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My mother and my step-father by Joe Moler
Desanka and Stevitca
(or: my mom and my step-father)
Damn this blasted rain that fucks up this anyway gloomy Brooklyn like nothing else can.
And the rain today seems to me like a message sent by the Fall announcing "I am coming soon". Just like that. It's drizzling and unbearable. I shoved a disc into the disc player so, there, everything fits into this sad mood. Someone is singing a song asking "Mother, why aren't you immortal"... And this reminds me of my Desanka, my little Deskictca, my best friend and pal.
She took care of me a long while when I was fatherless and then he, Stevitca, my step-father appeared and that started a film that lasted until a couple of years ago. They both deserve to have me speak a little about them. So, hire's a few words about Deskitca and Stevitca.
Stevitca, that step-father of mine, give us a hard time. Before the WW Two, he had been wealthy, lived lavishly and riotously, chased after whores and caroused until the down. The prostitutes of city of Lescovatc where he was living, the night clubs, and musicians, know him well. "There's Stevitca coming, there'll be plenty of dough and singing throughout the night" they'd say and they were right.
But then the war began with American and German bombs falling all over Lescovatc city and demolishing Stevitca's warehouses and all his wealth and as soon as the Partisans arrived they collected whatever was left. Practically down-and-out, good looking Stevitca , who incidentally had a fine singing-voice and played the accordion and looked a lot like Clark Gable, was now penniless as he come to our small Morava river townlet to work as a manual worker and porter. He laboured and cursed at everything around and especially at the fate that had played such a brutal game with him. Only yersteday horse-drawn carriages had driven him home from the night clubs and bars followed by a brass-band while his city prostitutes squeladed in his lap. Now he could buy only ten cheap "Drava" cigarettes but not the whole pack. His accordion, the sole remnant of his wealth, now stood in a corner of his solitary room to remind him of the cheerful and carefree times that were gone forever. "Gone With the Wind." Mr. Clark Gable, he was sure to have thought once in a while when he trimmed his thin, black mustache in front of the mirror. It was in the factory that he met my mother, Desanka, a widow with a child, and that child was me. She had been the wife of an officer - pilot who in those glorious, unforgettable pre-war years had been the first man, with his brother also a pilot, in a new imported Franch plane, to fly under the Sava River bridge and with this jeat to embellish nearly all the front pages of the former newspapers. My own father, unfortunately, died right after the war and I was born soon afterwards without getting a chance to either see him or get to know him. Being widowed, my mother found employment in the same factory packaging jars, glasses and bottles that were later loaded into trucks by the formerly wealthy Stevitca from city of Lescovac, and than driven to warehouses, to wait
For the day when they could be sold or exported to the Europe that was fully recovering and cleaning up the war time ruins.
My mother was beautiful, the most beautiful person in the world, and that world, at least for me, was that townlet with the big factory from which we all gained our livelihood.