the menu or even better I can recommend something?
Priest: Do recommend, please, I am sure it is way better than the stuff from the menu, right?
Waiter: Wisdom is reserved for the man in black robe and white collar.
     Priest smiles to a waiter. He smiles back.
Waiter: We have two house specials, roasted chicken and potatoes and boiled potatoes and fried chicken.
     Priest sharpen his eyebrows as he is slightly mad, and look at the waiter for a moment.
Priest: Roasted is a way better I presume, my good man, fried is too much oil. It is Passover, roasted, OK.
Waiter: Again, I must say you are full of wisdom father. It is here in ten minutes. Something to drink?
Priest: I will have a beer, as cold as it can be.
Waiter: Right away sir.
      Waiter runs to the kitchen, and takes a pan filled with chicken and puts it on the stove.
Waiter for himself: Passover, you can bet, father, ha, eats the meat, and it is not the time of Passover or maybe…
      Back at the dine priest looks around and sees the newspaper. He goes and takes them and returns to his table. He reads them as if he tries to find something with a hurry.
Waiter bring the beer and servers it.
Waiter: You will not find it in there.
    Priest surprised looks at him.
Waiter: Not in there sir.
Priest: What are you talking about? (In a higher tone)
Waiter: Those are old s paper not newspaper. Must have been standing there for a week or so.
Priest: You do not have fresh one?
      He puts newspaper on the chair next to him.
Waiter: I am afraid no. Wheels delivering them is broken more than a few days, and if they were not the old man who delivers drinks from time to time and, you see, he makes mistakes, father.
Priest: I see, well, we won’t bother with the news, right.
Waiter: Nothing new ever happens, right father?
Priest: Yes, same old story, nothing new.
Waiter: You are just passing by, if I am not too curious, or you have some business here, though it is likely possible.
Priest: And why is that?
Waiter: No one ever comes here, only to rest and move on. This is town at the end of a dog’s tail.
Priest: As a matter a fact I do have some small errands here, nothing big, for the church you see, few days and I am gone.
Waiter: Oh well that is new. You want to visit our reverent, I knew it.
Priest: Why?
Waiter lowers his voice.
Waiter: We all know he has some problems, you know…
Priest: Problems?
Waiter: Oh well I know you protect your generals, it is the honor of the church after all, he has some drinking problems.
Priest: What…
Waiter: And with some ladies, you know…
Priest: That is enough, he is your pastor…
Waiter: OK, OK, don’t be so harsh, I am zipping it, OK, let us see your specials.
      Waiter goes again to the kitchen. Owner of the hotel comes in the restaurant and blushes as he catch sight of the priest. Priest looks at him and waves. Manager goes to the priest.
Hotel manager: Good evening father, is everything in order.
Priest: Maybe.
Hotel manager: How is that?
Priest: I did not tasted the food.
Hotel manager: Oh right, yes, it is fine, do not worry.
Priest: Oh, the food is coming in.
Priest puts off his jacket and gun flashes from its inner pocket. Manager turns pale instantly, and sweats.
Hotel manager: And, and, and, for tomorrow?
Priest: What for tomorrow?
Hotel manager: The confession, it will be alright, yes, I will have my penance, do not worry.
Priest: Yes, OK, first you must confess my son, yes, then the penance, you know.
Hotel manager: I see, I remembered, from Sunday school, penance is…
Priest: What my son?
Hotel manager: Voluntary self-punishment, yes?
Priest: As I recall yes, but sometimes…
Hotel manager: What, what sometimes…
Priest: Sometimes it is doing of good deeds, you know.
Hotel manager: Oh, yes, good deeds indeed, I will do some very good deeds father. I promise.
Priest: (with half-filled mouth) we shall see, we shall see…
Hotel manager: Oh I just remembered something, I must go, I am so busy, well father we will meet tomorrow.
Priest: In the afternoon, I have someone before you.
Hotel manager: Oh I know the… I mean yes I know you have told me. Well see you tomorrow father.
Priest: May God be with you my son, good night.
Hotel manager: (for himself) I hope not yet.
        Manager goes away in a hurry. Priest eats his food. He is not happy with the taste, but he is hungry like a wolf. Waiter sits behind his table and takes another cigarette. Heat is strong though it is already late evening. It looks like no one will have a good night sleep, at least not the hotel manager and a bartender for now.



