Page 44 - To Family with Love
P. 44

My old man was coming home less and less often. He was transferred to a battlefield around Dubrovnik and he would rarely visit us, but I would have preferred if he hadn’t at all. There was nothing left of the dad I had once known. He didn’t want to play cards anymore, not even with me. He would usually be away all day, mostly in pubs, and even when he was home, it was nothing but radio silence from him. As silent as he was during the day, he’d shout like a baboon all night. As soon as he’d doze off, he’d let out such a howl that I would immediately rush to the toilet, and the neighbors from nearby floors would rush to the shelter. It was as if he had swallowed a siren from my school. And all that because of some funny dream, one and the same, which he would always have, and which would definitely never scare me.
He was the only one of the four deadbeats who went to war together who was still fully functional. One ended up hand- icapped, and the other two were dead. And as it turned out, play- ing cards was what got them killed. The first time, the four of them were playing belote, and when the time came to go on guard duty, they each picked a card, so whoever got the highest one had to go first. Cobra got a Jack of Clubs and left, falling directly into the enemy’s ambush and getting shot like a dog.
After that, they played preferans because that’s a game for three. They would still pick cards in order to decide who would carry out military orders, such as who would go to a nearby vil- lage to get some brandy, who would deliver the mail, who would go to pee, who would blow up a tank and so on, until one after-

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