I like deserved success, but I like even more undeserved luck.
Yes, I forgot to say – before #Mac deleted her from the Facebook friends list, #Bianca wrote to him:
– #milan, i really admire your courtship, but i am as same as you are.
Our hero found these words likeable, because as we know, instead of believing in true saying “opposites attracting one another”, he believed in quite opposite, but again true saying “similarities looking forward to one another”. Luckily (‘cause lie can’t bring any luck) he although asked:
– How do you mean it?
– I like younger partners as well.
I am sure it was crucial for @RoughMac’s decision to give up any further effort of trying to win over #Bianca’s heart. Although he was aware of her recent split with five years younger man, he had an expectation that this time, a pretty painfully mature woman though a bit lately, would finally give try to something completely different. Moreover, it was ironical to realize that her split with that youngster could be an opportunity for him. But Alas, #Mac’s firm conviction which he deceived by hope clearly forgot, was that nobody ever would change. I assume that @BiancaMistake didn’t even want it. What was even worse for him, youth and all its natural advantages popular as usual, became gloriously fashionable again and started to be considered as a new ideal. Who knows for how many times in history renewed, old men’s demagogy about wisdom and experience was revived once again.
Since the time he discovered #Bianca’s presence on Facebook, he realized that his obsession by death had entirely disappeared. But now, when everything was over, he was possessed even more intensely than ever before, by dread of inevitable ending of life. Before he met her, dying was his faithful companion in many and various forms. Even since his early youth, imbued by mercifulness, he was the most gracious and the most persistent companion of cousins and friends whose final rest was imminent. During his twenties, he’s been madly and stubbornly sticking to Bushido codex, thus having made death an integral part of his life, moreover, he’s found the proper way to show his full contempt for it. It was the time when he strengthened his teenage decision to end his life by committing a suicide. For him, it was not an act of fear and despair, but a victorious expression of strength, honor and free will.
But, when he was twenty five years old, everything suddenly changed, after he’s experienced an intense panic attack, of which he mistakenly thought was a heart attack. Since then, in spite of frequent medical checks, which used to end by encouraging words of the doctors’ assuring him that “he could be allowed to enter the box-match immediately” and that his heart functioning so well that “it could become a part of the anatomical atlas”, simply said in a condition fully befitting his young age, he nonetheless was entirely convinced that he would die in the young age. Almost everybody considered that by his irrational acts and thoughts, he’s been constantly invoking cardinal fear of “imminent” death. But his thoughts on it were completely opposite – by flirting with death, he’s been running away from horror kept within him for ages.
#Bianca cured him of panic, firstly in a wonderful, and then in a brutal way. While he was in love with her, he came back to his boyhood, when all tragedies “occur to someone else”. At the end of it all, he realized for the first time that his youth had gone away, having convinced himself in a tragicomical way, that even if he would like it to, he could not die young anymore.
Back then, he knew he wasn’t afraid of too early death, but he wished to die never. It was a way from panic to despair.
That is why he began to argue with God again, although the only reason he believed in him was his fear, thinking as well that the faith preachers might have become pious while have been running away from some calamity of their own, having considered that form of piety as the most primitive one. This introduction on its own reveals that the relationship between our hero and the Almighty was pretty complex to the extent, that it wasn’t possible to explain it, but somewhat indicate, which was in harmony with #Mac’s basic attitude that the question of life and death was of the utmost importance. Many claim there are much more important matters, and the only reason I don’t believe them is that they lie. Whether they lie themselves or the others, would seem to be less serious, because I say: they lie the others, being convinced that a man doesn’t possess a power of lying to himself, because that’s only the phrase a man uses for his own defense, after he finds himself imprisoned by frivolity, laziness, disgrace and misdeed.
