“I killed,” he offered. “I killed,” he asked. “I don’t know how many I killed,” he pressed. “I killed many, I think,” he begged. “Do you understand? I killed. I killed. I killed many, many. This is my home.”
“Hello. What do you want to know? I fought. Mostar is my lover. The first time I came here, this bridge was destroyed. What do you want to know?”
“To fight against the Serbs. I’m Macedonian. I’m Albanian. I’m from Macedonia. Against the Serbs — that’s all that mattered.”
“For the Croatians. But I’m Albanian, I’m Muslim. So then, against the Croatians. When I was here — for the Croatians. And then, here, against the Croatians.”
“My neighbors and I got along. We loved each other. We still do. It was the politicians’ fault. We didn’t want this. Everybody lost. Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo — nobody has won anything. We are all worse off.”
The sniper-cum-journalist cocked his head at me, rubbed his index and middle fingers together with his thumb, shrugged, shook his head; supplanted himself before the bridge.
This afternoon, a boy, redolent of the man for whom I had last smoldered, brushed past me on the bridge. Tripping over my misdirected lust, I tumbled into the Adriatic, luggage and all.