Wind of Change

by John Ivan


The children are at coussins, separated from the parents await the news, during conflict in former Yugoslavia.

"Wind of Change" -"Could you translate the song for me and help me learn the words? " I am about to say what song, but at her current poor life there is only one song. All day the cassette is in the recorder, playing. It has been first time somebody ask that, and I am little proud that knowledge in English is finally paying off. The young ones tag along, both our siblings, her much younger sister and mine brother - convenient Scorpio in zodiac. Pretty fast they all have learnt it, most popular in these days "Wind of Change". One should praise the teacher, me of course. However, the truth is with so much repetition of it, local cats would learn it real easy. And to add, there is nothing else to do, except little schooling and waiting, and awful amount of waiting for the news.

I follow the Moskva Down to Gorky Park

Listening to the wind of change

An August summer night

Soldiers passing by

Listening to the wind of change

Waiting for some good news, since the parents of the girls, Lara and Sara, are trapped back home, or to be precious in the basement underneath the skeleton of the house, shelled and destroyed like all in that ghost town - Vukowar. Even part of its name, in English, is bound to worst possible human activity, but in the same time very lucrative, heroic and desirable. I would be another for grinder out there, as soon as I am eligible; I will be 18 for Christmas.

The world is closing in

Did you ever think

That we could be so close, like brothers

The future's in the air

I can feel it everywhere

Blowing with the wind of change

Whole of Europe is uniting once again, but we are fighting and squabbling once again. Many ordinary people are caught between those warmongering minorities, forced to choose side - if you aren't with us, you are against us. Primitive and banal and very true in the world where gun is a merit. One hundred men are needed to build a house, but only one, crazy and deranged to obliterate it. Over here, things are different, since the builders are all gone and destroyers have prevailed.

Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow dream away (dream away)

In the wind of change

There are eight of us now, four original and four refugees. Nobody likes that word. Mother is only one working, so she is out all day. Grandma, originally from Vukowar, since the girls are her nieces, only descendants left from many of her brothers, perished in WWII. She is again in those days, praying to God to save the parents and at the same time wondering what will happen to Lara and Sara. Another pair of refugees is some cousin and her son, my age, but totally unconcerned about situation, and missing of his father. -"Let's go to a club. Madonna is coming", he says to me, out of blue. -"Madonna is just the name of the night club. There is no news about your dad. Your mum is in agony. Anyhow, we don't have any money", I try to avoid parting in such tragic moments. He has found the means, so we went. We are enjoying and having good time listening to some fine tunes, and only 40km away, there is fighting, barbaric struggle. Nobody cares, especially my "homie". One girl talks to me, special bulletin from the front. Apparently, over there it is "popular", for husbands and wives of "mixed breed", to decapitate former love's head in bedchamber. Very patriotic and only way to prove one's endearment of one's homeland. In such manner, as a replacement to mine late father, I would be propelled to do it to my mother, as she is also "one of them", as mine own patriotic duty. I shiver uncontrollably. Nothing better to cure one from patriotism then to listen such nonsense. -"You are very poor, whole region I mean", he tells me on the way back. Nothing about his father, just that. We aren't all the same. That is clear.

Walking down the street

Distant memories

Are buried in the past forever

I follow the Moskva Down to Gorky Park

Listening to the wind of change

Back home, things are getting nasty. It bound to happen, when there are too many people locked together. Sara won't learn her lessons, although I have repeatedly urged her to get hold of the textbook. -"I want my mother. You aren't my mother. Boohoo" That does it. Without thinking I grab her ass and slap it several times. More boohooing and lot of crying. That happens when you put inexperience parent juvenile in charge. How to explain 8 year old child that its mother is gone, probably dead in that stupid and silly war, or as they call it on the news - conflict? Dark thoughts are all over me, as I remember another war story. Apparently, our "forces", which is oxymoron in one word if it is possible. They can't protect themselves, but there are sent there to guard and shield civilians. At least, that is said on the news, which we are watching all day and all night long.

-"What is for breakfast, darling?"

-"Omelet with wounded in bandages."Or.

-"English breakfast together with shelling of old city of Dubrovnik. "

Any news, any contact to find out are they alive and kicking. In that story, which that girl from the club, Natasha, shared with me, our glorious "forces" were out of firewood. They use to take it from locals, whom they should defend. Out in the open, in the trenches, one could shelter one from the enemy but not from the elements, as winter is coming. It is already October. It is turn to one guy, here from mine hometown, as he is gone to protect fellow Serbs from those bad Croatians. At least, the news, our encyclopedia, our mother and father, our Bible, is teaching us so. There is no need to elaborate on it, we are supposed to listen, obey and act accordingly. The precious firewood is mined. Winter is harsh both on the locals and their protectors. Poor soldier has no chance. What was his last thought? What was last song he listened? "Show Must Go On" or "Sympathy For The Devil"? Cruel world this is. One hand touches mine. Her eyes are red but she is smiling: -"Put me the song. I want to listen it". The song replaces her mother. It gives shelter, hope and protection. Children are amazing. Only half an hour later everything is forgotten and forgiven.

Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams (share their dreams)

With you and me

Take me to the magic of the moment

Mother and father, have come after the city was liberated/occupied. It differs from your stand of view, or the nationality of your blood cells. Again - the news. We are all celebrating, but 200 wounded people are shot behind the hospital. The children can't release their mother from the hug. Crying and smiling at the same time. Mother doesn't talk much. She is always watching over her shoulders for Sara. She tries to spare the child of war stories. Maybe it is mistake. After everything maybe it is better to get it out on the open. But I say nothing; nobody does. Grandma is crying, even more than before. Her brain can't comprehend happy event, for too long it was feeding on disaster.

-"Who was good, proper man before the war, he was during", only thing mother shares with us, catching scarce moment when Sara has been out of the room. As I listen to the song, once again, all alone, I don't desire for wind anymore, but hurricane. Hurricane that will carry off all the weapons and all the wars of this world into oblivions.

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