OK, I do agree that the meaning of life could be dissimilar to different people, if they even deal with such an issue. @RoughMac has been always striving to explain the essence of his being by the principle: “Born to be happy”. If some misfortune should have taught him a lesson, that was the lesson he actually despised. Even an American Constitution, so favorite to him, was an object of his deliberate, erroneous presentation, what others have never been capable to notice, because of his maybe unfounded legal authority – having spoken that he liked it because it acknowledges the right to happiness, while truly the case was about the right to pursue happiness. The main character of our story, it is quite clear to you, has never been interested in pursuing happiness, but to grab it just around the next corner. That is why, if something went wrong, he would be furious with God itself, because He hasn’t been fulfilling his wishes. “Why would He be fulfilling his wishes”, everybody would ask. “If He wouldn’t be fulfilling my wishes, then tell me whose it would be”, #Mac would be answering, without further explanation. It wasn’t selfish, as it might seem, but pretty reasonable. Our hero was, when it comes to spiritual glossary, a righteous human being. Not a saint, far from it, just the righteous one. Such humans deserve a place in Heaven, so at first sight it wasn’t clear what a man who doesn’t wish to die could have against a life after death. Nothing weird really, because in comparison to nonexistent eternity, he prefered a continuous happiness during this existent, short human life.
However, what was dreaded him mostly was the notion that God might not even exist. In that case whom about would he be making fuss, having been like a small kid, always trying to get what he wants, even if he maybe doesn’t deserve it? God was his only hope – if, at the very end, he would be always and again finding his shelter under the walls of faith, God would have been the safest stronghold of him.
Therefore, it was understandable that he had written in one of his tweets: “I would rather believe in Christ than in Facebook and Twitter”. Jesus’ authority survived more than two millennia, while a reputation of some social network guru, even if it was acquired (undeservedly, ’cause otherwise that one wouldn’t be a guru, but a scientist or philosopher), would be on the wane in a few months, a couple of years at longest. On a second thought, it might have taken a couple of decades, if the whole cult-matter would have meant gathering around some so called star, intrusive or, which is much worse, encouraged to take over the role of a teacher. You can’t imagine what sort of stupidities you could read or hear in that case. The most famous one was about a “believing in your dreams” which if it was unwavering, used to be the safest path leading to success. The real truth, generally heard most usually as a slip of the tongue during long interview sessions of these modern alchemists was that they used to deal with all sorts of things, frequently doubting their qualities, before all of a sudden their unusual efforts, renunciations and concessions, combined with true or conceited talent and beauty, unexpectedly and inexplicably would be finally “sprinkled” with “stardust”, so that the sun could shine upon them at last. Self-indulgent and constantly pampering themelves, after all, they are simply convinced that the faith was the main instrument of their success that the “reaching of the top” was actually their destiny. Oh, of course, they don’t forget that there are countless who tried to do the same, possibly gifted with more respectable capabilities and showing a lot more passion for what they had been doing, but the fact is that they remained at the beginning of the road, either completely failed or even committed suicide. Instead of reflecting on such an issue, the successful ones will utter those regular, suspicious and unprovable words: “The other ones didn’t believe enough”.
Unlike hundreds of millions of social network users who seemingly didn’t at all doubt mantra that “everything happens for a reason”, #Mac instead, would be frequently asking himself: “What if everything happens by chance?”. Maybe a sparkle of life just flashed as same as a lightning strikes a tree, and sets it on fire. Fire spreads and turns into conflagration, which rages as long as somebody or something makes it extinguished, just like the whole mankind’s life wail probably go out some day. That is why sometimes, for the reason of sheer amusement, he would be writing: “Everything happens for a reason of concidence”, seemingly trying to provoke others to say something about it, but more probably trying to check if that thought could preserve its freshness after it was conceived. Reaction of his friends and followers to that and similar quips would be constantly lacking, and even to him it seemed that the whole fuss was about anything else, but a simple pun. Because, if everything would be happening by chance, even in that case the reason would be present – that coincidence, which is also an essence of his own witticism.
