Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne

“I’ll spring for the next round.”

“We’ll see. Jenna’s pregnant and she feels lost without me.”

I congratulated Tommy H. He’d been a satisfactory bed- mate, if uselessly romantic at times. It was better for him to spend his emotions on his wife. Merja waved at me from behind her counter. I blew her a kiss and left to do my security rounds. Petri was nowhere to be seen that day. I caught a pair of teenage girls trying to snatch some push-up bras. I threatened no gifts for the rest of their lives unless the young ladies straightened out their ways. Their response would have made gang members in the Kerava Juvenile Prison blush. Long live gender equality. I left them waiting for the police in the store detectives’ room. On Sunday the sleet blew horizontally. The storm winds brought down one of the Christmas light garlands over the store’s main entrance and it knocked a passerby unconscious. From the coffee shop window next to the cosmetics department, I watched as Petri called an ambulance for the old woman. After it had come, he stayed standing on the sidewalk even though the sleet had soaked his light-blue Oxford shirt so thoroughly his nipples showed through it. I turned away when he changed position. His profession required him to be able to distinguish one from another among us Santas. I drew back


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