Jeta Vojkollari: The Devil I Paid for Advice
| E Diel, 26.07.2015, 11:44 AM |

Jeta Vojkollari

Published Author, Screenwriter, Lyricist

A fragment from ''The Devil I Paid for Advice''

Tirana in the evening. Modern cafes. Lights. Glamour. High heels and loud voices. Laughter. Girls in low-cut necklines, smooth-skinned. Young men wearing their hair short and styled with gel. Just like the cafes, the young smelled of luxury and modern times.

It was a struggle making one’s way through the streets of Tirana without jostling other people – strangers, who spoke the same language. Sabrina slipped her arm around Tom’s and clung to him as if for protection.

Tom, however, appeared to be occupied. His eyes roamed left and right, scanning the gorgeous teenage girls, gleaming with desire. They were predator eyes, sly and deceitful, ready for the pounce. Sabrina caught the confident smile on Tom’s lips. Tom Xhoxha was tall, brawny, handsome and smug. He had big blue eyes, teeth like perfect white pearls, black hair slicked back and features as if he were of royal descent. Chic attire. “Tom,” he would remind Sabrina’s friends. “My name’s Tom, not Tommy.” Modern names. Modern behaviour.

A couple were kissing ferociously right in front of them with thirsty mouths and tongues wrestling there, on the sidewalk, four inches away. One couldn’t tell a kiss from a bite, celebration from a fight, birth from murder, love from rape or spouse from enemy. Sabrina wasn’t entirely sure how to describe the kissing. Was it love or coercion? Love should be soft, like Tom’s body.

Tirana had turned into a vortex of extremes. Life could be highly social, yet grimly isolated. Tirana itself could be so large and so small. Congested. Fighting for breath. On the corner of the residential block you could smell the enticing sweet corn and roasted chestnuts mixed with the stench of dried urine. Expensive Italian shoes tapped along the broken bricks of the sidewalks. Dressed in ostentatious clothes, modern boutique owners came out every now and then to send away beggars that chose to beg at the doorway.

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