In this place it seems that @RoughMac, being already in the age of maturity, began to head back to logical and metaphysical problems, which were insolvable as he had concluded, and that’s why abandoned by him since his teenage days. However, everything became so plain – he had to think about it ’cause his love for life started to decrease dramatically. When it comes to ratio, life and death have long ago become equally preposterous to him, in other words as equally attractive as disgusting. His condition became hugely aggravated after he began to feel that way. Weighing his priorities, joy of existence ceased to seem worthy to him, especially in terms of overcoming serious and hard life battles, failures, even everyday problems. Excluding responsibility towards his close ones, which he, in his song “We Ain’t Living To Die”, expressed by verse “to die is unkind if you’ve got somebody who loves you”, fear was the only cause to keep him alive.
When it comes to thinking about love, he didn’t believe in it anymore, as same as he stopped believing in friendship. After all, among hundreds of his life companions, there are a few ones who didn’t betray him. Lots of motives could be reason for such acting, including hatred or envy, but majority didn’t simply have capacity to love. And the irony is that, for the first time, seemed sensible to him. There is no doubt that love, friendship, goodness and moral are powerful weapons for maintaining and development of humankind, which consequently made a human the most powerful being on our planet. There are lots of people whose opinion is quite different, who boringly repeat pristine, idiotic phrases like: “Goodness isn’t paying off”, “Stupids are luckier”, ”Love shouldn’t be shown off”, ”Everything could be bought” and alike. As for them, it’s better to remain silent, ’cause there is no good reason for anyone to show off its ignorance in a so intentional way. However, our hero is now asking himself: What’s the point of humankind’s survival and progress in general? As soon as we are born, we are immediately sentenced to the death penalty, which will be executed sooner or later. While we are young, we imagine that the end is still far away, and later on majority start to run away from such thoughts, committing themselves to labor without rest, indulging in various vices, inventing new religions. #Mac’s fate, on the other hand, was his impossibility to free himself from death not even during his lifetime. Luckily, his sense of humor remained, so he gave himself a new nickname: Dead Man Walking.
Quite understandably, being so petrified, he couldn’t meet anyone with whom he might have fallen in love again. But, what came as a real surprise to him was his realizing that he even stopped feeling affection for his former epic loves, at such a speed that the blazing day instantly turned into darkness as soon as the total eclipse of the Sun set in.
It’s funny how man becomes tired so quickly. At least, as such as he or his father, who was also insatiable when it comes to pleasures, but even more distressed, who always used to tell him: “Save your energy”. For #Mac, during his glory days, when his strength was at such a high level that he could even spare some of it, that seemed like a cheap, pathetic phrase. That is why he’s been like a black hole, devouring anything what might have come into his gravitational field, especially the light.
He’s been consuming everything in large amounts. He had about ten devoted friends at school, with whom he shared interest for basket and football playing, snoozing and generally roaming all around the town. Almost all of them were awful students, unlike #Mac who got highest marks in all subjects, but he also was the biggest street rambler among them. He’s never been going to bed before two o’clock after midnight, but he used to be awaken at quarter past six in the morning, so that he could manage while madly riding his bicycle, to arrive at school for the first class, never missing to drink a cup of white coffee at any price. Had he been wise, he would have at least asked himself what was the point of his engaging in sports which his pals found interesting, ’cause he was an absolute antitalent when it comes to all of it. He’s been in relationships with lots of girls, but just for sheer fun and reckless splitting, albeit there was one he has chosen to be his destiny. During his pubescent years, he managed to read hundreds of serious books – nice literature hardly something more than philosophy, he’s been incessantly listening to thousands of music albums, at the same time painting, taking photos or writing for newspapers. Art historian, an erudite on his own, neither made a joke nor an ironical remark when he dubbed him an encyclopedist. He used to be on equal terms with his teachers, remaining their friend until the end of time, so that he unfortunately attended funerals of some of them. He was engaged by them in reviewing and marking students’ works, but he cheated on them in a cold blood manner, having given students much higher marks than they had essentially deserved. Besides, it was hard to believe that his teachers were not aware of it, or maybe they even wanted it? He used to have two bands – one for stage performances, which has been sounding terribly, but it was an object of young girls’ adoration, for the same reasons why Justin Bieber is so popular nowadays (they were cute and conceited), and the other one intended to perform and create serious art, which has been lasting for decades, never really ending. He’s been travelling all across Western Europe, for him more beautiful than the Heaven itself, persistently endeavoring to win over the heart of the one and only female type – tall hyperborean girls, blondes with imposing boobs, tight hips, small, slightly raised bums and too long, right legs.
