NATION & DECORATION (Part 3): Basilike Pappa & Bojana Stojcic

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Do you have a feeling your life is too hectic and out of control? Do you sometimes wish you could get off the rollercoaster and slow things down? Do you crave a refuge where you can have alone time and unwind whenever you please?

Our prominent designers will be more than happy to assist you with suggestions on a full house reno, including advice on how to create your own private retreat in your home. Your only task is to trust our choices, plan hours of pure enjoyment, turn on the music (nothing noisy and distracting) and let your hair down. Vogue is capricious, like weather, but style lasts forever. We will do our best to help you find a signature one because once you have it, it is there to stay so it better be good.

Battleship Potemkin (we’re going down down down)

Remodeling basements might be a daunting task. Untidy, gloomy and uninhabitable, they frequently convince homeowners to shift their focus elsewhere. However, the basement has come a long way from being merely a dank storage space that rarely sees the light. The modern one balances between aesthetics and functionality so it has to not only look and feel right but also be suitable for a variety of purposes. Here are some ideas that will help transform it into a sanctuary and a valuable asset to your property.

Learn from the worst, as Hitler and Goebbels, and turn interior design into propaganda and your home into a public-relations campaign. A well-decorated basement will enable you to sell yourself better, erasing all the bad connotations and building the myth of a man of culture and taste people can trust.  Let it serve as a friendly façade to disguise your political objectives and strategic goals, hide your hostility, and fool the general public. To accomplish this, convert it into a home theater room that meets requirements for sound, lighting and comfort. Remember to be generous to movie people if you want to be the leading actor in a blockbuster hit about a just society fighting outside international oppression, vicious and murderous. A cellarette for storing bottles of alcoholic beverages, obtainable in various shapes and designs, is something kids will love. (Make sure you introduce them to the bar on time so that they can respect you more when the time comes. Mind you, young age is no excuse for sobriety). What could be more fun and educational than observational learning which requires a social model such as a parent, a teacher and/or the nation’s paterfamilias inclined to vice and stereotypes, apart from justifying date rape, glorifying bullying and mobbing and boosting jingoism?

You may also wish to make an office space out of your basement by furnishing it with filing cabinets, an L-shaped desk, an office chair, a phone unit, and a laptop, convenient for watching child porn or talking dirty with busty blondes. A game room with multiple computers and different-sized speakers is another popular option, particularly when the man of the house needs a man cave to call his own. Just imagine inviting your buddies over for an all-night Bolsomito 2K18 marathon and fighting the evil of communism and corruption by attacking women, minorities and LGBTQ people. Oh bliss!

Our acclaimed experts propose saving some room for a storage area as well to avoid your home appearing disorderly. A good organization is half the job done so why not make a list:
•    Items to store behind closed doors: fears, repressed desires, insecurity, self-pity, shame, aggression, jealousy, an inferiority complex and a small penis
•    Items to store on open shelves: hatred toward people who hold different political or religious views, generalizations, discrimination, manipulation, opportunism, primitivism, snobbery, cognitive and confirmation biases

Cling tight to convictions that give your life meaning, such as picture-perfect faith and allegiance to nation, by settling on black and white color schemes. Applying the same color to walls, moldings and ceilings while painting them with a very broad prejudice brush, will result in a false consensus and convey the impression that the barriers that are walls seemingly disappear. Such a choice is prevalent in houses where one thinks the collective opinion of their own group matches that of the larger population. Be that as it may, this is your home so the rest can shove it.  A neocolonial revival works miracles with the redecorating too, our fave trend being wall-to-wall carpeting for an extra sense of uniformity as the finishing touch.

Last but not least, don’t forget to make room for law and order, that is the laundry corner suited for washing your dirty linen, because cleanliness is next to godliness. In case of basement moisture, which encourages mold and damages floors and walls, threatening to destroy the foundation of the house, clear gutters and fix footing drains. After you have successfully drained the swamp, your home will emerge as centralizing Babylon and you a liberator-messiah leader who may go back to chants of the self-proclaimed righteous, worldly prosperity and godly providence (for in god we trust).

