Trafika Europe 5 - Slovenian Interlude
into my hallucinatory Slavonian mist, several washing machines under each arm, logic settled back into place, and it seemed to me that it would be hard to find a more normal petrol station attendant in the middle of this lousy stretch of nothingness between Zagreb and Belgrade. For the locals, it was surely normal that their grasp on geography in this, their God-forsaken world, did not extend to the escarpments of misery behind the Sava River, from which I had come. It was also probable that Serbian expatriates, whose relatives in Brčko likely lived in the houses of expelled Muslims or Croats, were none too likeable to begin with. So it was normal that he wouldn’t pretend to be professional, just to please passers-by. This version of normal was strange to me, but that didn’t explain why I still felt bad. I’d never thought of myself as sensitive, and barrages of swearing don’t move me at all. But I suppose I felt that all of this was somehow connected to my father’s Lazarus situation, and I wondered if Mr. Moustache could read my sense of guilt. Hadn’t my own sense of innocence, which I had believed whole-heartedly until recently, irreversibly ruptured the moment I decided to Google my dead father’s name? Was that why I couldn’t look Mr. Moustache in the eye and tell him to fuck off? Was that why I now felt like someone in the dock, judged by the self-righteous?
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