Let’s try to avoid being lengthy, unlike Hemingway for whom only Paris was “A Moveable Feast”, for #Mac it was the case with every single day of life.
Anyway, it was the same with old Ernest, who became drained so much that he finally decided to end his life, of which our hero while losing his vigor and getting old quickly, was often thinking about. He didn’t obey his father, as same as his father didn’t obey his, as same as any child of any father didn’t in the history of his ingenious and insane family – he didn’t “save his energy”.
And what was left to him now? Immeasurably much and immeasurably little. Immeasurably much, because he was gifted with a brilliant daughter, and considering that he was an extremely boring personality, he’s been although trying as much as that previously mentioned circumstance allowed him to step aside from his daughter’s path, so as to enable her to live her own life, in which, let’s be honest, there is not a lot of space for the father, neither it should be. The man who was responsible for his conception, considering the same reasons which made him showing respect for his daughter nowadays, taught him that “father is good when he becomes a painting on a wall”. In Macva certainly (I believe elsewhere in Serbia either) it’s being said anyway: “father is like a pole”. Immeasurably little would have been frightening, if @RoughMac hadn’t been in love with himself. Although it might seem too pretentious, the truth was: nobody in this world was interesting for him, nor was him an object of interest to anyone. Many, while reading these lines, might feel offended, ’cause #Mac wasn’t only befriended, but he was literally spending days and nights with dozens of people, including some females. However, everything what was interesting for them was for him completely useless, as same as his constant deliberations and reflections were an unbearable annoyance for all of them. He’s been even engaging in the games with The Circle in order to experience something new and interesting. But even closer to truth was a claim of the obscure organization that @RoughMac was hailing from some different planet, than a notion that something might make him interested in their lunatic conspiracies, myths, pathetic grandiosity, quasi-science and quasi-logic, semi-literate arrogance and illusion of power.
Alongside with hopelessness, deeply within himself he felt an intense presence of some odd certainty, omen of inevitable end, which didn’t make him relaxed; on the contrary, it made him feeling tense and scared. He’s been waking in panic, listening to and looking back in despair.
Death was knocking on his door.
But in spite of all, determined as never before, he was shouting to her: “Blow it!”.
The next thing that happened quite unexpectedly was – his reconciliation with God.
I would like to explain in details that moment when he heard the Almighty’s voice, all luxuriance, far-reaching significance and symbolisicm of that fantastic apparition. It would have probably been good for the sake of this novel, if something like that had really happened. But, it hadn’t.
It was actually quite plain. While sitting in the flickering light, which suddenly and without reason known to him lightened his soul, #Mac wrote on his @twitter account: “God, I forgive you!”. It was about one of his brilliant tweets which were destined to become failures, because those tweets used to be too smart and witty in order to be understandable by the conceited and slightly stupid Twitter population.
He didn’t really realized (I think it couldn’t be realized) but he felt that by forgiving God, he is actually forgiving himself. Because God, which resides in everyone of us, and we also reside within Him, is not just only one of its manifestations as we are taught; God is exactly only that manifestation, and nothing else. It is not infinite force which shows its rightful cruelty towards those who deserved to be punished, because deserved and just cruelty doesn’t exist, neither its existence is possible. God doesn’t even allow cruel behavior, but convinced of its almightiness, it lacks power to confront the cruelty, because the only power it possesses is that one given by human beings, as same as we the humans possess that much power as God decides to bestow upon us. We need to sympathies with God and we need to understand that there is no reason to accuse Him of being unable to prevent horrors, because by giving us freedom to decide whether to act in a peaceful and merciful manner, or to commit atrocities and cause evil, we actually release ourselves from its crucial impact and influence. Anyway, we gave God authority and obligation to behave in that way when we decided to create Him. That’s right, we do feel its authority, but only if we make request for it; if we ask for help, God does help us. Like everything in existence, He can give back love only as much as He received it. If God is not loved, He suffers as well. It is also not true that God knows what we need, so that it can give us exactly that needed thing, for the sake of our wellbeing. It’s quite opposite, ’cause God tries to realize what we really want, so that it can help us to judge properly, if that is what we truly need in order to reach certain goals, in the case we really strive to reach those goals.
