Blesok no. 66, May-June, 2009
At The Market
In my high school days, I worked at the market in Bjelovar on Saturdays, and every day during the summer breaks. I sold peppers, potatoes, beans or peas on my parents' stand, on a rented stall, for a bit of extra money. We polished the peppers the day before and put them in bags, not cheating in the process; we would only, from time to time, place a few smaller ones, or those with specks, in the middle, not to be in the line of sight. I wasn't made for selling, but the work was good. Sometimes I would advertise the produce out loud, “discretely” calling the customers. Once a woman asked me whether the potatoes are “sweet”, to which I replied that, for me, potatoes are never sweet, and she, dumbfounded by the anti-propaganda, still bought some. I killed my free time by reading. I used to carry the collection of poems Stišavanje izvora (Silencing of the source) by Anka Žagar, and the people from the neighbouring stalls knew me as “the boy who reads” or “the smart boy”. In the final grade, when we became friends, Vlado would often come to see me, usually around half past nine or ten – after breakfast. After that he would go to the library and immerse himself in the
“Art History” section, since he then drew a lot, as I used to write a lot, of everything. I think we also discussed it at length at the market. We were planning to open a stall with books there, among fruit and vegetables, I don't know why we never did; there was supposed to be a lot of reading aloud, to make people aware of literature, or whatever. I'm not sure whether these discussions had anything with his recent idea to go to the market in Zagreb, across the street from his building, and photograph and film there obsessively; I think not, but never mind.