Love Under Late Socialism

written by Goran Nuhanović


In the summer of 1988, my wife gave me an ultimatum: “Either you get central heating or I return to my parents!” Slightly desperate, I called Obajdin, the director of Houservice. His kind voice in the receiver was quite soothing: he told me to come to the White Ship across the street from the company, early morning the next day.


We kissed. When Obajdin ordered two brandies, old stories from youth seemed to gush forth by themselves. By ten o’clock, I was already dizzy, but still perfectly aware of my situation. When I tried to explain my problem, he took me by the hand in a fatherly way and led me out.


“I’d like you to meet a seamstress. The kid is a bomb, eh, and the ties she can sew!” He put out his chicken breast, revealing a gully in its middle, sporting a thin black tie standing out on his white shirt. “I’m looking for a way to push them west. Do you know anyone in the fashion world?”