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Triumph of the Will (we’re going up up up)

When the spirits are low, the discrepancy between your actual and ideal self, along with the consequences of Paris Agreement withdrawal, health plans and playing god, can lead to anxiety and emotional pain, feeling vulnerable, incompetent, and even stupid. When all hell breaks loose, consider the attic where you might shut yourself off, ignoring appeals for help, and find your way back to your old self – immoral, vain, über-confident, offensive, ignorant, faithless-blaming, and power- and blood-thirsty. That being said, the loft has the potential to become a spot under a shady tree, your favorite hideaway from too much reality where you can regularly stimulate your genitals to vent and get your shit together.

Many of us go for years without setting foot in the attic that is more often than not either empty or full of clutter, dust and mold on our boxes, treasure chests, emotions, thoughts and personality. Unless we make a habit of decluttering it, the mess could lead to poor energy efficiency, pest and memory infestations, and overall damage to insulation and psyche. Given that mold may give rise to mood swings, increased verbal fighting, poor empathy, insight and boundary awareness, you should start the cleaning adventure ASAP by taking a few steps our designers propose.

First, put on gloves to protect your hands as they have a tendency to get dirty when committing filthy and immoral actions. Second, mold, like other people’s suffering, is disgusting and unnecessary to look at. Since it is probably contagious, you need to take measures to prevent the spread of disease and guilty conscience. Put on a face mask for the sake of sadism revisited, preservation of personal pureness and your country’s continued existence at the expense of someone else’s misery. Finally, beware of roof and news leaks. Information embarrassing political opponents is always welcome as opposed to the one causing harm to both your reputation and national security. Make certain you fix the roof and check for stains on the ceiling to avoid a potential disaster to the whole house. You also ought to attempt to illuminate the place by using soothing orange or light green, ideal for a neat and clean-cut appearance and a fresh new start. Furthermore, our professionals recommend installing drop-down stairs, rather than adding a fixed stairway, and putting a ‘Please go away, I don’t care’ sign on the attic door, subtly letting intruders know you are disturbed already.

When it comes to selecting furniture, our team would choose simplicity: a bed, a nightstand, a blow-up doll you will want to put a ring on and a loveseat, great for tucking under a knee wall, and meditating on the holy trinity of your Achievements, Ambitions and Aspirations, as well as making taxes anything but simple, transparent, flatter, and fair. In addition, putting the bed under a skylight will create an impression that you sleep under the stars while contemplating poverty, starvation, wars, school shootings, peaceful resolutions and violence prevention…or, on second thought, excessive food, drug and alcohol consumption with lots of booty shaking, backroom hookups and no drama. As you are thinking of the ways to earn more money, win the public to your side and use media to win elections, one thing is certain – the attic room will undoubtedly make you feel closer to god.


 

I hope you have started reading Basilike Pappa’s Silent Hour. Now do me a favor and read this and this. I must have read them 10 times already and just can’t get enough. I told you she’s addictive.

Photography: Seph Lawless

TITLESS

I always thought
my final resting place
would be in a kingdom by the sea

with nobody to attend the flower laying ceremony
but you and me
My priest, My caretaker, My mourner, My beast

A ceasefire was agreed as a prelude to full peace talks
(again)

Oh damn!
until

she drove you mad
you shot me dead but buried me
long before when
alive and kicking

laid me in a marble orchard
of your venomous words
and killing my trust

you died with me

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REDGREEN AND VIOLET-YELLOW RHYTHMS

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You dwell in my simplified compositions
in a world filled with squares and rectangles
pulsing with the rhythm of Mozart and Rilke
You’re my color master, my Blue Rider

I am a playful sense of absurdity
a prolonged line across your pages turning bolder
I’m your recovery from numb unresponsiveness
your deadness wiped away

You are my throbbing forms
my dancing hieroglyphs, and otherworldly creatures
children play in your head with paper patterns

I am your topsy-turvy checkerboards
in the metaphysical realm you inhabit
under screaming Tunisian suns

You are my Expressionism
I am your Creative Confession
on a star
amongst stars

We are Anne Frank’s marbles rediscovered
in the attic
toads populate our brains
returning to the pond of their birth to breed

 

NATION & DECORATION (Part 2): Basilike Pappa & Bojana Stojcic

BUY ANY PRODUCT FROM OUR DECORATION GALLERY 1 NOW AND GET TODAY’S OFFERS FREE!!!

WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR. STAY WELL AND GOD BLESS THE NATION.

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As you spend plenty of time in your home, it not only needs to be beautiful, cozy and practical, but it also needs to look presentable for both expected guests and unexpected visitors. Blending all four may be tricky. However, you are in good hands because there is not a single challenge our distinguished interior designers cannot rise to.

History repeats itself, which pretty much holds true in the fashion world as well. Contrary to popular belief, there are rarely new trends and we witness modernized adaptations of old works all the time. Vintage furniture, hysterical women in a state of sublime admiration for their kitchen toys, and crying in the bathroom are back into fashion, which is great news for both you and your lovely missus. Keep one thing in mind though: if the little wifie starts bitching too much and too often, enforce new rules in a classy way, like when asking your guests to respect your no shoe policy. Please stay tuned for our Depeche Mode to find out more.

Desperate housewives vs. WASP (thumb thumb thumb your chest)

The modern bathroom is a refined take on a classic theme that is coming back with a vengeance and can turn even a box-sized one into a wonderful place of contemplation and reflection for both him and her.

Being a wife, mom and neighbor is no easy, let alone laughing out loud. We are sure there are times when you wish you could be a judge, ordering the seclusion of the jury. Chin up. Our well-known designers will help make your home-based withdrawal worthwhile by transforming your bathroom into a space where you may quieten the mind. Whether you weep by the sink or cry in huge sobs in public, you might get to hear ‘is everything ok’ or ‘can I call somebody for you ma’am’ questions from passers-by. To avoid this, our team proposes crying out loud in the ensuite bathroom so as to eventually go back to the kitchen singing with spirit.

Since you spend a significant chunk of time consumed by guilt, let us try turning your feeling terribly guilty all the time to feeling mildly guilty all the time. It might take several weeks, sometimes months, for the drugs we have prescribed to reach their full therapeutic effect so we advise you to learn patience. The medicine cabinet should be your last resort. Make certain you have exhausted all other options before grabbing antidepressants. One of the ways to feel less resentful and masochistic and free yourself of guilt and shame at least temporarily is to treat yourself with a regular bubble bath. Pour yourself some wine first and lock the door if you need an excuse for drunk crying too. Additionally, if you disapprove of new interior design trends taking shape, as egalitarianism and humanism, better stick to the old ones. In case you have been hanging out with infected people, use a good lotion, sponge and scrub to deep clean your body and mind. Now that you are all shiny and new, you can return to your household chores. To create lasting happiness in your life, we recommend a dildo and pot on a daily basis, and should you begin to feel ashamed again, shame on you.

Being the man of the house is equally stressful because, while redecorating your home, you have to continually remind yourself that a well-thought-out bathroom may be both a gift to you and a source of never-ending compliments from your guests. Hence, you need thorough planning before opening it for public worship. Our professionals propose stylish bleached-out décor for a calm, clean look of your ensuite and guest bathroom, clinical white supremacy being in the spirit of urban living nowadays. Even if you are a dedicated color lover, trust us when we say that everything, from the tiles to the towels, must be monochromatic due to the historical dominance of white color and a still life effect, unlikely to produce a change in the current social, cultural, political and institutional paradigm.