Priest comes to a town hotel and entering the lobby calls for service.
Hotel manager comes out and for a moment looks at him examining his face and his clothes.
Hotel manager: Good day priest, how can I be of service?
Priest: Good afternoon my son, I suppose I need a room and good meal if that is possible?
Hotel manager: Of course, this is a house with some reputation, even if it is in a God forgotten town. You just came in time, supper is ready, nothing special, few dishes, but quality matters. As for the room I would suggest number 10 on the first floor, nice view and has a TV.
Priest: Well, that would be just fine, my son, I`ll go up to fresh myself, there is a lot of dust down the road, only I have one question for you.
Hotel manager: Shoot, sorry father, what do you need to know?
Priest: I will need a bank tomorrow, I need to collect some small amount from my modest account, where can I find that Bank, is it near?
Hotel manager: Yes, right behind next corner facing left when you are in front of the hotel.
Priest: Thank you my son, you are so kind.
Priest takes the key and goes toward the stairs, then he stops. He looks at the wall next to him and a group of photos hanging there. Then he turns to a manager.
Priest: Oh, there is one more thing.
Hotel manager: Yes…
Priest: This man in the picture. I think I know him from somewhere.
Manager comes to the priest, looks at the photos and points the finger on one.
Hotel manager: This one father. It is an actor, from some western movies, he died a long time ago. Everyone thinks they know him.
Priest: No. Not him. That one holding the shovel, with the white hat. I am sure I know him.
Then he looks at the manager.
Hotel manager takes a deep breathe, swallows his saliva and starts sweating.
Hotel manager: Hmm, I am not sure, this one?
Priest: Yes, him.
Hotel manager: Hmm, I am not certain, but I could ask some of my friends.
Priest: But why are you having his photo there, and I could be mistaken but I think that that one with the scarf next to him is you, when you were young?
Hotel manager thoughts: He knows, oh, he knows, who he is. What is going on?
Hotel manager: I, I, well he look like me but I…
Priest: Come on be honest, I am God s servant, this is you next to him, you can tell me. Your secrets are safe with me.
Hotel manager: But, but. I. OK that is me, but I can`t I mean, I do not remember, it was so long ago.
Priest: Oh, my son, our past life is something that we cannot forget, no matter how we try. I am sure that you can remember.
Hotel manager turns red and sweats more.
Priest: Oh well, I am tired. Maybe you will tell me about him tomorrow, OK. Think well about it, you have all night. We are all sinners, but we can always remember if we are not sick, you know.
Hotel manager thoughts: He is…, I must take my, oh what now?
Hotel manager: Why sinners, father, I mean what this got to do…
Priest: Look my son I am tired, if you want to tell me OK, if you don’t want OK, but God sees everything and everybody. I am going to my room now.
Priest goes up stairs and in the middle manager stops him.
Hotel manager thoughts: OK think fast. Aha, that is right confession.
Hotel manager: Father, may I have a confession tomorrow?
Priest: Why?
Hotel manager: Well I need one, and you are the priest.
Priest: Oh yes, of course, but can we do it in the afternoon, you see I have one more to confess before you tomorrow?
Hotel manager: Who is confessing?
Priest: Maybe you know him the owner of the saloon down the street.
Hotel manager thoughts: Oh God, we are doomed, I must speak to him…
Hotel manager: Oh, OK father, afternoon is just fine by me, have a good rest.
Priest: Have a nice evening.
Priest goes up the stairs to his room and as soon as the door slammed manager picks up the phone, he dials as fast as he can.
Phone rings and we hear the voice from the other side.
-          Halo! Who is it?
Hotel manager: It is me. When can we meet? It is urgent…


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Reasonable People -  Razumni ljudi

            It was a Sunday afternoon. Dust from the road flew along the roughly shaped contours of some old car passing by. Old car with middle aged priest sitting behind the wheel. It was hot like hell. Priest was sweating all over. No use from open windows, just dust gluing his face, making him look like a stone figure after some time. His eyes were focused on the horizon and it’s slowly change of shapes. From the void and desert scenery it turned into a small god forgotten town with its dull white and yellow houses and establishments. Soon priest stopped at the edge of it and just looked into its curly faceless shapes.
         Then he moved on into the center of the town. Main Street was equally dull and tiring. Banners and signs passed by, bank, restaurants, hotels, stores, until he parked in front of a bar, or more likely saloon. He looked at the sign and the door for a while, and finally got out of the car. After stretching which produced some crackling sounds he put his black hat on and went into the saloon. It was just like some scene taken out of a western movie. Only the sound of wind was there to make company to this hard burning sun.
        He came straight to the bar table, cleaning carelessly bar chair and sat facing the mirror behind bar. He looked at his slightly moved collar and put it into place. Bartender did not even notice him. He was whispering something to a blonde sitting at the corner of a bar. There were two other guests in the saloon, sitting by two separated tables and both pretty drunk. He looked at them for a moment with bitterness and the turned to a bartender.

