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Photo by Dana Soady

The infamous Dušan. Photo by Dana Soady

They had brought cheap wine and good weed.

The food had been eaten but that doesn’t mean I am done for the night.  Dana is leaving in the morning, the evening has to go out with a bang.  Or at least, a good story to tell.

I do believe this is one of the best.

Dušan has a funny way of talking and acting as though he were drunk all of the time.  Mostly though, he is just relaxed and human.  I don’t think it is his lack of English comprehension – he speaks it better than I – but more so the fact that only Dušan knows what Dušan is thinking.

And for him, that is perfectly satisfactory.

Ints is more practical.  Ints is humane.  It is why I like him so much.  Even despite that terrible night in the snow, he never lets on that I am a psychopath.  I think he really does like me, but in the way that you like a person so much, you know everything would be ruined if you slept with them.

The wine is Rose-tinted.  It is a token of Dušan and Ints’ appreciation, for me hosting them for dinner that evening.  The French doors of my flat are drawn open and the November air is freezing.  We all sit on my living room floor, bundled up in our coats, hats, scarves and gloves, smoking a shared joint.  I look out onto the porch where my mléko is chilling.  I can’t put it anywhere else – the flat had not come equipped with a refrigerator.

Dušan sits sandwiched between the sectional couch and the glass-topped coffee table.  He is directly in front of the TV.  Dana and I sit together to his right.  Ints is sitting on the rug but further away.

“Ah,” Dušan begins, staring in front of the shiny, black TV screen.  “It is like I am a television program.”

I look to Dana, who looks to Ints, who looks to me.  “Um, whaat the faack are you talking about?” Ints is always the inquisitor.  His English is basically perfect, with a slight Latvian accent.  He bartended in Manchester, England for a year but I also can tell he is just a smart person in general.  He is usually the only one who understands my slang – he is that good.

Dušan gestures towards the television.  “It is my own show.  And you are a special guest.”

Ints gives a nervous smile.  “You aare so high, maan.”

“Come closer to the tee-vee,” requests Dušan, waving him over.

Dana and I can not control our laughter.

Dušan continues to comment on the wine to his opaque reflection in the TV screen.  The three of us just sit there and drink him in.  Dušan is a cartoon character, and the world is his TV show.

He was my best friend in Žilina.