Color mixing is a trend we can at last kiss goodbye. Today’s bathroom is strongly against miscegenation and in favor of feeling good in your white skin. The aim of creating a white marble bathroom is to call religious and racial bigotry into memory, fight Black emancipation on all fronts and achieve a feeling of genetic purity that both you and your Caucasian friends will be sure to love. Contemporary trends in design suggest all-white faucets, along with a white bathtub, to match your fair complexion, magically combined with monolithic counters, eugenic porcelain, Nordic tiles and soft Aryan fabrics for a complete supremacist look that feels just right for you.

One of the musts when renovating the bathroom is bricking up the window, notorious for encouraging interaction with the outside world, threatening to turn into a redundant fascination with the unknown and a change of perspective which, god forbid, might be permanent especially with women. Therefore, you ought to apply thick layers of top-quality cement to ensure that your attitudes and beliefs stay the same. We advise installing a robust extractor fan as well so that your foul smells could unrestrictedly leave your private space and permeate the rest of society. You can bring some life into the bathroom by incorporating plants such as far-right grassroots, all-time-classic lilies, Astroturf carpeting, and dumb canes to induce speechlessness with your guests (for a long-lasting impact, let them chew).

A large mirror of impenetrable ego-boosting crystal, extending from the washbasin to the ceiling, will make it crystal clear you want to maintain an inflated style and sense of self while performing your Ku-Klux-Klan rituals and practicing your Nazi salute to perfection. Needless to say, a bold piece of art, as well as invisible speakers on the wall playing the white power music, is mandatory in your bathroom. If it exceeds your budget, you can find equally stunning counterparts made in Vietnam without compromising with vogue and principles. If you are not into artifacts, why don’t you try derogatory art prints? (Art is overrated anyway). Lastly, add a crystal-studded toilet and take great pleasure in shitting while pondering totalitarian Sirius in a galaxy encompassing billions of subordinate stars.

Simple minds (wag wag wag your tail)

The way to a man’s heart comes from the most unexpected places, the fact it is most often through his stomach being the least unusual one. Instead of wasting your time thinking of reinventing yourself, our professionals advise obedience for immediate results and sticking to what you know – being desperate.

Ladies, stop believing in fairy tales about equal rights and opportunities for men and women and reading empowering feminist crap such as ‘first you sink into his arms, then your arms end up in his sink’. You are better than that because you thrive on simplicity, and belong in the most important place where decisions are made, namely the kitchen. We assure you housekeeping accomplishments and culinary skills are far more significant than a paycheck, let alone entering the boardroom. Nation & Decoration, therefore, encourages you to raise up your voice when calling him Daddy and screaming his name during penetration on the table. Satisfy your hub’s insatiable appetite for cookies and role play, best when hot and homemade, and he will make sure he pays you by direct deposit. If you are, on the other hand, hopeless in the kitchen, put on the Kiss the Cook apron and turn his mom’s recipes into a flawless family cookbook, at least until the guests are gone. Cooking is like hitchhiking. What can possibly go wrong?! In case the smoke detector does go off, rest assured it is because you are smoking hot.

Gentlemen, surprise your worse halves by having the 50s retro kitchen installed right away. It is a hip trend whose ageless design is a reminiscent of a time of comfort and conformity, allowing women to have everything they are supposed to dream of and be miserable regardless.

Even though the woman has been held under house arrest and sentenced to five consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole, luckily enough, the kitchen has evolved into a central space around which daily routines revolve. Opening it toward the rest of the premises keeps the family united, at the same time creating the illusion of the freedom of movement, speech and thought. An open layout is, consequently, critical for the social life of the family since the ever-smiling housewife may keep an eye on everyone in the household while fixing hubby’s favorite scapegoat dishes and cold war drinks for the guests who are more than welcome to join her in the kitchen. While ladies are gossiping and watching TV ads of the ideal living style, men are smoking, drinking, talking shop, telling crude jokes and asking why dinner is not ready yet. Open shelving is also becoming increasingly popular with the homeowner who wants to make a statement in the kitchen by cracking the whip before dinner and putting his insignificant other on display after it. What better way to adorn such shelves than with Tupperware boxes which are a proof of the capitalistic values you two share, paying homage to materialism and consumer culture. Our team also suggests choosing the cabinets in light pastel hues of cheerful pink, going hand in hand with the essence of femininity. Furthermore, you will hit it out of the park if you combine them with simple yet ergonomic counters that are just begging women to roll up their sleeves and men to slide down their pants.

