portion of the artwork for Alex M. Pruteanu's fiction

(“Surviving Winter in Copenhagen”)
Alex M. Pruteanu

We relieved ourselves on the left flank of Christiansborg Palace, in plain view of the Folketinget, the Supreme Court, Office of the Prime Minister, and—we both hoped—directly below the chambers of Queen Margrethe II. We had travelled from Potsdam to Berlin, two brown boys on a stolen scooter in horizontal rain, then crossed on a ferry at Ahrensoop. Neither of us spoke Danish.
We were hungry and we had no money. So we sat on a kerb in front of the Copenhagen Kommune, across from the National Museum, and begged.
Three consecutive nights we slept on a bench inside Vesterport train station, but eventually we were hustled out by two policemen on bicycles.
A middle aged prostitute put us up in one room on the promise that we would clean her flat and both bathrooms.
We spent two nights there.
In the daytime we smoked her black hash and ate bread.
There were no jobs for two dark skinned Bulgarian transients.
I spent one afternoon digging out dog shit from the channels cut into my soles.
Anastas picked at a lesion on his cheek.
We had no food that winter in Copenhagen.
Finally, for nine days we were sub-contracted by a Chinese family to clean flats and houses.
And then we put up our own fliers in coffeehouses:

hi, we are student of denmark and we are greek and nepal, 22 year old males. we are looking for cleaning job in copenhaven, as we can do good in cleaning. we had cleaned since we was in denmark and we know how to go for it. so, it wil b thankful if u provide us this short of job. we peomise to do good in this feild.
thanking you
Prakash Budhathoki and Stavros Costagavras
telefon. 26744075
Rebæk Søpark 5, 6, -748
2650 Hvidore

The telephone number belonged to a public handset in the train station. No one ever called.
Anastas prostituted himself to a handful of Japanese businessmen.
We smoked Kent cigarettes.
And then Anastas

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 38 | Fall 2012