Just Don't Turn Around (Chapter 1, page 2 of 85)


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Chapter 1

"It is good that we have a car," I thought, because I would not make it on time by traveling in overcrowded buses from Petrzalka. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the car was still where I had parked it last night, in the lot across the street.

I ran down the stairs, crossed the road, rushed to the parking lot, quickly jumped in, and started the car. I did not expect any troubles because the car was only two months old. It was a red Skoda L-105, a very modest car which did not attract thieves. They preferred luxury models, or at least those with a larger engine. A one-liter, four-cylinder engine with four gears was not an exciting option for thieves who would be trying to outrun a pursuing Member of Public Safety- what they called police officers those days. The majority of car thieves were young people, often teenagers. Teenagers would be absolutely much more attracted to showing off in front of peers in a car not so modest. This logic, that brought us to selecting such a car, also gave me a warm satisfaction. Not that a bigger engine or otherwise more luxurious car would not feel more pleasing inside. Under the given conditions it has been an ideal choice. I shook my head subconsciously: "No, we can not afford a different vehicle."

Slowly exiting from the parking lot, as I had to pause to let a bus go by, which was crowded by the less fortunate ones that had to travel to work by bus, I caught sight of Comrade Stromcek, the chairperson of my company's Communist committee. A malicious smile ran across my face, but immediately afterwards I felt a freezing chill down my spine and the hair on my neck stand up. Comrade Stromcek had noticed me and shot me with a radioactive look. I have already lost the battle; I was being "pampered" to work in a car and he, the big comrade, must crush himself in a bus. I tried to find an excuse for myself or at least a convenient explanation for when I would be called to a Communist committee in the future. I was trying to make myself believe that, after all, he also has a car, but apparently was saving money for gas, or maybe … possibly this way he became "one of the many," an intimate closeness of man to man that was requested by the doctrine of Communist ethics. That was a logic that nevertheless I never understood. Fully absorbed by questions for which I could not find answers, I did not notice that there was only one left turn and I would be at my destination.

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