When talking about kitchen appliances, our experts would go for stoves and fridges which blend a vintage vibe with modern performance. Of course, they change the overall character of the kitchen, along with that of the woman, who will become sweeter and more submissive to her husband. The groundbreaking Kinder-Küche-Kirche company offers a splendid array of up-to-date, retro-styled electrical devices, as well as matching pink frilly underwear and sexy waitress costumes, bearing the prestigious Reverend Tyrer signature to lift your spirits. Not only will you be ready to present your husband with delicious meals when he comes back home, but you will also serve him with a smile. What more could you wish for?! If things do not work out as planned though, try using the oven to reheat passion (instead of the microwave, considered unhealthy for many reasons today). Note that since in the oven food heats outside first, some things can burn outside while the interior stays cold. For lasting peace, our female colleagues tend to decrease the temperature and increase the cooking time.

Pendant lights of steel as stainless as your virtue will bring the 50s back to life too. Believe us, there is nothing as simple as simple- and narrow-mindedness. Stop burdening your brain with a meaningful life outside the kitchen and concentrate on hanging those lights rather than hanging yourself. What are you waiting for? S-m-i-l-e for Daddy, add a checkerboard floor in Coca-Cola red and white, a polka dot backsplash or wallpaper, and live your kitchen life at full throttle.

Fortunately, digital technology will continue to bring the future to your door. By pressing a button, your nostalgically-designed vinyl floor is soon going to turn into a treadmill so you could actually work out without leaving the kitchen. Nothing compares to the sight of an ideal housewife who looks after her body while cooking for her handsome husband and life-sucking kids. Bon appétit and keep walking.

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If you haven’t begun reading Basilike Pappa’s Silent Hour with its unique prose and highly addictive poetry, you’re missing a lot. Do yourself a favor and start now by reading this and this.

Photography: Seph Lawless

NATION & DECORATION (Part 1): Basilike Pappa & Bojana Stojcic

Tips on interior design oftentimes seduce but seldom rattle. You are not sure what is fashionable these days and what went out of fashion? Our international team of experienced designers will give you useful ideas for your home and make valuable suggestions on how to keep up with the Joneses while staying original and true to yourself, as well as offer you a broad range of domestic animals to chose from our 24/7 animal farms.

As you might have noticed, vintage interior design trends are hot new trends which, truth be told, we can never get tired of. At one point, while lying on their deathbed, they confessed their crimes and misdemeanors, but have, luckily, recovered and taken a new shape and turn for the better, that is rightward and outward.

Fashion constantly reinvents itself, which is why trends come back over and over. What is funny and outmoded today, like old pictures of your dad’s hairstyle, may become cool again. Just because a trend, such as armchairs covered in velvet or people wired for prejudice, is dated doesn’t mean it’s bad. With the proper advice from our renowned experts, you will once again find it chic, smooth, comforting and mandatory if you want to be trendy nowadays. Louis XIV lived in the 17th century and we still go crazy over his favorite furnishings, brutal selfishness, love of war and passion for personal glory.

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Here an oink, there an oink

They are making a huge comeback this year: male chauvinists of the first order as chandeliers. Combining modern elements with old-fashioned attitudes, they stand the test of time and will not become discolored, pitted or rusty. You can find exactly the look, style and quality you want. Hang them from the ceiling and enjoy the unique atmosphere created by their dim lighting. Should you, however, find them too harsh and want to prevent your (especially female) guests from using the f-word or showing the middle finger, you could conceal unpleasant truths by calling them male chauvinistic piglets.

