Trafika Europe 5 - Slovenian Interlude

knows how much grape schnapps Captain Muzirović put away, and how many times the ‘Slovenian girl,’ Dusha Podlogar, watched with the same excitement, through the same window of the same green train as the same lights slowly expanded, while thorn-trails formed in the palms of the same nervous lieutenant, before he finally summoned the courage to kiss her on the lips for the first time, as they sat on a park bench. Or did he unclip her bra with his shaky hands, and even touch her erect nipples? Who knows if her lieutenant once welcomed her with a woollen army blanket beneath his arm, instead of a red rose, and took her to a gloomy, lonesome place, instead of to the Hungarian Café? Perhaps comrade Dusha then missed her train back home, unable to pull herself away from his strong, lusty embrace? My mother didn’t talk about this, of course, but she did talk about how she began buying her co-worker toffees so that she wouldn’t tell their mutual boss that she liked to take naps in the small warehouse of the shoe shop on Tito Street, because she was so exhausted from catching the train almost every day and then running straight from the station to work in the morning. Mother also spoke of how her colleague used to tease her, saying that this had been going on long enough for her to expect a ring instead of a rose, but she’d reply that she was just having fun and was in no rush. She also liked to add that any girl would be afraid to marry someone who looked that handsome in his uniform, because a girl could never be


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