Sunday, October 25, 2015


After you separate from your spouse, however public your differences were, you become less than welcome in the homes of all coupled friends and acquaintances.

When you visit a couple that lives in a way that includes black eyes and broken ribs explained by way of awkwardly opening kitchen cabinets and unfortunately losing step on the stairs they sit with you and assure you: "Do not worry, it will all be well - you're going to be back together in no time!"  

When you visit a couple in an acute power struggle they never sit with you together at the same time and at least one will say to you, with great conviction and too loudly for it to be only a message for you to take: "Good riddance! You did not need that piece of shit!"

Sometimes, somewhere, but very rarely you'll be greeted with a hug and a smile, given a comforting drink and asked: "How are YOU doing?" and "How can we help?".

After these first visits, when time (and not words only) starts to show that you are truly going to go through with divorce, world not only divides into your friends and his/her friends but also ones that can and cannot bear your lifestyle change. 

It is difficult not to take this personally but it helps to remember that you're not the only protagonist of this situation. The situation stars all the people coming into contact with it, in their own little universes and all the feelings of the people shaken with this decision. Keep some and let others go, whoever really can be friend will never be lost.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Usual Fare

Distress is like a location beacon for all other misery searching for company. As soon as experience manages to crack you open, showing your unprotected innards, people flock to have themselves a piece.

While I was in marital distress there was a constant stream of offerings of sex, by no less distressed individuals, because; what could be better to soothe and tide over this existential quandary before it settles into acceptance of "that's what life is" and "they're all the same". 

It did not fare well for them. Willingness to part with unacceptable conditions even at the price of breaking the mold of my own behaviors that facilitated the issue scared and threathened them and they would react with hatred and agression - yet it was as impotent as all their previous efforts.

During the divorce I was frequently told how brave I am and I did not understand it at a time. It did not seem to me that bravery is taking a stand to protect my child and myself from the life that I found demeaning and detrimental. Surely - that is the norm, anyone would do it, everyone does is - I thought.

But no. It is not and they do not. Social pressure even makes sure that the entropy of the system is increased. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Secret

By the time I exited my marriage my self-esteem was bunk as well as my ability to see good in the world. There were just too many examples of failure and cases of implementing changes to no avail. Being told you're no good becomes toil of taking the life out of every action so even when the flood of accusations dries out the prevalent feeling of bad spirit and lack of control remains.

When asked about it at a thousand and one mandatory meeting at social services  I could only muster the will to summarize the feeling into:"I do not want to be this person he's turning me into anymore."

At the core of my being nothing remained but a fear; fear that the experience will leave me forever devoid of my soul, that I would never find my way back into respecting and enjoying life. It was a fear so great it could not even be voiced lest I'd be devoured by it.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mark Mrakovcic and Sleepyheads album promotion @ Tvornica 01Oct2015

Back there in June I went to see Zur-arranged gig at Attack! and during that gig  prettier half of Zur introduced me to Sleepyheads frontman. Other than my utmost confusion with stuff she was talking about I also remember she said not to miss their upcoming album promotion and that it is going to be absolutely awesome. So I remembered that when Sleepyheads album link appeared in my Facebook stream and I went to bandcamp and bought myself the album and also jumped over to Entrio and bought ticket for the gig. I love this internet age and wonderful ease of getting my shit without having to do with live humans in the process.

Having my folks babysit my 11 yo kid just gets more and more taxing over the years. One would think that people who I eat lunch with every mf Sunday would manage to remember I do not own a TV set and that they have to find another activity to pass the time for those 3 or so hours every few months that they spend here.

But, I digress; I was out in time to pick up my friend over at Cvjetno naselje and we drove downtown and had a nice walk before appearing at Tvornica. Some nice socializing (including meeting some cool new people) and a cold beer quickly thawed my frozen heart and before soon I was quite enjoying the evening. Zvonka was going back and forth greeting friends and acquaintances and after one such ellipse she returned with twinkle in her eye and a big grin and she said: "That is Mark. He is.."

"I know. The producer." I interrupted.

"Yeah." she said. "You're gonna LOOOVE him."

Few minutes later we were in front row and they started to play and loove him I did. Mark Mrakovcic (guitar, vocals) and supporting band (keyboards and drums) play with such wonderful ease and relaxation which only complete mastery can bring. Sound was set very loud but also lovely clear and with warm, pleasant timber.Their music is very old school (was reminded of Ozric Tentacles at Mocvara I watched few years ago) but pervasive feel is that of energy and mastery. It was all so unpretentious and had such a good, neighborly flow, I was just smitten with that impression. I liked how the guy on the keyboards had that familiar vibe of brother introvert by appearing completely out of place when walking around before and after the set and completely transforming into a blues sensei during the set.

I managed even to get my hands of setlist after they finished. I seldom care about any kind of mementos from the shows (and have exactly one other) I go to but it felt so appropriate to collect this one.

Few minutes later equipment was collected, removed, rearranged and Sleepyheads were on stage. All the usual indie and hipster suspects were in attendance and the gig that was recently being described on social networks as:"only for true music connoisseurs"  could start. I have already done my homework listening to the album and I saw that there were many prepared like that in the audience. Frontman had changed hairstyle since I last saw him (and this one suit him much better) and was visibly nervous but once they started to play it was smooth sailing all the way. Songs were much more alive then on the recording and they were well rehearsed and eager to please.

After four or so songs I had enough of front row, loudness and smoke so I moved to the back, closer to mix station and found myself a spot.

That was an impressive crowd. I liked this view better and the sound was awesome in the back. Some tipsy girls were constantly bumping into me but I was amused and benevolent. I was thinking how Vedran's pronunciation was really nice and how I would love to hear them play again somewhere less smoke-filled when they will be less intimidated by big audience.

You should keep an eye out for their next gig and come to hear them too.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


When I think about what it took for me to leave the institution of my marriage there seems to be a million things on the surface; the alcohol, the lack of respect, the anger, silence, dissapointment ... A million things. But, in actuality all these things boil down to the minute it was truly over - when I no longer considered him and me as us.

I remember that moment and that train of thought so vividly as if it happened two minutes and not eight years ago. 

I remember despair and furiosity and the frustration leading to that moment. I remember thinking to myself:"But how am I going to do ALL THIS ALONE?!" and I remember my inner voice answering to that voiceless plea with:"You are already doing all this alone."

And that was the truth. Humiliating and empowering truth. There was noone to lean on and share responsibilities with, there was no other for a very long time. There was only me keeping the illusion alive. Me cleaning, me parenting, me paying bills, planning and networking. Me. Not us.

And that was the moment I was out, moment of terrifying clarity stating that all bets are off.

It takes some people a lot more time and effort, it takes lifetime for some and they never come out and yet for others still all it takes is just one bad decision that seals the deal for eternity. Like it sealed for Mr. Stylman here in the third episode of Life. All it took is a bit of fear that illuminated his true colors.