E-i-e-i-o

Old-style nationalists are also at your disposal as towering candelabras with cascading candle cups. We believe that gushing antagonism toward thy colored, crippled, fundie faggot neighbor, durable if properly polished, will appear elegant next to the soft glow of your blind patriotism. In addition, if you introduce black walls or prints, you will reach the point of no return in your movement away from generic and boring home décor and moderate criticism toward an authoritarian centralized property and a full-time fanatical Bonapartist of impeccable taste. Although so much black might seem somewhat intimidating, rest assured you can never go wrong with it, as well as the feeling of national superiority. One of the most common misconceptions about using dark colors indoors is they make your house appear smaller, primarily in the eyes of nosy and envious neighbors. That’s why our prestigious designers are here to make it great again, and you proud for residing in a gold tower with your name on it. They propose pairing the black background of your living room, trade wars, recklessness, populism and reluctance to negotiate with brightly-colored furniture pieces as the contrast that will make your coffee table, charisma, TV stand, anti-elitist rhetoric, fireplace, anti-abortion policy, sofas, protectionism, Chinese vases, peace plan, gun cabinets, carpets and conservatism pop, highlighting the majestic grandeur of the space.

Everywhere a chick-chick

The sexist master bedroom is another must-have this season. Are you looking for a hand-crafted brass and iron bed, sized to fit the spirit of the times? Do you need a bed whose lustrous curves complement those of the modern day woman? You’ll find it here: a practically indestructible bed for you and your beautiful piece of ass that can survive ages of use (and abuse). We recommend glamorous satin sheets, pillowcases and bed canopies for a truly authentic sexist look.

Oddly enough, despite its appealing aesthetic and popularity, satin has been accused of chilling misogyny and neglected for years. The alpha male can breathe a sigh of relief again because the world reminded women how it loves to see them and how they love to be seen: ladies in the living room and whores in the bedroom. This proves that, fortunately, some things never go out of style, like shiny satin, skinny jeans, yachts, offshore accounts, bondage, flirting with a TV reporter during a diplomatic phone call, and praising the physique of a First Lady, other than your own. Moreover, locker room banter will have no influence whatsoever on your ability to run for office because, let’s face it, women throw themselves at men, flipping their tops and their panties, they love being called a dog, slob, bimbo, gold digger and disgusting animal by Mad Men, and dropping to their knee outside their bedrooms.

Opt for sexism, available now in a wide spectrum of patterns and colors, from benevolent pink to blatant red, to jazz things up. Combine your luxury satin bed linen with candle lighting for a helplessly romantic effect. For a cooler masculine impact, simply toss minimalist mansplaining rugs on the hardwood floor. If you feel pigeonholed by the square footage of your master bedroom, our creative team proposes hanging a distorted perception mirror on a wall, thus making control easier while creating the illusion of space. Make sure to choose a patronizing frame, ranging from too-upset-to-be-taken-seriously-blue to don’t-worry-honey-beige for a touch of gracefulness.

Satin is also perfect for rooms where you are expected to be seen rather than heard. Whether hosting a casual or formal dinner party, a sexist satin tablecloth will be the focal point of the dining room, pleasantly contrasting with traditional tableware and male dominance served. What’s more, you will kill two birds with one stone if you hang satin drapes, taking your rooms and life from dull to utterly depressing and suicidal. We would avoid satin in the kitchen though since holding the kitchen accountable for promoting gender inequality has been an absolute no-no lately. Take our word for it, the outside world does not want to think you too may have fallen victim to stylistic crime.


 

Basilike Pappa is a deep dark soul poetry and prose writer, creative and elegant in expression. Please check out her Silent Hour for a touch of genius.

Photography: Seph Lawless

 

I’M AFRAID I CAN’T HELP IT

‘The wisest thing to do if you’re living in hell is to make yourself comfortable.’

After days of relentless  bombardment drove us underground, just feeling the sunlight on our skin became a luxury. I’m sitting in the sun, reaching out to it, touching it, breathing it in, and swimming in its heat. I wish I could drown in it. I wish I could track it across the sky from east to west to keep track of time. I wish my time was flying instead of dragging like this. I wish I could stop watching the clock and do what it does. Keep going.

