Trafika Europe 5 - Slovenian Interlude

beside it that had sat there for three years? Maybe because of the pile of yellowing newspapers in the corner of the living room: a room without a TV, a radio or a wooden bookcase full of hand-me-down ceramics and china? Or maybe just because there were no curtains, no cloth over the dining table, no vase in the living room, just two empty cigarette packs and a small ashtray. A few worn-out shirts in the open wardrobe in the bedroom, a pair of jeans splayed across the floor beside it. The living room was anchored by a stained green rug; and the bathroom by a foul-yellow shower curtain. It was the sort of space that a normal person would only occupy against their will. I wondered if Tomislav Zdravković saw this place as a prison cell, which is why he never bothered to make it any nicer. Maybe he thought that by living in this dump, opposite the retired municipal official, he was repaying his debt to society, and that maintaining its unpleasant décor was a mild form of self- flagellation? Or was he just such a miserable son-of-a- bitch that he didn’t even notice all the mess and rustiness of his world? Whatever it was, we couldn’t call spending time in a two-and-a-half bedroom flat the equivalent to solitary confinement. I was pulled out of my strange lethargy, moving hypnotized around this so-called apartment, wading into the story of Tomislav Zdravković, by a surprising sight: Sudoku puzzles, cut from newspapers and carefully filled-in with pencil, which lay on the floor by the


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