Your bets are not your own. In fact, the currency bets on you.


…. Namely, in the first story in this collection of stories about Boris K.’s  trials, tribulations”, the story of “Vodka”, we find him defeated by debt bondage enslaved in a bottle of vodka, condemned by the Transition Court, the so-called the “invisible hands” of the market, which grinds and crashes into bottles of alcoholic hopelessness all those who cannot adjust a cruel capitalist game called “The Dictatorship of Money” in which people and their happiness are completely irrelevant because only money matters.

(That is exactly how it is portrayed in the story “Boris K. In The Gambling Den”, in a plastic way, which explicitly states:

“Here in this casino, we do things a bit differently. You are not in control of the money, but rather the money controls you. Your bets are not your own. In fact, the currency bets on you. Follow me? Follow me…” Ovde ne igraju ljudi u pare, već pare u ljude.”  (srp.)

Leila Samarrai

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Boris K. In The Gambling Den”, The Adventures Of Boris K.  an excerpt from the story

When Boris K. enters the Casino “Alexander” to try out his luck, he immediately notices there are no tables, no croupier, no chips, no slots, and no poker room. As he pauses, a seemingly invisible but powerful hand slams the door behind him with a BANG!

“Do you want to wager on red…or black?”, echoes a rough voice throughout the empty room. Since he was a Marxist by decree, Boris K.’s choice was red as expected.

Suddenly, the lights turn on and the room comes alive with gambling of every kind everywhere. The main lobby is full of blackjack tables and there are rows of slot machines. The croupier named Stendal grabs a flabbergasted Boris K. by his collar and leads him to the gaming table with an ominous whispering voice that carries within it a subtle hint of the apocalypse:

“Here, in this casino, we do things a bit differently. You are not in control of the money, but rather the money controls you. Your bets are not your own. In fact, the currency bets on you.  Follow me? Follow me…”

Quickly, the players from the noble banking houses are gathered together, so the betting process can begin. Mr.Dollar, a Canadian by origin, as well as his fellow American brother, a returnee from the Moon whom everyone fondly calls ‘Apollo,’ move toward each other, along with the ‘Euro-who-jumps’ and the inevitable ‘Serbian Dinar-to-drop,’ with the Avgan currency lagging behind auspiciously.

Seeing Boris K, the banknotes look to each other and then immediately reach toward him conspiratorially.

CATCH THAT MAN! They shout in unison.

They reach out their hands, grab Boris K., and spin him into the roulette wheel. He lies there prone and in shock.

“Lay a bet on Boris K…. put that little man on red, and make sure he doesn’t escape!” spoke a poker-faced George Washington, in a confident and authoritative voice. Being the hard cash, he was recognized as the calmest, coolest, and most collected of all the currencies.

“What are you saying, George? Move Boris K. back into the black! He is a Communist, for God’s sake, the state will always make sure he’s flush.”

“Let’s be reasonable, gentlemen”, replies Mr Dollar, carefully watching Boris K. as he spins within the roulette so fast, his head looks like it might pop off his body.

“Just wait until the Russians lay their hands on your bet!” With that comment, the eyes of the rounded Dinaric coin fill with tears that flow softly and quietly down her cheeks.

“Those Russians are originally Serbs from the Caucasus,” whispers the Serbian currency as she gazes wistfully into the distance, dreaming of Atlantis.

Boris K. was getting annoyed. To come out alive and a winner, he knew he needed to take this matter into his own hands. No more letting the chips fall where they may! He had to figure out a way to grab that roulette bead that was skillfully hopping around the rim of the roulette wheel, just out of his grasp.

A new player then arrives in the gambling hall with a confident sort of swagger acquired through years of marching through Moscow, as evidenced by her enviably muscled calves. The lovely, but deadly, Russian Ruble gets ready to sit down when she is stopped, mid-squat, by a singing Italian currency with a mythical lyre in her hand.

“Give me my seat back!, you pseudo-Christian globalist!” shouts the Ruble aggressively.

“No dice my dear. THIS chair is mine!”, roars the Italian Lira, indignantly.

Euro, who considers himself the most valuable currency in attendance, chooses not to help out Ruble because he can’t stand her acting live a diva all the time. Flushed and offended, Ruble imbibes a glass (or two) of vodka and then slaps Abraham across the face for watching innocently from the sidelines:

FUCK YOU, Abraham! She shrieks mid-slap.

At that, the strategizing Serbian Dinar jumps up with the help of the Hungarian Reserves to defuse the argument. Dinar then toots distractingly before initiating a four corners offence for Boris K. First, she takes the tranquillizers from the Albanian, AFN currency, who is distracted as she is turned toward Mecca, then Dinar wraps it inside of a paper airplane, and makes a ‘hail Mary’ pass toward Boris K, who catches it with one hand while finally grabbing the roulette ball in the other. He tranquilizes that damn ball and the game is over. With this victory, the banknotes take off running, so frenzied, many develop spontaneous wrinkles.

Taking advantage of the panicked mob mentality that no croupier, even Stendal the Swede, could calm with offerings of Francs and Ferraris, Boris K. escapes. He runs out of the gambling den and into the expansive parking lot where he sees a private jet with an open door. He runs, followed by a long line of currency and scurries onto the plane, just as the doors close. He sits down, looking at the roulette ball sleeping dreamily in his hands. He silently swears to never gamble again. “I will never lay another bet! No roulette wheel, not even Russian Roulette! “, Boris exclaims. That’s when he looks up, distracted by voices behind him. At this moment he realizes he’s boarded a plane owned by Al-Qaeda. Not only has he just been saved by a gassy Dinar, but now he’s surrounded by terrorists!…..

 

an excerpt from the story…

Slavery in Serbia, from the perspective of a Serbian’ tenant, Leila Trajkovic Samarrai


note: I am a slave to the extent in which great Spartacus was, too… 

A kindness died away between the pillars of
a strangely home, a distant home in someone else’s garden
there is plenty of invectives and malice here and there, and I’m tired
I am so… worn out under
the sky
the bird
they have overshadowed
the world of ruins that is mine now
be lost, be distant, between dream and life

As were all the other evils that I hugged
as were all the other evils that have surrounded me
you expelled me into the living pasture
you expelled me out the gates of hell
to serve as a faithful slave girl towards the ground
I do not hear my verses, nor the sound of their loveliness
neither the sleepless sea

Only cries are given to the recklessly break
to my reckless limbs
recklessly
to them who expelled me to my pacha
to them gripped by cruelty
in water falls that grow in morning sunlight
in yesterday’s paradise
in the freshness of May