Another lifeless day is lazily passing by, lethargy creeping over my face like shadows at dusk. There’s nothing to do. Nothing I can do.

(Apr 6, 1941. ‘German ground forces crossed the Yugoslav border and the Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels announced Germany’s declaration of war. The invasion and concurrent bombing of Belgrade coincided with Orthodox Easter Sunday, according to the Julian calendar.’)

Apr 6, 1999. Mom’s shriek interrupted my slumber abruptly this morning. The first bomb was dropped immediately after the siren went off. I think we counted 6, only one of which was far off. The lights went out right away. The whole house shook, jumping up in fright, and the doors were blown off the hinges. We’re lying on the ground covered with jackets and blankets. I lift my head to see mom holding a big cushion like the halo over our heads. I feel my bowels move, a burning sensation in my stomach rising in the chest, and spreading to the neck, throat, and mouth. I hear squeaking, gurgling and rumbling inside of me. My skin itches as if tingled by the scratchy fabric. I think I’m gonna throw up…We find out later the target was an army barracks some 985ft (300m) away. The windows of nearby houses were blown out, and surrounding walls pockmarked with fist-sized holes, the explosion sending a shower of splintered wood, plaster and bricks flying all over, and landing in our gardens and on roof tops. By sheer coincidence, no one got killed. After a while, the hall unexpectedly fills with silence, tangible, oppressive and heavy like a bulky carrier bag. So much quiet makes your blood freeze.

We pick up where we’ve left off, sis and I playing cards, our parents catching up on some sleep. At one point, you have to consider entertainment, books, movies, board games and crosswords being a good place to start. Another decent time waster is the PlayStation. The only store in town offers loads of content to explore, car racing games being our favorite. We lie around like couch potatoes with an irrational hatred of anyone who sets foot on our lawns. Enjoying legal immunity from prosecution, my friends, sis and I lose ourselves in the marvelous Land of Oz, walking its endless roads paved with gold. The ultimate jerkland. The pleasure is always there but the mess afterwards is a pain in the butt and back. As our sex drive’s insatiable, once we’ve cummed and the initial ache has somewhat waned, we’ll be back for more.

I crawled into bed around 1AM that night though I didn’t feel like sleeping only to leap out of it shortly, frightened out of wits by the sudden return of the planes and the piercing noise tearing up the sky. As soon as it subsided, we took turns running to the bathroom to set our neurosis free. I had a strange dream. I’m in it though I can’t see myself. It’s as if I was holding a camera and shooting. I see a young Asian woman with her hair put up in a bun, wearing a transparent dress. She calls herself the mistress of the dark and asks me to come with her. The quiet of the night brings on stressful thoughts. The panic at just the prospect of sleeping through the bombs and not waking up has kept me awake for a long time. After tossing and turning for hours, I finally fall asleep, but it’s not long before a loud detonation startles me out of bed again. We became quite good at abrupt awakenings. No wonder the whole nation suffered from sleep deprivation and was on either anti-depressants or sleeping pills, or both.

The harsh sound of an alarm clock had always stressed me out (along with the Wake uuuup alreeeeadyyy! angry voices), which is why I ditched it a while ago and learned to rely on less-jarring a.m. wake-up aids, such as natural sunlight or setting the clock radio to the classical station. Some need a siren to get up in the morning though (trust me) not the kind we got used to. There’s no worse alarm clock than air-raid sirens, warplanes or detonations, creeping into your homes and heads like sneak burglars deep in the night. However tired or sleepy you are, rest assured you wouldn’t dare to hit the ‘snooze’ button because sleep is the last thing on your mind when your life’s at stake. The day before Easter, we’re spending our endlessly long time squatting by the candlelight, and, locked in our darkness, wait for the worse yet to come.

