My friend took me to the police station. The first thing I noticed were the posters of half-dressed women. A year and a half in the country and I couldn’t get used to these posters that hung everywhere–police stations, doctors’ offices, buses, and plastic bags to carry your vegetables home in.
The officer told to help me took me downstairs to look at mug shots. Not all the lights worked, grime coated the corners, and rust edged desks and doors, but the computer was amazing. I had no idea what a mug shot could be–this was, after all, long before CSI.
What was this town doing with this technology? The stunningly clear photos of criminals that could be compared to others, flipped over, and zoomed into. Each man looked like my thief.
The idea of choosing the wrong man tore at me. I squinted when I picked someone out. “This man?” the officer asked.
I nodded, wondering if I were condemning an innocent man to the hands of the police. The police didn’t appreciate that a fellow Bulgarian might make them look bad, like now I could go and tell my friends, “A Bulgarian robbed me.” At first, the officers didn’t even believe me. “Maybe he was gypsy,” they said. “Maybe Turk. You not know difference.”
I had to write a list of the items in my taken backpack. I left things off not wanting to look too American, too spoiled, too whiney. They were replaceable things. Cheap by American standards.
What I hated were the dreams of being dragged down a dark alley. The thief knew where I lived. He was going through my dirty laundry and my Christmas presents. I didn’t expect they would catch him or that they would tell me if they did.
Never think you know the ending of a story.
I like a surprise at the end, but not to feel tricked. Does that make sense?
Maybe I’ve asked this before, but this blog has no end–apparently–instead it has repetitions. What is your favorite ending in a book or movie?