In Memoriam

Gods, what memories on this day! I remember where I was 33 years ago. I remember the funeral and all the world watching, leaders in attendance. I remember grownups around me radiating fear and uncertainty. And sadness. And pride. That day I experienced that stomach pain for the first time in my living memory and I don't think I'll ever forget it. When someone important to me dies. When someone I loved broke up with me. When something I invested a lot of me in fell thru. All those resembled the first time. But since I was just an 8 year old then, I recovered fairly. Besides, after that day a tsunami of propaganda hit all of us. All artists, all stars, athletes, public persons were on one track. Oh the songs... Titova se zvijezda ugasila nije, svjetlost njena sada iznutra nas grije... (Tito's star never stopped shining. It's light warms us now from within ourselves...) The memorials, the parades, the schoolbooks, the media...

I've seen him only twice. I remember both times. First time I was 5 and my father was with me, it was a dedication, the new school was being named after him. His huge black and white portrait was 1/3 of the facade. Later when he died, they planted 88 pine trees next to it. One year after, the second time I saw him was very significant. It was a drive thru our city, he would not stop, just wave from the car. I was home alone and for the first time I left it by myself, crossing the street and lining up on the other side. I also remember that day by having a mishap earlier in the morning. I drew a very hipster moustachios on my face and it was in pen and back then that ink was not easy to wash away and I was forced to greet the president with fake mustaches. I swear he looked right at me and put on some extra smile.

Didn't see him third time. By the time I was supposed to, the fields were empty, the factories burned, emptied, turned into prison camps and... well, forgetaboutit.