It was a rainy Wednesday. I was sitting on the balcony, smoking a joint, when Maki barged in. In a deep, sharp voice, he said, ‘Why the fuck do you need that shit?’
A bit confused, I said, ‘Bro, I have to chill out, just like you when you have a couple of beers after work.’
He said angrily, ‘Yeah, but I drink a little just to forget about all the fuss in the warehouse. I loaded two trucks today.’
As I put out the joint in the flower pot, I told him, ‘Yeah, man, but every now and then you get into a fight with someone when you guys get wasted.’
Maki said, ‘Shit, man, some queers came into the bar and you know I can’t have it; for me, it is human society waste, just like smoking pot.’
I said, ‘But, man, when have you ever seen a high and aggressive guy?’
Maki mumbled, ‘Well, he’s obviously too high to react to anything.’
Looking him in the eye, I said, ‘Bro, as far as I can remember, we were smoking together behind the shed a while ago.’
Maki already had a response prepared: ‘Yes, but that was good pot and not this shit that makes you paranoid. It’s all artificially grown and it’s worse than horse. My buddy from London told me they smoke only artificial pot that’s 100 times stronger than horse but it’s legal because it doesn’t contain any illegal substances. So it’s better to smoke ganja instead of that herbal incense and some spice.’
He kind of had a point but not at that moment, so I looked at the time and said, ‘Enough with that, man. I’m going to college. It’s my first day.’ I put on my army jacket and boots and went out to catch the tram.
In college, I noticed a bunch of idiots in the hallways. Some guys in pink. I was thinking, Man, what the fuck is this? In my town, there is nothing like this. People like this are crucified. Shit, check out these chicks in their miniskirts, I mean, they look hot but how are they not cold?
A guy stood in the corner next to an open window, wearing a leather jacket and smoking a blunt. His face was unshaven and grumpy. He had dark, thick hair and eyebrows, as well as a piercing, strict look.
WHOEVER IS NOT AGAINST YOU IS WITH YOU.
I said, ‘Can I try some?’
While handing me the blunt, he said, ‘Sure, man,’
With a smile on my face and a hint of surprise, considering the fact that we were standing in the middle of the college’s second floor and next to a window, I asked, ‘How come no one notices it, man?’
He answered in a laid-back manner, like it was a trivial thing: ‘What do these fuckers know about pot anyway?’ We started laughing.
I said, ‘My name is Paja.’
‘My name is Jole,’ he replied.
I told him, ‘Fuck this, let’s go drink some beer!’
We started talking in a local bar. I told him Kurt Cobain committed suicide because of a girl and he said Sid Vicious didn’t have it any better – he got fucked because he was in love with the wrong woman. He asked me, ‘What is rock’n’roll to you?’
I simply said, ‘Freedom, where anyone can be the first and the last at the same time. When there are no compromises or alternatives for you. When you can say you live in a stinkin’ town, you wear stinkin’ clothes, you ride a stinkin’ bus and go to stinkin’ school even though you don’t know any better. You just know it and that’s something characteristic for that period. We are the rare ones who recognized freedom and kept on being free. To live in a place the size of a butthole is not really being free when those who propose that freedom can’t even recognize it. And when they see a free man, they get scared. Scared of me destroying their rotten world, where they are slaves to their basic instincts and immoral behavior, which are reflected in the fact that if you commit a sin, you haven’t actually sinned if you don’t get caught.’
He asked me to elaborate.
‘When a husband cheats on his wife, it’s an affair whether she knew about it or not. Even if she never found out, that doesn’t mean it never happened, because he would still know. It’s even worse when she knows but pretends not to see so that she doesn’t lose something that is not even hers. And that is an example of defeating freedom! That is why we listen to Ritam Nereda and Taj Glas Slobode.’
Jole suggested that we go to his dorm, as he had some hooch there. We arrived there quickly. It was a small room but fine for only the two of us. Warm, hooch, good music all night…