Priest: Good afternoon son. God bless you and your distinguished establishment.
Bartender, turns like someone hit him in the back.
Bartender: Ah, good da… I mean afternoon, hmm, father, right! I mean you are a priest.
Bartender puts on false and polite smile, his mustaches are dancing, and his unshaved cheeks turns red.
Priest: I hoped I can get some drink here. This day looks like purgatory in its worst. I think I saw some rocks melting down the road. How about a nice cold beer.
Bartender automatically takes a big glass and puts it under a beer tap, pulling the handle causing white froth to fall into a glass.
Bartender: What bring you here mister, I mean father? It is not pleasant to travel these days. It is truly hot, like you sad in “peergatory”  right?
Priest: In purgatory, my good man, purgatory is the place where we all come after death, no matter how we died, or how good or bad we were. Every one of those bones buried in the desert by the road near this town is now in purgatory.
Bartender try to put the filled glass in front of the priest, but his hand tremble like a leaf for a moment and he spills the beer slightly. His face becomes red again and he cleans spilled beer from the bar. He takes a big breathe.
Bartender: Sorry about this… How is that, you say? (Bartender thoughts: He knows, impossible. How, Who…)
 Priest: You know, my good man, you know.
Priest drinks some beer.
Priest: Good, cold, fine.
Bartender: What? I don’t know…(Bartender thoughts: Who is he? What the fuck is going on??)
Priest: Well, it is the place where we face our demons, our sins, our bad behavior, our fears at last.
Bartender: Yes. I mean, I know, but I didn’t understood the part with desert and (Bartender thoughts: What know think, fool, think), I mean those what you said bones and desert?
Priest: Simple, all those poor souls buried in the desert, died naturally or violently. They all have to go to purgatory. It is the way to finally clean our sins before God decides our fate.
Bartender: I mean, why those in the desert? (Bartender thoughts: I knew sometime this will happen.)
Priest: Why not. Are there some people buried there?
Bartender: I don’t know. Haven’t heard. Maybe. But…
Priest: There is no but, my friend, everyone has to pay, even me, even you.
Bartender thoughts: Oh here we are, maybe he is reasonable, maybe we could…
Bartender: Yes, yes, father. We are all sinners, aren’t we?
Priest: Exactly.
Bartender: And we all have to pay, right?
Priest: Quite right, my good man. It is big but fair price.
Bartender thoughts: Uh, I must be generous, that is to be expected, uh, God why did you send a priest? Well maybe he will be fair.)
Bartender: Yes, yes, father. Tell me please, how long will you stay here? I would like to talk to you some more. Privately, if that’s possible?
Priest: Yes of course, but why privately when God knows everything, God hears everything.  
Bartender thoughts: Hmmm, he is not easy, well…
Bartender: Well you see, father, I did not confess for a long time, and since you are now here, maybe I could…
Priest: But son, don’t you have a church in this town and your pastor?
Bartender thoughts: Tough barging ha…
Bartender: You see, I am little embarrassed to go there, I mean, it is a long time, it wouldn’t be appropriate, I would like if you could do that for me, please.
Priest: Oh well, OK. I will stay as long as I am needed her. Can you tell me which hotel is nice, with some good food. We will meet there tomorrow. I need some rest, I am human also.
Bartender: Of course, there is a nice hotel one block from here. Just say there I recommended you, they have great meals and clean sheets, and hot water all the time.
Priest: OK my son. I will go there after this nice beer and have a rest. You must be prepared for tomorrow. It is not easy. You must be honest and fair if you want for him to be fair with you.
Bartender thoughts: I will be prepared, must go to prepare it…
Bartender: Yes of course. I will be. Hmm, can you tell me how mu… I mean how big is that confession?
Priest: As big as you can be. More generously you remorse and more you give him, he will be more merciful to your sins, my son.
Bartender thoughts: Smart ass, I must fill the bag over the top ha…
Bartender: OK but, aren’t we supposed to be moderate in life?
Priest: Only compared to our sins, my son, we are to be moderate in sin and generous to give our thoughts and bags of our past sins filled with remorse.
Bartender thoughts: Bags! He knows about bags too. Oh my God. Well what to do, I must do.
Bartender (in modest and sad tone): OK, father, I will come tomorrow. Be merciful.
Priest: God is always merciful. Do not worry, just come and bring your barren to me.
Priest drinks the beer and stands up. Making a sign of a cross over bartender he moves his hand towards the pocket and then a piece of metal flashes into a bartender eyes. As he pulls the wallet out to pay bartender is frozen.
Bartender thoughts: He has a piece. He is professional. God help me please. Better alive and poor then dead and rich. I must pull myself together.
Bartender: Please, father, it is on the house.
Priest: Are you sure?
Bartender: More than sure.
Priest returns wallet into a pocket and gun flashes again.
Priest: Well then, my son, until tomorrow.
Priest slightly touches his hat and goes out of the saloon.
Bartender looks in his way and seconds are like years for him.
Bartender thoughts: Think, think, fast, oh, there is no escape from the fate…  


Mihailo Radosavljevic