Is our hero trying to explain that we were created by somebody, whom we previously created on our own, whereby we humans were created by him in the first place? Is it possible, I’m asking you, that the Universe operates in any different way? Don’t yield during discussion: of course it’s possible, ’cause everything is possible, but then we wouldn’t need God. The problem is, if it was the case, God wouldn’t need us as well, and that’s the situation everybody fears of, including atheists. An equation is quite simple: fragile human nature indispensably needs help, God is there to help, so that’s it.
You find these nonsense detestable? But didn’t I write shortly before that everything is meaningful and absurd alike – to be and not to be, it is and it is not, I will and I will not …
Don’t you remember that our narrative began with these words: Beautiful In Vain? If it’s clear to you what should it mean, questions start to pile up. What’s the point of life if it’s in vain? Because it’s beautiful. And what about if it’s not beautiful? Nevertheless, it’s in vain anyway.
It’s possible that #Mac was thinking in this way because he’s mad. But again, it’s possible that it didn’t even cross his mind, that all of it was pure invention of my mind ’cause I’m mad. But what if just from here starts a Path of Secret decipherment in which, without intention to ever give up, The Circle was always interested?
Refreshing harmony didn’t last for so long.
On the screen of the #Mac’s computer suddenly popped out a small chat-window with a message he quickly read, missing to notice a name of the person who sent it: “Michael Jackson died”. Having seen a name above, he realized it wasn’t some stupid joke, which is otherwise a popular description of disgusting fabrications on famous persons’ death, pretty frequent on the internet. The message has been sent by a still good-looking “retired” model, who because of her beauty became a member of @RoughMac’s friends list, while it consequently turned out that she was pretty intriguing personality. Namely, neither she was making a lot of effort to hide her feelings and thoughts. It was crystal clear that she was attracted by #Mac’s picture from his younger days, on which including his particular features, his face was a mixture of Lennon and Jim Morrison, only that he, I can say as impartial, appeared to be much more profound in comparison to those mentioned heroes, extremely famous ones, but overrated in respect of their intellectual qualities, which are pretty rare among the popular characters. I want to be clear, I’m talking about smartness in its literal, authentic meaning, excluding so called: “ability”, a favorite expression used by unsuccessful fools, to show their admiration for successful fools. Having seen #Mac’s recent photos, she wasn’t indecent and refrained from turning him down, although she, just like a hero of our story, preferred much younger ones than herself. @RoughMac didn’t manage to ask her why she had chosen him to share that hot news with, as she promptly answered with a new message written by using language of tautology: “I found, it was somehow natural to inform just you about that”.
She couldn’t even guess that #Mac treasured so many nice memories in respect of Thriller, which he considered the best music album ever made (in spite of the fact that a lot of different musicians chartered above Michael Jackson on his personal music chart). He remembered of his extremely naive and silly comment on watching for the first time a video of the Jackson’s song “Beat It”, not even guessing with whom he’s getting into clash: “Fuck, this one dances much better than I do!”. Then he saw an image of himself alongside his friend and bestman Jazavac, while sitting in his black, sporty “Rover”, being young, handsome and tight, listening in a thundering voice exactly that song on repeat, and riding along the winding roads, to win over hearts of lots of girls. Once, on such an occasion, he was paid as he later put it, the greatest compliment of his life. While he was dancing with an exceptionally beautiful girl, whispering in her ear, all of a sudden she broke loose from him and made a few steps back. Convinced that he said something dreadfully abusive, unpleasant or alike, but without knowing exactly what, he was expecting outright rejection, while turning her back on him and walking away. Instead, she made a quick, shaking movement with her hands, glanced at him all through and cried: “Oh my fucking God, how perfect you are!”, and then she embraced him even more strongly, while continuing to dance.
