The stuffy silence is interrupted by the clanking of tripods on which operators are installing their cameras - some carefully, others quite indifferently. Journalists finish to install their microphones on the long, wide table and move the mobile voice recorder slightly further from them. Behind the table is an empty chair and a built-in screen.
Every other chair in the room is already taken. The press conference is about to begin. The room is slowly filled with the usual buzzing of journalists. Somebody ran into an acquaintance and is inquiring about family news, somebody is already talking about rolling over the material, while two middle-aged women are discussing the future of journalism in a faraway corner.
The cameramen are also buzzing - about football. Real Madrid's latest draw and Christiano Ronaldo’s sexual orientation are the main recurring topics. But the guy in a winter jacket and faded jeans isn’t interested in football. He’s just chewing gum, aggressively moving the lower jaw. He has an earphone in one of his ears and his red sneaker is tapping on the floor with a beat that makes you believe he must be listening to techno.
Sitting next to me is a blue-eyed girl wearing a sea-colored necklace on her thin, wheat-colored neck. She doesn’t talk to anybody - head buried in her smartphone, she’s reading the future respondent’s latest statement and polishes the critical question in her notebook.
The door opens with noise and a Hugo Boss suit enters the press club. One invisible hand is holding a huge smartphone, while the other is resting in the pocket of the perfectly ironed trousers. For a split second a face appears atop the collar, greeting us with a polite but somewhat arrogant smile. He approaches the chair with calm, sound steps and takes his place at the table like he owns the situation.
In this difficult situation… Bla bla… The government… Bla bla… Our opponents… Bla bla… Protests… Bla bla… Provocations… Bla bla… We will not allow… Bla bla… We will not make a political decision based on shouts of “Go away”... Bla bla bla…
While he speaks, a thick, strong-smelling smoke is beginning to emerge from the empty collar. It soon fills the entire press club, reaching the citizens with the help of smartphones and cameras. Almost nobody is using a smoke filter . This goes on for about 20 minutes. It’s as if the journalists can’t notice anything - they’re relaxed. You can tell by most of their faces that they have nothing to ask. Only the blue-eyed girl is breathing heavily, impatiently fiddling with her right hand.
The suit finishes and awaits questions. The host journalist is quicker than the blue-eyed girl:
What can you say about the fact that the people gathered in front of the parliament… Bla bla bla…
All of us already know the answer…
The blue-eyed girl interrupts the respondent and asks:
Who is to blame for what’s going on in the country and why isn’t anyone taking responsibility?
But the question remains unanswered. A frowning face appears above the collar for another second.
That is not a question… Bla bla bla…
The host journalist gives silent directions to his cameraman. Others follow suit. The cameramen become more active - two of them can’t share a place while the guy with a bun in his hair is happy with a newly discovered angle. The blue-eyed girl repeats her question: Who is to blame for what’s going on in the country and why isn’t anyone taking responsibility?
But the suit is no longer interested in questions. He’s now busy chatting with other journalists. The blue-eyed girl writes to someone on Messenger. The clicking of the digital keyboard gets more and more aggressive. At this point the suit is increasingly gesturing with his hands, a silver watch shining on his left hand. Soon, everything ends.He thanks us for listening, we thank him for coming. The suit leaves the room with quick steps.
Journalists pick up their microphones. You can hear conversations about football and journalism again. Somebody has already planned to send the files, but the suit didn’t make some of the journalists as stoned, so they go for a smoke - it’s only noon and two more suits are to come to the conference. Bla bla bla...