April 12. It’s been 20 days already. It’s freezing in the basement, the cold air leaking around the door. It was a noisy night and I couldn’t help feeling like a little pig, threatened by a big bad wolf. Would we be better off if we had stayed in our house made of bricks, instead of this one, made of straw and sticks which now seems so easy to blow down if the huffing and puffing gets stronger? I wonder how many planes there were in the air tonight. It must have been dozens as many towns were bombed after midnight. Later that day, sis and I stopped by our mom’s workplace when we heard two detonations. A railway bridge was bombed, hitting an international passenger train Belgrade-Thessaloniki, Greece, 15 of the killed civilians identified, a large number classified as missing, 50 casualties reported by a Yugoslav news agency, and up to 60 according to other sources. Additionally, 6 civilians were killed in a village marking the administrative boundary line between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia. A couple of days later, NATO aircraft repeatedly bombed the Albanian refugee convoy over a 12 m (20 km) stretch of road in western Kosovo, killing 73 civilians and injuring 100, Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented. It’s pouring with rain. I’ve been listening to Enigma all day, my thoughts scattered like shrapnel all over.

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April 16. It’s been a while since we stopped turning off the lights in the evening, only making sure the windows stayed covered with blankets and the shutters were down. We heard a series of strong detonations today. The anchor of the evening news kept reading a list of towns bombed last night, so long, I lost count of it. Sis is waxing her legs and plucking her eyebrows. Out of spite. If I must die, I want to die beautiful. (Can we pick up where we’ve left off, really?) We have been going out lately, strolling around the town, meeting up with friends for a daily intake of laughter to survive a thousand daily deaths, and sitting in cafés, without ordering anything. Everybody’s broke. Nobody’s mentioning salaries.

The next day was quiet and cool. The air smelled of spring blossom, moist soil and life growing. Three huge hits on the industrial complex in a city near Belgrade enveloped it in clouds of black smoke. By dawn, dozens of people were hospitalized gasping for air, struggling to see and unable to digest food. The sun was blotted out for nearly a day as people moved with rags over their noses and mouths through the fog. Flames will leap from the site for days. I’m breathing the cool mountain air. I wish I could stay outside forever. I hear news of a three-year old girl struck by a rocket shard while on the potty in the suburbs of Belgrade. I wish I could stay inside. Forever is an illusion anyway. April 21: the second bombing of a Serbian refugee camp in western Kosovo, 4 civilians killed according to The Los Angeles Times, 5 reported by a Belgrade-based bulletin. There’s been a heavy thunderstorm all morning. Whether it’s a sharp, loud crack or a long, low rumble, I can’t seem to tell a crash of thunder or a swollen river from planes and thundering bombs apart. Blasts often sound like a heavy clap of thunder, while thunder resembles cruise missiles hitting the ground. I hate thunder. I’m afraid of it. It’s a family thing. My granny was scared, my mom too, now I am scared, every generation making sure the next one inherits the dread. April 23: the Serbian state television and radio headquarters (RTS) in central Belgrade was hit, which makes it the largest incident in the capital so far, killing 16 civilian technicians and other production staff and wounding 18. The broadcast was blacked out as a result, but resumed three hours after the bombing. We watched as many as 5 movies today. We can no longer listen to the radio since the transmitter near Belgrade was bombed. April 30: bombs strike a village in Montenegro, killing 6 civilians, 3 of whom were underage. I have a terrible stomachache all the time.

Strong detonations startle me awake the following night. Barefoot, we dash into the hall, squeezing ourselves against the wall, wishing we could squeeze ourselves through the crack in that wall. I stop breathing for a brief moment, eavesdropping, feeling heartbeats in my lower stomach. I didn’t choose this life. I wish I could start afresh, and throw dice like in Monopoly with as many as 40 different squares to land on. I wish I could buy and trade freedom or draw a card that would enable me to move. I wish I had picked the one with different results, receiving income and paying taxes. I wish the culprits ended up in jail. I wish I could drive greed into bankruptcy and wake up to a world regulating monopolists and discouraging killings, a world without deer heads on the walls. I wish…

The candle is slowly dying and I’m writing this is complete darkness.