And now… death.
Tomorrow he was chatting for a long time with Doutzen Kroes, who having been a very close friend of late celebrity singer, was totally shaken. He didn’t feel incompetent to say something about Michael Jackson, on the contrary, but he was at least surprised that Doutzen agreed with him. I’m completely sure that thousands of males (and even females) would be queuing in order to talk to her on any subject, without having a slightest illusion that they would be discussing their impressions, with regard to so important, distressing and intimate topic. All of it seemed also morbid to him, because he really (well, to a large degree at least) understood the sorrow and sense of loss of that young, single and unattainable lady, who in his opinion was the most beautiful woman in the world, and of whom he knew quite well “what to think about”.
Two days later, on great Orthodox holiday Vidovdan, in accordance with tradition and customs, #Mac attended the local cemetery where majority of his ancestors found their final resting place. On that day one should visit cemetery at the crack of dawn, what in case of our hero, who haven’t avoided violating the rules, especially when it comes to getting up early, meant that he would do it in the late afternoon. As much as he was able to see, there was no one around, so that he was even more surprised when suddenly behind his back his former parish priest Milorad popped out.
– How did you find yourself at the cemetery on Vidovdan, Father? – @RoughMac asked. – For a moment I thought it was Easter.
– I was present at a funeral.
– What funeral? – #Mac was perplexed, while staring all around the deserted cemetery.
#Mac felt he was turning into ice. He’s been obviously hallucinating, which is never really harmless, especially not as you’re quite sure of being fully awaken.
– Excuse me for being rude like this – the priest went on with talking. – Aside from two of us being great friends, I’m also your parish priest and you are my lawyer on the other hand, so I couldn’t remain silent on this. You’ve got involved into something devilish, so I had to shake you through in through. It would be much better for you to take care of your own life than to get involving into someone else’s deaths.
– What do you mean?
– Why do you care for someone who would, weren’t we the real Christians, be our eternal enemy? You know quite well that Americans cast their bombs upon my family and me. Let God be with them, but you just mind your own business.
Our hero remembered that Father Milorad arrived from Bosnia, and during the “Operation Storm” he found himself among the refugees who were constantly assaulted. But again, he wasn’t able to understand the real point.
– I’m also talking about that Dutch model who’s been set up for you by them…
– How did you find out about the model? – #Mac asked, thinking of #Bianca. – She’s not Dutch; she’s ours, from Belgrade…
– But during my visit to Bijeljina, I was differently informed: you and the Dutch girl were talking about that singer who was murdered.
– Wait a minute; are you talking about Michael Jackson?
– Whom else would I be talking?
– But he wasn’t murdered, he died.
– You know? I told you, mind your own business!
Only then #Mac pulled himself together and realized it was impossible that priest Milorad was so well informed on that particular subject. For a moment he thought he was in delirium, but again he asked:
– Father, how do you know all of it in detail?
– I know nothing. I just had lunch with some very powerful people who were talking about it. I wouldn’t be interested, didn’t they mention: Marshall the lawyer… Here, someone’s coming. We can’t talk like this. I’m off, so we can meet each other when you give me a call.
His long, black garment was fluttering in the air while he was hurriedly walking away. All of a sudden he stopped walking, turned around and uttered:
– You should know that Ugljesa was killed because of you.
The priest was talking about @RoughMac’s client and protector from the criminal underworld, who’s been murdered in the ambush last year.
So, although #Mac kept on saying “blow it” to her, and maybe even more for that reason, the death was knocking on his door.
THE END of the CIRCLE THE SECOND