You No Welcome

I’m sorry. But you just no welcome.

Who you think you are? Big shot Amerikanci. Come to my Selo, take my land, take my voće, my povrće and sell oversea? Give me money and box of beer then fuck off? I no need of your gifts. I no need of your money. How dare you show off!

Even you now take my daughter. She all the time want to be like women on TV. All day her eyes hurt like my dick, staring na televiziju and counting down days until she leave and never turn back. How dare you corrupt her? How dare you show her that world?

You Stranci come in with your Big Money, shake things about, but never stop to think. You never stop to think about our land. You never stop to think about our people. You never stop to think about our souls.

I understand. You come from Amerika, you make good money, a good living. Police protect you, there are courts of law. You never had to watch your step for land mine. Never lost your sons in War. Never witnessed cruelty. Never saw the Devil in fellow Man.

You don’t need a friend like me. But now you come to me and say:

“Please, Selofather. Gospodin Seljak, give me some help. Show me where to get the best olive oil in your land. Introduce me to your best friends. Let me into your world.”

But you don’t ask with respec. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me Kum. Instead, you come to my house, and my polje, and my orchard and you ask me to give everything I am… for money? For money?

Ah, you do this for “Growth” you say. Everyone benefit? Capitalist Mindset. Convenient cure for Lost Souls. Individualism. I am no ignorant Man. I do understand. It is a good thing. We suffered through Communism. But far too easy for you to extol its virtues. You lived through nothing. Nothing. You are but a child.

No. This is not “Growth”. This will not bring my son back. This will not keep my daughter near. This will not “grow” our communities, our churches, and national character. In the end, you bring me paper. Money? I spit on your money.

How can you pay me, you say?

Amerikanac, Amerikanac… What have I ever done to you to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you’d come to me in friendship, then your new business would be thriving this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.

“Be my friend, Selofather. Please, be my friend,” you cry.

The Old Man shrugs as the young stranac bows toward him and kisses his hand, rough and weathered by decades of glorious Mediterranean sun.

“Well… I suppose I can offer some help. But Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. What we in our land call Krvna Osveta. But until that day, accept this gift as in debt, for you did not come to me first as friend.”

“Hvala, hvala puno Selofather. Whatever you can offer. I just wanted to make everybody a little money. Is that so bad?”

Okay. Okay. You welcome now. Now please, leave me be.

The Old Man’s wife, Marija, turns to him and says: “You know he is not really welcome. Why say such thing?”

To which Gospodin Seljak—The Selofather—replies. “Because he needs to believe it. A Blood Debt is not cheap.”

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