The Wind and the Rain

You leave in the morning
With everything you own in a little black case
Alone on the platform
The wind and the rain

Èze, France – July 5th 1998

They’re coming for me. The handwritten warning:

Fear the wind and the rain

Penance is due for unending pain

Who was it from?

Probably Mossad. The attack by those animals in Buenos Aires in ‘71 still horrified me. It wasn’t like them to not finish the job. Sometimes my eye still stings, even though it was burned out nearly three decades ago. I thought the running was over. Argentina, South Africa and now Monaco.

Still one eye is better than nothing and I’m a strong guy. They couldn’t kill me in South America or Africa, they sure as hell aren’t doing it here on the Riviera.

It’s a shame, I like Monaco. A lot of the old gang are here but we can’t meet up. The occasional phone call from Josef or Otmar but that’s it. The price we pay for the past is our constant loneliness. Always striving to get close to people but unable to do it.

I’m a simple man, I enjoy my morning coffee at Café Girard and a brisk walk around Fontvielle. Then back to my apartment where I like to watch the young maid clean up. She does a good job even though she’s a fucking Arab. I know she wants me to fuck her. She only cares about the money. Worse than the Jews for that. As if I’d touch her…

I can feel the anger rising up, now it’s all over. Some people who can’t let the past rest and to hound an old man. War makes no man proud. But at the time everything I did felt right. It still does when I look at the world now. Money grabbing foreigners everywhere you look.

One suitcase, a taxi ride out to Èze. They’ll be watching the station at Monte Carlo – this is the safest place, according to Joachim.

“Get out now,” he told me, “I know someone in Madrid, a friend will meet you at Atocha in 3 days at midday outside the entrance. His name is Frank,”

And that was that, I took all my money out of the bank and called a taxi for 5am.

The apartment was a mess when I left, the maid had called in sick for two days now. I left the apartment with no feelings. A shitty Renault was outside waiting for me.

The driver looked like another stinking Arab. He looked at me in a funny way. I told him to concentrate on the fucking road, it’s still dark. That shut up the dirty bastard.

We made it to Èze for quarter past five. The road runs along the riviera, the main town lies above in the hills. The small station lies between the road and the sea.

The dark man drops me off on Avenue de la Liberté, near the station. I look around and I can see roses are growing everywhere, an overwhelming sight – pinks, reds glowing like the print by Warhol I once saw in a magazine.

It’s too intense. A wave of nausea stuns me and the smell reminds me a bit of the camps, an intense, sickly smell.

I have to catch my breath, the world begins to spin. I drop a knee to the floor and heave a dry retch.

After gathering my senses I visit the café opposite the station for a bottle of water. A young, bald boy serves me. I don’t like his look either. I can’t wait to get out of France, they smirk at anyone with a German accent.

I cross the road back to the station and make it to the platform – the next train is in an hour’s time. I can relax here for a while and watch the sun rise.

I glance to my right and I see a young girl walking on to the platform looking lost. She’s beautiful. Long dark hair, a pretty white dress with flowers on it and a rose in her hair. She starts to walk over to me.

Maybe there are some things in France I will miss!

The girl is even more stunning up close, she has dark eyes – possible a gypsy looking at her. And she starts to speak and she sounds Slavic. I’m entranced by her.

“Excuse me sir….” she begins…

—————-

A week ago Gunari had phoned and said the maid confirmed he was a German. That was the final confirmation – everything else checked out.

I caught the train from Genoa to Monaco. He would be my first.

I met with Gunari in the Japanese Gardens. Summer was in full bloom, I like this time of year. Everything seems possible.

“Nuri, my child,” Gunari laid his big, coarse hands on my shoulders, “This is what you have waited for. Be ready and remember your training,”

“I know what I need to do,” I whisper.

“Good girl,”

Gunari left me and I walked over to the promenade and looked out at the Mediterranean Sea. Gunari had said to embrace the guilt. This is vengeance for our people being slaughtered in their thousands across Europe. Herded like cattle and called subhuman. Exterminated in the death camps. We are the wind and the rain that cleanses our shame.

My own grandfather, murdered in Jasonevac.

The man I will be killing is not responsible for that murder. But he is responsible for the deaths of thousands of my people. The Porajmos will never be forgotten.

This man brought Kali Traš, the Black Fear, to us.

The wind and the rain will wash away his sins.

He tried the quick getaway. He thought he was clever. Our methods were cleverer. I bugged his phone and overheard his conversation with the other German.

The taxi that picked him up was driven by Gunari.

I had held up the actual taxi driver by flashing some leg and asking if he could give me a ride. It worked a treat. Like the movies I actually told him to “follow that car” behind Gunari and the target.

Gunari pulled up at the little village train station and I told the taxi driver to carry on and park up around the corner about one hundred metres from the station.

I leave the car and peer around the corner. A man with a dark blue coat and grey trousers is crossing the road and drinking from a bottle of water muttering to himself.

I see my prey. My stomach lurches once and then twice. In my small handbag I have a blade. A Indian bagh naka, a small instrument resembling a tiger claws.

I follow him up to the station, pausing only to pluck a scarlet rose from a nearby bush and place it in my hair. I walked to the platform and the station was deserted. Just an old man carrying a smart black case.

I walked over to him and attempted to look demure. I had picked out my only flowery dress for today.

I am fighting the nerves in my stomach. I keep telling myself this is for the Berša Bibahtale, the unhappy years suffered by the Romani. This man killed my people without compunction nor reason.

I slowly approach him and the old man is leering at me, barely disguising his lust. A man without morals. A man unaware of his judgment.

“Excuse me sir,” I said, surprising myself at how successfully I can concealed my own fear, “Do you know what time the next train to Nice is due?”

“About an hour’s time, sweetie,” the vile creature responded, with a smirk.

“Thank you,” I say fixing him with my stare, “Thank you Dr Albert Tremmick, the Exterminator of Dieselstrasse, there will be no more experiments on our children, Doctor,”

The man’s face is a picture of incomprehension. I’ve never seen a face change from arrogance to desolation.

Everything is slowing down. I can see the impending recognition on his face of what is about to happen. My hand lies on the blade.

Finally the old man tries to lunge at me. He is too slow. I skip around the back of his grasping Nazi hands grab him by the collar and pull my face up to his sweating neck. I raise my right arm and rake the bagh naka across his throat.

The man utters a pathetic yelp and crumples to the floor. Within seconds the platform is covered in rose-red blood. It is dripping on to the tracks. The wind and the rain has finally cleansed this place.

I walk out of the station and into Gulani’s car. Nothing needs to be said – he just looks in to my wet eyes and he drives us away.

by Martin O’Brien based on Smalltown Boy – Bronski Beat

 

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