Dr. Kaluđerović is an otolaryngologist—or rather he was, now he’s just a tangle of bone and fiber on a filthy bed—who operated on Milena and made her hear again several months before her death.
It seemed to be the first time in my life that there was an advantage in having a scar on my face. If it attracted demented, neurotic women and half-mad men, was I one of them too, marked with a shadow of disfigurement – a freakish, dark aureole above my head? The answer was affirmative. This kind of magnetism isn’t exactly a blessing. But the scar became my ticket to the show.
He clasped his hands and prayed to the Lord to preserve him from the monster with red-hot jaws and its minions, to deliver him from torment and dismemberment. And as he was begging and pleading like this, Dimitar said, he was blinded by a mighty flash and suddenly found himself in a ditch by the road, all scratched, terrified and shaking, near his poor donkey.
Now it was time for the representative of the British crown to kill him a third time. Without speaking a word, Rayner took out the Webley .455 and fired one shot into Rasputin’s head.
“Have I told you the story about the guy who butchered hogs?” “Which guy?” “The one who was in the Foreign Legion. Have I told you that one?”
Great Anets, how vile these Indifferents are! Their eyes are lifeless like a corpse, their hair is dirty and disheveled, their skin is pale, their gait is sluggish, and they’re silent as if they’d swallowed their tongue.
In fact, they were the most elemental enemies of my dream of greatness, and one would be happy – and even die happy – to know they did not exist. Yet they are necessary. You have to teach them to flatter you and that that is their duty. You need them so they can give you that mother’s milk. Yes, my dear people, and that is why I hate them. Because I couldn’t do without them, without that milk that one drinks with such relish. That’s why.
That New Year little Mensur Ćeman learned that Grandfather Frost really did exist, but that he was not the kind old man from the Coca-Cola ad bringing colorfully wrapped presents for the children—he was an infidel arsonist, and it was because of him that he now lived at his Uncle Irfan’s and had to go to school in Darkovo, six kilometers away.
Aleksandar wasn’t going to believe me. I knew that even before I turned the door handle. He’s never believed me. But I went into the room and told him: “Aleksandar, there’s something wrong with the ballpoint pen you brought from work.”