Trafika Europe 6 - Arabesque

the physics of sorrow

aimed swing punched the arrestee between the eyes. The building they brought him to had just been built, but architecturally it recreated late Happy Socialism from the 1980s, roughly hewn marble, wood and frosted glass. Blood trickled down from his split brow. The man who came out of the building wearing a suit immediately ordered them to get him medical attention, a nurse appeared from somewhere, put on a Band-Aid, found some ice, and led him into an office with a leather couch. “Sorry, they got a bit carried away. I had explicitly told them not to touch a hair on your head. They can be real brutes sometimes, just like back in the day. Just don’t tell me you don’t remember me”—the man across from

him took a bottle of brand- name whiskey and two glasses out of his desk drawer with a practiced gesture. There was something familiar about that face, soft, babyish, looking ready to start bawling at any minute. “Baby Cakes, is that you?” “It ’s me, Swift-Footed Stag.” My (I didn’t know it was me, God damn it) schoolmate Baby Cakes, one of the gang back then, the eternal butt of our jokes, we didn’t even give him an Indian name. He carried Chingachook’s bow and quiver of arrows. “So you’ve bought up the whole town of T., you’re the one...” “When did you get here, when did you learn all the gossip?


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