A car stopped in front of the bar.
Three black men got out and argued with the cab driver. He was getting shit and that was good. After a while he slammed the door and took off. The blacks headed to the bar towards me.
That was bad.
Shit, nooo, maybe they won't notice me.
I started intensely looking at cases of empty beer bottles like they were something very interesting. I felt their eyes on me, getting closer and closer, three huge black dudes… and me, maybe big, but pale, GRINGO...
Then I felt something move by my leg. Excellent, at least the dog's here with me, maybe they'll think it's mine and leave me alone. I looked down and realized that the dog had left. ASSHOLE, fucking goddamned asshole…
I grabbed my glass and pretended I was drinking. I hid my gringo face a little behind my hand, hoping it wouldn't be so obvious I'm of that different race.
Just in case of a fight, I rearranged the keys in my other hand so I could shove them in somebody's fucking face. I began shivering and felt sweat trickling down my ass.
I checked the other side of the street. There was somebody standing at the building door.
Who the fuck is standing there, some kind of juggler or what… and what the hell is he swinging with, some kind of pole or what???
I focused my exhausted eyes and the brothers froze in their steps, just like in the Matrix.
I saw a figure in a black habit with a huge scythe in her hand. She beckoned to me and made a notch in the air with her scythe. Her move was incredibly fluent, it was great to watch it because it was like thousands of pictures compressed in one. When she finished the move, she lifted her head and turned towards me; I curiously stared in the direction where I expected her eyes.
They were the eyes of a teacher from high school who died two years ago. Suddenly I had the same feeling like when he used to go to my parents and snitch on me and when I had to go down in the elevator to open the building door for him and he would be jovially punching me on my shoulder and laughing, "Well, Ivan, you got another whipping coming, eh, ha, ha, ha…"
I began shivering, my whole body was trembling. I realized the brothers were still standing in their tracks.
My eyes were fixed on one spot and I couldn't move them, I felt time vibrating inside of me, it wanted OUT, but I was holding it, no fucking idea how, but I was!!
A girl walked by the bar. She passed by the brothers, who were frozen in the middle of their step towards the bar, and continued in the direction of the bus stop.
I finally managed to take my eyes off the figure in the cape and looked at the girl's ass.
BANG! I heard and the brothers finished their steps. They were still in slow-motion but accelerating towards normal pace. They had just two more steps to make and they talked among each other in some strange lingo.
I wasn't able to get a word out and felt the car keys slipping out of my hand. I expected them to ram a knife into me, take everything I had, have a beer, and continue on their way, wherever that was.
I was contemplating how it would feel, to look at a knife sticking out of a belly… my own belly… how long would it take before the brain realizes the body's dying… what will I feel?!
"Three beers, old man!" shouted the biggest one and sat down on a chair.
I felt a hand on my shoulder. Jesus fucking Christ, thank God the keys slipped out of my hand because otherwise I would have, at this moment, shoved them into the man's fucking trap.
I turned my head.
It was the brother closest to me. He was smiling at me, showing his perfectly white teeth. Another one, the biggest one, had his curly hair done up into a bunch of little dreads that were, some way or another, glued to his skull. The third brother had a shaved head and a shit load of scars. All three of them wore humongous gold rings on their fingers and chains around their necks.
I knew they were from the other side. Nobody in this town wears gold like that because nobody can be SURE that somebody else won't mug him…
"Tchau, how's it goin'?" asked the one who had his hand on my shoulder.
"I've seen you here before, they said you're from ..Finland."
"No, I'm from the Czech Republic."
"What the fuck is that, some kind of a country or what…"
The brothers looked at each other and started laughing…
I felt a rush of peace. They're all right! They don't want to kill me…
It took them a while before they could grasp that the local term for pussy is also a country in the heart of Europe, where I come from, and that such a country lies between Germany and Russia. I understood them, if I were them, I wouldn't be interested even where Germany is.
From the book "Short message" - release 2005