Food for Thought-The Search for A Bosnian Dentist (The Second Letter)

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26 April 1957
3:12 pm
Belgrade, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Dear Friend and Vaunted Colleague,

I received your letter in the morning post. The verdant glories of spring also fall fresh around my daily walks through the old city. Yesterday, as we passed the man with two legs and coffee, I realized the trees along Kralja Petra* were growing again toward the sky; each leaf reaching toward some unseen cloud. Upon further examination, I realized no clouds were present. In the meantime, you had turned left along Gospodar Jovanova*, determined to see the famous Bosnian dentist*. How was the cleaning?

Now, dear neighbor, to your query. Do I remember this day? How can I not? To me it seems as today. The buildings, of which you speak, were tall and grand; were they not? I remember each room possessed a window. Do you remember the morning, the sun shone, and we went into the building via a door? I also recall the horse. It was brown and turning right; for did you not face me? How can you not, with such fondness, recall the green grass? I remember, in places where grass did not grow, the black soil stared into our souls.

I remember that we rode in a car and turned right twice before stopping beside a malformed shrub. The shrub, while lacking the permanence of a true socialist road marker*, announced the entrance to the place we had arrived. Perhaps this bird, of which you speak, made its home in the malformed shrub?

Until tomorrow, I bid you farewell. Think upon these things.

Yours truly,

*Kralja Petra is a street in the old city of Belgrade
*Gospodar Jovanova is a street adjacent to Kralja Petra in the old city of Belgrade
*Bosnian dentistry was known for its precision, particularly in the late 1950’s

*road markers in the former Yugoslavia were known for their sturdiness